If you have a fireplace in your home, there’s a pretty good chance it has a mesh curtain.  Sometimes referred to as hanging fireplace screens, mesh fireplace curtains come with many factory built fireplaces.  Some fireplace glass doors have pre-installed mesh curtains that come with the frame. These metal curtains create a barrier between the burning fire and your room, so I’d say they have a pretty important job keeping sparks from popping onto your floor.

Although they keep sparks inside the firebox,  fireplace mesh curtains aren’t perfect. They rust and get dirty over time, get stuck on the rod, and aren’t secure at the bottom. And if you’re like me, you get a little frustrated with all that.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of mesh fireplace curtains and then you can form your own opinion about these common fireplace accessories.

Pros of Fireplace Mesh Curtains

Mesh Curtains Come with the Fireplace.   Most zero clearance factory built fireplaces come with a built in mesh curtain. Convenient and easy to install, mesh curtains are available to close if you have a real wood fire..

They’re Not too Expensive to Replace.  Replacement mesh curtains are easy to find as well as fairly inexpensive to replace.  Prices for mesh curtains range from     to      .

They Provide a Barrier for Sparks .  The purpose of fireplace mesh curtains, of course, is to keep sparks from popping out of your firebox causing a fire hazard.  Closing the curtains during a real wood fire provides a protective barrier between the firebox and the floor.

Cons of Fireplace Mesh Curtains

Mesh Curtains Can be Difficult to Open and Close.  A common complaint about fireplace mesh curtains is that over time they can rust and be difficult to open and close.  Getting stuck on the rod, the mesh can bunch up and not slide very easily.

They Don’t Keep Small Children and Pets Out of Firebox.  Because the mesh curtain hangs freely, it doesn’t keep pets and small children from crawling into the firebox when the fire isn’t burning.

They’re Not Secure at Bottom.  Since the mesh curtains are not secure at the bottom, a log could potentially roll out of the firebox during a fire, causing a fire hazard.

What Screen Can I Use Instead of a Fireplace Mesh Curtain?

If you’re looking for an alternative to a fireplace mesh curtain, you might want to take a look at a set of mesh fireplace doors.  Mesh fireplace doors, custom- made to fit inside your firebox opening, are secure on all sides unlike the hanging curtain.  These mesh doors open out cabinet style,  making it easy to tend to the fire.  Close the doors as the fire burns to keep sparks from popping out of the firebox.  The mesh is usually smaller than the chain mail type mesh on the curtains so a spark is not as likely to get through.

Another alternative to mesh curtains is to purchase a  freestanding fireplace screen.  These freestanding screens sit on the hearth area of your fireplace.  These screens are available in a variety of styles and colors to complement your decor.  If you have pets or small children who might try to crawl into the firebox, keep in mind that this type of screen can tip over easily.

What Are the Sizes of Fireplace Mesh Curtains?

Mesh fireplace curtains come in a variety of sizes so unless you have an unusually large or small firebox, you’ll be able to find the size you need.  Mesh curtains can be ordered in custom sizes if necessary. Of course, if your fireplace has never had mash curtains, you’ll need to purchase a rod as well.

Here are some common mesh curtain sizes:  48×18 | 48×19 | 48×20 | 48×21 | 48×22 | 48×23 | 48×24 | 48×25 | 48×26 | 48×27 | 48×28 | 48×29 | 48×30 |

How Do I Measure My Firebox and Install Mesh Curtains?

You’ll need to measure the width and height of your firebox using a measuring tape to determine what size mesh curtain you’ll need.

Where Can I Purchase Replacement Fireplace Mesh Curtains?

Mesh fireplace curtains can be purchased online as well as home stores. Large retail stores including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart sometimes have limited sizes of mesh curtains in stock during fireplace season but do not sell custom mesh curtains..

What Fireplace Doors Come with Mesh Curtains?

Some fireplace doors come with built in mesh curtains.  You can contact our customer service at 800-897-7175 to find out which of these type doors will work with your fireplace.

So there you have it – some pros and cons of fireplace mesh curtains.  What do you think?  If you burn real wood, you’ll need some kind of barrier to protect your floor from sparks that might pop out of the firebox during a fire.  Whether you choose to purchase mesh curtains, mesh fireplace doors, or a freestanding screen, you’ll be set to enjoy your fireplace all season long.