Manufactured from tempered glass, fire glass is used as a decorative medium to absorb and redirect heat in gas fireplaces and fire pits. Fire glass does not burn, it reflects both heat and light outwards into the surrounding area. In fact, it reflects more heat than the traditional gas fireplace logs and is also a great way to cover up ugly gas piping and burners that are integral parts of a gas fireplace set up.
Fire Glass is often referred to as fire pit glass but it is equally suitable for fire pits and fireplaces and is fully compatible with both Natural Gas or Propane systems and can be used either indoors or out.
There is such a broad range of colors and shapes of fire glass available nowadays that you will have no trouble creating or matching the decor style that you want. From Contemporary to Traditional settings there is a color and style of fire glass that will create the look you are striving for.
Unlike wood or coal, Fire Glass does not burn, it simply absorbs and reflects heat, whilst creating a spectacular display of the light and flames reflecting off the fire glass as if it were dancing on the surface of the glass. Fire Glass is suitable for use with either natural gas or propane.
Fire glass is manufactured from tempered glass and is designed for this specific purpose. It is not safe just to use any kind of broken glass and put in the fire pit. Good fire glass when heated will not produce any smoke, ash, soot or toxic fumes and most importantly of all will not explode! Using old wine or beer bottles or any other non-specific glass in a fireplace is just not safe
There are several different styles of fire glass available, Fire beads are disc-like shapes, Zircon is a diamond shape and American Fire Glass recently released a square shaped fire glass.
However, the most popular by far is the basic irregular shapes of glass created when a large panel of the glass is broken into thousands of pieces.
Due to the slightly random nature of this process, the only common dimension of the glass pieces is the thickness of the original panel of glass. Most commonly this is either 1/4 or 1/2 Inch, and this is why the glass is defined by that dimension. The images below will give you an idea of the approximate size of these pieces of glass.
From a technical perspective, it really doesn't matter which you choose it is a matter of personal preference.
We would advise that if you have a large fire pit or fireplace then use 1/2 inch glass, as the 1/4 inch may look slightly overwhelmed in a large area. Conversely, in a small fire pit or fireplace, the 1/2 inch glass may look a little too chunky.
Also when using Propane some experts recommend only using 1/2" glass. The reason for this is that Propane is heavier than air and so it needs all the help it can get to percolate up through the glass. The gaps between 1/2" glass are bigger and will allow the propane to move upwards more easily.
This is the most commonly asked question, and customers are often surprised at how much they need and of course it depends on the size and set up of your fire pit. This is one of the reasons we recommend using a fire pit tray, and in particular, a drop in style tray in the construction of your outdoor fire pit because it contains the fire glass and limits to some extent how much you will need.
Fire Glass is most commonly sold in units of 10 lbs.
A simple method to reduce the amount and therefore cost of the fire glass is to lay it on top of a bed of small-sized lava rock, we recommend 1/4 to 1/2 inch sized lava rock. You can use this filler up to, or even just over the top of your burner. Then place your fire glass on top of the lava rock filler up to the level you require.
You can easily calculate how much fire glass and/or lava rock you need by using our fire glass calculator here.
For the lava rock calculation, measure from the base of the area your lava rock will be sitting on, up to the burner. That is the depth in inches that you will need to enter into the calculator. Then enter the width and length of your fire pit area. As this is for lava rock, you then dived the given result by 2, as lava rock is twice as voluminous than glass. ( e.g. If the result is 20 lbs divide this by 2 and buy 10 lbs of lava rock )
For the Fire Glass calculation measure from the top of the burner to the level you want the glass to finish at, and enter that as your depth. Enter the width and length and the resulting figure is the quantity of fire glass you need to sit on top of the lava rock.
If using Natural Gas the maximum depth of glass above the burner could be up to 2" or so, for Propane, the maximum should be about 1 1/2"
Both the lava rock and fire glass should be 'poured' gently into the fire pit or fireplace, neither one should be compacted in any way. This is to allow the gas to freely percolate up through the glass and ignite on its surface.
If you have chosen a clear or very light colored fire glass using lava rock as a filler might not work so well as the dark color of the lava rock may spoil the clear effect of your fire glass.
Flames produced using natural gas do not produce any smoke, produce less toxic gases and leave no trace of residual pollutants such as tar. Fire Pit Glass likewise does not produce any toxic fumes, smoke soot or ash, so fire glass in a natural gas fire pit or fireplace can safely be regarded as eco-friendly.
Unfortunately, Propane is not quite as clean a gas as Natural Gas and consequently does not rate as highly on the eco-friendly scorecard.
At the Magic Of Fire, the vast majority of Fire Glass we stock is made by from American Fireglass and there is a very good reason for this. American Fireglass have been the leading innovators in the Fire Glass industry for more than 10 years. The standards that they set the bar pretty high for their competitors.
Each and every one of their Fire Glass products come with a Lifetime Warranty.
All their fire glass is made of high quality tempered glass which has been manufactured via a unique 5-step process that renders its beautiful shine and allows it to withstand harsh weather and temperatures of up to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit without sustaining any damage or discoloration. Under normal conditions, this amazing product could last you a lifetime!
Another advantage of fire glass is that it does not emit any harmful chemicals, smoke, soot, or ash; thus it hardly requires any cleaning and is very easy to maintain!