When it comes to our fireplaces, we all want them in tip-top condition, don’t we? But as with all things in life, they can break, or they need updating and modernizing. Especially our fireplace doors.
These doors can add a stylish and modern touch to our fireplaces while keeping the wood and fire closed off from the rest of the house. Often a fireplace will come with these doors, but they don’t last forever, and sometimes they don’t match our current style, leaving many of us wondering what we can do about it.
Do we pay for a professional to install a new set of doors? Do we pay even more for a new fireplace? What if we told you there's another way? You can replace fireplace doors yourself! We know it sounds a little daunting, scary, and a challenge you’ve never faced before!
But don’t you worry! We are here to help! Use our step-by-step guide below to replace your fireplace doors and become the DIY expert you were born to be! Just keep on reading to find out how to do this.
How to replace fireplace doors
Using our eight steps below, you can replace your fireplace doors with ease. We recommend taking caution when drilling into the old brick as it can be brittle. Clear the surrounding area and ensure you have the necessary tools and equipment before beginning.
Before we begin, measure the space and purchase doors that fit the space. You can also purchase a door frame that can be fitted, but it isn’t always essential; it will depend on your fireplace. If you are unsure, ask a professional for their opinion or some help.
We will be installing a door unit to the firebox opening today and attaching it to the masonry. Let’s get into it!
Step 1: Attach clamps to the door
To begin, stand the door on its bottom edge, leaning it against your leg as you work, or rope in a second pair of hands to help you! Take a Phillips head screwdriver and remove the four screws located on the back of the door.
These screws are where your floor bracket and lintel clamps will go. Set the screws aside as you will need them later to attach the brackets and clamps. Next, assemble the two lintel clamps and attach them to the top of the door (where you removed the screws from).
Step 2: Adjust the clamps.
Now it's time to tighten the screws that hold the lintel clamps to the upper rear frame of the doors. As you do this, you will notice the screws fit into a slot milled in the clamps. This slot allows you to adjust the clamps up or down, aligning them with the underside of the lintel that runs across the top of the firebox opening.
Once you have adjusted the clamps, screw the two L-shaped floor brackets into place at the bottom of the door.
Step 3: Make the holes.
You will need to take care and possibly another pair of hands to help you with this step. Carefully fit the door into the firebox opening. Take care not to scratch the finish or damage the glass as you do this. You want to align the unit so that it sits snugly into the opening.
To help you, hang a drop light inside the firebox. It will allow you to see what you are doing better and without any issues. Holding the light in place or with someone else holding it, mark where the bottom brackets meet the firebox floor. It's best to use a thick marker so you can see it and mark through the grooves in the brackets.
Step 4: Drill holes for lead anchors
Remove the food from the firebox and set it aside. Take care when doing this and lay it with the glass facing up to avoid damaging the glass. Now it's time to drill holes for the anchors. Use a drill or driver with a 5/16 inch masonry bit to drill a 2-inch deep hole at each of the two bracket marks.
It's best to drill into brick instead of mortar when doing this. Mortar crumbles easily and won’t hold the anchor as well as brick will. Drill straight down to avoid any issues when it comes to fitting the screw in place.
Step 5: Insert lead anchors for screws
Take a wet/dry vacuum to remove any dust drilling has left behind. Vacuum the dust in the holes, too, for a smooth installation. Next, take a hammer to tap a lead anchor into each hole gently. You want it to be flush with the surface of the surrounding brick ideally.
Step 6: Insulate the door.
The end is in sight now! Grab some gloves and unroll the fiberglass insulation that comes with the door. If you have made your door, you can purchase this at most hardware or DIY stores or online. Tear off a piece that fits into the channels at the two sides and top of the unit.
Take your pieces and stuff the insulation into all three channels. Don’t worry too much about keeping the fiberglass fluffy; its main purpose is to seal the door and prevent smoke from seeping out while protecting any finish on the door frame from the heat.
Step 7: Screw door to firebox floor
Carefully slide the door into your firebox opening and check that no insulation is sticking out around the edge of the frame. You will need to check the door is flush to the face of the firebox.
Reach inside and twist the sheet metal screws through the bottom brackets and into the lead anchors. Next, take a socket wrench and tighten the screws to secure the unit to the brick. Take care when doing this, as you don’t want to tighten the screws too much; it can loosen the anchor in the brick or damage the screw!
Step 8: Clamp door to lintel
Finally, check if the clamp holding the door to the metal lintel bar is in the correct position. These are adjustable so they can span the depth of the lintel. You can adjust these using your fingers. Tighten them to clamp the hardware onto the lintel with a thumbscrew.
When you can’t turn the thumbscrew anymore, use a pair of pliers to give it another quarter turn. Then stand back and appreciate your handy work as you are done! Your steps might differ slightly depending on the fireplace and door you purchase, but following our steps should see perfect results!
Remember to check with a professional if you are unsure or have any further questions.