How to Use Lava Rocks for A Fire Pit

Harry Hubbard

Last updated Mar 2, 2024
Harry is our fireplace and accessories specialist. Trying out new things is his passion. His recommendation barely fails.

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Lava rocks are now the most versatile and popular element for fire pits. It is created naturally after an eruption of a volcano. The magma of the volcano intensifies on the surface, cools down by releasing gases then forms the irregular rock shape. Lava rock’s structural components are oxygen, silicon, iron, calcium, magnesium, magnetite, quartz, pyroxene, amphibole, etc. These structural components made them extremely heat resistant and highly durable. That’s why lava rocks are being used vastly in gasoline, gel, and other fire pits for the highest performance. 

This article is about all the information regarding how to use lava rocks for your fire pit. The types of lava rocks, the amount you need, necessary tools, finally, the steps to follow for using lava rocks in your fire pit. 

You will also know the benefits of lava rocks, best mates for lava rocks, things to consider before using lava rocks, about their maintenance, and extra few exciting facts about lava rocks. 

I hope you will enjoy reading it!


Benefits of Having Lava Rocks in Your Fire Pit 


Lava rocks are very versatile and rich with various benefits. Here are some best things about lava rocks. What makes them a must-have for your fire pit.


1. Heat and Water, Resisting

For their structural elements like iron, calcium, and other mineral lava rocks are highly heat resistant. They have natural pores created due to the emission of gas. That captures moisture and makes an auto drainage system. What makes lava rock endure heat and water.


2. Create Even Distribution of Heat 

Have you ever looked deeply into the pores of lava rocks? They are so natural and unique! That has added an exclusive benefit for your fire pit. When you light up the fuel of your fire pit, the heat travels through these pores. Initiate the even distribution of warmth all over your fire pit and in all directions.


3. Durable 

Lava rocks are capable of standing at the highest level of heat. The extreme heat, pressure, eruption, and structural components of lava rock make it more durable than anything. You can use lava rock in any fire pit at any temperature. Also, you can use them for years; they do not decompose quickly.


4. Low Keeping 

You can maintain a long life of lava rocks just by keeping your pit only. Lava rocks do not produce any fumes or char, so you have to clean the fire pit hardly. Try to keep your fire pit covered so that lava rocks don’t accumulate dust. Try not to keep lava rocks in sun exposure for a long time. It can affect the longevity of rocks.


5. Weatherproof 

There is almost no effect of any weather on lava rocks. Yet, a layer of lava rock will protect your fire pit burner. Lava rock will restrain the burner from coming direct exposure to sunlight, rain, or snowfall. Additionally, these rocks on your fire pit help to flow the water through the fire pit’s drainage system.


The Basic Things You Need to Know Before Using Lava Rocks 


After knowing these exceptional benefits of lava rocks, you must be thinking to have lava rocks for your fire pit. So before choosing any, have a look at these necessary pieces of information about lava rocks.


Types of Lava Rocks 


Types of Lava Rocks


The type of lava rock depends on the percentage of silica contents, and the number of pressure rocks has met. These two things regulate the color, size, and shape of the lava rocks. 

Usually, we can distinguish the lava rocks we use for fire pits by their color. Red, black, and grey color lava rocks are the common ones. 

The shapes and sizes of rocks are also very irregular due to different pressure levels, temperature, and time. The rocks size 2-4 inches are the most available and preferable ones.


Amount of Lava Rocks You Need for Your Firepit 

Let me guess what you are thinking now, “how many lava rocks do you need for your fire pit?” Right ha? It depends on the fuel you’re using and the size of your fire pit. Gel fuel fire pits need fewer rocks than gas-burning ones. Cause in the gas fire pit, you need to cover the burner adequately. Typically lava rocks are available in 10-40lbs bags on the online marketplace and local shops. At least a 3-4 inch of a layer on the fire pit is required. You can calculate the amount you need using these formulas,

  • If your fire pit is Rectangular – (height x depth x length) / 21 = pounds needed 
  • If your fire pit is Round – (pebble’s height x diameter x diameter) / 26 = pounds needed 

You can use an online calculator too. 


Necessary Tools for Setting Up Lava Rocks in Your Fire Pit 


You will need several tools for setting up the lava rocks into your fire pit. 

A Geological Hammer – Lava rock sizes are very uneven. So for fitting them up in your fire pit, you may need a hammer for carving or crushing the rocks. 

Lava Rock Grate – A lava rock grate will help you to replace lava rocks. If you want to cook, BBQ, or roast your marshmallows on your lava rock fire pit, you will need a grate. 

