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Sizing Your Screen

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Sizing Your Screen

Protecting Home Means Having A Proper Sized Fireplace Screen

Nothing adds as much character and decorative appeal like a fireplace.  The hearth is an immediate focal point in the décor and will likely become a gathering spot during social events.  However, the fireplace can also be potentially dangerous because moisture trapped in the wood escapes as it is burning and leads to flying embers or sparks.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that you do not use the hearth until you have a fireplace screen to prevent the flying sparks from potentially starting a fire in your home.

The fireplace screen is definitely the most impressive of the hearth accessories and there are definitely some beautiful screens out there from which to choose.  Stained glass fireplace screens are some of the most dazzling to look at but unfortunately the heat from a fire could damage the screen.  While style is important, the most critical factor to consider when buying a screen is its functionality—will it actually work and prevent sparks from damaging your flooring and potentially starting a fire?

When it comes to the functional nature of a fireplace screen, sizing is everything.  Even screens that are specifically designed to prevent sparks from reaching beyond the hearth will not work unless they are the right size.  

For a single panel fireplace screen, you want to be sure to measure the length and height of the hearth opening.  The panel should be 1-2 inches longer and taller than the hearth opening to ensure no sparks will escape.  Folding screens, on the other hand, are a little more complicated.

Three, Four, and Five panel fireplace screens do indeed all fold and that is why you want them to be at least 10-12 inches wider than the hearth opening.  This will allow for enough fold in the screen so that it does not tip over while still covering the entire hearth opening.  The height should also be 1-3 inches taller than the actual fireplace opening.

Spark guards are also available and they are designed to fit snugly against the fireplace opening and provide the optimum spark guard protection for your home.  For anyone with curious pets or small children, a spark guard may be the better choice despite its rather plain appearance when compared to most fire place screens.

Indeed, we would all love to have the most ornate and beautiful fireplace screen to accentuate our hearth area while still protecting against flying sparks.  While style is important, it is far more critical to make sure that the screen will actually do its job which is why sizing is so important.  By making sure to measure the hearth area first and to only choose from screens specifically designed to prevent sparks, you can find the perfect fireplace screen for your décor, taste, and budget.