rocks in gass fireplace?

claraserenaMay 22, 2007

WE have a great fireplace, contemporary, set up for gas but we haven't put in the "log". On some home shows I have seen glass used in place of logs--the flame just burns around the glass. I would like to use some rocks from our land--nicely arranged--and have the flames around that. Does it sound doable? Has anyone heard of this? The stones would look great when the FP is not on and I would think also when it is on. If using our rocks would not work, has anyone seen a fireplace with some special kind of rock in it?

I'm new to this forum.

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oruboris

I'm not sure on this one, hope one of the pros will chime in.

If you use smaller stones, it might work. The ceramic logs must be placed *just so* in a gas fp. to prevent the gas from collecting in a pocket then going "WHAM" when it manages to ignite.

The glass works because it is very small. No voids to fill with gas, very even distribution.

If your fireplace is masonry [built from bricks] you have more options than on a pre-made because you can switch to a different burner system easily.

There was a thread here awhile back with some very cool contemporary gas fireplaces using a burner that should come the closest to accomodating your idea. Had to do with double sided gas burners, I think. Will link if I can find it...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 5:44PM
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claraserena

Thanks oruboris! I had not thought of the air pockets/circulation thing. I will try to find the link you are talking about but If you find it please send.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 7:12AM
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ventupete

There's no downside to trying it but you should be aware of a few things. First, many rocks will end up cracking into smaller pieces due to the repeated expansion and contraction caused by the heat cycles - sedimentary rocks and rocks with veins will most likely crack. Granite and similar igneous rocks will likely be okay. Second, they've been doing this for years in outdoor fire pits (commonly called Malibu fire pits) where they place porous volcanic rock over the gas flames. This kind of rock heats up quickly and doesn't crack since it's porous and has room to expand and contract. This flies in the face of the posting above about gas in the cavities - once the flame is burning there is no unburned gas to accumulate and if gas were to accumlate in the lighting process there wouldn't be enough to cause anything more than a little pop, which is less than you get when the flame first lights! Third, I think you may be disappointed in how it looks with the flames coming through the rocks, but you've got nothing to lose by trying - rocks aren't flammable. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 2:51PM
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oruboris

The thing about those volcanic stone is that they are smallish, and pretty uniform in size, not behind glass, and placed over burners specifically intended for that use.

I was imagining [perhaps wrongly] a wide range of stone sizes from pebble to canteloupe. I *did* suggest smaller would be better, should have mentioned uniform as well.

And there is something to loose: if this is a prefabed unit with the burner and glass in place, the very attempt will void the warranty. Also, a rock with moisture inside could shatter with enough force to break the glass. I got hit in the face a few years back when a shard of granite came flying out of the campfire. It was a good sized stone someone had picked up from beside [not in] the stream. Sucker came apart enthusiastically.

Not as risky if its a masonry unit with no glass, but even then I'd want to clear it with the burner builder.

Claraserena, the company I was thinking of is Thermart: Love the look, even if it isn't quite right for me personally.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thermart contemporary fireplaces

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 4:58AM
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tony_rome

Thermart appears to sell the entire fireplace. If you want just the stones I found a company in CA called StoneDecorative. However, a local hearth store representative told me that you cant replace the fake logs. Im not sure about that though...

Here is a link that might be useful: StoneDecorative

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 6:46AM
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