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How to Remove Fireplace Doors
Removing old fireplace doors is a simple process. Whether your fireplace is prefab (zero clearance) or masonry, we've got you covered. Here's the removal instructions for every situation:
- Prefab fireplace with basic bifold doors
- Prefab fireplace with bifold doors in a frame
- Parts of a prefab zero clearance fireplace that may need to be removed
- Masonry fireplace doors
Removing Prefab Fireplace Bifold Doors (No Frame)
Set up: There is a tension clip (or spring bracket) with a hole in it for the door pen to go into. The tension from the clip keeps the door in place. Some manufactures use tension clips on the top and bottom of the door.
Steps to remove the door:
1. Completely open each door to their respective sides.
3. Grab the each door and lift up the door until the “bottom door pin” can clear the “bottom receiving hole” located on the fireplace.
4. Gently angle out the the bottom of the folded door towards the center of the fireplace until the top of the door can be pulled away from the “top receiving hole” on the fireplace.
The picture below illustrates how to properly remove the door. You will only need a screwdriver to press the clip down so that you may then slide top pen out of the clip.
Removing Prefab Fireplace Bifold Doors (With Frame)
For many prefab fireplaces the clips and tracks are missing so doors with a frame have to be installed. Below is a picture of bifold doors in a frame. If your old doors are aftermarket doors (retrofit doors), then they probably came with a surround frame (think of it as a picture frame). This frame along with the 2 doors will need to be removed.
Set Up: The frame is attached to the fire box with sheet metal screws that are either screwed through brackets on the back of the frame or through the side of the frame.
Materials Needed: A screwdriver and/or drill to remove these screws and take out the frame
The black metal face surrounding the fireplace opening is usually riveted to the the fireplace unit and cannot be removed. The doors and frame are the only thing you can remove safely from the unit without causing any damage.
Steps to remove the door and frame:
1. Remove the bifold doors as instructed above. Make Sure you do this before attempting to remove the frame.
2. Find where the frame is connected to the metal firebox with screws.
3. Using your screwdriver or drill, remove the screws and the frame will come loose.
Parts of a Prefab Zero Clearance Fireplace That May Need To Be Removed (Before Installing Your New Doors)
Many times when you are adding new doors to your fireplace you will have to remove some original equipment parts that the manufacturer used for the OEM doors. This is really common, so don’t worry about taking them out. The reason you have to take them out is so that your new door frame will fit securely and properly.
Removing Masonry Fireplace Doors
Masonry doors always have a frame. The frame is attached in one of two ways.
The first way is with masonry screws that are screwed through brackets on the back of the frame into a hole that has been drilled into your fireplace brick.
Materials Needed: Screwdriver and/or wrench, possibly a socket wrench
How to remove: Simply remove the screws from the fireplace. Do this carefully so you can use the holes again when installing new doors to your fireplace.
The second way masonry doors are installed is with tension clips that use screws without a pointed tip to provide tension to hold the door frame in place. These screws typically come with a standard screw head.
Materials Needed: Screwdriver and possibly an allen wrench for some doors
How to remove: Simply remove the screws from the fireplace.
Frequently Asked Questions About Removing and Replacing Fireplace Doors:
Can I just replace the bifold doors in my existing fireplace?
This is a legitimate question that we get asked a lot. The answer is usually no. There are a couple of reasons for this. First it is very hard to take apart a bifold door replace the glass and then reinstall it. It is not impossible but it is a royal pain. It requires removal of the tension clips that hold the class in place and then reassembly with the original door. Cheaper doors are not made to be taken apart and put back together. Many times the factory in China will seal a door’s glass in a way that prevents it from being replaced. You also run into the issue that if the doors are very old the glass will frequently have stains and film that will not come off making the new glass stand out and ruin the appearance of your doors. Normally you are better off just replacing the entire unit.