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How to Install an H-Burner and Fire Glass in Your Fireplace

With colder weather on its way and fireplace remodels becoming a trend, many are looking to transform their living space. If you're thinking your fireplace needs a face lift, going from wood-burning to gas is a great way to crank up the appeal and functionality of your cozy centerpiece. Whether you're looking for a greener way to heat your home or simply revamping your hearth, we're breaking down what it takes to make the change.

Disclaimer: Starfire Direct recommends that your fire feature installation be completed by a licensed or certified professional. Starfire Direct, Inc assumes no liability for any damage to personal property or physical injury. Always refer to local building codes and regulations prior to attempting any installation.

Prepping Your Fireplace

Prepping Your FireplaceAfter cleaning your fireplace, coat the inside with heat resistant paint to enhance its appearance.

Before you jump into the alterations, you must prepare your fireplace for new beginnings. First, ensure you have a functioning flue and proper venting that is in good condition. Also, if your fireplace does not have the appropriate gas lines, seek a professional for installation.

Be sure to put down a drop cloth so that none of the soot and other particles from your fireplace get outside of the opening. Remove any doors or screens so you have full and free access to the inside of your fireplace. Next, remove any existing racks, wood, and other debris that remain in the hearth. Once you have rid the inside of your fireplace of all dust and dirt, a bit of heat-resistant paint can really amp up the aesthetic. This also creates a fantastic backdrop to show off your new fireside focal point.

Installing Your Burner

Installing Your BurnerIf you have a ventless fireplace, you can install this Empire Comfort Systems 18" Loft Series Vent-Free Burner.

After your fireplace is spick and span, you'll need to attach a burner to the gas pipe. Before doing so, ensure that your flue is propped partially open with a damper clamp, so your fireplace can properly ventilate. Using the connectors and adapters that come with your burner, you will be able to install the gas burner. Watch our instructional video below for more details.

When choosing your gas burner, there are a few things to consider. The type of burner you need is mainly contingent on which fire media you plan on using. Style can also play a large role when it comes to fitting in with the rest of your decor. If you have a rustic or traditional home, I would recommend installing a gas log burner. This type of burner acts as a bed for your gas log set.

Let one of our experts show you how to properly install the American Fire Glass 18" Stainless Steel "H" Burner.

If you would like to be able to hide your burner or you plan on incorporating a more modern look into your fireplace, there are a few options to consider. The H-burner is quite popular in fireplaces due to its ideal shape and ability to be concealed under any variety of fire glass or other media. In addition, the beautiful dispersion it gives your flame makes for a dazzling display.

A pan burner gives your fireplace a neater, more simplistic style. This model usually features legs to support the pan and media. Place your fire glass or logs into the pan to elevate your clean and contemporary fireplace arrangement. Another handy way to present your luminous new fireplace is with a fire glass burner. This type of burner lays flat inside the hearth and is structurally ideal for filling with your desired shade of fire glass for a sparking finish.

Choosing your Media

Choosing Your MediaSmoldering River Rock Fire Stones and Pacific Blue Reflective Fire Glass.

After you have your burner in place, it is time to add your media. Like I mentioned before, your fire media will completely depend on what mood you would like to set for your home. If you want a luxurious and modern fireplace, fire glass is the perfect choice. Even when your fireplace is unlit, the glass will shine and accent your color palette seamlessly. Coordinating your glass with your decor will also incorporate a personalized touch to your hearth to bring the entire room together.

If you have your heart set on the visual appeal that natural stone or rock provide, there are plenty of ways to go about it. Fireplace stones, rocks, balls, and other shapes come in convenient sets to place inside or around your burner. Lava rocks are jagged and textured, so they work well within edgy or contemporary atmospheres. Smooth river rocks are ideal for neutral and calm environments whereas various fire shapes are more structured and tend to look better in a modern setting.

If you'd like to keep the appearance of a wood-burning fireplace without all the cleanup, adding gas logs atop your burner is an excellent solution. These life-like logs come in different sizes, arrangements, and natural wood shades. To build on the effect, adorn your fireplace with ceramic acorns, wood chunks, and even realistic crackler boxes to get the full effect of roaring and popping lumber.

