You have your new fire pit installed; now it is time to consider the different media that are best suited for your fire pit. A major advantage to all media is they do not produce, ash, smoke, or odor.
FIRE GLASS/GLASS BEADS
These are probably the most eye-pleasing decorative toppings for your fire pit. These beads and glass come in a variety of colors and sizes. The glass is heat resistant and you do not have to worry about explosions as is the case with nature-made rock or stone. Be sure to purchase a good quality glass as sold at the online store The Fire Pit Store. These will go a long time without discoloring or fading. They do burn cleanly so your maintenance is very easy.
Fire glass is simply glass that has been tempered to make it harder to break or melt. The edges are smooth and safe to handle. Fire glass does come in reflective or non-reflective types. The reflective glass reflects the light of the fire, therefore, giving it a shine and sparkle as they illuminate. Fire pit glass and beads are uniform and small which enables them to distribute the fire nicely.
Please note that not all glass is usable in a fire. Standard glass can pop shards out of your fire pit that can result in serious harm, not to mention standard glass can emit an odor and smoke. Be sure to purchase glass that is for fire pit use!
Lava rock is natural looking and comes in a variety of sizes and colors with characteristics depending on their formation. Lava rock is inexpensive and used commonly. Lava rock is suited for most all fire pits. The rock does not discolor over time and is a good heat resister. You can purchase pea size lava rock to use as a filler for your deeper fire pit types with the larger rock on top. Do be aware that the lava rock needs to be dry before use. Lava rock is quite porous and can absorb moisture that can force it to crack and explode if wet. Store in a dry area.
These are not your ordinary rock from a river. For fire pit use, we are referring to manufactured multi-colored ceramic fiber rock. The name "river rock" or "fire rock" stems from the fact that river rock colors are used in the manufacturing
process. So this results in a more natural look. Because the river rock is more on the large side, you need to place them in your fire pit in such a way that the fire can be evenly distributed. You can use these in conjunction with other fire pit medium types. Again, be sure you purchase these from a fire pit dealer, for fire pit use. DO NOT USE REAL RIVER ROCK as these can shatter. Some actual rocks from a river absorb air and moisture, so when the rock is heated the air and water molecules that are trapped inside the rock expand faster than the rock itself. The water turns to steam and pressurizes the rock which can cause an explosion. so MANUFACTURED RIVER ROCK ONLY.
All of the aforementioned fire pit media serve to enhance the fire, create a visual appeal as well as the fact it acts to disperse the heat. You will find a huge selection from online stores to meet your specific style.