How To Remove Your Fireplace Doors

Michael Oconnor
by Michael Oconnor

Removing the glass doors is an easy fireplace job that can be done in under an hour. Whether you want to clean them or completely replace them, it is easy to get them out of the frame. Practicing safety while cleaning and removing them will ensure that they stay intact.

Open the fireplace doors and unscrew the L-shaped brackets to release them. Unscrew the lintel clips that hold the fireplace doors in place and remove them one at a time. Carefully pull the doors out of the brackets and remove them from the fireplace.

Always have some blankets or towels available to set the doors on if they are glass. Glass fireplace doors are very easy to break and can be scuffed by minuscule pieces of dust. Should that happen, you have bigger problems on your hands than just dirt.

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Step 1: Open the Doors and Find the Brackets

Before doing anything else, open up the doors and locate the L-shaped brackets that are holding them in place. These will usually be on the bottom corners. Sometimes they are finished in brass or silver.

If you cannot find the brackets right away, check on the tops of your fireplace doors as well. Sometimes they are located on the top next to the lintel clamps. These steps will apply to most fireplace doors, but sometimes the designs are different.

Once you have located the brackets, make a note about where they are located for when you have to replace them. If possible, take a picture of them so you can see exactly how they were attached. This is good advice for any DIY project.

Step 2: Unscrew the Brackets

Unscrew the L-shaped brackets from the glass doors. They will usually be attached with one or two Phillips head screws. It is a good idea to have someone help you hold the doors while you unscrew them just in case.

Once you have unscrewed the brackets, store the screws somewhere you won’t lose them. They are often covered with the same type of finish as the brackets. If you lose them, it may be difficult to get replacements.

Once you have unscrewed the brackets, the doors may be hanging in place only by the lintel clamps. Be sure that you have a good handle on the doors if they are glass because they will be swinging freely. It is at this point that they are most likely to break.

Step 3: Release the Lintel Clamps

At this point, you can release the lintel clamps from the fireplace doors. These are usually held in place by thumbscrews in the middle of the clamp. Be sure that you have a helper who is holding onto the glass. Once it is unscrewed it will come free.

Release the lintel clamps one at a time. This will ensure that the glass doors are not sitting in the door frame unsecured. Once the lintel clamps are released, there is nothing holding them in place and they could easily fall.

The thumbscrews in the middle of the lintel clamps do not have to come all the way out. They can stay secured inside the clamp on the door frame. That way, you won’t lose them or have to worry about setting them somewhere special.

Step 4: Free the Door From the Frame

Have a helper help you lift the door from out of the frame. Angle the bottom of the door into the fireplace as you are pulling it out. This will free the top of it from the top bracket and allow you to pull it completely out.

Once it is completely removed, place it on one of the towels or blankets that you have prepared beforehand. Once there, you can clean them or repair them however you originally intended. Always be sure to use proper products when cleaning glass.

To put the door back in the frame, repeat the same steps in reverse. If you have taken photographs or notes, you will have an easier time remembering the steps. Make sure to cinch down all screws and clamps when replacing the doors.

Why Your Fireplace Has Doors

Your fireplace’s doors play many important roles. They give the fireplace a finished, contemporary look, while at the same time providing many safety features. Without doors, your fireplace would not be very safe at all.

Fire needs oxygen in order to keep burning. If you did not have doors on the front of your fireplace, the fire would take up too much oxygen from your living room. This could result in a hotter fire and a possible house fire.

By having working, clean doors on your fireplace, you are ensuring that it is as safe as possible. With the doors, you can adjust how much oxygen the fire gets and therefore, how hot it gets. This control is incredibly important for all indoor fireplaces.

Cleaning the Fireplace Doors

Fireplace doors sometimes get dirty from smoke and carbon. This can be dangerous if it is left to build up for too long. This is one of the reasons why you might want to take off your fireplace doors.

To clean the doors, there are a couple of tried-and-true ways. One of the most old-school is to use newspaper and ash from the fireplace itself to clean off any carbon or smoke deposits. While this does work, it is not as effective as some of the synthetic products available.

Perhaps the best way to clean your fireplace doors is to use a fireplace door cleaner specifically formulated for that job. These are available commercially in almost every market. They are specially designed to be safe and effective in high heat situations

You should not use commercial window cleaners such as Windex to clean your fireplace doors. These cleaners are ammonia-based and are not safe to use with fire. They could have unwanted harmful effects.

Replacing the Fireplace Doors

Should you want to completely replace your fireplace doors, that is also an option. After many years and many uses, the doors may be dirtier than you are willing to clean. In this case, you may want to completely replace them.

The glass in your fireplace doors is tempered to be able to resist high heat. Because of this, it can be quite expensive to replace. New fireplace doors can range anywhere from $600 to $900. All prices, of course, are subject to change.

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Related Questions

Can you run a gas fireplace when the power is out?

If your gas fireplace has a standing pilot light,  it is safe to use your gas fireplace if the power is out. The standing pilot light does not require electricity and will not go out in a power outage.  Always be certain of the kind of pilot light you have before you are in an emergency.

Is a fireplace worth the money?

Depending on how much you think you will use it, a fireplace could definitely be worth the money. It adds value to your home as well as increases your quality of living. However, only you can make the decision about whether or not it will be worth adding to your life

Why is my fireplace glass foggy? 

If the air inside the fireplace is warmer than the air outside when you start the fire, condensation will appear on the glass. Warmer air has more moisture which will disperse as the fire is lit. This ends up on the fireplace doors as fog. 

Michael Oconnor
Michael Oconnor

I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.

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