You now have an incredible gas fireplace! Finish off your masterpiece with glass doors so that when your fire is out, the heat stays in. Time to kick back on the sofa with a drink and enjoy the warmth and comfort of your improved living space. If at any time during this process, you need some advice or a professional, please feel free to call (866) 578-8538, email us info@starfiredirect.com, or chat with one of our experts live on the Starfire Direct website.

Header Image: A gas fireplace installed by Starfire Direct using an H-burner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Derr



6 comments

  • Starfire Direct | Dec 05, 2018

    Lois,
    Thank you for your question. This can be a case by case situation. Some log burners will work with fire glass, where others might not be compatible. Burners intended for log sets tend to have more height, which in turn will cause you to need a lot more fire glass to cover them. The H-Burner is only 1" tall so you only need approximately 2" of fire glass to cover it completely. The H-Burner can also produce more heat and a higher flame than a traditional gas log burner in most cases. If you would like us to confirm that your burner can be used with fire glass, you can always email a picture of your burner to info@starfiredirect.com and one of our knowledgeable sales reps will help you get everything you need to convert your gas fireplace from logs to glittering fire glass. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Lois Spritzer | Dec 05, 2018

    Do I need to change out my burner to switch from logs to fire glass or is it just a question of aesthetics?

  • Sasha Hudson | Nov 25, 2018

    Dear Ken,
    Unfortunately, our H-Burner will not be compatible with your Heatilator NDV4842I-B mode Fireplace. Your Fireplace is a very specific firebox insert and those cannot be modified. We recommend you contact the manufacturer first before doing any type of modifications. I was able to pull up the Manual online for your fireplace and it can be unsafe modifying your Fireplace;

    “WARNING! Risk of Fire and Electric Shock! Use ONLY
    Hearth & Home Technologies-approved optional accessories
    with this appliance. Using non-listed accessories
    could result in a safety hazard and will void the warranty. "
    Home Owners Manual Link:
    https://downloads.hearthnhome.com/installManuals/2382_981.pdf

  • Ken | Nov 25, 2018

    I have a natural gas Heatilator NDV4842I-B model. It is currently using gas logs. I want to replace it with fireglass. A H-burner seems to be what I need for this task. I realize the warrantee will be voided if I do this but I do have a few questions. First can I even install a H-burner to this type of fireplace? Does fireglass burn hotter than gas logs? I realize the H-burner probably will cause it to burn hotter. I can control the amount of gas going to the burner via gas value.
    Thanks
    Ken

  • Sasha Hudson | Nov 02, 2018

    Larry,
    Thank you for contacting us, to determine what type of fireplace you have we ask these series of questions.
    Is your fireplace Vented or Vent-Free? In other words if you wanted to can you burn real wood in your fireplace? If the answer is yes, you have a vented fireplace. Another questions we ask is what type of fuel, natural gas or propane? With a vented natural gas fireplace you can purchase our H-Burner Kit. If you have a vented fireplace but you are on propane you will need a burner and a pan with a safety pilot kit that is required by law. You cannot install a fan/blower into a vented gas fireplace, it will be unsafe and defeat the purposed of a vented fireplace. Fans/blower can only can be installed in a vent-free or direct vent fireplace. If your home smells like gas while having the fireplace on I would turn it off contact a fireplace installer/gas plumber right away. Your fireplace might have a leak and it might not be safe.

  • Larry Moore | Oct 29, 2018

    I’m assuming that you can, or should add glass doors, plus, is there a way that a fan can be added to help spread the warmth?
    I have an older tri-level home with a fireplace that I’m thinking of adding a 30" H burner, I’m hoping this will help keep my daylight family room more comfortable. At one time I had a insert installed which worked very well but the cost and mess of wood wasn’t desirerable. Also, has there been any issues with a lingering gas smell?
    Thank you
    Larry
    Boise, Idaho

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