Request: This is a (large) masonry fireplace with an opening of 39" (tall) x 48" (wide). We'd like a "clean" look - a semi-rustic outer frame with all glass through the middle. Would prefer full doors instead of bi-fold. I'm a part time mason so an inset mortared finish is fasten choice.
Our Comments: Although it is possible to make the door with 2 doors instead of bifolding, we do not recommend doing so because the glass is not likely to hold up under heat. The manufacturer actually warrants the glass for breakage from fire for a lifetime providing each glass panel is less than 4 square feet. In this case, if we were to make a cabinet style door, each glass panel would exceed that and be over 5 square feet. So as much as we like the clean look of two glass panels, we would not be able to have the door made that way. Therefore we have created examples below that show how bifolding doors would look. We have chosen two doors made of steel and one aluminum door. Steel doors will look better and are heavier duty, but they are 2 to 3 times the price of the aluminum door.
Question: Still contemplating choices here. I suspect it won't matter much in the way of price or choice of cabinet vs bi-fold doors, but I took a more accurate measurement of our opening - 46" x 38 1/4". Do we leave 1/4" gap around for mortar? If so, unit would be 1/2" less.
Our Response: Typically we look at the average size of the mortar joints and try to leave that same gap around the door so that it looks consistent with the existing facing. We will never make the door less than 1/4" gap between the narrowest width to ensure that it is never too big since things can be out of square. With that said, looking at your fireplace, it appears that the two stones on the top right do not line up with the rest of the stones, so the width is probably greatest at that point and the mortar joint will be wider. So I would recommend making the frame 1/4" less on each side than the narrowest width and height as you have suggested. So, assuming that you have measured the narrowest width and height, we would make the overall size of the door to: 45 1/2” Wide x 38” High. Also just to be clear, we would NOT make a cabinet door since we are quite confident that the chances of glass breakage are too great and we do not want to assume that risk.
These options are behind the glass so you can burn the fire with the doors open and still have spark protection. Great for real wood or gas logs since most gas long manufacturers insist that you have a screen in front of the logs when they are burning. Mesh panel doors are the most popular and are best for when there are toddlers present because they will not open backwards whereas the mesh screens are easily pushed in.
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