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Everything You Need To Know About Fire Glass

by Fireplace Fact

You do not need to be an interior designer to sparkle up the ambiance of your backyard with your firepit! It is just so easy to beautify the outlook of your fire pit using a fire glass. Well, what is a fire glass, what’s so special about it, how will it beautify our firepit, and most importantly, how do you use it? Let’s know the answer to each of these queries from this article!



What Is Fire Glass & What Are They Used For



Firstly, fire glass is composed of tempered glass granules(pebbles and crystals), and they are used in gas or propane fire pits to spread out the fire safely and stylishly. 

Most gas fireplaces and firepits use particular ceramic logs or lava rocks to cover the burners and stimulate the look of a natural-looking fire. On the other hand, fire glass acts as an excellent affordable, attractive alternative because, unlike ceramic logs or lava rocks, these fire glasses make the dancing flame look aesthetic. How is that? They cover up gas jets with attractive crystals and pebbles that make the firepit look amazing! Fire Glasses spread out the fire because these pebbles increase the heat radiation by almost four times! 

The fire glass crystals are held by a tray designed for them, and they sit atop the flame. The fire glass pebbles have to be poured on the pit, and when the gas is turned on, the fire glass will begin its magic!



Why Are Fire Glasses So Special



  1. Fire Glass is made from recycled sheets of heat-tempered glass.
  2. As already said, fire glass has TEMPERED glass granules or pebbles. Since fire glass compositions are tempered, fire glass will not melt, burn, or smoke in direct contact with the fire flames when appropriately installed.
  3. The crystals shimmer and glitter when in contact with fire, giving an aesthetic look.
  4. Tempered fire glass will reflect the flames by absorbing and radiating heat.
  5. They are available in multiple shapes and sizes, such as irregular granules or smooth gems. 
  6. Comes in various colors to match your outdoor space with the option of either reflective or non-reflective surfaces. Reflected varieties have a mirrored finish, which reflects the flame. The non-reflective glass draws your eyes more to the color of the glass than the reflective.

NOTE: Regular glass is not the same as fire glass and should never be used in gas-burning appliances because regular glass is not tempered hence they can melt or burn in contact with fire.



How Does Fire Glass Work



Fire glass is safely tempered and chemically treated to help them endure the high heat from the burning flame. This way, they do not melt or produce toxic fumes when sitting in flames. The pebbles or the fire glass are kept directly on top of the burners. The flames slither with the gas’s help around the stones, and these flames combine at the center. This makes it look like the flames are dancing on the top. The amount of heat produced by a standard gas fireplace is doubled up by four times using a fire glass! This is because fire glass retains a lot of heat from the flames and radiates it outwards too. 

Seeing the wonders of fire glass, if you are now convinced enough to use some of it, read further to know the factors to consider while buying fire glass: how much of fire glass to use, which size and color of fire glass to use. To have an elaborated idea on how fire glass works, you can read this article.



How Much Fire Glass To Use



  • To calculate how much fire glass you need in a square/rectangular fire pit, multiply the length by width by the depth and divide by 200. A round fire pit multiplies the radius (1/2 diameter) by the radius by 3.12 by the depth and divides by 200.
  • You can use a coverage calculator tool to calculate how much fire glass is needed for your fire pit. Measure your fire pit or fireplace. Plugin the numbers of this measurement taken in your calculator, and you will know how much fire glass is needed to fill your firepit. If too much fire glass is ordered, use it for landscaping purposes!
  • If your fire pit uses natural gas, two to three inches of fire glass is enough to cover the burner. If your fire pit is propane-based, you should buy an inch of fire glass.
  • If your firepit is vast, you do not have to worry about buying a large mass of fire glass. Use a safe base of sand or glass base below the burner, and then adorn the top surface with your beautiful fire lass. This smart trick will help to give your fire pit a polished look at a low cost!


Which Size Of Fire Glass To Use



The size of fire glass is important because the reaction glass will have when in contact with heat depends on its size. During the production of fire glasses, air bubbles are trapped within them. This air bubble traps heat. The bigger the piece of fire glass, the larger the air bubble trapped within it becomes. This is a problem because if the bubble is significant, it will most likely be broken due to the heat.

Excessive use and heat can cause damage to the fire glass. This is why it is advised to use those fire glass smaller than one inch as these small pieces with small air bubbles are less likely to get damaged in the heat. Two sizes of fire glasses are ideal for use in fire pits: 1) One-fourth inch to one-half inch 2) One-half inch to one inch.



Which Fire Glass Color To Use



The primary purpose of using a fire glass is that it is a decorative element. There are many colours of fir glasses that are available. Some of the examples of different colours of fire glasses are given below:


Which Fire Glass Color To Use

Because there are many options of different colors of fire glass available, it entirely depends on your preferences and the vibe you want to choose, which fire glass you want to use. However, if you are still confused about which color to use, you can consider these facts while buying your fire glass:

  1. style of the furniture around the fire pit
  2. The color of the furniture surrounding your fire pit
  3. Whether you want modern rustic, rustic as if you want afire glass that will resemble the look of ash.
  4. If you want to have fire glasses with a shiny, elegant, and modern look, go for lighter colors, usually reflective.
  5. For a classic and rustic look, go for dark colors. 
  6. If you use propane, use darker colored fire glass. This is because propane, when burning, leaves back a residue. This residue can stick to your fire glass, and it will be more visible on the lighter glass; hence using darker colored fire will help hide this discoloration.

Now that you are aware of the primary necessities for using fire glass, let’s make no further ado and get into detailed instructions on how you will begin using your fire glass!



