In the past, you may have heard the terms "riser bar" and "lintel" in reference to your fireplace. If you're not sure exactly what these components are, have no fear! We're going to clear up the mystery and answer this question for you!
A fireplace riser bar is a thin, horizontal, metal strip that rests on the hearth or bottom opening of the firebox and attaches underneath the fireplace door. It is made in a number of different lengths and finishes to blend in with your door style as well as the hardware. They all have the same general shape and contain screw holes for mounting.
The purpose of a riser bar is to help seal off the interior of a fireplace. It gives height to the door and serves as a safety feature by containing hot coals and keeping smoke from entering your home. Riser bars eliminate the gap between the bottom of the door and the firebox. For fireplaces with blowers, it works to keep heat within the firebox so that the thermostat and fan can control the amount of heat that is emitted. A riser bar is quite easy to install with the appropriate hardware (either hex nuts or screws). It is important to properly tighten the hardware so that a strong seal is created.
A lintel bar is a horizontal piece of structural steel that extends across the top of the firebox. It varies in thickness and is usually placed just inside the fireplace opening. Fireplace lintel installation takes place at the time your application is constructed. It is designed to bear the load of the brick, stone, or other material above it. There are some masonry fireplace doors that are designed to attach to the lintel bar with clamps, which eliminates the need for drilling holes into the firebox or surround for support.
When replacing your fireplace doors, be sure to evaluate your existing model. If it has a riser or a lintel bar, you'll need to take these measurements into consideration when submitting your fireplace dimensions to the manufacturer. Replacement doors typically do not come with a riser bar, but can be obtained in coordination with your new door. You may want to keep your existing riser bar, which is perfectly fine, but we will need the measurements for this component in addition to your door calculations.
The lintel bar will also need to be accounted for in the fabrication of your door. Some doors have what's called a cutback fit. This is where the innermost portion of the frame extends into the fireplace opening, while the outer frame protrudes slightly past the fireplace facing.
Regardless of the fit you need, your door should install seamlessly. Submitting accurate information about the lintel and riser bars will help.
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