Will Stock Doors Fit My Fireplaces?
The best way to determine if your fireplace is a standard size and stock doors will work is to email us some pictures of your fireplace using our Free Fireplace Design Service. We will take a look at your fireplace and determine if you can use a stock size door or if you need one custom made. With that said, below are a few examples of fireplaces where stock size doors may or may not be appropriate.
The Perfect Example
Example #1: This is an example of a fireplace that is perfect for a stock size door. The fireplace opening is flush with the hearth and there are no protruding bricks on the top or sides that would prevent a door from overlapping the opening. Although the stones on this fireplace are a bit irregular, they are flat enough to use a stock size door. If this were brick, marble or tile it would be even better. If the stones were very irregular, a stock size door may not be appropriate as you will see in one of the other examples below. To determine if a standard size would fit this fireplace, you would simply measure the width and height of the opening and refer to our sizing chart to find a door that fits.
The Hole In The Wall Fireplace
Example #2: This fireplace opening is raised up higher than the hearth. This is not an ideal situation for a stock fireplace door. Even though there are no obstructions that would prevent a stock size door from overlapping the opening, it is less than ideal and we usually recommend using a custom made door for fireplaces like this. Stock doors are made to sit flat on the hearth and tend to look odd when they are installed up in the air as the frames are not designed to overlap the bottom of the opening. Still, because of the cost difference between a standard and custom size, some people will still choose to install a stock door on a fireplace like this if they are less concerned about look than the function.
Prefab Fireplaces - Zero Clearance
Example #3: You cannot install a stock fireplace door on a prefabricated zero clearance fireplace, it is not safe. Prefab fireplaces are a metal box that is framed into your home with wood construction. They have special airways that bring in room air to keep the inner workings of the fireplace cool. If you install a stock door on a fireplace like this, you will block those air-cooling passages and create a potential fire hazard. This fireplace would require Custom ZC Fireplace Doors designed to allow airflow into the fireplace. Most people look at this picture and mistakenly assume it is a masonry fireplace even though is prefab fireplace with a brick facade. Our experts can recognize this right away, which is why we ask you to email us pictures. One way to determine if you have a prefabricated fireplace is to look up inside flue, if it has a round metal damper or round pipe, it is certainly a prefab fireplace. You may also notice black metal just behind the brick opening which is another dead giveaway. If you are unsure if your fireplace is prefabricated, email us your pictures.
Fireplace with Ledge
Example #4: If there is a ledge over the opening of your fireplace, odds are a stock door will not fit even if a size chart says it will. Stock doors are designed to overlap the opening, not fit perfectly under a ledge. Instead of looking at the opening size range the doors will fit in the size charts, look at the overall height to see if there is one that is 1/4" to 1/2" shorter than your ledge. Who knows, you might get lucky, but more often than not, a custom made door is your only solution.
Fireplace with Columns
Example #5: If there are columns on either side of your fireplace you probably cannot use a stock door. If you overlap the columns there will be a huge gap at the top. Instead of looking at the size fireplace a door will fit, you need to look at the overall size of the doors and find one that is 1/4" to 1/2" smaller than your opening. Odds are you won't find a stock door that precise and you will need a custom made door.
Example #6: Rock fireplaces that are not relatively flat around the opening are not good candidates for stock doors. If you overlap the opening you are going to have wide gaps between the stones and the back of the door frame. If you are on a budget and how it looks does not matter, you can install a stock door as long as you make sure you measure the smallest and largest width and height of the opening to ensure they are within the size range of the door. For fireplaces like this we recommend having a door made to fit just inside the smallest dimensions of the opening and you can fill the gaps around the frame with mortar for a great finished look. Read more here: Glass Doors for Rock Fireplaces.
Example #7: At first glance you would certainly think an arched fireplace like this could not use a stock size door. Although we certainly would not recommend it, custom doors for arched fireplaces are very expensive, so it's worth checking to see if a standard rectangular door will work if you cannot afford a custom door. Measure the height on the sides and height in the middle and check the size charts to see if there are any doors where both measurements are within the range the door will fit. Obviously you need to check the width as well. With that said, we specialize in custom made Glass Doors for Arched Fireplaces.
We could go on and on showing examples of fireplaces where stock doors may or may not work. The bottom line is, every fireplace is different and sometimes it takes a keen eye to determine if there is something unusual that will cause issues when trying to install a fireplace doors. So we always recommend you save your self any potential headaches and Email Us Pictures Of Your Fireplace.