Why Use Lava Rock for FirePit?

Would lava rock work well in your fire pit? The use of lava rock in a fire pit, also known as basalt, is not only visually appealing but also has practical advantages.

Lava rocks are an excellent choice for a fire pit because they provide a porous barrier that protects the components from the elements while also requiring little upkeep. It’s also good for your skin.

What Are the Functional Benefits?

Functionally, lava rocks can be used in a wide range of ways.

  • It has a porous surface that acts as a shield.
  • The flame is evenly distributed thanks to this device.
  • Using this device keeps the burner safe from harm.
  • It can withstand high temperatures.
  • It is water-resistant.

It Has a Protective Porous Surface

It is possible for liquids or gases to flow through the rock’s surface if it has a porous surface.

Gas bubbles in the lava flow cause these voids, known as vesicles, to form.

The porous surface of your fire pit allows water to drain away, keeping your lava rocks dry and shielding the fire pit’s bottom from being overheated.

It Creates Even Distribution of the Flame

Fueled by propane, Lava Rocks in a Fire Pit provide even heat distribution throughout the burner pan.

It Shields the Burner from Exposure

Adding a 3 to 4-inch layer of lava rock can protect the burner from a variety of environmental factors.

Because of its inherent insulating properties, it also protects the burner from exposure to direct sunlight. This results in a more durable and efficient fire pit.

It is Heat Resistant

Lava rocks have a heat-resistant quality that protects your gas fire pit.

It is Water Resistant

Lava rock appears to be contradictory in this regard. Because of the rock’s large surface area and high water holding capacity, moisture is readily absorbed.

With all that power comes excellent drainage.

What Are Some Other Benefits?

  • Cleaning is a breeze.
  • It’s easy to look after.
  • It’s built to last.
  • It has a more organic appearance.

It is Easy to Clean

Lava rocks are easy to clean as long as you do so on a regular basis (plus, it makes them safer!).

Lava rocks can easily be cleaned with water. Put them in a bucket, fill them with water, and let them soak for a while.

Even a small amount of mild soap could be added. If dust or other debris is accumulating in the lava rock’s pores, this will help clear it out.

Before lighting your fire pit, make sure the embers are completely dry!

It is Low Maintenance

You get what you put into the lava rock. Lava rocks will last longer if you take proper care of your fire pit.

Keep your fire pit covered so that you will only have to clean your lava rocks every six months to a year at most.

It is Durable

Volcanoes are the source of lava rocks. These stones don’t decompose and don’t need to be replaced on a yearly basis.

It is More Natural Looking

Is there anything more unadulterated than something derived from the earth itself? You can’t go wrong with these rocks for your fire pit because they’re so beautiful.

What is the Life Expectancy of Lava Rocks?

Fire pits can be filled with lava rock as needed. Your fire pit’s grate will need to be replaced every few seasons, depending on how often you use it.

You should clean them on a regular basis to ensure that they are operating at their peak efficiency and are safe for everyone.

What Can I Do With Old Lava Rocks?

We have some old lava rocks in our yard that we use in a few different ways.

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A drainage layer can be created at the bottom of planters using these.

This means that you should keep at least one or two chunks of old volcanic rock stashed away in your shed for future plantings.

Mulch can be made by adding them to the soil and blending them together.

Mulch that decomposes is polluting and short-lived in comparison. According to research, its porous structure helps it control soil temperature.

Can You Burn Wood with Lava Rocks?

Some people wonder if they can use lava rocks to cook with wood. You can burn wood on lava rocks, but you’ll need to be careful.

Using lava rock, cover the top of your fire pit with a few inches of lava rock to protect it.

It’s time to start stacking your logs! Use this lava rock as a barrier to prevent anything from being burned.

Check out our article on the best materials for a fire pit to see what else we have to offer!

Burning wood is against the law in some states and localities. Before you start burning wood, make sure you know the rules in your area.

Can You Roast Marshmallows Over Lava Rocks?

Cooking over lava rocks is perfectly safe, which is why so many gas BBQs and grills use them.

Roasting marshmallows over a fire pit in the fall on a dry evening…

Why Are The Lava Rocks Popping in My Fire Pit?

Because of the trapped water, the lava rocks are exploding.

The tiny holes in porous rocks allow water to enter, which condenses into steam when heated.

Pressure from the steam causes rocks to explode as a result.

Don’t freak out if you hear a popping sound. Make sure everyone is out of the way of the fire until the popping has died down.

The “cure” time for wet rocks is about 15 to 20 minutes (dry out). If you hear a popping sound, do not try to dislodge the rock.

Keep a safe distance from the fire pit until it has dried out completely.

What Happens if Lava Rocks Get Wet?

Before using lava rocks in your fire pit, you’ll need to make sure they’re dry, as they can explode if wet.

