Do You Need a Fireplace Screen? Plus 8 Design Ideas to Try

By Mary Cornetta
Mary Cornetta
Do You Need a Fireplace Screen? Plus 8 Design Ideas to Try

It’s no secret that fireplaces require their fair share of maintenance—but the reward is worth the work, especially when you have a cozy place to gather on chilly nights. Knowledge of fire safety is a must for anyone who regularly lights a crackling fire, and adding a screen is one way to exercise precaution. Plus, they’re not only functional. Choosing a fireplace screen is an easy way to infuse a decorative element into the room, especially if the structure of the fireplace doesn’t necessarily match your style.

Read on to discover the benefits of a fireplace screen, which type is ideal for your fireplace, and how to properly care for one. Plus, get our best ideas for how to style a fireplace screen in your space.

What Is a Fireplace Screen?

The primary function of a fireplace screen is to act as a barrier between a crackling fire and the rest of the room. This way, if embers or sparks fly from the fire, they’re stopped by the screen instead of landing on the floor, furniture, fabric, or the skin of someone sitting close to the fireplace. Protecting your home and its inhabitants from potential fire or burns is the number one reason for adding a screen to your fireplace.

Depending on the type of screen you choose, another benefit is that it can aid in distributing heat evenly throughout the room. From a purely aesthetic perspective, fireplace screens also add an accent detail to the space that you’ll benefit from even when there’s no fire burning.

white brick fireplace with fireplace screen

Josh Grubbs

Types of Fireplace Screens

There are a few options you should consider when shopping for a fireplace screen. The most simple style is a single-panel screen that is designed to fit flat against the fireplace. If you’d like more flexibility in their coverage and how easily it is to reach the fire, opt for a multi-panel folding screen, bowed or curved screen, or one with double doors.

For a sleek look that also allows you to fully see the fire blazing, choose a glass fireplace screen. You can also choose a decorative screen that complements the rest of the room, but be aware that not all will offer as much protection as a type that fully covers the fireplace opening.

How to Care for a Fireplace Screen

The good news is that most fireplace screens require little upkeep. Metal is the most commonly found material, and a simple wipe-down with a soft cloth about once a month will prevent dust from building up. For a deeper clean, use a mixture of mild soap and warm water to clean the screen and let it dry completely.

Glass fireplace screens can be carefully wiped down with a homemade vinegar solution. Regardless of the method, always wait until the entire hearth area is cool before cleaning the screen, and be sure to check with the manufacturer for any special instructions.

Fireplace Screen Ideas

Use the following fireplace screen ideas as inspiration for your own space.

01 of 08

Simple Fireplace Screen

white couches and white fireplace with pops of blue and pink

Kim Cornelison

In this modern boho-inspired living area, the fireplace screen is understated and fully covers the fireplace opening for protection. The simplicity of this single-panel screen allows the all-white brick fireplace to pop and complement the cheerful blue hues scattered throughout the room.

02 of 08

Mediterranean Style Fireplace Screen

Ornate white fireplace with gold screen and stools

Brie Williams

If you have a distinct decorating style, look for a fireplace screen that adds to the aesthetic of the space. Here, a gold multi-panel screen in a Mediterranean design complements the gold mantel accessories around the rest of the room. It also stands out amongst the black-tiled hearth and back panel, creating a decorative focal point.

03 of 08

Fireplace Fender Screen

sitting room with a green and brick fireplace and green furniture

Max Kim-Bee

This brass fireplace fender doesn’t fit flush against the firebox but, rather allows for easy access through the top of the screen. It also blends in beautifully with the natural brick fireplace and allows it, along with the gorgeous green color that envelopes the living room, to be the star of the show.

04 of 08

Glass Fireplace Screen

living room with a blue coach and white fireplace with black screen

David Land

For a good view of a fire and peace of mind protection, try a glass fireplace screen like this one. The custom fit ensures that it fully covers the firebox, but also allows you to watch the flames dance as you stay safely cuddled up on the couch.

05 of 08

Multi-Panel Fireplace Screen

stone fireplace with blue and white accents

Spacecrafting Photography

No cabin is complete without a fireplace to sit around, especially in the colder seasons. A black mesh three-panel fireplace screen is a classic choice. The design used here makes it easy to tend to the fire, but doesn’t take anything away from the stunning cobblestone surround.

06 of 08

Decorative Fireplace Screen

living room with a gray fireplace and a gold screen

Werner Straube

A screen made of gold branches such as this one is more decorative than protective. If you like the idea of a fancy focal point but still want to stay safe, consider doubling up. Install a subtle glass fireplace screen for protection and place the more stylish screen in front of it on the hearth.

07 of 08

Antique Fireplace Screen

living room with exposed brick and an antique, white fireplace

David Land

A subtle yet charming addition to the space, this vintage screen is ideal for this particular fireplace. The sea green tiled back panel is wedged between the white cast iron screen and surround that’s full of character—just like the rest of the room.

08 of 08

Bamboo Fireplace Screen

Blue room with red rug and leather furniture

Annie Schlechter

Designed to resemble bamboo, this fireplace screen blends in with the rest of this eclectic sitting room. The gold is striking against the rich blue paint that covers the fireplace, walls, and even ceiling while also matching the brass in the modern armchairs.

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