How to use Lava Rocks for a Fire Pit & Gas Fire Pits

Lava rock is formed naturally as volcanic magma is raised up to the surface. It then cools and then releases gases. This gives the rock its rough appearance. 

They’re naturally resistant to extreme temperatures, which makes them perfect for the gas-fire pits. We’ll talk about how to use lava rock to make fire pits!

Why use Lava Rocks?

They have a rustic look. natural lava rocks for flames are a very popular option and are also a great option in an indoor gas fireplace. 

Sandstone rivers’ natural rocks, natural rocks, and gravel aren’t ideal as gas pits as they tend to break or explode when heated to a high temperature. The Lava Rock is a safer alternative and has numerous advantages.

Heat Retention

Lava rocks excel in this and spread heat evenly for long periods of time. This is extremely useful in gas fireplace pits, which provide constant heat all the time with no cold areas.


The lava rocks inside your pit (about three to four inches) will protect the burning element of your fire pit in any weather condition. Because lava rocks are water-resistant it helps in transferring water to the drainage system of your fire pit.

Protect the Burner

When you ignite the fire pit with gas it moves the gas through the cracks in the volcanic rock and keeps the flame burning at the top. The heat and flame are on top of your fire pit. The lava rock shields the burner from this extreme heat since it has great insulation properties. This allows the burner to perform better and prolongs its lifespan.


Because of its volcanic origins, lava rock is able to endure extremely high temperatures and not break or be damaged. It requires minimal maintenance and is very robust, which means it can be used over and over. 

It is environmentally friendly, light and does not contain any chemicals or additives, and retains its color over time. It’s also affordable. If your lava rocks are exposed to sunlight for long durations It is a great idea to cover the fire pit when it is not using it.

How To Arrange Lava Rocks On A Gas Fire Pit

Before you begin arranging the lava rock in your fireplace, you must follow some steps you need to follow.

When you receive your rock for your fire pit from the seller Be aware that there could be dust in the bag due to the way that the rocks are procured as they are sourced from a lava field, then crushed.

Many people spread pea gravel (or sand) on the floor of their pit first (about one inch) to create a base, and then put the lava rock over it.

The majority of fire pits require between two to 4 inches of rock lava. Every fire pit is unique and will come with guidelines on the amount needed.

It’s an excellent idea to make small lava rocks as your first layer of rock in the fire pit made of gas. Fill the pit just beyond the burning element. 

The fire rock pieces that are tightly bonded provide an excellent base for the next layer of either lava rock or fire glass for instance if you are able to afford it.

It is important to calculate the amount of fire pit rock you’ll need to purchase. It will be determined by the design of the fire pit as well as the necessary depth of the rock.

Lava rocks that are suitable for fire pits are available in various dimensions (usually between 1/4 inch to 6 inches ), and some colors – usually black or red. Lava rock that measures between 1 and 3 inches wide is the most popular option for fire pits.

Only use real lava rock to make gas fireplaces. Do not use fake lava rock specifically designed for use in plants or in gardens.

If you ignite the gas flame it is possible to move the rocks carefully with a wooden poker. This can assist in getting the flames in a shape that you’re happy with. 

When you first make use of your lava stone be sure to stay away from the pit until around 30 minutes after you have lit it. 

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Lava rock is newly lit and may have tiny amounts of moisture that needs to be burned out. The lava rock can emit the sound of a “popping” sound. Keep your distance from your firepit until the sound ceases to occur further.

In general, don’t make use of lava rock that is wet in your fire pit because it could explode or fall from the fire pit and injure people or pets around.

It is possible to put ceramic logs over red lava rock if would like. This will create the appearance of a real log fire since the lava rocks permit the flames to flicker within the logs.

What Are The Alternatives To Lava Rock?

Although lava rock has many benefits, some dislike its appearance and may think it’s too rustic. It’s not a large selection of sizes or colors that are available, so you might consider alternatives.

Fire Glass

This isn’t glass like you’ve come to know it since normal glass gets excessively hot inside a flame pit and go up in flames and explodes.

These crystals of fire are tempered through a process to ensure they are safe from fire and heat-resistant to withstand extreme temperatures. Fire glass beads do not melt, burn, or discolor. It is also non-smokeless and doesn’t emit any smoke or ash.

Glass beads for firepits appear different from lavas rock since they feature smooth polished surfaces and are sparkly. They can also intensify the flames of your firepit. It causes the flames to flash, sparkle, and shine brightly, especially on extremely dark evenings. 

It can be quite exciting. Fire glass beads are usually smaller than lava rocks and are more uniform in form, which permits them to distribute heat in a uniform manner.

As lava glass gets heated it generates an extremely effective and efficient heating source because of its reflective properties. As with lava rock glass is a very efficient conductor of heat.

Glass for fire pits comes in a variety of sizes and colors, making it possible to mix and mix and match.

The most commonly used form for the fire glass that you can use in your fire pit outside is a mound, which is slightly higher towards the middle.

