Our 10 year old gas fireplace looks so much nicer without the wire mesh screen, just the glass front. The glass seals to the face with 4 spring loaded clamps on the corners, and rope 'caulk'. Is the mesh screen panel in front of the glass necessary? or is it just to give it the look of a spark screen ?

  • You say the screen is "in front of" the glass. Can you clarify - is the screen between the fire and the glass, or between the glass and the room. There are (currently) two answers making opposite assumptions. If it's fire->screen-> glass, then the screen keeps sparks from escaping when the glass is open. If it's fire->glass->screen, then the screen protects things from getting damaged by hitting hot glass.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14 at 12:31

Without seeing a picture, I'm going to assume you're talking about the "safety screen" that now comes with most fireplaces.

It's necessary for manufactures to provide them, but whether you put it on or not is up to you. The intent of it is to stop small children from burning their skin on it if they get too close to the unit, but if there are no children in the house then it serves no point.

  • It depends on the make of the unit as well. Some manufacturers design the screen to cover up the top and bottom openings of the fireplace to hide things like the gas valve. You don't need to hide that stuff, but it normally looks nicer when you do.
    – Perdog
    Feb 19 '20 at 12:25
  • If we decide to keep it off, I'll remove the mesh itself from the decorative frame, then put the frame back on.
    – Andy Fitz
    Feb 19 '20 at 12:27

The mesh screens or curtains on a fireplace are meant to stop embers that pop off of logs from escaping the fireplace and burning carpet or furniture. When you have the fireplace burning, the glass doors would be open so something is needed to keep sparks and embers in their place.

You say you have a gas fireplace, but much of the trim is "one size fits all", so it might not make much sense to have a screen with an exclusively gas fireplace, but it's going to come with the trim kit anyway.

  • Yes, just a gas fireplace. And not a conversion. The screen came as part of the gas fireplace kit.
    – Andy Fitz
    Feb 19 '20 at 15:38
  • @AndyFitz, right, there's probably not much of a reason to have it at all. If you redo the gas logs and put in new lava rock or other materials, it might pop a bit at first if it has moisture in it, but after the first few burns gas logs shouldn't be shooting anything at you.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 19 '20 at 15:42
  • Can natural lava rock/gravel be used once it's been dried out?
    – Andy Fitz
    Feb 19 '20 at 15:44
  • @AndyFitz, probably not gravel at all, but silica sand can be used to quiet a noisy gas burner and lava rock is fine as well. If the lava rock has ever gotten wet, it can be somewhat dangerous to use because you never know if it is completely dry. Stuff that has been made for fireplaces and stored indoors should be safe, but anything else should be dried in an outdoor fire before using.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 19 '20 at 15:47

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