As outdoor gatherings become more popular, homeowners are looking for ways to extend their living space to the outside. Fire pits are a great way to expand your gatherings while keeping the atmosphere cozy and intimate.
While fire pits are a cool feature for outdoor spaces, they require cleaning and maintenance. There are also expressed concerns about fire safety and toxicity. Fire glass is a great alternative that requires less upkeep and lowers the safety risks.
Fire glass is tempered glass that is safe to use in both indoor and outdoor gas fireplaces and fire pits. The glass is tumbled down to eliminate sharp edges and treated with chemicals or thermal treatments to increase heat resistance. Fire glass is available in a variety of colors and shapes to fit the aesthetic of any setting.
The use of fire glass reduces the risk of maintenance injury as it does not melt, burn, or explode with heat like regular glass. The overall maintenance of fire glass pits and fireplaces is easier than those fueled by wood because the fire glass stones do not smoke or soot. They also do not need to be cleaned as often, although there can be discoloration if the pit uses propane rather than natural gas. This, along with any other dust, can be washed off with mild soap and water.
Choosing Fire Glass Color and Shape
Fire glass comes in many sizes and vivid colors, which are based on personal preference and pit size. People often prefer warm or cool colors that add to the overall aesthetic of their home. Some color options include:
- Caribbean blue
- Black pearl
Homeowners can also decide the shape of the glass they’d like. Choices include:
- Crushed (traditional fire glass shape with jagged edges)
- Original fire glass shape (flat on both sides)
- Reflective (mirrored finish or reflective coating that increases the shine)
- Bead (contemporary style that creates larger flames)
- Dot (small shapes for a more sublte flame)
- Diamond (creates a fuller flame)
Each provides a different look and feel that you can curate to your liking.
If you need help getting your style down, companies like the Diamond Fire Glass Company create handcrafted glass and fire pit kits that make the selection process a bit easier.
“We began to put together pre-mixed packages that could go well with combinations like blue, pearl, granite, or stacked stone,” says Brian Langohr, president of the Diamond Fire Glass Company. “It really gave people more to choose from to find what works for their home and fire pit.”
While each pit is different, it is standard practice to fill the pit about 1½ to 2 inches above the burner to ensure the flames will have enough room to rise above the stones. Most fire glass products include detailed charts to determine how many pounds your fire pit or fireplace will need.
Those who like uniformity and low-maintenance fires are especially attracted to fire glass. Lava rocks, ceramic fire logs, and traditional wooden logs are all great options for fire pits and fireplaces, but fire glass has the upper hand when it comes to distributing heat.
Fire glass emits three to four times more heat than any other filler by reflecting the heat being generated. The smooth and uniform shape of the glass also helps evenly distribute the heat around the fire. Thus, you will likely use less gas or propane.
Fire glass is also an environmentally friendly option for fire pits. When used in combination with natural gas, it doesn’t release toxic fumes or smoke. In addition, many companies also use recycled glass in their manufacturing process.
Switching to fire glass can be a cost-effective and sustainable way to add another dimension of enjoyment to the outdoor space of your new home. This option for fire pits makes it easy to make your next outdoor gathering sparkle just a little bit more.
Jessi Gonzalez writes on the topics of home-buying, home decor, and home-ownership for New Home Source. She has a degree from Coastal Bend College and is currently enrolled in the English degree program at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.