First of all, both fire glass and lava rock are good conductors of heat. Overall, fire glass vs lava rock comes down to personal preference.
However, the reflectivity of the fire glass enables it to absorb the heat better, and thus it can give off more heat.
In addition, fire glass generally comes in smaller, more uniform pieces.
This allows them to disperse heat more evenly, and thus make the surrounding area feel warmer.
Does the Extra Heat Produced …Save You Money?
Starfire Direct explains that you get the heat produced by the flames themselves, plus the additional heat generated off the fire glass pieces.
Essentially, you might be able to reduce the flame size in your fire pit while getting plenty of warmth, therefore reducing your propane gas costs. However, I don’t have the numbers on that…
When given the option, people sometimes choose fire glass over lava rock due to the fact that it heats more efficiently. That said, some people don’t care about the heat difference and prefer the look of lava rocks or faux logs.
What is Fire Glass, Exactly?
Fire glass is not regular glass. Regular glass can heat up and explode. These crystals are “tempered” or “fire rated”. Therefore, it does not burn or melt. It will not discolor either, which makes it a great option for both outdoor fire pits and indoor fireplace beds.
That said, Glaz Chips Fire Glass says that propane gas burns “dirtier” than natural gas. Therefore, a slight film of soot build-up can accumulate on the glass itself. They recommend rinsing down the glass after an extended period of time to clean them.
The Benefits of Lava Rock VS Fire Glass:
Lava has a rustic and natural look. It also has a lower cost. If you purchase a fire pit table that includes lava rocks, you may have no need to switch to glass.
If you like the look of lava rock, yet you want to enjoy more heat, buy smaller rocks. Yes, lova comes in a variety of shapes and sizes – and colors for that matter. Remember, smaller pieces disperse heat more evenly.
Should You Switch to Fire Glass?
Honestly, I think this comes down to personal preference. Consider these questions:
- Do you prefer the look of sparkly crystals as compared to natural, rustic lava rock?
- Does your fire pit already have lava rock? Do you want to spend the extra money to switch?
Here’s another idea: You can combine fire glass with lava rock. If you go half-and-half, you may be able to cut your costs while still enjoying more heat.
How Much Fire Glass Do You Need?
According to The Magic of Fire, a fire pit with 1″ depth and a 24″ diameter needs approximately 24 lbs of glass. Alternatively, a square fire bowl measuring 24″ x 24″ will require a little more: 30 lbs.
If your pit has a deeper fire bowl and you want to save money, they suggest using lava rock as the bottom layer. Lava rock costs substantially less. This strategy lets you fill the space while taking advantage of the increased heat of the fire glass on the top layer.
If you only need a small amount of fire glass, Bond sells a 10-lb jar of Lava Glass in multiple colors (Amber Sunset, Bodega Blue and Crystal Cove). A jar sells for about $20 (unless it goes on sale, that is).
Alternatively, buying smaller container lets you mix and match bead colors without having to buy excess pieces. Of course, you can also use these lava glass rocks in a traditional indoor fireplace because they are heat resistant.
Fire Glass Beads & Squares:
They each come in a variety of colors, plus you can purchase them in pre-mixed color combinations too.
Some even come with a shiny mirrored effect. For example, check out the 1/2″ Bronze Luster fire glass squares. Don’t forget to use Code AFG-J0E0X to get 30% Off your order.