Tong – This tool will help you to move your hot rocks. 

A Cover – You will need a stiff cover like a polyvinyl cover to protect your lava rocks from getting wet. A cover will also protect your rocks from dust when the fire pit is not in use.


Steps of Using Lava Rocks in Your Firepit 


Follow these steps one by one after unpacking your lava rocks for safe ignition and firing.


First Step : Rinse

Lava rocks are collected raw from the lava field. They dipped a little to decrease the sharpness of the edge and break to make a handy size. This process creates dust and tiny broken residue in the packaging. So after cutting your packet, rinse them well to remove all dust or any residue.


Second Step : Dry 

Use a towel or any cotton fabric for soaking them well. Keep them at a place safe from direct sunlight. Dry them properly before placing them on your patio. Wet or any moisture content in the rocks can tend them to explode.


Third Step : Placing The Lava Rocks 

Before placing the rocks on, clean your patio with a dry cloth, construct a layer of sand or pea pebbles on the surface. That will create a firm foundation and equal placement of the rocks. Take your lava rocks to place them around the fire pit’s patio evenly. If you are using a gasoline or propane fire pit, place the lava rocks without blocking the burner.


Best Mates for Making Lava Rock Fire Pit More Aesthetic 


Making Lava Rock Fire Pit More Aesthetic


Fire Glass 

Fire glass is not like regular glass. This kind of glass is heat resistant and can withstand very high temperatures. Along with lava rock, fire glass supplies good conduction of heat. These glass beads are reflective and don’t get pale over time. Give you soot free, char free heat with a sparkling view.


Lava Pebbles 

Lava pebbles are polished and tempered versions of lava rocks with a smooth edge and even shapes. You can use lava pebbles to give your fire pit a unique appearance.



The cannonballs are ceramic made. They are strong, heatproof, and durable. These balls help to create a stunning transition of flame. You can use them for Bonfire, campfire, BBQ, and others.


Ceramic Log 

If you are fond of a wood-burning fire pit but thinking about the various cons of using wood as fuel, then the ceramic log will be the best substitute for that. Ceramic logs are hand-painted like wood and come in the natural shape and curve of the woods. These logs are really like woods, soot free and fit to go with lava rocks.


Things to Consider Before Using Lava Rocks in Your Fire Pit 


Lava rocks are extremely heatproof, sturdy, and safe. Yet, we should keep a few things in mind while using lava rock in our fire pit.

  • Always clean the rocks after unpacking. There can be dust and dirt which can block your gas/propane burner opening.
  • Before flaming the lava rocks make sure they do not contain any amount of moisture. Water in rocks can tend them to explode. 
  • Be watchful about not covering the burners.
  • As the lava rocks collected from natural sources. They may include river pebbles, which tend to explode. They are the same as lava rocks, so you can not separate them easily. Try to keep a safe distance from the fire pit for the first few days. Purchase them from a trusted and renowned source.
  • Cover up your rocks and firepit when it is not in use.


Maintenance of Lava Rocks of Your Fire Pit 


Although lava rocks are low maintenance and durable, it will be great if you move the lava rocks in six months or a year. Gently clean your lava rocks with water, dry, and use again. Do not forget to cover your fire pit when it is not in use.


Few Interesting Facts About Lava Rocks 


We have found some facts and myths about the lava rocks. Sounds interesting!


A Core Element of Nature 

Lava rocks are a cooled-down form of magma—a very natural element with aesthetic looking and almost no harmful characteristics. These rocks are a potential natural part for your fire pit yet back yard decoration. They are beautiful and raw. 


Earth Energy 

Lava rocks are formed in the deepest part of the Earth and contain almost all earth elements. Many modern ecologists have said that lava rocks contain the Earth’s power in itself. It will be a beneficiary for your home interior. Lava rocks might bring and hold the Earth’s energy to your home!


Hawaii Myth 

A myth known as the Hawaii Pele’s curse says that if anyone takes any Hawaii lava rock or sand with them, they will face a stroke of bad luck until they bring them back to the natives. It also said that this curse is not real. The locals are spreading this legend to discourage tourists not to temper the natural element of Hawaii. Yet many tourists send back packages full of Hawaii rocks and sand to relive mentally, in the hope of bringing good luck! 

But do not worry, this myth is not about general lava rocks. Lava rocks are great to use. They are strong, firm, durable, and so natural! 

I hope this writing would be helpful to you in using lava rock for your fire pit. Safe firing!

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