The fireplace is often the centerpiece of a room. It has a tendency to dominate the eye whether there is a fire burning in it or not. Doors for your fireplace are part of the room's decor, and are also important for the safety and the insulation of your home. Fireplace doors are intended as much to hold in errant sparks and embers as to keep a draft from howling through your home.
The following provides a guide for how to simply and accurately measure your fireplace for properly fitted doors. Whether your fireplace is square, rectangular, or even arched, these steps will instruct you on how to measure for doors that will safeguard your home and family from falling logs or a chilling draft.
Things You'll Need
- Tape Measure
- Pencil and paper
- Mask (optional)
Is your fireplace brick? Stone? Is it trimmed with decorative wood panels? The surface of your fireplace's exterior is important. Most factory fireplace doors are designed to overlap the fireplace exterior. This prevents drafts and smoke from escaping when the doors are closed. Be sure to note the material of your fireplace exterior for the door's manufacturer.
Begin measuring the rough dimensions of your fireplace. Most manufacturers will recommend taking three measurements for width and height. Begin with the fireplace width and measure from the top left interior corner to the top right interior. Move the tape to the middle of left side and measure to the middle right side. Finally, measure from the bottom left interior corner to the bottom right. Now, using the smallest of those measurements, add 1 1/2 inches for exterior mounted doors, or subtract 1/8 inch for interior flush fitting doors.
Repeat Step 2 for your height measurements. Again take three measurements from the left, middle, and right sides of the fireplace. Again add 1 1/2 inches to your smallest measurement for exterior doors, or subtract 1/8 inch for flush mounted doors. If your fireplace is arched, you will need to make a diagram of the opening.
To make a diagram, simply draw the appearance of your fireplace on a sheet of paper. Show the height dimension at the arch's base on your diagram as well as the width for both the base of the fireplace and the imaginary line where the fireplace would be if it were rectangular instead of arched. Then measure the center of the arch down to the fireplace base. You may want to send a photograph of your fireplace for further reference.
Double-check all measurements. Fireplace doors are expensive, not to mention shipping costs and sheer aggravation, and custom doors are not easily altered. Measure twice, regret never. In the event your fireplace is not square, be sure to explicitly state that to your door manufacturer.
- Photo Credit calore image by giuseppe fulciniti from Fotolia.com
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