Yes, that’s a pretty dramatic answer; however, you can avoid this by simply not heating wet lava.

What causes the lava rocks to erupt? Like a sponge, lava is a porous rock with numerous microscopic air holes. Steam rises from the inside when water is heated.

As a result of the steam, the rock expands and pops.

Protect your fire pit from rain and dry out any wet rocks before lighting the burner to avoid this problem.

Once the rocks have cooled, you can remove them from the burner and let the heat dry them out (children and pets must be kept indoors while the wet rocks “cure”).

Do Lava Rocks Hold Heat?

Heat is retained and distributed evenly by lava rocks because of their high thermal conductivity.

If you need to move or cover them, wait at least an hour after turning off the flame before doing so.

What Are the Different Types of Lava Rocks?

While there are variations in these hues, the following are the most common:

  • Red/brown
  • Black
  • Grey

Lava rocks are also available in a variety of sizes. These sizes range from:

  • The size of the crushed gravel
  • No larger than one inch in circumference
  • 4 inches or more in circumference

The smaller, 1 to 3-inch lava rocks is the most commonly used in fire pits.

What is the Cost-Effectiveness of Using Lava Rock?

The use of lava rock in your fire pit is more cost-effective than the use of alternative materials. Lava rocks, on average, cost $2-3 per pound.

How Much Will You Need?

For your fire pit to work properly, you must use the proper amount of lava rocks in the burner tray. The question is, how do you know how much is enough?

To determine the proper quantity of lava rocks to use in your gas fire pit, consult the owner’s manual that came with your purchase of the fire pit.

Most of the time, this is between two and four inches of lava rock.

Typically, lava rock is sold by the cubic foot or the pound. About 25 pounds are contained in every cubic foot of lava rock.

Make sure you get the right amount of lava rock by measuring your fire pit.

Calculators on the internet can help you figure out exactly how much lava rock you’ll need to fill your fire pit.

For a 24-inch burner plate, you’ll typically need 1 cubic foot of lava rock, and another cubic foot of rock for every 6 inches of plate diameter that you add.

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How Do You Put Together a Fire Pit Using Lava Rocks?

Smaller lava rocks are recommended for the first layer of rock. This will give the subsequent rock layers more support because it will serve as a solid foundation.

Thermal protection is also provided by this method.

In order to get rid of any dust that may have accumulated during shipping, it is recommended that you dump some lava rocks into a bucket and then rinse them.

Put the rocks on a towel and let them air dry for several hours after you’ve washed them.

Lava rocks can be added to the fire pit once it has been properly assembled, including:

  • Placement of a burner
  • The gas line is now hooked up.
  • The plate is being put in its place.

The burner should be completely covered with lava rocks, so don’t pile them up too high around the firepit. Your fire pit is now complete.

What Are the Potential Dangers?

It is possible for lava rock that has been in a fire pit to explode and pop if it is not completely dry.

To avoid this, it’s a good idea to keep your fire pit covered on a regular basis.

Lava rock or any other type of fire pit material can be protected by these custom-made metal covers.

Fire pit materials will last longer and save you money in the long run if you use these.

Prior to lighting your fire pit, you should allow any wet lava rocks to completely cool before doing so.

Make sure your fire pit’s drain holes aren’t blocked and are draining water properly by checking them on a regular basis as well.

There is a risk that water will build up on the bottom of the burner pan, preventing the lava rocks from drying, which could be dangerous.

What is That Smell?

If the smell of a propane gas fire pit worries you, you’re not the only one.

The bottom line is that if your fire pit has been installed correctly and regularly maintained and serviced, it should not smell.

However, what if it does smell bad? If you detect any odor, immediately turn it off and do not use it again until it is serviced.

The smell of rotten eggs could be an indication of a gas leak, which could be hazardous to your health and the environment.

As a result, you should expect to pick up some odors during the curing process. This is a normal part of the installation process, so don’t be alarmed.

Some owners have reported smelling scents emanating from lava rock in particular.

What about a burnt or smoky smell?

If your fire pit is emitting a strong odor, it’s a simple sign that it’s time to dust. Make sure your fire pit has had plenty of time to cool completely before dusting.

You can then wipe down all of the surfaces with a dust rag to remove any accumulated dust.

Because dust can cause heat to build up, it is imperative that you keep your fire pit clean.

How Do You Care for a Fire Pit with Lava Rocks?

The lava rocks in your fire pit should be rinsed at least once a year to prevent dust and debris from building up on the rocks.

What Are Lava Rocks Exactly?

Volcano lava produces igneous rocks known as lava rocks. In time, they become solidified.

In lava, you’ll find chemical constituents as well as minerals.

What Are the Chemical Components?