How To Install A Fire Glass In A Fire Pit



  • Use a ruler or a measuring tape. From the top edge of the firepit, e, markdown three to four inches. Mark the point. Fill up the fire pit with lava rock or sand filler till that point.
  • Then, install the burner of your fire pit on top of the lava rock or sand filler layer. Ensure that the burner is placed so that the gas holes(present in the burner) are facing upwards. Why so? This has to be done to increase efficiency and flame size. It is strongly advised to follow local building codes while installing burners. When installed propane burners, do not forget to install the pan underneath the burner.
  • Now, you have to pour the fire glass on top of the burner and the lava rock or sand filler layer. Even though you can pour the fire glass directly from the packaging, it would be a lot more helpful if you use a large bucket to control the amount of pouring.
  • Lastly, you have to shape the mass of four glasses according to your wish. For that, you have to wear protective gloves and use your hands to mold a shape out of the fire glass. Commonly, a mound shape is formed. The center part or anywhere where the flame will be dancing on the fire glass looks higher. Finally, your fire glass has been installed correctly. As easy as ABC, right? 

To have an elaborated idea on how to install fire glass, you can read this article.



Steps To Follow When Using Fire Glass



  • It would help if you placed your fire pits with fire glasses in a well-ventilated area. 
  • After installing the fire glass properly, arrange for an external fuel source. There must be a fuel source to use your fire glass. (Fire glass does not produce its flames, so you have to have your gas fuel source). This fuel source can either be gas or propane. Propane has some special instructions that need to be followed while using it; however, it’s safe for usage along with fire glasses. The fuel used will come out of different burner points and ensure that multiple areas over the firepit are burning. This fuel source will also make the flames brighten up evenly and create an illusion that the fire glass is burning.
  • Turn on the gas/propane slowly. 
  • Now the gas needs to be lit up with a match or a spark ignition system, or an extended lighter. Hold the extended lighter or match adjacent to the burner.
  • Now since the gas has been on, the fire will light up, and the fire glass will show its magic, and it will continue to do so until the gas has been turned off.


Using Fire Glass For A Different Purpose



  • You can use fire glass as a filler for plants or in a rock bed. 
  • We can use fire glass to give landscaping an elegant touch! Fire glass can be used in concrete patios or line sidewalks. You can use them in plant pots to make the garden look colorful during those months when plants do not grow. This way, landscapes can look beautiful even during cold months! 

After usage for a long time, you need to take care of them too. So let’s dig in and learn the cleaning methods and safety precautions that we have to keep in mind while using fire glass!



How To Clean Fire Glass



How To Clean Fire Glass

  • Firstly you have to wear protective gloves.
  • Then remove the fire glass from the pit and keep them in a bucket or an old colander or a sieve. It is recommended to clean the fire glass in small amounts to access the mini unwanted dust particles.
  • Have the bucket filled with soapy, warm water. You can use vinegar or dish soap. You can also use a scrub brush for stirring purposes.
  • To clean the Fire glass with vinegar & water, you have to rinse the fire glass properly until alL of it has been cleansed.
  • Remove the glass from the and place it in the strainer.
  • Now you have to let the fire glass rest in a dry place. It has to be dried thoroughly. There must be no water or moisture leftover, as it can cause accidents by creating high temperature in the fire glass resulting in a big explosion. 
  • Now start sweeping off the burner pan and carry away any small, broken pieces of fire glass.
  • Now clean your fire pit and fireplace burner. Make sure your fire glass is COMPLETELY DRY and then only reapply them on the burner.
  • Usually, the black stuff is formed on the fire glass. The black stuff is called soot. Many think this soot indicates that the fire glass has been burnt. But it isn’t like that. The soot forms on the fire glass when the glass comes in contact with the flame and is the end product of combustion of gas turning to a flame. It is effortless to get rid of this soot. Using water, you can remove this soot from your fire glass.
  • Fire glass requires low maintenance. To keep your fire glass clean, a sweep off and quick rinsing every week is enough. To keep your fire glass as sparkling as the first time it was bought, all you need to do is, keep it covered up with a vinyl cover when not in use.


Safety Factors To Consider While Using Fire Glass



Fire glass is safe to use if taken care of properly. However, there are some safety factors that you need to keep in mind while using fire glass.

  1. Due to carelessness, by any chance, if fire glass breaks or gets damaged, the glass might crack. People might cut themselves if they come in contact with the sharp edges of these cracked fire glasses. Hence it is necessary to take protection while picking up a fire glass.
  2. You can use gloves as a form of protection while picking or collecting fire glass.
  3. It is recommended to keep the temperature of heat by the fire below 1500 Fahrenheit, or else there is a possibility of fire glass being melted. Too high temperature may also affect the color of the fire glass.
  4. Fire glass is designed to be used in natural gas or propane fire pits or fireplaces. Never use fire glass in a wood-burning fire pit or fireplace.   
  5. If you want to make sure that your fire glass color remains consistent, it will be best if you use natural gas as the fuel source.
  6. If you use propane, use darker colored fire glass. This is because propane, when burning, leaves back a residue. This residue can stick to your fire glass, and it will be more visible on the lighter glass; hence using darker colored fire will help hide this discoloration.
  7. When using fire glass in propane fire pits, do not forget to follow the additional instructions to use fire glass safely.


Conclusion



Now that you know almost everything you need to know about fire glasses, gather your friends or your loved ones, and sit around your warm fire pit, in your backyard, amidst a chilly evening, and enjoy the dance of fiery flames atop the fire glass. Use your fire glass efficiently and let them be your precious gems. Indeed if taken care of properly, these fire glasses with their beauty and elegance will make your fire pit look amazing. If you liked this article, share it with your friends, and if you have any queries, do leave a comment below.

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