The Wonderful, Sparkling, Vibrant World of Fire Glass!

Sizes, Shapes, Colors and Brands Explained

At Starfire Direct, we sell a lot of fire glass. Despite our enormous selection of fire pits, fireplaces, barbecues, and anything else a home could possibly need, fire glass is our number-one seller. Maybe it's because we carry such a comprehensive array of colors and styles that there's just no reason to shop anywhere else. In fact, with so much to choose from, you might end up with a bit of choice anxiety. To calm your nerves, the following is a breakdown of what's available in the world of fire glass.

1/2" Titanium Reflective Fire Glass (left) shown with 1/4" Titanium Reflective Fire Glass (right), both by Starfire Glass.

SHAPES & SIZES

Fire Glass is more than a pile of broken glass. From ¼" fragments to 1" chunks, the size of your glass affects color, shine, and gas flow. The smallest pieces are 1/4" and produce the most vibrant sparkle and the deepest hues. You might choose 1/4" glass if you want a very reflective, deeply colored, exciting visual experience from your fire pit. The next size up is 1/2" broken glass. Although reflective and colorful like its smaller counterpart, 1/2" glass delivers a more elegant spectacle. 1/4" and 1/2" granules of glass are irregular in shape and fall together the way decomposed granite, or gravel, might.

Fire Diamonds (left) and Fire Beads (right), both by Starfire Glass, are shape alternatives to broken glass.

But, if our popular broken style isn't your cup of tea, there are a couple more gems for you to consider. Uniformly shaped glass, in decorative beads or diamonds, adds another level of design to your new fire pit or fireplace. Shaped glass usually presents a reflective, marble-like surface, though a few come in matte finish. Three-sided diamond shaped pieces are like smooth, triangular rocks. Beads (also known as drops or gems) are like flattened marbles; picture colorful, shiny Junior Mints! Shapes are the largest type of fire glass. This choice is useful not only for its bold design statement, but for the space that naturally occurs between the larger pieces, promoting a healthy gasflow for gas to produce flame.

Reflective fire glass (left) has a shiny coating while standard fire glass (right) does not.

GLASS SURFACE

½" and ¼" broken glass fragments are available in reflective (mirror-like) and non-reflective (matte) finishes. Glass with a reflective surface is first laminated with a mirrored layer before it's broken. As you might imagine, reflective surfaces sparkle more vividly than matte surfaces, though both shine with rich color. So, if 1/4" reflective glass is on one end of the vibrancy-and-sparkle spectrum, then 1/2" matte glass is on the other. Matte glass pulls light in, rather than reflecting it, and creates a more tranquil, traditional ambiance.

1/2" Pacific Sky Pre-Mixed Fire Glass by Starfire Glass offers multiple colors for your fire's flames.

STARFIRE GLASS

We believe in being green! Our broken glass media products are the result of repurposed tempered glass. Tempered glass is created when sheets of glass are put through a process called tempering which heats them to 1,148 degrees, then cools rapidly, to increase their strength to 4 or 5 times that of regular glass. When tempered glass is broken, it shatters into small pebbles rather than shards. Even so, the use of gloves is recommended when handling any fire glass, as some edges may still be somewhat abrasive. Surrounded by dancing flames, the many facets of the glass pieces reflect the light and truly sparkle. This pleasing spectacle serves the dual purpose of hiding the necessary, but somewhat unsightly, burner that produces flames in your fire pit or fireplace. Starfire Glass is safe for use with propane or natural gas, and no harmful fumes or vapors are ever emitted. Starfire Glass is available in 1/4" and 1/2" broken pieces as well as smooth 1" diamond and ½" bead shapes, and comes in a rainbow of 14 colors as well as 10 beautiful premixed blends made up of 1/4" or 1/2" pieces.

To see some colors in person, have a 1/2" Glass Sample Kit  or 1/4" Glass Sample Kit sent to you.

Still feeling a bit overwhelmed? Fear not! Free fire glass samples take the guess work out of matching your vision. When you order the free sample kit, you can choose five of your favorite Starfire Glass products which we will send to you for closer inspection. Try out the colors against the finish of your fire feature to determine which one has the best contrast, the best harmony. If you just can't narrow it down to five choices, for $19.99 you can purchase a 1/2" or 1/4" fire glass kit containing 12 of our most popular styles. Once you've made your decision, you can purchase Starfire Glass in one-pound increments. Use our handy Fire Glass Calculator to determine the amount required for your fire pit or fire feature.

AMERICAN FIRE GLASS

Fondly referred to as AFG in the industry, American Fire Glass is a is a trusted manufacturer of high quality fire glass and we are proud to offer their glass products alongside our own. Available in both reflective (called Premium) and matte (called Classic) surfaces, AFG glass is offered in 1/4" and 1/2" broken styles, as well as smooth beads, chunky zircon, and twice-recycled matte beads. For those who like a mix of colors, AFG offers 6 pre-mixes and an array of dazzling colors to suit your tastes. Although all fire glass sold on Starfire Direct is technically recycled, AFG's special "Recycled Glass" is made up of post-industrial glass that has been melted down and dyed with brilliant colors for those looking to take eco-friendly to the next step. This chunky glass has an irregular, matte surface. And finally, AFG's Zircon fire glass comes in large, diamond-shaped 1" pieces. Available in several beautiful colors, each with a lustrous shine, Zircon glass is guaranteed to withstand the high temperatures produced by your firepit or fire feature.

REAL FYRE

Real Fyre, an RH Peterson Company, offers their own Fyre Glass which is available in fifteen different shades of reflective and non-reflective broken style, ten shiny gem colors (also known as beads and drops), and seven nugget (diamond) offerings. Although Real Fyre glass is well-known in the market for its use in fireplaces, it is equally splendid in any fire pit or fire feature. And Real Fyre sells their glass in 5, 7.5, and 10 lb bags so you can order exactly what you need.

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

Whatever color and style you choose, vibrant, eco-friendly fire glass will bring new life to your fire pit, increase its heat output, and disguise it's less than graceful inner workings. Some of our imaginative customers have found alternate uses for our glass. We've received photos of Starfire Glass in mosaic sculpture as well as fish aquariums and landscaping. If you have an out-of-the-box idea for our glass, we'd love to hear about it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Butt



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