There are a few primary and secondary constituents in lava rock’s chemical composition. These components are made up of the following:

  • Iron

They actually have a lot of iron in them. The melting point of iron, which was discovered around 3500 BC, is 2800 degrees Fahrenheit! This contributes to the lava rocks’ heat resistance.

  • Magnesium

Magnesium was first discovered in 1755. A temperature of 1202 degrees Fahrenheit is the point at which it completely melts. In order for lava rocks to be ignited and to burn brighter, they need this element.

  • Calcium

The discovery of calcium was made in 1808. It can be melted at a temperature of 1548 degrees Celsius.

This group, which includes both iron and magnesium, is referred to as the ferromagnesian group.

The cooling rate of these ferromagnetic elements is extremely fast.

Silicon and aluminum can also be found in lava rocks. Since then, silicon has been found to melt at 2577 degrees Fahrenheit.

The melting point of aluminum, which was discovered in 1825, is 1220.581 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Are the Mineral Components of Lava Rock?

There are a wide variety of minerals found in lava rocks.

The following are the most prevalent minerals:

  • Pyroxene
  • Olivine
  • Amphibole
  • Plagioclase feldspar
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Minerals such as the following can be found in trace amounts in lava rocks:

  • Hornblende
  • Biotite mica
  • Magnetite
  • Quartz

Where Can You Buy Lava Rocks?

In terms of accessibility, lava rocks are an excellent choice. Shopping for lava rocks is easy. The following are places where you can find lava rocks in person:

  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Walmart
  • Farm supply stores such as Rural King

What Are Alternatives to Using Lava Rocks?

As an alternative to lava rock, various types of glasses can also be used as a fire pit fire starter.

If you have a fire pit, you can use either lava or fire glass.

Lava glass is a type of dark, compressed glass that is formed by volcanic eruptions.

Fire glass is made by humans. Glass creates a glistening and beautiful atmosphere.

Lava rocks can also benefit from an additional layer of this glass on top of them.

Glass, on the other hand, does not radiate heat as effectively as lava rocks, and it will require more frequent cleaning.

If you’re going to use something in your fire pit, make sure it’s approved for that purpose first.

In order to avoid the risk of fire/explosion, you cannot simply use any type of rock or gravel for this purpose.

How to Choose the Perfect Fire Pit for You

When it comes to selecting (or building) a firepit and determining where it should go, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • How do you find the perfect spot for your fire pit?
  • Do you want an in-ground or above-ground fire pit?

How Do You Find the Perfect Spot for Your Fire Pit?

When deciding where to put your fire pit, keep in mind that it needs to be in a well-ventilated area.

Depending on where the fire pit is located, there are conflicting opinions on whether it should be placed indoors or on a covered patio.

Hazard Warning: When a fire pit is not properly ventilated, toxic smoke and hazardous gases, such as carbon monoxide, can accumulate.

There are rules and regulations in your area regarding the placement of your fire pit. Regulations such as these are among them:

  • Combustible structures and materials, like decks or trees, need to be at least 25 feet away from open flames. Approved portable outdoor fire pits can be an exception to the rule.
  • Branches overhanging the fire may require a minimum clearance of 21 feet.
  • In most cases, a fire pit cannot be placed within ten feet of a property boundary.

In addition to the location where you intend to place your fire pit, you must also consider the surface on which you intend to place it.

Avoid putting your fire pit on a wooden surface directly.

Do You Want an In-Ground or Above-Ground Fire Pit?

For in-ground and above-ground fire pits, there is a difference in the location of the fire: whether it’s above or below ground. Which one you choose is largely a matter of taste.

There is less risk of an out-of-control fire when the fire is in the ground rather than above the ground.

How to Build Your Own Firepit

The maximum interior fire pit dimensions are 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high when building your own.

The fire pit will no longer be considered a recreational feature if it is built any larger.

A beautiful fire pit can be built in a day by the average person. You’ll need the following items to build it:

  • Fire-resistant stones and adhesive
  • Lava rocks
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Level/tools to level the ground
  • Tamp

Determine where the fire pit and seating area will be located once you have all of the necessary materials on hand. After that, it’s time to do some digging and leveling.

Using adhesive, you can help the stones adhere to one another, resulting in a more secure foundation.

Safety Precautions for Fire Pits

It’s important to be aware of a few safety considerations when putting together your fire pit.

Make sure that a responsible adult is present at all times when there is a fire.

Fire Safety

If you’re going to use a fire pit, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to prevent a wildfire. Precautions such as these:

  • Avoid putting your fire pit near any power lines or underground utilities.
  • Portable fire pits should be placed on a level and stable soil.
  • flammable materials must be removed from within 15 to 25 feet of the fire pit, depending on local code.
  • Having sand or a fire extinguisher nearby is a good idea in case the fire gets out of control.
  • Use an approved mesh screen to keep embers at bay.
  • Liquid accelerants should not be used.
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