Modern gas fireplaces have become a standard in Colorado homes. They’re affordable, efficient, cleaner burning, offer almost no maintenance, and can be installed almost anywhere. With their widespread appeal, an entire market has opened up to gas fireplace accessories. These accessories allow you to customize the look and performance of your gas fireplace, virtually replicating traditional wood or going with something completely science fiction and artistic. Also, don’t forget about convenience and ease of use.
Before adding any accessories to your gas fireplace, it’s important to know exactly what kind of fireplace you have. Is it vented or is it ventless? This is imperative to the performance but also the safety of your family and home. Placing decorative logs designed for a vented fireplace into a ventless fireplace may cause soot and other hazardous emissions. Some products may emit gases that need to be properly vented – breathing these gases if introduced to a ventless fireplace can be harmful for your health.
If you are unsure of what kind of fireplace you have, give Alpine Contracting a call or another licensed technician.
Vented gas log sets usually come with either sand or vermiculite. This material is used to set the foundation of your logs and décor, placing these items on top of the bed of sand. Sand or vermiculite also spreads the flame, giving your fire a more realistic burn. When accessorizing, be mindful of the color and coarseness of the sand that you choose. A small touch, but this will create a fireplace uniquely your own. Also, know that over time, this sand or vermiculite may have to be replaced or refreshed.
Lava rocks replicate the look of a bed of coals as wood burns. Their dark color and rough texture mimics the ash and debris of a natural fire. Simply add some lava rocks on top of the bed of sand or vermiculite discussed above. As a bonus, lava rocks hold and radiate heat after the fire has been turned off – providing extended warmth and practical efficiency. Again, lava rock comes in many sizes and several natural colors, but choose something dark or black if you’re trying to mimic coals.
Synthetic embers are fuzzy clumps that resemble steel wool. Usually some are included when you purchase a gas log set, but often an additional package is required to mimic a natural wood-burning fireplace. As the ember react to the flame, they create a glowing and shimmering effect under the ceramic logs. These embers add quite a bit of realism and are a must for those looking to replicate a traditional fireplace.
Ceramic acorns are made from refractory cement – a type of cement with improved thermodynamic properties. Basically, they’re resistant to high levels of heat and will last a very long time in your gas fireplace. These acorns are a personal touch, adding storybook whimsy to your fireplace. When used with the proper design, acorns can be a very fun touch even when the fireplace is not in use.
Much like the acorns above, ceramic pinecones are a personalized touch. They add character to your fireplace. When striving to create holiday memories that will last a lifetime, these small elements finish off a scene. Further, if you’re struggling to disguise your pilot light or remote receiver, small items such as ceramic pinecones might be the best solution.
Similar to the products above, ceramic wood chips and stones add an accent to your design. They can be scattered throughout the bed of the fireplace and give the impression of a true, traditional fire.
Everyone recognizes the cement logs included in most gas fireplaces. What most people don’t know is that there are many choices of what these logs can look like. From mimicking aspen logs, to pine, to oak, and so-on – as well as size, shape, and color variants – ceramic logs can be found to suit any ambiance you’re trying to create.
Departing from trying to replicate traditional fireplaces, fire glass has become immensely popular. Fire glass typically replaces or is mixed with lava rock, forming the bed of your fire. Fire glass is a direct replacement of logs in terms of decoration and heat efficiency. Fire glass comes in virtually any color, is affordable, safe, and lasts a lifetime. Quality fire glass never loses its mesmerizing jewel-like color, luster, or clarity. Fire glass can also be combined with abstract ceramic objects and spheres for a modern take on fireplaces.
From spheres to cylinders and other abstract geometric shapes, these objects take your fireplace into the future. Breaking away from trying to replicate traditional wood-burning fire, these designs mold refractory cement into any scene imaginable. We’ve seen underwater, or aquarium scenes with coral and shells. We’ve seen desert-scapes with sand and pyramids. We’ve seen contemporary scenes suitable for an art gallery with glass and cannonball spheres. The arrangements go on – simply ensure that your refractory ceramic products are suitable to be used in gas fireplaces.
While we’ve covered the aesthetic accessories of gas fireplaces, understand that there are also many convenience accessories for your gas fireplace. From turning the fireplace on and off with the push of a button on a remote, to connecting with your phone, to automatically igniting at a certain time of day, and so on. If you’d like more ideas on how to customize and personalize your gas fireplace, along with some help installing it all properly, give Alpine Contracting a call. One of our Project Managers would be happy to show you all that is available.