Outfitting a Fireplace: 7 Things to Know Before You Buy
Before you can fully reap the benefits of your home’s fireplace, there are a few oh-so-important accoutrements you’ll want to invest in. These must-haves make maintenance a breeze and keep your hearth safe for both inquisitive little ones and curious household pets.
When considering the type of screen to purchase, there are two basic styles to choose from:
Three-fold. This three-sided screen has an adjustable fit so it works with most fireplaces.
Single Panel. A single panel screen lies flat against the fireplace. Before purchasing you’ll want to measure the width and height of your firebox opening so you don’t end up with a screen that’s too big or too small. Many single panel screens also come with double doors so you can easily tend to your fire.
Look for options made with heavy-gauge steel mesh and trim in metals like brass, bronze, or wrought iron.
2. Tool Set
A tool set not only gives your fireplace old-time appeal, but it’s a must for keeping your firebox clean. You’ll want a set made of a solid metal (we suggest wrought iron) that includes all the basics: a shovel, poker, brush and log lifter. For those looking to save some space, invest in a set you can hang on the wall, rather than one that comes with a stand.
3. Log Rack
While carrying wood in from the outdoors is a great substitution for cardio, you don’t want to have to go outside when you are ready to relax by the fireside. An indoor log rack allows you to stock up on enough wood for the evening and then refill in the morning. If you plan on placing the rack on your hearth, be sure to measure the length and width before you head out to the store.
4. Ash Can
Rather than trekking across the living room with a panful of ash (and potentially ruining your carpet), snag an ash can and do the dump fireside, then transport the goods to your outdoor garbage with little-to-no risk of mess. Choose one with a lid to keep curious kids from getting their hands dirty. This ash can should be emptied every night and not left unattended.
A mantle not only serves as extra display space, but it’s a neat way to accent your fireplace. Besides you need somewhere to hang your holiday stockings, right?
6. Fire Extinguisher
Always keep a fire extinguisher handy.
7. Hearth Guard
A hearth guard is exactly what it sounds like: a flame-resistant padded cover that goes over your hearth. It’s great for people with small children (or super klutzy adults), as it softens rough edges to help reduce the risk of injury.