4 Expert Tips To Choose A Fireplace Screen

Fireplace screens are a practical and beautiful way to add an accent to your room while protecting furniture, pets and children from errant sparks or exposure to flame. Choosing one of these beautiful additions can be a challenge, so we've put together a series of professional tips to help you make the best possible decision for you.

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What types of fireplace screens are there?

When choosing a fireplace screen, it's natural to consider the types of screen to choose from. We've taken the liberty of exploring them for you in this pro tip.

Single panel

Single panel fireplace screens are probably the most common type of screen available. They are the easiest to use and set up since all they require is to be set flush against the opening of your fireplace. Single panel fireplace screens often feature double doors, so your fire will be easy to tend.

When they don't have doors, single panel fireplace screens come equipped with handles that allow easy adjustment. They can also include adjustable legs to ensure your screen sits snugly against the fireplace opening.

Simple Single Panel Iron Fireplace Screen
Decorative Single Panel Iron Fireplace Screen
Elegant Single Panel Fireplace Screen
Large Single Panel Fireplace Screen
Single Panel Fireplace Screen
Single Panel Door Fireplace Screen

Multi-panel

Multi-panel screens are well suited for large fireplaces and create a 3-D space that provides proper protection while leaving an opening near the top of the screen that allows you to tend the fire easily. Multi-panel screens can also feature doors and cover a range of styles from contemporary to antique replicas and modern styles.

Fleur De Lis Multi Panel Metal Fireplace Screen
Multi Panel Gold Metal Fireplace Screen
Multi Panel Fireplace Screen with Botanical Pattern
Multi Panel Fireplace Screen in Black and Gold
Multi Panel Gold Iron Fireplace Screen
Multi Panel Gold Tin Fireplace Screen

Bowed or Curved Fireplace Screens

Curved or bowed fireplace screens offer superior coverage to single panels and similar coverage to triple panel fireplace screens. You can think of them as a middle ground between single panel screens and multi-panel screens.

Multi-panel screens are unique in that they can be adjusted to suit your unique fireplace via folding, but also create 3-D protection that simultaneously allows access to your fire. Bowed or curved screens accomplish the same effect but are less customizable since they normally have no folding panels.

Bowed Single Panel Steel Fireplace Screen
Bowed Single Panel Fireplace Screen
Curved Single Panel Steel Fireplace Screen
Curved Single Panel Fireplace Screen with Trees
Bowed Panel Fireplace Screen
Curved Panel Glass Fireplace Screen

What is the best material for a fireplace screen?

Fireplace materials by nature tend to last a long time and resist heat well, which makes visibility and their ability to radiate warmth the primary factors we'll be considering in this section.

Iron

Metal meshes have been used in fireplace screens since the 18th century when they became common place in houses. Iron fireplace screen mesh does a fantastic job of allowing heat and hot air to circulate throughout your room. Iron screens have the added bonus of being the least noticeable among metal fireplace screens, so you'll have an easy time enjoying the ambiance of your fire without mesh obstructing your view. 

Brass

Brass wire mesh is also extremely effective at transferring heat around your room. Unlike iron wire mesh, brass tends to be slightly more visible due to its rich color profile. When firelight shines off the surface of brass, it tends to stand out rather than blend in.

The reflections cast from brass can be beneficial if you're hoping to use your fireplace screen as a bright accent in your room.

Glass

If you're looking for a Fireplace screen that is completely incognito, having glass panels on your fireplace screen is your best bet. Glass panels are practically invisible when your fire is lit behind them but are unfortunately almost impermeable to heat, so you shouldn't expect very effective heat transfer.

Forest Scene Panel Steel Fireplace Screen
Iron Fireplace Screen with Tree Theme
Peacock Multi Panel Metal Fireplace Screen
Tin Fireplace Screen in Gold
Green Glass Fireplace Screens
Ornament Cast Aluminum Fireplace Screen

What size of screen is right for your fireplace?

Measuring the appropriate size for your fireplace screen is a critical step in making the right decision for your home. Too small, and your screen won't do much to protect your kids, pets or furniture from errant sparks or accidental burns. Too big and your screen can become an oppressive obstruction instead of an elegant accent.

To know what size of screen you need, you'll first need to measure the opening of your fireplace. We recommend using a measuring tape and having an erasable marker on hand. Once you have a good idea of the width and height of your fireplace opening, add 3-5 inches of clearance to each side and draw lines to match using an erasable marker.

You now have a visual representation of what your ideal fireplace screen should look like, so try to find something that matches those dimensions. Our recommendations for clearance are not set in stone and ultimately, your fireplace safety will be determined by responsible use, proper inspections and the application of safety protocols.

What style of fireplace screen should I choose?

Now that we've taken a look at the major considerations when buying a fireplace screen, let's take a quick look into some of the common styles available. 

Antique

Truly antique fireplace screens are extremely hard to find in modern times, but antique replicas are commonly available. If you're interested in having a geometrically intricate design that catches the eye, you can strongly consider pursuing a screen designed in the Art Deco style.

The Art Deco style of design emerged from France prior to World War 1 and was heavily influenced by several styles that all sought to be modern in appearance. What resulted was a series of highly geometrical designs that emphasize symmetry and contrasting shapes to create dynamic images.

Victorian-era brass work replicas are another way you can add a "classic" appeal to your living spaces. These brass pieces are generally large and feature swirling and looping waves and curls, which catch the eye and soothe the spirit.

Contemporary

Contemporary fireplace screens typically commit to a sleek, refined look that goes along well with modern decors. Contemporary screens add refined elegance to most apartments but fit especially well with decors that focus on clean lines and subtle finishes.

If your home sports a modern and minimalistic look, a black screen in the contemporary style should accent your home quite well.

Scenic

Scenic fireplace designs often feature references to nature, which are then backed by a metal wire mesh. Designs can feature interlocking branches that add a soft touch, depictions of wildlife and nature scenes, starlit skies and even recurring geometric patterns that fit well into a modern home.

Scenic fireplaces tend to cast interesting shadows and can make for a display of their own in the right circumstance.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.