How to Choose Gas Fireplace Logs

5 Minutes  |  May 1st, 2023

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Gas fireplace logs are one of the primary visuals that catch the eye other than the flames or trim, so it’s essential to research and choose the most suitable set of logs that match your style. Not only for looks, choosing the correct log set is essential to maximum heat outputs, cost, and efficiency of your gas fireplace.

It is important to note that while some gas fireplaces allow you to customize the log type, you will also find that many manufacturers do not offer different kinds of materials within their fireplaces but rather different media styles such as birch, driftwood, rocks, etc. Make sure to check what your options are when browsing different suppliers.

The most crucial point to remember is that the overall goal is to find a set of gas fireplace logs that will best fit your needs, style, and aesthetic preferences. This step-by-step guide will provide you with five key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a gas log set for your fireplace.


What Are Gas Fireplace Logs Made Of?

Gas fireplace logs

Gas fireplace logs are generally made of ceramic fiber, refractory ceramic, or refractory cement, all modeled to look like natural wood or materials. Each type of log material is rated to withstand high heat, and most log sets are made to last many years.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Gas Fireplace Logs

Types of Gas Fireplace Logs

When choosing logs for your gas fireplace, venting is a significant point to consider, as it can also affect the amount of heat outputted. Depending on your fireplace setup, you will need vented or ventless logs and you’ll want to choose the log set that works for your fireplace type.

Vented Logs

To achieve a more realistic fireplace experience, vented gas logs will provide you with the best visuals. Vented gas logs better resemble a real burning wood fireplace, with increased glow throughout the logs. The downside is that vented logs lose heat generated as it escapes through the chimney.

Ventless or Vent-Free Logs

When it comes to heat output, a vent-free log set won’t lose heat through the venting system, and overall, you will find a better result in heating capacity and efficiency. Ventless gas logs radiate heat back into the room where they’re used.

* Please be aware that indoor ventless gas fireplaces cannot be sold in Canada.

Types of Fireplace Fuel Types

When choosing a gas, wood, or electric fireplace, know the different fuel types available. Different fuel types will affect the overall flame picture. A gas fireplace usually has log sets that burn with natural or propane gas. Electric fireplaces, on the other hand, use electricity to heat. Additionally, you can use almost anything within the firebox. Wood and pellet are additional forms of fireplace fuel options.

  • Natural gas is a clean-burning fossil fuel available in vast quantities throughout North America and delivered to homes via an extensive pipeline network.
  • Propane gas is a colorless, odorless, nontoxic LPG containing more heat value than natural gas.
  • Electric fireplaces are electrical appliances that mimic a real fireplace using LED flames and a heater.
  • Wood can be used in wood-burning fireplaces or traditional masonry fireplaces.
  • Wood pellets can be used in wood pellet fireplaces. Pellets burn very efficiently.

Realism And Aesthetic Appeal

Bring warmth to your home with a stylish gas fireplace. Style should always be considered when choosing the logs for your home’s fireplace. Driftwood, birch, rock and shale, and many other options allow you to choose a gas log style that sticks closely to your style.

Once you’ve decided on the log type that is best for your fireplace, choosing a liner or trim to compliment your choice can bring the whole look together. These decisions will help make your fireplace stand out.

Valor G3-5 gas fireplace insert

How To Measure The Size of Gas Logs

When measuring your fireplace to see which log set will fit your unit best, consider these measurements to get an accurate picture of what you need.

  • First, start by measuring the front width of your gas fireplace.
  • Second, measure the width at the back of your gas fireplace.
  • Third, measure the depth from the front to the back of your gas fireplace.
  • Fourth, measure the height from the top to the bottom of the front of your gas fireplace.
  • Fifth, measure the height from the top to the bottom of the back of your gas fireplace.

These measurements will help you narrow down the log types and sizes available for purchase. Please refer to the sizing information in the fireplace manual for a more accurate measurement. Find it through the manufacturer’s website.

It's also a good idea to consult with an authorized fireplace dealer in your area to ensure the logs you choose will be compatible with that specific fireplace.

Gas Fireplace Log Material

Gas fireplace log material

Consider the following material log set options when researching a gas fireplace for your home:

  • Ceramic fiber logs are the most affordable and lightweight among the options for fireplace log sets.
  • Refractory ceramic gas log sets can last longer due to the high heat rating. They won’t fade over long-term use. They can also be used in vented and ventless fireplaces.
  • Refractory cement sets can range in price and tend to look the closest to natural wood, which can be a vital consideration from a style viewpoint. However, refractory cement does tend to crack under extremely high heat. These sets may not have the longevity of the others listed.

Valor G3 V-Class Gas Insert

Considering these points above can help you choose the best logs for your fireplace for efficiency and style. These details can help create a cozy and warm atmosphere in your home for years.

For a broader understanding of gas fireplaces explore our Ultimate Guide to Gas Fireplaces.

Didn't find what you need? Return to our Fireplace Blog to learn more.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of gas logs are best?

Answer: Ceramic gas logs found in direct vent gas fireplaces will provide you with energy-efficient, long-lasting radiant heat and a more realistic flame picture. Vent-free logs are a more efficient gas log and don’t lose heat generated up a chimney.

Which gas logs produce the most heat?

Answer: A ventless gas log set provides the most heat and overall efficiency, as you are not losing any heat up the chimney. That said, modern direct-vent gas fireplaces with ceramic logs are fantastic heating sources and often provide additional heat management options for the home.