Escutcheon. While this term appears on our website plenty of times, many people have not seen or heard it before and are not sure what it is. What's even more confusing, perhaps, is how to pronounce it! Let's solve that mystery first:
See? It's a lot easier than you thought! Now let's take a look at the meaning of this old French term. It was derived from the Latin word, scutum, which means shield. Here at Fireplace Doors Online, we use escutcheon to describe the decorative gas valve floor plate (or flange) that conceals or hides the functioning part of your gas assembly: the valve! Across the board, however, escutcheons are found in pretty much every room in your own home. Take a look around! You'll find that these coverings are used in multiple settings, whether it be for plumbing, mechanical, electrical, or architectural purposes. In fact, look at the lockset on your doors. The item that surrounds the lock cylinder or keyhole to protect it from being drilled out or damage is known as an escutcheon!
Typically, this protective plate is found around plumbing that exits the wall (for example, the water supply for sinks, faucets, and toilets). The base plate that seals a faucet to a sink, or the large circular disc around the mixing valve in a shower, are both escutcheons. In this case, the escutcheons keep water from leaking in and around the assembly.
In the outdoor living world, a gas valve safety cover is commonly called an escutcheon. It is a decorative plate that screws onto and covers up the valve stem on your gas assembly. When you place the end of a valve key into the opening of the plate, you can easily control the flow of natural gas or propane from your fuel line to your feature, be it a fireplace, log lighter, fire pit or bowl. Some of these plates are designed to fit over 1/2" threaded valves, while others are made for 3/4" valves (this size is used in conjunction with high capacity gas features).
To understand how it works on an outdoor fireplace, check out the infographic at the above right.
We have many decorative gas valve plates for your outdoor fire feature. These flanges come in a variety of finishes, and can even be bundled with a valve and key for those of you who are in the beginning stages of installing a gas fire feature! Check out the collections we have in our Fire Feature Parts category, as well as our Outdoor Fireplaces section!