Wal-Mart Fireplace Doors – Low Prices, Low Support
Here are the three main step in buying a fireplace door:
- What kind of fireplace do I have? Masonry of Prefab?
- Measure your fireplace correctly.
- Start your fireplace shopping
Buying a fireplace door from Wal-Mart:
|Review of Wal-Mart Fireplace Door Shopping||Rated from 1-4|
|Bottom Line– Wal-Mart gets an overall 2 out 4 due to good prices, but weak support.Wal-Mart can be a good source for fireplace doors if : ||2|
|Shopability: Not too bad – I keyed in the term “fireplace doors” and found the doors pretty easy to look through.||3|
|Selection: Typical for Big Box Mass Merchants – Masonry Fireplace Doors ONLY (No Doors for Factory Built Fireplaces) 52 Different Models. Only sizes available are small, medium, and large.||2|
|Pricing: Very Good – (If you have the exact sized (masonry only) fireplace for the doors they sell) Prices start at $258 and go up to $688.||3|
|Support: Virtually none if any at all. I could not find a link for support, chat or anything. This is a far cry from some places that will walk you through every step of buying a fireplace door.||1|
Step 1: Determine what kind of fireplace you have.
Note: Wal-Mart only carries doors for Masonry Fireplaces (brick / stone firebox and chimney).
Important: Wal-Mart DOES NOT carry doors for Prefabricated, Zero Clearance, Factory Built Fireplaces (metal firebox and chimney) So if you have a factory built fireplace (EG: Heatilator, Superior, Majestic, etc.) you will need to find another source for your doors.
Walmart Carries Masonry Fireplace Doors Only
Why doesn’t Wal-Mart (and other Big Box Stores) sell doors for factory fireplaces? Because these doors must be fitted correctly and meet certain codes and standards. This means that for the majority of factory fireplaces the doors must be custom made. Typically these types of fireplaces and doors require a higher level of support that a mass merchant can offer. This is an easy DIY project once you get the correct door.
Step 2 : Measure Your Fireplace.
As an example let’s find a basic fireplace door from Wal-Mart for the fireplace below. It’s opening measurements are: 40¾” x 25½”.
I could not find any information on the Wal-Mart site regarding how to measure your fireplace, so here is a link from Pleasant Hearth that explains it nicely.
We need to find the right size door for our fireplace. Unfortunately Wal-Mart makes this difficult. They only list part of the specs on their website – the largest size fireplace a door will fit. This can cause a problem as we will see later. A fireplace size that is too small and your door will not fit right. This is the big issue with all fireplace doors – a 1/8” can be the difference between a door fitting or being returned. Remember metal, brick, and glass doesn’t stretch or shrink.
To save you some time, here is the sizing chart on the Pleasant Hearth Website – it applies to all doors Wal-Mart sells: GHP Does a much better job of helping you out.
Based on the GHP chart it looks like I need a large sized door for my 40 ¾ x 25 ½ fireplace. I will be cutting it close. As you can see the GHP website makes it very plain that your fireplace must fall within the range of sizes listed, whereas Wal-Mart just gives you the maximum size fireplace the door will fit.
It is VERY important that your fireplace is in the range of sizes listed on the chart above. Below are some examples of what can happen if you don’t follow the sizing chart.
The first example is of a fireplace that is 23 ½ “ high without the riser bar or a 25 ½” fireplace with the riser bar. Notice how you can see brick at the top of the opening.
Another reason that proper fit is important is that the bar on the back of the door that holds the mesh doors sticks out about an inch. It must fit in the opening of your fireplace or the frame of your door will stick out almost 1 inch.
Step 3: Set up the Wal-Mart page for easy shopping
Most people will head to the search bar and key in fireplace doors. The following page comes up:
This gives us every door Wal-Mart sells (all 52). This is not easy to shop. I prefer good, better, best, sorted low to high.
Pricing of Fireplace Doors at Wal-Mart
Since a low price is the primary reason to buy fireplace door from Wal-Mart, let’s see what they have to offer for some entry level price points for your fireplace.
Tip: Wal-Mart only provides one picture and once the picture is opened it seems to be a low res picture that makes it very hard to see any detail of the door. Here is a link to the GHP Pleasant Hearth website with more detailed pics.
Small, Medium, and Large Sizing
OK, here is one of my pet peeves with the small, medium, and large fireplace door sizing, and that is the huge overlap that can occur. I prefer more fireplace and less door. Here is what I am talking about…
The actual opening dimensions of the Alpine are 36” x 24”. That means I have 7 ½” of frame on the sides (3 ¾ Each Side) and 9” of frame on the top (5”) and bottom (4”). That is ALOT of frame. This is the way mass merchants can use a few sizes to fit a lot of fireplaces. It’s not bad or deceiving, but it can take up a lot of your fireplace. Check out the picture below. The first image is the Alpine Door from Wal-Mart on our 40 ¾ x 25 ½” fireplace and on then the following image is a door custom made as an inside fit door. Notice the red dashed lines – that is how much bigger the door from Wal-Mart is compared to a custom made fireplace door.
As you can see, buying your fireplace doors from Wal-Mart was not an ideal shopping experience. If you have masonry fireplace doors, and you do not need a lot of support, and you are not picky about the exactness of your fit, Wal-Mart could be a great and inexpensive solution. These are common problems with the big box retailers for most products these days. Don’t bother looking for factory built fireplace doors at Wal-Mart as they only pre-made small, medium, and large doors and for masonry fireplaces only. If you have a factory built fireplace, or you want to make sure you get a door that properly fits your fireplace, try another store than Wal-Mart. They offer very low prices, but the fireplace doors are for masonry only, are inexact in their sizing, and there is very little support to assure you not only get a door that fits your fireplace, but can maximize its potential as well.