Fire glass is specially manufactured glass that is designed to retain heat and channel it appropriately when used in fire pits, which burn with gas, and in fireplaces. It is made from toughened or tempered glass and is usually used as a safety measure in whichever role it is used.
Everybody knows glass to be one of the most fragile items in existence but the chemicals and heat treatment used in manufacturing tempered glass combine to toughen it, causing its outer and inner surfaces to become tensed and compressed, thickening it beyond normal.
These features, in turn, eliminate the risk of easy shattering and even if it does shatter, it does not form shards. Instead, it breaks into chunks which are less likely to harm anyone, as opposed to shards which are highly harmful. Tempered or toughened glass, apart from being used to make up fire glass, is also used for screen protectors, shower stalls, car windows and so on.
Uses to Which Fire Glass Can Be Put
Fire glass is a fine, safer and marvelously beautiful replacement for gas logs. Gas logs have served their purposes and are still somewhat in use but they usually give the impression of unreal smoke and flames when you sit around it, defeating the purpose of giving a natural feel of fire as opposed to artificial. We are past the age of using naturally-occurring tree logs to build fires in fireplaces.
Besides, most of the time now, fires are built for more than warmth; they are also built for aesthetic purposes. They create an ambiance and coziness which cannot be got through other means. So the need for artificial ‘kindling’ cannot be overemphasized. Hence, the advent of different types, including gas logs made from ceramics and fire glass fashioned to withstand heat.
However, fire glass has proven to be the most effective and the most beautiful to be used indoors and outdoors. It comes in different colors and sizes and modern home designers are having a swell time, putting it to different uses around homes.
- Fire glass is primarily used as a medium for directing and retaining heat when used in fireplaces and fire pits. It does not easily diffuse heat, having the ability to create 4 times the usual warmth of fireplaces, and creates warmth without the usual accompanying sweltering heat, smoke or carbon monoxide of natural tree logs. It also gives a better feel of real flames than any other artificial source for building fireplaces
- It adds beauty to your home, inside and outside. Fire glasses come in different beautiful colors, sizes, and shapes which can be easily blended into your home without being garish. There are also different types of the Caribbean Blue, the Starfire Glass (which looks like natural granite stones), Golden Flame, High Luster (meridian blue), Apricot Luster and so on
- Fire glass can be used to craft decorative pieces like tabletop centerpieces and stained glass windows
Advantages of Using Fire Glass
Fire glass is the environment and home friendly. As was said before, the lack of carbon monoxide soothes the air, making it purer and safer for everyone around. It also releases no odor, offensive or not. It gives all the advantages of fireplaces without the unwelcome smell of burning wood or gas.
Apart from that, there is no soot or ash around and there is no need to clean up the fireplace consistently. When the fire is made from naturally-occurring gas, it produces little or no harmful gases and no smoke at all, leaving behind no substances which could pollute the air. So, it is used for more than its aesthetic purposes.
Other advantages of using fire glass are:
- It can burn for as long as you need it to. With wood, you would have to constantly check to see if there is enough there and restock. And you may have to conserve wood. But not so with fire glass. You can keep it burning and only have to check it when you have to turn it off
- The safety that comes with using fire glass endears it to a lot of people. Wood has the tendency to spark when it becomes too hot. But fire glass remains the same and safe, no matter how hot it gets. The glass does not splinter or shatter under heat
- You are not restricted to one choice or color. Fire glass comes in pebble-like or crystal-like shapes and it comes in pink, blue, green, yellow and orange, to mention a few. There is nothing like variety
Other Factors to Consider about fire glass
We have seen the beauty and practicality of using fire glass. In fact, from the look of things, let us let the trees rest and focus on the artificial sources of building fires. That would please a lot of people. But let us not forget the all-important factor of price; not just the price of fire glass but also the cost of having to replace it eventually, in case it breaks due to poor handling or during delivery, and the cost of installing a gas line; remember that fireplaces and fire pits which function with fire glass must use natural or propane gas.
Depending on the amount you need, a pound of fire glass could cost as much as $10. Multiply that, as an average, with the number of pounds you may need. And even though it may be readily available and may seem cost-friendly, it is necessary to consider the price factor.
Also, consider if you would be like to change the color of your fire glass at some point. For example, you could choose blue to begin with but with time, you may want a different color. That is extra money. The great part of this, though, is that once properly installed, the gas line can last for a long time, as well as the fire glass.
Maintenance is also easy. Due to the fact that it does not bring in soot, create ash or make greasy marks, there would be no point to constantly wipe and clean the fireplace or fire pit. However, with time, the fire glass may accumulate dust, just like your everyday furniture. So you can simply bring them out, wash them with water and any household dish-washing detergent and rinse in lots of water before drying them out and putting them back.