What is Fire Glass?
Fire glass is tempered glass specifically made for fire features like gas fireplaces and gas fire pits. These small, granular chunks — which arrive sifted, tumbled, and cleaned — withstand significant stresses and temperatures. Whereas regular glass melts, explodes, smokes, and collects soot like a dragon on a treasure horde, fire glass quietly punches in and does its job: making your flickering flames so breathtakingly mesmerizing, the rest of the world simply cannot compare.
Pocked with impurities, regular glass is left open to fracturing under heat (recap: we used that word “explodes”). We don’t recommend it. Again, from the top — never, ever use it anywhere near a fire. Fire-rated glass and decor are the only acceptable filler for fire features. Trust us, one good look at the real deal and you’ll be a believer yet.
Reflective vs Non-Reflective Fire Glass
The train has left the station, and here’s our first stop: just how would you like this glass of class to jazz up your fire? For the moment, set aside everything you’ve heard about all those marvelous shapes, sizes, colors, and textures (don’t worry — they’re much too pretty to keep away for long). Instead, simply ask yourself: do you want reflective or non-reflective glass? Consider your intended source of dazzling wonder. Bringing those fire urns a pinch of brilliance? Very touching. Sparking joy through a pedestal fire bowl? What about beautifying that opulent fire pit table? If you intend the pieces themselves to be your main attraction, reflective glass adds passion and animation. Want the flame center stage? Non-reflective glass is the smarter bet.
Reflective Fire Glass
Reflective fire glass is treated and polished on one side, which bounces light like a mirror. Place this polish facing the flame, and the flame’s light will reflect through shimmering glass. The impact really has to be seen to be believed. But, if you could, imagine the flickering sway of a glowing fire — now, envision this warm light over glass pieces, gleaming in all directions with a shimmering, sparkling effect. In other words? Dancing lights. This is especially complementary to features that incorporate different types of fire media, logs, and other décor; the combined resonance interacts beautifully. Mix colors of reflective fire glass, or pair it with stainless steel, and the twinkling glass will do all the heavy lifting in your unspeakably majestic centerpiece.
Non-Reflective Fire Glass
Non-reflective fire glass can be just as mesmerizing without stealing your fire’s thunder. Without the mirror’s edge, light penetrates throughout the glass to swap that glistening glimmer for softer ambience — now, the flames distort, bend, and piroutte throughout a pool of tiny lenses. If you plan to use a single color of glass, especially black, this is your better choice. Non-reflective fire glass blends those alluring flames and highlights their magic for quite the somber aesthetic. Use this glass with smaller fire bowls or fire urns to maximize atmosphere without overwhelming warm conversation. Remember: you can mix reflective and non-reflective glass. Nail the blend and picture this: the cozy firelight of a gas lamp, glinting across a diamond ring during a proposal in Central Park.
Fire Glass Sizes
While we await our Pulitzer for that imagery, we’ll carry on. Fire glass comes in a variety of sizes for any standard gas fire feature, though the most common sizes in outdoor residential settings are quarter-inch and half-inch diameter. Our experts recommend half-inch diameter for most outdoor fire pits — it’s easier and more economic. Different sizes possess different weights and volumes, so you’ll need to calculate how much you need for your fire pit. Thankfully, our Fire Glass Calculator minimizes that math. Something that this all has in common with reflective and non-reflective glass is its rich potential in mixture; combine different sizes and textures for inimitably exceptional displays. In particular, we’ve found half-inch and quarter-inch blends work wonders to build a breathtaking, bewitching backdrop.
Types of Fire Glass
Surprise! Fire glass is deceptively powerful and multifaceted. What would you say if we told you that, up until now, we’ve just talked about one type of fire glass? You guessed it — everything so far has been the regular stuff, because “simple chunks of broken glass” is just where the enchantment begins. Stand back as we rip the curtain on the rest of the spectrum: we’re talking glass nuggets, beads, cubes, starfish, and even jelly beans (we understand that those last two sound overly enthusiastic but, we didn’t make those up). Remember our old friend, mix ‘n match? Not getting old anytime soon. Blend different fire glass shapes and glass types to your heart’s content; the sheer customization is limitless for kindling that cornerstone character.
Fire Pit Décor
Since this crazy train still hasn’t reached the station, let’s briefly recap: you’ve picked your fire glass in the perfect size, shape, and color. You’ve intermingled glass styles to form an enthralling fire feature. It shimmers! It shines! That rippling fire outdazzles lifelong tango dancers! What could possibly be missing? Why not accessorize your fire pit with some décor? These decorative elements hold up to high heat without discoloring or cracking, enhancing your set piece with a fiery finish. Here’s the ruby cherry atop a sundae that will keep people talking for ages — a real flair for flare! Most fire pit décor appears as natural elements, like stone pieces or driftwood; use them thoughtfully to build grand, invigorating displays or simple scenes with scintillating charm.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Fire Glass
How Much Fire Glass Do I Need?
Did you guess “It depends?” Because it depends. To know exactly how much fire glass is needed to fill your fire feature, you’ll need the physical dimensions of said fire feature. Don’t worry, we anticipated questions — which is why our handy video on how to measure for fire glass can help you out. Once you’ve got those measurements, plug them right them into that Fire Glass Calculator for your exact volume needed. Careful, though! It’s important to not overfill a fire pit. We recommend piling fire glass no higher than 1–2 inches over the top of the burner. Go further, and you’ll make that flame work harder (never a good idea) to push through the glass. Always consult those owner’s manuals for further details.
A Note About Fire Glass Colors
Fire glass colors come in a seemingly never-ending spectrum (listing them out here is frankly overwhelming). While we invite you to think differently, our design experts tell us the most popular colors of fire glass ordered by our other clients are black, clear, copper, blue, and white. Hey, since you brought them up — after 20 years of selling stuff that makes fire awesome, our experts basically carry blackbelts in outdoor design. Our many years of experience and wisdom make them positively unparalleled at planning outdoor spaces. Check out our free outdoor design service, where those same experts can help you find the perfect fire glass to complement your fire feature. Trust our guidance and you’ll have that toasty, romantic, downright evocative firelight in no time!
So, how’d we do? It’s okay if you need time to reflect. For any burning questions about fire glass (or anything else that ignites your passion), give our fantastic, fired-up online service representatives a call at 1-877-743-2269!