What are Hearth Fenders?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Proper hearth construction is crucial to maintaining the safety of wood-burning fireplaces in homes.
Proper hearth construction is crucial to maintaining the safety of wood-burning fireplaces in homes.

Hearth fenders, which are also sometimes called fireplace fenders, are metal bars that border the outer edge of a hearth. There are various styles and designs, some of which are rather simple and unadorned and others that include scrolls and even filigree-like components. Many people choose to install hearth fenders in front of their fireplaces to keep ashes and other debris from the fireplace from scattering outside of the hearth area. Some people also enjoy the look of hearth fenders and choose to install them mostly for aesthetic purposes. In addition to coming in a number of styles, hearth fenders are made in a variety of metals, colors, and finishes.

In most cases, hearth fenders are made up of three metal bars. One of the bars fits across the front of the hearth and the other two connect the front piece to the face of the fireplace. These pieces may come separately, but they usually come as one large connected piece. This means that, in most cases, the edges of the fenders form right angles. There are other models, however, where the corners of the fenders are rounded. This means that these kinds of fenders are created in one piece instead of being created in three pieces.

For those who plan to install hearth fenders on their own, it is important to take accurate hearth measurements before buying the supplies. Depending on the size of one's hearth and the desired style of the hearth fenders, it may be necessary to have the components custom made. If the hearth is standard in size and one is willing to choose from the available designs and color options, then it is not necessary to have the fenders custom made.

Many people choose hearth fenders to match the other fireplace fixtures they already have. If one's fireplace accessories are made out of bronze, then it may make sense to purchase fenders that are also made out of bronze. If the room or the entire home are decorated in a certain style or are decorated according to a certain era of design, then it may also make sense to search for fireplace fenders that fit in with those aesthetic guidelines. There are hearth fenders that are designed to work well in rustic living spaces and others that work well in a space that is decorated to look Victorian.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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    • Proper hearth construction is crucial to maintaining the safety of wood-burning fireplaces in homes.
      Proper hearth construction is crucial to maintaining the safety of wood-burning fireplaces in homes.