Shattering of fireplace glass doors has been termed as a natural phenomenon. However, while there are natural causes, there are other causes. The objective of this article is to explain why glass shattering occurs and what the solutions to this problem are. 


Designing your fireplace with a glass door is one of the most beautiful things you can do in your home. The effect and reflection of light give a great look to the room. Since the door is made of glass, which means it is prone to breakage/damage. However, there are different reasons why a fireplace glass door could shatter. 

In most cases, it could be because the glass door is old. Aging has a tremendous, adverse effect on the quality of glass. If it is not for this reason, then other things that cause a glass fireplace door to shatter include:

  • Man-induced Damage

Often, glass shatters as a result of man-induced or physical action. Glass accidents could happen in your house, if you hit or throw solid objects like shoes, toys, amongst others, at a glass door. For a fireplace glass door, a simple scratch can weaken it because of its fragile quality. 

More so, we need to understand that the warranty glassmakers put on their products do not cover accidents caused by physical activities. Also, avoid using abrasive cleaners on glass doors because it reduces and weakens the quality. 

  • Thermal Effect

The effect of heat on glass cannot be overemphasized enough. In the glass production process, heat is required to make the glass to a specific thickness. For glass doors, the thickness is heavy, but a severe thermal effect could reduce the quality. 

Generally, tempered glass is used to make glass doors for the fireplace. This means it uses a heating process to modify the primary, internal structure of the glass. The result of this is a glass with maximum strength and resistance to thermal shock. In essence, it would be able to withstand temperatures, and at the same time, break due to extremities.

Even though the glass fireplace door is made using a tempering process, there is a level of heat it can withstand (400-500 degrees). The moment it goes beyond that level (i.e., 500-600 degrees), it begins to lose its strength. Eventually, it shatters into tiny pieces, which could be very dangerous. 

  • Internal Defects

In the tempering process, if it is done poorly, i.e., up to standard, there are chances the glass will shatter in the future. Also, most glassmakers make use of inclusions, such as Nickel Sulfide. Often, they think they are helping to improve the quality of glass with this inclusion when, in the real sense, it is being destroyed. This Nickel Sulfide causes an internal defect, making it prone to shattering. 

  • Inadequate Glass Thickness

Another mistake made in the tempering process is not paying attention to the thickness of the fireplace glass door. Working on a glass door at a particular range of temperature for thickness is excellent. However, anything less will only cause inadequacy in its width. Without a doubt, if wind load gets much, it will get damaged. 

  • Installation Mishap

A common cause of shattering in the installation process of glass is nicking or chipping of edges. These actions are meant to be done at a minimal level; if done otherwise, it could further develop into massive breaks. Also, making use of fasteners such as nails and screws to attach glass can cause minor glass damage. As soon as these breaks extend beyond control or without taking preventive measures, it would fall off and break into tiny pieces. 

  • Binding Glass to Frame

Also, in the process of installing a glass fireplace door, there is another mishap, that could result in a severe domestic accident later. A typical disaster results when the glass is bound to the frame. A level of stress is built up by this action. Then, a contraction occurs either when the heat is introduced or when it cannot resist wind load. An intense contraction results in a shattering. 


Most glass accidents are not voluntary; yet, the shattering is dangerous. The impact compared to its benefits is quite much. However, there are solutions to prevent the shattering of glass, but first, let’s discuss the negative impact to know why it deserves so much attention. 

When a glass door shatters, it breaks into tiny bits, which can spread over an ample space. If you are not careful, you may not be able to pack them all since they are small. With these tiny pieces left on the floor, you could easily step on them, and that could result in a mild to a severe domestic accident. It even gets worse when you have a child around. That is why you have to be careful about the kind of glass you get and what should be done to avoid shattering. 


Glass fireplace doors shatter, but there are a few things you could do. They are quite useful (at least to a point). 

    • Take note of the age of the glass. As a glass door gets old with use, it becomes weak in quality. In less than 2-3 years, you should be ready to put it up for change to prevent hazards.
    • If a glass pane is too thin or large, don’t install it in your home. It is as dangerous as anything else. 
    • Glassmakers should avoid making use of Nickel Sulfide because it weakens the glass internally after a short time. If a glass door specifies this compound in its use, do not buy it. 
    • Do not make use of abrasive cleaners because a simple scratch can cause great damage later.
    • If the glass has been installed in your home, ensure to check and monitor fire temperatures always. Keep the tempered glass door open, if the heat from the fire is high. 
    • Replace Tempered Glass with Ceramic Glass if the temperature is too high.

All these above are enough to prevent the shattering of the glass at an ideal rate.


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