Different Types of Fire Media: Illuminating Your Fireplace


Not only have modern innovations greatly expanded where fireplaces can be installed, cutting-edge technology has dramatically enhanced the aesthetics and design possibilities for today’s contemporary fireplace. Once considered a “cozy” feature of a home or even a necessity for living (e.g. cooking hearths), fireplaces today are constructed to be visually-arresting design elements that help define a space.

Unlike traditional wood-burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces are compatible with a large variety of eye-catching interior media, from polished glass to true-to-life “logs” and “embers.” Let’s explore some of the most popular types of fire media used in modern fireplaces today. 

Ceramic Stones, Rocks, and Pebbles

One of the most elegant media for gas fireplaces, ceramic stones are available in a broad range of shapes and colors and impart an earthy yet contemporary feel. Specially-designed to resist heat, these stones won’t crack, chip, or split, even when exposed to direct flames. Coral sand, river rocks, and Maifan stone are among the many options today. Pebbles are another popular choice. Designed to look just like river rocks, manufacturers today take special care to ensure fire pebbles feature the true-to-life mineral-speckling of granite and other rock types.

Fire Glass

Glass is an ideal medium for fireplaces and fire pits, reflecting light beautifully and creating captivating color and sparkle. Fire glass is available in hues spanning the color spectrum, from Artic blue to champagne to fiery red. The availability of different textures and sizes, including smooth glass beads and chunkier, blunt-edged fragments, provide you with plenty of options for creating your desired look. For the eco-conscious among us looking to reduce their footprint—some manufacturers offer recycled glass options.

Ceramic Logs and Embers

Contemporary fire media technology has made it possible to incorporate the hypnotic look of burning logs and embers with none of the smoke, messiness, or cleanup requirements. Fire logs and embers are typically constructed of heat-resistant ceramic materials in a range of shapes, colors, and textures that mimic the look of natural wood.

Oak, pine, and elm are popular simulated-wood choices, especially for those opting for an earthy, nature-centered design. The best manufacturers offer incredibly realistic-looking ceramic wood logs, with all of the intricate details of the real thing. Embers with signature cracking, splitting, and char marks of burned wood are another popular choice. Those considering a desert-inspired fireplace design might consider incorporating vertically-stacked log sets influenced by the traditional adobe fireplaces of the American Southwest.

Glowing Wool

One of the more unique materials used in gas fireplaces is glowing wool, which creates a glowing, luminescent essence similar to hot embers when placed around the flame area. Glowing wool can be found in a range of colors, including earthy green and tannish-brown hues, grays, reddish-browns, and others.

Ortal Fireplaces: Compatible with Virtually All Fire Media

Ortal fireplaces utilize cool wall technology and heat barrier solutions to keep hearths cooler, maximizing design possibilities around the fireplace opening. Our extensive collection of direct-vent fireplaces can be incorporated into virtually any space, with front-facing, corner, standalone, tunnel, island and curve models available, among others. View our photo gallery showcasing different Ortal fireplace designs.

The ample selection of fire media available today means you can achieve precisely the look you want. Ortal fireplaces are compatible with all fire media types, provided you follow a few simple guidelines—explore the fire media options available through Ortal as well as our guidelines for proper use here.

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