The differences between masonry doors and doors for prefabricated fireboxes are visually minimal but necessary to meet air flow requirements set by fireplace manufacturers. Masonry doors are engineered to have tight tolerances to help prevent energy loss while the doors are closed when fire is slowing down. Doors for prefabricated fireboxes are specifically designed to allow air to pass through the door frame to meet manufacturer requirements and allow the firebox to stay at a safe operating temperature.
A common misconception is if there is stone, brick, tile, or rock around your fireplace, then it is a masonry fireplace. This is not true. Many zero clearance fireplaces have brick, tile, rock, or stone exteriors. It's what is on the inside that counts. Manufacturers have become very good at making pre-fab fireplaces look like they are masonry.
Take a look at all of the fireplaces below. Can you guess which ones are zero clearance fireplaces? Click on the images to get a closer look.
Masonry fireplaces can accommodate a variety of fireplace doors. Aluminum fireplace doors and steel fireplace doors are available in many styles and finishes to accommodate nearly every décor and price range. From classic to contemporary, the possibilities are endless. Steel fireplace doors allow unlimited customization including arches and laser cut designs. Aluminum fireplace glass doors are made from extruded aluminum and can be formed with curves and radius for a truly unique look.
Factory-built fireplaces, also called " Zero Clearance" or ZC fireplaces, are designed to be built with very little clearance to combustible components of your home. They can do this because they have designed the fireplace so that cooling air insulates the hot firebox from the structure of the home. The glass doors must be designed to allow that cooling air to flow the way the firebox manufacturer designed it to flow. Gaps between the glass and frame vents exist on ZC doors to allow for this airflow.
Still as a precaution, measure the width and height on three places, as described in the Masonry Door measuring above, and use the smallest number to be submitted in your online order.