Important Note: What you are about to read on this page is information about ceramic gas logs that were made by Glo Fire. Unfortunately, this company is no longer in business, so this type of log is no longer made in the United States. We have kept this information on our site because a lot of people are still searching online for ceramic gas logs and wanted to help you realize that they are no longer available, while still preserving their history.
The next best thing to what was formerly "Kiln Fired Ceramic" when it comes to gas logs is called "Refractory Ceramic", which is made in a completely different process that is much more affordable and ultimately produces a gas log with similar characteristics. Refractory Ceramic basically takes kiln fired clay in a powder format and uses it to make refractory cement which can then be poured into rubber molds. This process allows the manufacturer much greater flexibility in creating substantially more realistic appearing logs...in an unlimited variety of shapes and sizes. It also allows for much better coloration of the logs with hand painted highlights and details. The end result is a superior product that looks better and performs in a similar way. Because Glo-Fire had to compete with this newer technology, their product became antiquated and far too expensive to manufacturer, which lead to the ultimate demise of their product.
Here is the ceramic gas log story in it's entirety as it was previously published on our site before Glo Fire went out of business:
There is only one gas log manufacturer in the US that still makes "100% Kiln Dried" ceramic gas logs. That company is Glo Fire, and this is their story.
"To understand the advantage of using ceramic for making gas logs, it is important to know clays and their composition. Throughout history clay has proven to be one of the most durable materials known to man.
There are many different clays, each with specific properties. Glo Fire has chosen a blend of two clays. the first for it's low thermal expansion. This means that during the process of drying and vetrification, when expansion and contraction takes place, this clay creates a low drying shrinkage and consequently eliminates most cracking.
The second clay has been selected for its binding qualities and its plasticity, which aids in the extrusion and molding of the logs. By carefully selecting, grinding and mining the clay, we have developed a clay that will withstand tremendous thermal shocks and heat without the use of wire or steel reinforcing. The temperatures in excess of 2100 degrees that ceramic logs can withstand would destroy cement!
The plasticity of the clay allows for individuality in the art work of each log depending upon the interpretation of the artist. After molding, the logs are placed on racks and air-dried. This slow "dry" helps cure the ceramic log which is later placed in forced-air ovens to further prepare the logs for the kiln. After molding and drying, each log is painted with our special formula that must withstand the same 2200 degree temperature as the log.
From here, each log is place on a car where it takes a 60-hour trip through our 150 foot tunnel kiln. The logs are first preheated, then fired, and finally cooled. Our final step before packing is to burn charred oak ash onto the logs. This process ensures they will glow in your fireplace. By combining extensive research with special clays and other materials, we have created a ceramic log that has unsurpassed beauty and durability. That is why we can say confidently that Glo Fire gas logs are unconditionally guaranteed against destruction by fire and that they will not disintegrate under intense heat and temperature.
We hope that our "Gas Log Story" has helped you to understand a little of the behind the scenes operation that enable us to produce the ultimate in gas logs."
Editors note: The above story was told by the humble folks at Glo Fire who manufacture these wonderful ceramic logs. I must add a personal note from my own experience:
"After being in the fireplace business for over 15 years, we have become one of the largest independent gas log dealers in the United States. We have sold and still do sell many other brands of gas logs. I personally was an installer for several years and put well over 1000 gas logs into our customers homes, many of which were not ceramic. From my experience, the ceramic logs made by Glo Fire are by all means the best logs you can buy if you are interested in heat, durability, and realism.
Not only do they put out substantially more heat than other gas logs, they also get "RED HOT" and glow to a much greater degree than logs that are made of refractory cement. This gives them the look and feel of a real wood fire. Keep in mind that all other logs are either made of plain ordinary cement, or a higher grade refractory cement that may be mixed with clay and other materials, but they are never "kiln" dried.
Don't get me wrong, some of these other logs are quite durable and very realistic in appearance. Even Glo Fire manufactures a line of refractory logs. You'll see examples of some of these other logs here on our site. However, it's the kiln drying process that makes Glo Fire's ceramic logs so special.
You see, since the kiln dried logs can withstand temperatures in excess of 2200 degrees, Glo Fire is able to use a much higher BTU burner that puts out nearly twice as much flame and heat than other logs. Since you get more flame and heat, there is an extra added value and lot more realism that only Glo Fire ceramic logs can create".
Thanks for reading these comments. I hope they have been of some help.