How To Use Fire Glass
What is Fire Glass?
Fire Glass is available in a large variety of colors, and can be used both indoors and outdoors, in gas fire pits or gas fireplaces, and with either propane or natural gas.
Fire pit glass is crafted with Tempered Glass designed to endure extreme heat. It is not safe to use ordinary ‘domestic’ broken glass such as beer or wine bottles, food containers, etc in a fire feature, in fact, it is potentially dangerous, with sharp edges notwithstanding.
Good quality fireplace glass does not emit toxic fumes or smoke nor does it explode.
Good quality fireplace glass will carry a lifetime warranty.
Some manufacturers do offer a product produced from recycled glass.
Zircon Powder Blue Luster Fire Glass
click on image to view product details
How to Use Fire Pit Glass
What Size Fire Glass Should I Use
The vast majority of fireplace glass purchased falls into the 1/4″ or 1/2″ category. But what does that actually mean and how should you choose?
These irregular-sized ‘chips’ of glass are initially produced from a large plate of tempered glass that is smashed into pieces. So the only consistent dimension is the thickness of the original plate of glass, and that is most commonly 1/4″ or 1/2″ thick.
There is no technical issue to use one size or the other it is really only about aesthetics. In a large fire pit, 1/4″ fire glass may look a little overwhelmed, and conversely in a small fireplace 1/2″ fire glass may look a little chunky.
American Fireglass indicates the relative size of its glass as follows:
How Much Fire Glass Do I Need?
First off all, you may be surprised to learn that gas coming out of a fire pit burner does not immediately ignite adjacent to the burner. The gas should percolate up through the fire pit media and ignite just as it reaches the top of the fireplace glass/lava rock, which could be up to 2″ or more above the burner!
The quantity of fire glass required and the cost thereof can cause a wince or two. Follow our tips below and you may save some money.
There are two ways to go. You can use just fire glass in your fire pit or use lava rock as a filler as seen in the image below.
The second option obviously reduces the quantity of glass you need to buy and as glass is more costly than lava rock you save money. But not only is lava rock cheaper by weight it also occupies more space pound for pound so you only need to buy half the quantity (lbs) compared to the glass!
How to calculate the amount of Fire Glass needed
Once again we recommend reading and following the fire pit installation instructions provided by the manufacturer as the depth of fire media over a burner can vary.
The simplest way to find out how much fire media you need is to use our Fire Glass Calculator.
Click on the link and you will find two calculators. One is for round fire pits and the other for square, linear and rectangular shaped fire pits.
You will need to enter the dimensions (in inches) of the burn area or fire pit pan dimensions and select the option for either fire glass or lava rock.
When using just fire glass this is straight forward but when using the lava rock as filler you have to calculate the quantity for the glass layer and the lava rock layer separately.
First calculate how much lava rock is needed to just cover the burner. The measurement from the base of the pan or fire pit to just above the height of the burner will be the height of the lava rock filler layer.
The glass layer is measured from the top of the lava rock (just above the burner) to the top of recommended depth of fire media stipulated by the manufacturer. American Fire Glass recommends up to 2″ for Natural gas applications and only 1″ for Propane.
The Width and Length or Diameter of the fire pit area will be the same for both layers.
The results are provided in lbs as both Fire Glass and Lava Rock are sold in 10 lb bags.
This method of using small lava rock works well for most colors of glass, however, if you are using a ‘clear’ glass then there is a risk that the lava rock color beneath it will to some degree show through and spoil the purity of color. In this case, we would recommend using a ‘clear’ colored fire bead as the filler but you won’t save as much as using the lava rock.
How To Keep Fire Glass Clean
Depending on whether you cover your fire pit when not in use, it may only need to be washed once per season.
Fire Pit Covers or Fire Pit Lids are ideal for keeping the fire pit in a state of readiness. Fire Glass will not only be looking its best but will also be dry and free of debris that may accumulate if left uncovered. Before lighting your fire pit you will need to clear away anything flammable such as leaves and twigs and ensure that the fire pits components and fire glass are dry!
A sooty residue can sometimes be seen on fire glass resulting from unburnt carbon particles. Air-fuel ratio plays a crucial role in achieving efficient combustion. The gas needs to mix with the right amount of air to release all of its energy through combustion.
If your fire pit uses Propane for fuel, ensure that the Venturi otherwise known as an Air Mixer Valve is installed and correctly calibrated.
As for cleaning, simply wash the glass in a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar, rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry before using.
At The Magic Of Fire, we only offer our customers the highest quality fire glass that qualifies for a Lifetime Warranty. Every order no matter how small is Shipped Free on the US mainland.
If you need any assistance calculating how much glass you may need, please do not hesitate to contact us on our Toll-Free Advice Line which you can find at the top of the page. Alternatively, use the chat line on any page of the website.
See what Wikipedia has to say about Fire Pit Glass