Installing a flat fireplace screen is an attractive way to ensure the safety of your home while enjoying a cheery, toasty fire. Flat fireplace screens are particularly attractive because they’re less likely to tip over than bowed or multi-paneled screens, and also take up a minimal amount of space on your hearth. Keep in mind, however, that your fireplace screen can become an important part of your home décor, and you certainly don’t want it to clash aesthetically with the rest of the room. It’s for this very reason that many home owners take matters into their own hands and create their own, custom-designed screens. With a little imagination, you can do the same by following the instructions below.
Step 1 – Measure Your Fireplace
Before you get started, you need to determine the dimensions of your flat fireplace screen. To do this, use your tape measure to gauge the height and width of the fireplace itself and note them down. You’ll want you screen to be at least an inch larger than the fireplace in each direction, in order to prevent against any gaps through which ash or embers might escape.
Step 2 – Make the Frame
At your local hardware store, buy some iron rods. Make sure their length is appropriate for your screen size. Take four rods and weld them together at right angles to create a square or rectangular frame. Only do this if you have experience using a welder. Otherwise, you might want to ask someone with more experience to help you with this part of the job. If you do use the welder, don’t forget to wear your safety glasses and gloves and work in an open, well-ventilated area free of flammables. Depending on the design you have in mind, you may want to add cross bars inside the frame to create an attractive geometric pattern.
Step 3 – Add the Mesh
Although it’s not strictly necessary, many flat fireplace screens have wire mesh inside the frame for added protection. Measure the mesh out to your needs and trim the section off with wire cutters, then affix the mesh securely to the frame. If you installed cross bars in your screen, make sure the mesh lies behind the cross bars.
Step 4 – Add Decoration
The best part of making your own flat fireplace screen is customizing it to your tastes. Visit your hardware store to search for attractive metal elements, like flowers, curls or geometric shapes that you think might be appropriate for your screen. Of course, make sure that any and all materials you use are flame retardant; avoid any elements that have been painted or have a treated surface. Weld the decorative elements to the frame of your screen. Alternatively, if you’re going for a sleek modern look, simply create an attractive pattern with the iron cross bars.
Step 5 – Add Feet
In order to stand upright, your flat screen will need feet. You can obtain these from the hardware store. Securely affix the feet to the two bottom corners of your screen with brackets.
Step 6 – Install the Flat Fireplace Screen
Now that you’ve finished building the screen itself, simply slide it into place directly in front of the fire place opening. Make sure the screen is flush with the wall, and voila! You’re ready to stoke up the fire and enjoy your custom-made screen.