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Lava Rock is inexpensive when compared to fire glass. You could use a one inch deep lava rock layer to initially cover your burner pan. This will reduce the glass depth needed by one inch. Using this method can reduce the cost of your fire display significantly.
Using lava rock as a base material does have a single draw back. It will cause some soot build up on your fire glass. So periodically you may need to remove your fire glass and rinse off the soot. Be sure to allow the glass to completely dry before placing it back over the lava rock.
Instead of lava rock you can always use a less expensive fire glass for an initial layer. Then place your chosen color(s) over the "filler" glass. An example would be using clear glass underneath our reflective gold glass. While this does not reduce the cost as significantly as lava rock, it also does not cause any additional soot build up on the fire glass.