How to Use Lava Rocks for a Fire Pit?

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how to use lava rocks for a fire pitLook out of the window. What’s up with the weather in May? Rains and winds hit Midland every blessed day. Likewise, similar situations are in Miami, New York, Texas-city. Above all, rainy weather benefits your garden: it gets enough water. So, you can spare time for outdoor family parties. Do you know how to use lava rocks for a fire pit? Small pieces of volcanite make your gatherings warmer and more romantic. They add rustic charm to your fire pit. Read this article to know more about their benefits and use.

Can I Put Lava Rocks in My Fire Pit?

We’ll see hot summer days only in the middle of June. Now, sunny weather is occasional. Late-night gatherings at the best propane fire pit tables give us additional warmth. Fortunately, stay-at-home order doesn’t keep us from spending time in our gardens and yards. We still can’t invite neighbors, friends, or relatives to our private gatherings.

Have a good time with your family members, sitting around a fireplace. It’s relaxing and family-bonding. What to use in the bottom of a fire pit? It should not hold water for long. Suitable, safe liner materials that drain it away include:

  1. Sand.
  2. Dirt.
  3. Lava rocks.
  4. Fire glass.
  5. Gravel.

Why are my lava rocks exploding? It might happen if you select an unsuitable material. Using river rocks or common glass beads in your fire pit is dangerous. They expand under heat. So, the rocks may explode or crack. Regular glass might burst, pop and shoot shards out in your yard.

Dirt and sand are easy-to-install material. They are very affordable, or even free. But what a mess! Your fire pit would require time-taking cleaning and maintenance. Pea-gravel provides efficient drainage. What about heat dispersion? It’s good, but there are better options.

Right Now interesting information about best propane fire pit tables!

Glass vs Lava Rock Fire Pit Materials

Rocks are organic building materials. They are by nature of molten, hardened magma. When it’s outside a volcano, geologists call it lava. It cools down slowly and becomes hard. Lava rocks are very old solid substances. They are available in bulk in the earth’s crust.

Lava rocks are porous, lightweight, vitreous in sunlight. They are rich in minerals, such as magnesium, silica, magnesium, quartz. Householders use lava rocks for fireplace, aquariums, gardening, and landscaping. These materials are decorative, heat-resistant. Unlike fire glass, lava retains and filters water. It removes unpleasant odors. Are there any other differences?

CharacteristicLava RocksFire Glass
Look rustic modern
Size, in. 1/2-11/4- 1/2
Origin natural man-made
Colors black or redvarious
Maintenance high low
Cost lower higher

Fire glass is another suitable option. It’s a man-made material that looks gorgeous and aesthetically pleasant. Firstly, small glass pieces shine, reflecting light and heat. Secondly, they are available in a wide range of colors, including blue, green, bronze, gold, orange. And besides, this material is perfectly decorative and mess-free.

How Does Fire Glass Work?

It’s a perfect substance that consists of tempered glass. So, it doesn’t crack, break or explode. Small glass crystals and pebbles are not sharp. They emit no odors or toxic fumes. Therefore, fire glass is:

  • durable;
  • safe;
  • decorative;
  • heat-resistant.

Can you put a fire pit on wood deck? If you ask the question, you may prefer natural materials. When you follow safety precautions and use a protective base and mat, it’s possible. Fire glass would suit the application. This material consists of smooth, polished pebbles. It doesn’t promote water drainage. But you can use it indoors, in your fireplace. It matches your interior.

Meanwhile, fire glass makes you feel warmer. It disperses heat evenly, radiating 3-4 times more heat than wood fuel itself. Heat resistant rocks for fire pit are less efficient. Small, uniform glass crystals absorb warmth and give it off. It lets you reduce the fire flame size, cutting gas, or other fuel costs significantly.

See What Color Glass Looks Best in a Fire Pit

How to Arrange Lava Rocks on a Gas Fire Pit?

Lava rocks belong to scoria type. It looks like pumice, being porous and lightweight. Lava rocks are decorative and natural. They are commonly either light-colored (red) or dark (black). The rocks add an exotic, rustic touch to your fire pit or garden. If you need some relaxation, you would appreciate this authentic look.

How to place lava rocks in a gas fireplace? A fire pit that works with natural gas or propane is easy to use and energy-efficient. It takes only several seconds to light the flame. Gas produces fewer emissions to the air that charcoal. But it doesn’t get as hot as a wood fire pit. Lava rocks keep the temperature high. It increases up to 500 °F.

To add them, you need only to:

  1. Place rocks on the bottom of the fire pit.
  2. Distribute them evenly on the surface.
  3. Insert the gas ring.
  4. Add more heat-retention material on the top.

Leave the holes in the ring uncovered. Debris should not clog them. Do you have to clean the lava rocks? If you cook outdoors and grease covers them, just flip every rock toward the burners and ignite a flame. Let it burn for about 30 minutes, and turn the fire pit off.

How Much Lava Rock Do I Need for Fire Pit?

When it goes about outdoor cooking, this material is beneficial. The rocks don’t hold heat as long as fire glass does. But it absorbs heat and disperses it evenly. A thick layer of lava rocks makes gas barbecues and grills more efficient. It doesn’t affect the flavor but retains heat.

Can you light lava rocks? They don’t burn. This functional material only looks like charcoal. Its gardening application is very similar. As well as lava rocks, charcoal absorbs moisture. So, you can soak it with a liquid nutrient and put it into the soil.

In a fire pit, lava rocks only absorb and distribute heat. They don’t produce it. But the material is still very efficient. It suits both wood and gas fire pits. Fill up the dish-shaped hole with it. Leave 4 inches at the top for wood. In case of a gas fire pit, 1-2 inches are enough. How much material do you need? It depends on the fire pit depth and diameter, or dimensions.


Using heat retention materials is beneficial. They keep your fire pit hot longer. It lets you save on your fuel and enjoy pleasant, romantic warmth. Both fire glass and lava rocks are beneficial. I prefer the second option. The rocks are versatile. I use them in gardening and landscaping. Lava rocks absorb and drain water. Outdoors, when the weather is damp and cloudy, it’s useful. So, get all the necessary supplies and enjoy your cozy family gatherings.

Expert knowledge. Recent research data. That’s all you need to select the best yard accessory. Outdoor cooking is fun. It’s attributed to great holidays and a friendly atmosphere. It will be even more pleasant and easy with a perfect fire pit or smoker.

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