Open fires are becoming increasingly popular as home décor due to the elegance and comfortable atmosphere they provide. Indeed, adding colored glass to fire pits increases the pit’s beauty and the grace of your place. But what kind of glass do you use in fire pits? Can you use any type?
Fire pits require a unique kind of heat-resistant glass, commonly known as fire glass. Fire glass is a type of tempered glass specially made for fire pits. On the contrary, non-tempered glass may emit toxic fumes, crack, melt, or even pop, becoming hazardous to anyone nearby.
Nothing quite matches the beauty of colored glass set ablaze in a fire pit. With the increasing popularity of fire pits for backyards and living rooms, it is of the utmost importance to educate the masses about the do’s and don’ts of using fire glass as the reckless use of fire glass can potentially result in dangerous situations.
Can You Put Any Glass in a Fire Pit?
No, you cannot put any glass in your fire pit. Fire pits can reach extremely high temperatures, and temperatures of this magnitude can be very dangerous if you put the wrong kind of glass in them. Glasses not made to sustain this kind of temperature will melt and emit toxic fumes that could be very harmful to the residents of the house, especially pets.
Not only that, but regular glass can also crack and shatter because of the heat. These shattered fragments can then launch themselves as projectiles and hurt any unsuspecting victim. This is why it is essential to use a type of glass specially made for fire pits — fire glass.
Fire pits can be an amazing addition to your home and a great spot for people to gather around and spend quality time together. There are a lot of fire pit options to choose from, but nowadays, smokeless fire pits are becoming the top choice for homeowners. If you are looking for recommendations, here are the 11 best smokeless fire pits for your backyard.
What Is Fire Glass?
Fire glass is a specific type of heat-resistant glass made to be used in fire pits and fireplaces. Fire glass is a type of tempered glass that comes in all sizes, shapes, and colors. This glass is non-flammable and can withstand very high temperatures. Unlike regular glass, this one will not explode, leak fumes, or even erode due to the flames. Besides, fire glass will hold onto its shape and color for a very long time considering it is used with care.
Types of Fire Glasses
Fire glass comes in two types.
1. Recycled Fire Glass
This type of fire glass is made from recycled window remains and broken bottles. These scraps are put in a furnace, colored, cooked, and reconditioned before being cut into tiny pieces and made ready to be used by consumers.
2. Tempered Reflective
This kind of glass is made from tempered glass with mirrored finishes. It reflects the light from your fire pit and gives it a more shimmering look. The edges on this glass are however not polished, and thus, you still risk cutting yourself while handling this type of glass.
How to Choose Fire Pit Glass?
After learning about fire glass and its different types, a natural question to ask is: How to choose fire glass for your specific use?
Fire glass comes in various sizes and colors, which you choose from depending on your taste and surrounding decor. However, here are a few things to keep in mind while purchasing fire glass for your pit.
How Much to Buy
You must buy enough fire glass to fill your bowl completely. Although, it is also advisable to buy extra in case your fire glass gets damaged by fuel. Fire glass is usually very durable, but using propane fuel might damage it over time.
To estimate how much fire glass you need, measure the depth and width of your pit if it’s rectangular, and its depth and diameter if it is circular. You’ll typically need 2-3 inches of fire glass to cover a natural gas pit, and 1 inch for a fire pit run on propane gas.
If you have an excessively large fire pit, use fillers at the bottom and cover it with fire glass to save money.
What Type to Buy
Pick the recycled variant if you want the color of the glass to stand out, and pick the tempered reflective variant if you want the glass to complement the color of the flames and reflect the light from your fire pit.
What Size to Buy
The size of your fire glass is very important as glass deals with heat. Sometimes, air gets trapped inside large shards of glasses that can expand in heat and damage the glass, which may give an unpleasant look to your fire pit. Therefore, it is advised to buy smaller pieces of fire glass for your pit.
