Being an avid do-it-yourselfer and having just purchased a semi-rundown house in need a of a lot of TLC, I am in a great position to learn how to do things myself. When we bought the place we have now, one of the things that was noticeably missing was a covering in front of the fireplace. Originally, I thought that they must have had really nice fireplace doors attached, and that they just didn’t want to part with them when they moved. Well, I’m thinking that’s not the case anymore after buying our fireplace doors, since there is no lintel bar built into our masonry fireplace! They probably just had a screen that sits in front of the opening. So I present – how to install fireplace doors without a lintel bar. It’s really not that hard.
What Is A Lintel Bar?
To start of with, you may be wondering what a lintel bar is. When a masonry fireplace is built, from my understanding, a lintel bar is supposed to be a mandatory part of the installation. I think this fireplace was a private built, not built by a contractor, so it makes sense now.
To attach the fireplace doors to the fireplace, they need something to clamp onto. This is what a lintel bar provides. A lintel bar is built into the fireplace above the door opening and points up and away from the opening. There are then some parts that come with the fireplace doors that hook onto the bar and then attach to the doors. It’s as simple as that.
What If You Have No Lintel Bar?
Well, now you get to be clever in your installation. I took the fairly easy route of attaching the doors directly to the masonry. The bars that were supposed to connect to the lintel bar just so happened to have slots in them that would allow for screwing them directly against the stone. Here’s how to do it.
1. Position the door where you would like it once you have everything secured, and attached the bars to the fireplace doors. The ones on my doors just slipped in, and I turned 90 degrees to lock them into the doors.
2. Take a pencil and mark the point on the stone where you will screw the support bars against the masonry. This will be in the slot of the support bar.
3. Go get a masonry bit, which is a special type of drill bit designed for drilling into stone or concrete. You can use a hammer drill as well, but a regular drill worked well on our masonry since it is soft stone. Drill into the stone as deep as the screws that you are using. These screws will not bore through the stone themselves.
4. Get a couple of concrete screws. These are the screws that are covered in blue coating. Any good hardware store will have them. I bought them at our local place. Now just place the screws in your pre-drilled holes and sink them in. If you’ve done it right, it will look something like the picture below.
After you have the doors secured up on top, the next step is to secure the bottom. This is completed by using a couple of thumbscrews and twisting them into the fireplace masonry walls at an angle that allows them to work like grippers or claws. When you try pulling the doors out, the screws catch on the masonry and secure it. See the picture below for what I’m talking about.
You should also have some special fiberglass insulation to place around inside the doors crevices as well. You can see that in the above pictures. This insulation provides protection for the finish on the door so it doesn’t get really hot and start peeling. Also, you don’t have to worry about this insulation catching on fire. Normal fiberglass insulation is fireproof in and of itself and this stuff is modified beyond that so it will never catch on fire.
Readers – how many of you have a fireplace? Did you install anything on it yourself? I’d love to hear from you.