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I was extremely distraught earlier this week when my eighteen month old Son fell and cracked his head on the tiled hearth, especially as it had been on my list of 'to do jobs' to get the Prince Lionheart Cushiony surround.
I read some reviews about it looking unsightly, bad joints etc etc, and opted to buy the roll of 'Prince Lionheart Cushiony Table Edge Guard' at £17.99 as apposed to £14.99 for the fire place one. It's exactly the same stuff except in a roll and I didn't have to mess about matching joints up across the front of the fireplace (obviously just at the edges) plus it came with four corners so I've two spare. Anyhow, I can't recommend it enough, it arrived today (Fri) having ordered it late Weds night. I'm not one for writing reviews, but this stuff is that good, easy to fit and such a better option than what happened to my Son that I had to log on and write about it.
It probably should have some brief instructions, I found that after applying the self adhesive strips it was easier to place the fold against the edge of the hearth and then line it up by slightly folding the piece back so I could see where I was sticking it to. The first piece I stuck on went a bit wonky so I can imagine if not done properly it can have a 'diy' appearance. Slightly over cut the joints (and I mean slightly) and then squish it in together, and I personally think this avoids an obvious joint appearance ... in all this is very possibly the best £20 odd quid I've ever spent ... such a shame I didn't do this before my little boys accident but such is life!
~Tell me about the Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guard? ~
When we were in that mad 'we must protect our children from everything' stage that parents of younger children tend to go through, we went all out to find solutions to things like, slamming doors, pointy edges on furniture, cupboard and window locks etc. This review is about one of the solutions we found worked well for us.
As we had a number of feature fireplaces, we racked our brains to try to work out some way of preventing knocks and bumps on these, as the surrounds had nasty evil pointy corners and sharp looking edges. Our saviour of sorts came to our rescue in the form of some Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guards. I kid you not, the name may sound corny, but this is a real product!
The Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guard is something that has been a simple and somewhat efficient bit of kit for us. I thought it was more than worthy of a quick review and as it has now been added here I can pass on my views about it. It may not be a thing of beauty to look at, but it is neat when put on well and can help to protect a child from bumps and knocks.
Firstly as I have mentioned above its not stylish, I would have liked it in a wider range of colours too, as it would have matched the fireplace hearth a little more. A nice deep black or darker grey would have melted into infinity next to the marble surround we tried it out on. As you can see from the piccy listed here, we didn't strike that lucky with it and what you see here is what we got.
~How much might it cost?~
The Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guard set us back £18.99 when we bought it and prices do seem to hover around that, with a maximum of £22.99 or so. As ever we tried to shop around for the best price and found that we could pick this up in Boots, so decided to give it a try.
What you get within the set which makes up the Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guard, are a number of shaped pieces which you can fit around most but not every fire surround/ hearth. This will provide a nice light cushioned effect that will stop your child from hurting themselves on the sharp edges and corners. This set is much better than many similar stick on sets you can buy.
~Fitting the guard!~
Once we had fitted the Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guard around the perimeter of our fireplace, the final effect was very neat. If it had been in a darker shade it wouldn't have jarred at all. In this lighter shade it did stand out, but in a neat way that we didn't mind. It does also come in a light brownish shade to match wooden surrounds which probably looks much nicer.
Once tip about fitting these is to use the sticky tape provided and attach it to each piece of the surround AFTER you have made sure you have trimmed everything to fit and NOT BEFORE! Otherwise you will end up getting the tape stuck to everywhere else and yourself, rather than on the foamy bits you want to stick down.
We found that using the method of sticking the tape to the piece you wanted to work with and then only removing the backing when ready to actually stick to the fireplace surface worked best. Once stuck on, the pieces do stick well as long as the surround and fireplace are both clean, dust free and dry. The pieces stay on rather well too, with no pinging off at all, which we liked.
When trimming the pieces to fit your fire surround, do make sure that you aim to cut the straightest you can. As any jagged edges will mean a messy looking end result. Its not too hard to cut, as the material used for the guard is a foamy slightly squashy material which is why its so good when set in place. A bit of time taken when doing this will pay off in the end.
~Whats in the kit? ~
The bits and pieces we got with our Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guard were 5 x 18 inch straight lengths and 2 x squishy corner caps, plus the double sided tape. The pieces you get are not only fire retardant but they are also non toxic. They are also free from latex. They fit well and are shaped to surround the edges of your hearth very closely.
Fitting the whole thing took around half an hour to fit from start to finish, although you could do so in less time if you are not to fussy about the final look and fit. However we felt it best to take some time to lay out the pieces and make sure we cut them correctly first time around, so that when it came to the sticking on bit, we already knew we had everything measured and cut to size.
~ Performance and rating ~
We found that when the guard was in place it worked very well. Its like a lovely foamy cushioned bumper for your fireplace and it can really help to protect from nasty knocks if you have small children in the home. To give the guard a rating I feel it ought to get 4 stars. I would have rated it higher, but as we were unable to get hold of one of these in a darker shade it did stand out rather a lot. So 1 star was deducted for this alone.
Other than that, the kit worked well and when you are ready to take it off, you can easily take any off the double sided tape that remains on the surround, by heating it very slightly with a hair dryer on a very low heat for a few seconds. This loosens it just enough to be able to get it off and leave no marks. The same people who make the Prince Lionheart Cushiony Fireplace Guard, also make other handy items to use around the home, some of which we have tried and can also recommend. Reviews may follow.