Usually, glass under 1 inch is ideal for fire pits. Although, there are two sizes of such nature: the small variant, which comes in ¼ inches and ½ inches, and the medium-sized variant, which comes in ½ and ¾ inches. For small fire pits, it is advised to use the small variant, while large pits can use both small and medium-sized fire glass.
Looking for ways to improve your patio’s design and functionality? One of the most common ways of doing this is adding a fire pit to your outdoor space. But, is it safe to install a fire pit in this area of your home? Can you install a fire pit on a patio? Read our article to find out.
Why Use Fire Glass?
There are various ways of using fire glass. It is not necessarily made for fire pits. You can also use it as decoration for your room, pathways, and sidewalks, or even adorn your plants and flowerpots.
Fire glass replaces all the unattractive items from your fireplace, such as ceramic logs and lava rocks. These are unappealing to look at, and unless on fire, are not very likely to impress the guests who look at them as these traditional items are appalling in color and style and look boring.
On the other hand, fire glass comes in a myriad of vibrant colors that can go very well with your living room’s décor and look equally as good outdoors, in your backyard. They add flair to your fire pit and look even better when on fire. Not only that, but other components of your fire pit may look cluttered and messy, while fire glass looks elegant and clean. It will surely upgrade the look of your fire pit when used properly!
How to Use Fire Glass?
- Pick your preferred size and the color of your fire pit.
- Measure the width and depth of your pit if it is rectangular, and its width and diameter if it is circular.
- Put on gloves to protect your hands from any sharp glass that you may come across in your pit.
- Take a handful of fire glass and scatter it on your pit.
- Make sure to cover the entire pit with fire glass or else you will not get an even glow from your fire.
- Use up to 3 inches of fire glass for pits that burn on natural gas, and 1 inch for pits that burn on propane.
- Check for glasses with air bubbles stuck inside them and discard those shards of glass appropriately otherwise they could be damaged by the fire, which could alter the elegance of your fire pit.
- Avoid using propane fuel whenever possible as it may damage the glass in the long run.
- Keep extra fire glass on hand in case the amount you put in at first somehow gets damaged.
Is It Safe to Use Fire Glass?
Yes, it is generally safe to handle fire glass. However, you must take precautions and not let children near it. Fire glass is small and children may accidentally ingest it. Also, it is not safe to handle fire glass while it is still hot as it may cause burns and other effects to your body.
The reflective variant is also not polished on the edges, and therefore, may cut your hand if not handled properly. Thus, it is advisable to wear gloves while handling this variant of glass.
All things considered, once proper precautions are in place, it should be relatively safe for anyone to handle fire glass by themselves, without professional help.
Here are some things to keep in mind while handling fire glass:
- Avoid touching it when hot.
- Use it with flames that burn under 1,500°F.
- Use gloves when handling it as sharp pieces are hazardous.
- If the glass is discolored, discard it.
- Throw away larger pieces or those with noticeable air bubbles inside.
- Keep it away from children.
- Avoid putting other flammable objects near your fire pit.
- Use dark-colored glass for propane-fueled pits as propane tends to discolor light-colored glass over time.
There are certain materials that you can add to your fire pit to either make it more effective or more beautiful. If you want better heating, use lava rocks, but if you want something that is pleasing to the eyes, get fire glass instead. If you want to switch from one material to the other, you may be thinking “can you replace lava rocks with fire glass?“. Read our article to find out.
The Bottom Line
Fire pits are getting increasingly common in homes as people start recognizing their artistic merits. These pits of warmth provide a sense of coziness and luxury, and add a touch of class to any environment it finds itself in. Thus, with the increase of fire pits, it is natural for the demand for fire glass to rise.
But before installing fire glass in yours, it is important to educate yourself on the proper use of fire glass, its types, and the precautions to keep in mind while using it. Handling these kinds of items without care can lead to dangerous situations.
Therefore, I hope this article will give you a better understanding of the type of fire glass you need and how to properly use it, so you may safely and cautiously implement it to decorate your home and impress your guests.