Fireplace screens were once purely functional, a way to prevent the risk of hot embers or ash from an open fire from blowing back inside the property. Naturally the great risk here was of fires, and you’d be surprised just how quickly some hot ash can cause a rug or a carpet to light up and cause a real issue. In recent years however, we are seeing a large increase in the number of decorative fireplace screens which are available on the market.
Now there are many benefits of installing this kind of screen in the home, both from a style and a functional perspective, but when buying there are some things which you will have to look out for.
Style Over Substance
Turning something which is primarily practical into something which also looks great is a cool idea, but only if it lives up to both challenges. Unfortunately you will find some products on the market where the designer has really moved passed the function of the fireplace screen and instead focused on how the piece looks. You will be able to see this first hand, by just thinking about how the screen you are looking at could withhold the ash and embers of the fire. If those holes look too big, they aren’t going to be able to do the job. In some cases you can add mesh behind the screen, if you don’t feel confident.
Blocking The Joy
The fireplace is very much an evocative part of the house and that scent, not to mention the crackle and pop of a fireplace is something which we all love. Beyond this however there is also the visual enjoyment which we take from watching the fire flicker, and that is something which must be preserved. You will however find some fireplace screens which have been designed in such a way as to almost block the fire from certain angles, focusing the design instead on those directly in front of the hearth. The fire is a community feature that brings something together, and when you are buying screens you must be aware of how the screen will block the view from various angles.
The reason why it is so essential to have your budget in mind before you even head out shopping, is that low cost screens with highly detailed designs, are likely to offer poor durability. The workmanship which goes into the designing of cast iron requires a high price to be charged, if your budget is low, you may end up with low quality products. This is not to say that you won’t have options for your budget, but you have to be realistic with how much design you can really afford. The most important thing here, as mentioned, is function over aesthetics, and that is why your budget consideration will be so important.
These are the key things to bear in mind when you start the search for decorative fireplace screens.