When I moved into this house, the unvented gas fireplace had no mantel or hood. It worked OK, although I thought the tile above the fireplace (and the sheetrock behind it) got rather hot. When I burned it for long periods, I would take the picture we have hanging above it down. A couple of years ago I bought a wood mantel, painted it white and hung it above the fireplace. Now the mantel gets hot. I doubt it would burst into flames, but its too hot to touch and would probably peel the paint off if left on too long.

I figured I needed a fireplace hood. Off to ebay and went and bought a hood. It sticks out 4.5 inches. I found a bargain on a brass one for $30 and thought it looked fine but my wife informed me it was ugly and looked like something from the 70's. Once again, I learned I have no taste.

Fireplace with Brass Hood

Turns out the hood didn't help much, the tile above the fireplace and the mantel still gets hot. Not only that, it blocks some vents at the top of the fireplace which the instructions say is a no-no.

It appeared to me the heat needs to be directed up and away. I had some aluminum flashing laying around so I made a prototype shield. My idea was just to test it and if it works make one out of sheet metal as soon as I find a shop with a sheer and a brake. The good news is that it works great. The bad news is that its ugly.

Fireplace with Homemade Shield

Side view of homemade heat shield

Ok, the questions:

  • Has anyone else had an experience with the mantel getting so hot?
  • Has anyone seen a mantel heat shield like this I can buy?
  • If I stick with the homemade route - any ideas on how I can make it look better. (I do plan to paint it black and maybe cut it back some)
  • Any other creative ideas of what i can do for this problem? Maybe put a shield directly under the mantel?
  • Our mantel about our gas fireplace does the same thing. We have a similar heat shield to your brass one, but its color matches our fireplace. It does nothing to help prevent the mantel from getting overheated.
    – Doresoom
    Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


Try putting a ceiling fan in the room to help circulate the air.


We have the same problem, a ventless gas fireplace and a white painted mantel. We had a hood installed, but it did not fix the hot mantel. I put tin foil over the top of the firescreen, which worked! It looks tacky, but hey, it relieves my worries. I remove it for company!

  • 2
    It would be great if you could post a photo to show exactly what you mean.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 18:00

We used an old oven tray. Cut it to shape and painted it with pot-belly black. I don't have a picture but it actually doesn't look ugly.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.