A lot of people choose to place fire glass over the lava rock that they have already put on the pit for burning. This is totally acceptable and economical since fire glass is more expensive than lava rock. 

If you’ve got the funds for this the lava rock and fire glass are a good match and ensure that it is well distributed and important elements of your fire pit are safe and you have more designs in your pit. If you opt for this option of layering make sure that the firepit is stocked with around 20-25% of fire glass.

If you are using fire glass as your top layer, and lava rock in the bottom, you need to arrange the fire glass in a way that it is thick enough so that the lava rock will be nearly inaccessible. If you opt for darker fire glass, it will cover the lava rock more effectively.

Fire glass is a durable lifespan, but it can lose some of its shine as time passes. The beads of fire glass do occasionally chip.

The fire glass can display dirt and soot much more than lava rocks, and you’ll need to clean your fire glass beads frequently. It is necessary to take the glass fire beads and then wash them (you can make use of dishwashing soap) thoroughly before drying and rinsing the beads. 

This is the perfect opportunity to get rid of any debris from the fire pit and wash your burner’s pan.

Tumbled Lava Rock

This is a lava stone with the rough edges taken away, which means they’re more smooth and uniform in form as opposed to traditional lava rocks. 

Make use of this as a base in the event that you would like or fill your fire pit with it.


Sand could be a good alternative to fill the gas pit. It can be combined alongside lava rock and/or flame glass used on its own. It won’t have such a beautiful appearance, however, it is cost-effective when you are budget-conscious and easy to set up. 

It is also effective in the distribution of heat. Ash may get mixed in the sand it can cause a mess particularly if it is wet and needs replacement.


It is a cheap fire pit that is heat resistant and simple to set up that you can use for your outdoor firepit. But it has a number of disadvantages. The ash that you burn may get mixed in the dirt, and create an unintentional mess.

It can be hard to clean up once it is wet. You’ll need to get it out and clean it. This is an expensive option to maintain.

Firepit Safety

Fire pits can add warmth and aesthetics to your yard. For some, they bring back memories of beautiful evenings around the campfire in the country. 

Keep in mind that safety is a crucial factor when it comes to fire because of its nature. There are several important aspects to keep in mind to ensure that your fire pit experience is secure:

  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand and ensure that it’s in good condition.
  • Wear gloves to protect yourself when you are handling your fire pit
  • Be sure to be familiar with any local laws governing fire pits.
  • The manual is included in your fire pit and follows the directions
  • Find the fire pit away from your garage, home, or outhouse, and away from branches that hang over power cables or power sources. It must be located in a well-ventilated location.
  • Don’t leave the fire unattended. Also, make sure that children are away from the fire pits
  • Don’t use your firepit in very windy weather.
  • Use only fire starters that are recommended and keep the size of your flame smaller, at first.
  • Make sure you put out the flame completely once you are done with it
  • If your lid is on, you should cover the firepit after the fire is out
  • Make sure you clean up the debris around your fire pit regularly
  • Make sure you do not place anything that is flammable close to your fire pit
  • Cleanse the fire pit and the burners frequently to avoid any obstructions
  • If you can smell gas close to your firepit Don’t use it. Examine for gas leaks and then contact your gas provider or the fire department if you’re unable to turn off the leak.
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Safety in the event of a fire is the most crucial aspect when it comes to owning a gas-fire pit, so if have pets or children who are small or are just getting started with managing fires, make sure you are taking extra steps to prevent harm or death.

What Does Lava Rock Do For a Fire Pit?

Lava rocks work great for a pit fire since they spread the flames out dispersing the heat and creating a pleasing appearance. 

The heat from the burner is directed upwards, but if put a layer of lava rocks in the fire pit and spread the heat around the burning source.

Since the heat has been radiating from the hot rock You’ll experience that beautiful feeling of a campfire when you are sitting in front of your firepit. 

In addition but if you’ve got an electric fire pit it’ll appear much more real.

Can You Use Lava Rocks in a Wood Burning Fire Pit?

Yes, you can utilize the lava rocks to make your fire pit that burns wood. They assist in dispersing heat and also create an extra layer of protection to protect the fire pit. They also shield your fire pit from scorching hot areas which may eventually cause cracks.

Place a thick layer of lava rocks at the bottom of the pit. approximately four to five inches away from the top is ideal. It is important to ensure that there is enough drainage. 

Then, you can add the logs over the lava rocks and take pleasure in the even heat from the fireplace.

Can You Use Lava Rocks in a Propane Fire Pit?

Lava rock is perfect for propane fire pits because they are able to withstand extreme temperatures. They can also be useful by other means, spreading the heat equally.

Along with providing a warm and comfortable atmosphere for all sitting around the fireplace, it helps to prevent hot and cold spots from forming that can cause damage to the material that surrounds the pit. 

Lava rocks assist in creating an evaporation layer on the bottom of the pit and also protect a gas stove from extreme temperatures.

Do Lava Rocks Hold Heat?

Lava rocks are excellent for retaining heat. They produce a beautiful warm, even heat. You’ll have to allow them to cool for at least an hour following the switch-off of the flame, in case you have to move them the rocks or wrap them in.

