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How Does Fire Glass Work? Choosing An Outdoor Fire Table

How Does Fire Glass Work? Choosing An Outdoor Fire Table
By RST Brands
January 29, 2019

Whether you’re looking for a way to chill with friends on a cool summer night or you want to enjoy a brisk evening around the fire in the winter, a fire table is a great way to take your backyard ambiance up a notch. And once you start shopping around, you quickly notice that many fire tables come with fire glass. So how does fire glass work? What is fire glass made of, and are fire pit tables safe?

Get all the details in our guide to fire glass—including safety tips, money-saving suggestions, and more.

How Does a Fire Table Work?

While it’s tempting to throw a few logs in a bin and get the party started, you quickly realize that smoky hair and huge flames are not a great look for your next social gathering (and they’re not very safe, either). Enter: the fire table. So how does a fire table work?

Fire tables run off of gas, fueled either by an underground gas line or from a propane tank. When the gas burners are lit, you get a warm and inviting flame—but because most people would rather look at something prettier than a gas burner, fire glass is used to keep the burners out of sight. This is tempered glass that has been specially made for safe handling and burning.

Does Fire Glass Get Hot?

Like a moth to the flame, you may be tempted to pick up some of that sparkling glass. But hello! Yes, fire table glass can get extremely hot. In fact, many people choose to use fire glass because it produces more heat than a standard gas log. So sound the alarms and repeat after me: NO touching the fire glass.

Do Fire Pit Tables Keep You Warm?

Fire glass may get hotter than fake wood logs, but if you’re new to the world of fire tables, that may not be a very telling comparison. So do fire pit tables keep you warm? You betcha—but here’s some more intel to help you get the picture: propane-fueled fire tables get hotter than natural gas fire tables. But neither option gets as toasty as a traditional wood-burning fire pit. 


Still, you’ll probably find your fire glass table to be plenty hot. Most fire tables can reach a maximum of 100,000 BTUs (the standard for heat measurement), but 60,000 BTUs is considered to be quite a bit of heat.

How to Light Fire Glass in a Fire Pit

Does fire glass burn? And does fire glass need gas? Nope, fire glass isn't flammable. When you light up that fire pit, you're not actually going to light the glass like you would a pile of tinder and wood.


To light your fire glass, all you need to do is install it in your outdoor fire table and light your fire feature by turning the gas knob on and igniting it using an extended lighter. Once lit, the fire should rise evenly among your collection of stunning fire glass, making it appear as if it's on fire. Ooooh, ahhhh...the wonders of modern technology!

Should Fire Glass Cover the Burner?

Wondering if fire glass should cover the burner? Yes, it’s A-OK to place some of the glass directly over the burner—just use only enough to hide the burner from view. Air is lighter than propane, so the gas needs to disperse close to the flame to keep the fire ablazin’.


Can You Use Fire Glass Instead of Lava Rock?

Fire glass is a fab alternative to lava rock and can be used to freshen up the look of your outdoor fire table and patio set. Sure, it costs a little more than lava rock, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Fire glass produces more heat and distributes heat more evenly in comparison to lava rock.


If you have a beautiful outdoor fire table that is often surrounded by company, go all out. Carpe diem! Get that fire glass and enjoy the contemporary vibe and higher-quality performance.

Can You Use Glass Marbles in a Fire Pit?

Listen: You’ve got a big ol’ burning bowl of fire surrounded by your loved ones. Please don't take the gamble of guessing what is or isn't safe to burn.


Fire table glass is tempered glass that has been made safe to handle and use in your outdoor fire table. Glass marbles are not tempered and can be dangerous to use. Don't risk harming your friends and family by putting other kinds of glass and wild card materials in your fire pit. It ain’t worth it!

Can You Put a Fire Table on an Outdoor Rug?

Now you’re wondering if you can put a fire table on an outdoor rug? Refer back to the playing with fire speech.


So here’s the deal: Most propane fire tables do not radiate heat downward, meaning it might be okay to place an outdoor rug underneath. Still, remember that a rug is a seriously combustible material, and if you’re going to make this move, it should be done with extreme caution (and lots of research).

Can You Roast Marshmallows Over a Gas Fire Table?

Almost all of life’s most memorable occasions include some really great food. And when you’re planning your outdoor soiree, you probably want to know: Can you roast marshmallows over a gas fire table?

That’s gonna be an enthusiastic yes. Get that cute s’more bar going because gas fire tables are totally clear for ‘mallow roasting.


Considerations When Choosing a Fire Table

You love the vibe of a fire glass table. Now you know that fire tables are safe, warm, and ready for roasting. But before you take the plunge, make sure you check out these final considerations.

  • Select an outdoor fire table and the right color of fire glass to accent your outdoor furniture set.

  • Think about how many guests you're likely to have over at one time, then buy the right size of fire feature that will allow room for the whole crowd.

  • You made an investment, now protect it! When your fire table is not in use, keep it safe with a quality cover made from durable materials.

Shop Fire Tables from RST Brands

When it comes to finding the best filler or rock for your outdoor fire pit, fire glass is a great option. But before you add the finishing touches to your fire table...well, you actually need to invest in one. Head to RST Brands to learn more about the best fire features for your yard, then shop a wide selection of fire tables that are well-suited for any space.