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Fireplace Doors for Rock or Stone Fireplaces

How to Measure and Install Glass Doors on a Rock Fireplace

Step 1: Email us some pictures of your fireplace

Email pictures to:

Every fireplace is different and how you go about measuring depends on the nuances of the fireplace and door you choose. Once we see your fireplace we will give you personalized instructions on how to measure it. These are the instructions for the typical rock fireplace you see below.

Step 2: Mark the right side

Position a level vertically along the right side of the fireplace opening and adjust it to where it is level and next to the narrowest stone. Make a mark at the top of the opening and on the hearth at the bottom. This is the narrowest point on the left. We show the marks in red, but you can use a pencil or pieces of tape.

Step 3: Mark the left side

Repeat step 2 on the left side of the fireplace to mark the narrowest point on the left.

Step 4: Measure the Width

Measure the width between your marks at the top and bottom. This will give us the narrowest width. The widths should be the same if you made your marks accurately. If they are significantly different, repeat the process until you get them within 1/4" of each other. We will want both measurments.

Step 5: Measure the Height

Measure the height from the hearth to the bottom of the lintel or lowest point of the opening, checking about every 3 inches. You do not need to write all of these measurements down, you are just looking for the lowest and highest point. We will want both of those measurements

Step 6: Sizing and Installing the Door

This is how the door will fit the fireplace. For the width, we will make the door frame about 1/4" to 1/2" narrower on each side than where you made your marks, so the door will be about 1/2" to 1" less in overall width than your narrowest width. For the height, we may make the frame 1/4" to 1/2" shorter or 1/4" to 1/2" taller than the shortest height depending on the door you choose. In this example, we are using a cutback frame that overlaps the lintel by about 1/4", so we are going to make the door 1/4" taller than the lintel. Using a cutback frame like this makes the installation easier because you only need to mortar in the sides. However, this does not work in many cases where the lintel is recessed, so mortar is often necessary on the top as well. There are 4 brackets that must be attached to the masonry inside the fireplace using lead shields and anchor bolts. The instructions show how this is done.

Step 7: Mortaring In the Door

Once you attach the door to the fireplace with the mounting hardware that is included, you will want to adjust the doors to make sure they are aligned correctly. This is of major importance because once you apply the mortar, you will not be able to adjust the frame. After the doors are all lined up, you can remove the doors from their pins and then mask off the frame and rocks around the opening. You will then fill in the gaps with mortar. We recommend Quikrete mortar, which is available at most home centers. If your mortar joints are colored, you may want to consider adding some mortar color to the mix, which is also available from Quikrete. Coloring the mortar can be a challenge to get a match and may require some testing. If you mix the mortar to a clay like consistency, you can work it into the gaps with one hand while reaching around the back side of the frame to hold it in place as you press it in. You will want to mix small batches because when mixed at this consistency, it can harden pretty quick. Looks great, doesn't it!

After door has been mortared in. Looks great, doesn't it? Quikrete mortar and color is available at most home centers or online.

A customer's Story

When treating a rock or stone fireplace with a glass enclosure, don't let your local hardware store talk you into purchasing one that is mass produced to fit on the outside of your fireplace. It won't fit flush and will look like an afterthought when it is installed. On top of that It will detract from the natural beauty of the stone.

The customer who purchased the glass doors pictured in the above picture had a very custom "Medieval" look in his homes architecture and decor. He did not want to have glass doors for the fireplace, but unfortunately local codes required it.

After shopping around he was upset and frustrated because everywhere he went, all that was offered were glass doors that would destroy the look that he was trying to create...that is, until he found found us.

We designed a very rustic looking glass door that not only fit the shape of his fireplace, but added to the overall decorative appeal he was trying to acheive. As you go back and look at the many custom options that we have for glass doors, you will find that we can do this for any style for fireplace.

We custom make doors that fit inside the opening and can tell you how to install it with mortar so that it looks like you built the rock around the door. If you cannot do the installation, you can certainly find a local mason who will know what to do.

Having a custom made door for an arched fireplace like the one above is a simple matter of making a template by cutting a piece of cardboard that will fit inside the opening leaving about a 1/4" to 1/2" gap between the narrowest points.

If there are any stones that protrude much further than the rest of the stones, you may wish to consider cutting them back with a chisel to a point to where the mortar joint between the door frame and the stone appears natural. We can help you with that if you don't know what to do.

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Message From The Designer

"I have a passion for designing custom fireplace treatments, and have been doing so for over 35 years. The designs I create are not only tailored to fit perfectly, but fashioned to compliment your room decor and turn your fireplace into a tastefully finished focal point. Take advantage of my Free Design Service and let me show you the possibilities."

Greg Tillotson (Owner/Designer)

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