Is Lava Rock Fire Proof?

It was created from volcanic magma… Lava rock can withstand extreme temperatures, and that’s why they’re great for pits that burn. Some rocks may be smashed or explode when exposed to extreme temperatures, however lavas rock simply carries its heat in a way that it can hold.

How Long Do Lava Rocks Last in a Fire Pit?

Lava rocks are expected to last around 2 years before they begin to show indications of wear. Use the rocks in your fireplace until you see that they are becoming less pliable appearance. 

There are a few ways to extend their lifespan Make sure you don’t move them in a way that is too vigorous (they’ll rub against one another) Don’t let them sit in water for long.

What Can I Do With Old Lava Rocks?

There are a few fantastic uses for the lava rocks that we have in our yard. They can be put in the planters’ base to form that crucial drainage layer. 

Therefore, it’s certainly worth keeping at least a handful of lava from the past and storing the ones in your shed in readiness to be used in the next gardening session.

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It is also possible to mix them with soil to make agro-molds. Because it doesn’t decay like other mulches it’s easy to clean and lasts for a long time. Its porous surface can help in controlling the temperature of the soil.

Where Do Lava Rocks Go in a Fire Pit?

Lava pits are located at the bottom of the pit. A lot of people put pea gravel (or sand) first before laying the lava rock over this. The depth of the layer to be is dependent on the specific fire pit (anywhere from two to five inches).

How Deep Should Lava Rock Be in a Fire Pit? (How Much Do I Need?)

It’s dependent on the specific fire pit you have, so it is important to read the specifications for your particular model. It can range from two to five inches. It is available in sacks from stores such as Lowe’s as well as Home Depot.

What Happens if Lava Rocks Get Wet?

Lava rocks may get wet. You’ll have to ensure they’re dry before placing them in your fire pit because they may explode. It’s an impressive answer but you can stop it from occurring by not heating lava that is wet.

Why do lava rocks explode? The lava is a porous rock that has numerous tiny holes as sponges. The water gets in and, as it heats up, steam is formed. The steam expands the rocks and explodes.

It is possible to prevent this by shielding the firepit from rain and drying the damp rocks prior to lighting the fire. Dry them by setting the burner on low for about half an hour and letting them dry in a controlled manner (kids and pets should be kept in a safe place until the wet rocks “cure”).

Why Are The Lava Rocks Popping in My Fire Pit?

The rocks that lava explode because they hold water within the rocks. The water enters the porous rock through tiny holes and as the rocks become hot, the water transforms into steam. The pressure generated by steam can cause the rocks to explode. popping up.

In the event that you notice a sound but you don’t panic. Just ensure that everyone gets away to the pit when popping ceases. If the rocks are damp they should take around 15-20 minutes to “cure” (dry out). Do not attempt to remove a rock that is popping. Keep your distance as long as the pit is been drained.

Can You Roast Marshmallows Over Lava Rocks?

Lava rock is safe to cook on and that’s why they are featured in a variety of gas barbecues as well as grills. The fire pit during a hot, dry evening in the fall and roasting marshmallows… perfect.

How Do You Start a Fire Pit With Lava Rocks?

Follow these guidelines to begin your fire pit by using lava rock…

If you have a fireplace pit that has a button ignition, you must first remove the rocks surrounding the burner. The gas valve should be opened slightly (check the instructions of the manufacturer) Then press the button to ignite. 

The spark that comes from this will ignite the fire. Make sure you move the lava stones around the flame and adjust the flame with the valve.

In the event that you do not have push-button ignition, you’ll require an extended match. Remove the rocks and then open the gas valve just a more. 

Then, light it using the match and it is possible to control the flame by using the valve. Move the rocks carefully to protect the flame.

Do You Cover The Burner With Lava Rocks?

After the burner has been in flame then you can move the rocks to them (using tongs or gauntlets that are fireproof). The insulating rocks shield the burner from the heat from the flame. 

Also, you must ensure that the remaining rocks are evenly distributed for the greatest result and most efficient heat.

Can I Mix Fire Glass With Lava Rock?

Yes, there is a way to combine fire glass with lava rock inside an open fire pit, and you’ll have a fantastic look. The natural rock and the glossy tempered glass complement one another beautifully and create an impressive and elegant look.

Additionally, fiberglass is much more expensive than lava rock, and diluting it with a lower-cost product will save you some dollars. Keep in mind that the glass component will require more frequent cleaning than rocks do.

Final Words

In terms of how to utilize lava rocks in the fire pit, the lava rocks offer several advantages over other ways of decorating to make gas-fired fire pits. 

Lava rocks are made of lava. This means that they are extremely heat-resistant and are perfect to use in the presence of a fire, particularly when lit by gas. 

the presence of lava rocks inside your gas fire pit serves as a layer of protection for the elements of the fire pit that are lighter.

Overall they are a sturdy and safe attractive option to use for fire pits with gas! We hope that this guide on how to utilize lava rocks to make a fire pit is useful!

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