When stores retail fire glass, there are three basic options: 1/4″ fire glass, 1/2″ fire glass, and firebeads. There’s a variety of colors and options in between those three basic categories, but when you are looking to purchase fire glass, it falls into these three basic categories:
1/4″ Fire Glass- the smaller pieces of glass means that when you fill your fire bowl, the glass will fit more tightly together and give your fire pit or fireplace a full and even look. The small pieces will accent your fire’s light, especially at night. With the short, flat surfaces of the glass, it will give your firepit a faint shimmering effect as the glass refracts the fire’s light. Also beautiful during the day when you don’t have a fire going, this is the most popular size of fire glass.
1/2″ Fire Glass- though the glass goes through a refining process to smooth out the sharp edges of the glass, the 1/2″ size comes in larger, more irregular sized pieces. This means that when the glass lays in the fire bowl, the glass doesn’t fit as nicely together as the 1/4″ glass does, so there are more gaps in between each piece. This will help fill your fire bowl faster; however, you won’t get that nice, flat, uniform surface like you do with the 1/4″. The surface will have a textured, rocky look which some people like and some people don’t. Also, the glass will have a “brighter” quality in that the surface on each piece is bigger and thus refracts more the fire light when your fire is going. It will give the flames a “dancing” appearance.
Firebeads- especially refined to be rounded, smooth droplets of glass, many people find the tactile element of this type of fire glass very attractive. Like plunging your hand into glassy water, each bead has a uniform and smooth quality. They fit together more closely than the 1/2″ fire glass, but they don’t lay as flat as the 1/4″ fire glass. When you look at the surface, it has a wavy effect as the rounded edges roll into each other. And because their surfaces are bent, it will refract the firelight in a new way. Not as intensely as the 1/2″ fire glass, the firebeads will still glow with the firelight and look magnificent in the sunlight.
To view examples of all three categories of fire glass, click here.