How to Arrange Lava Rocks in a Gas Fire Pit (2023 Guide)

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No outdoor adventure is complete until you’ve created a good fire. Although many of us used to the old ways have perfected the art of kindling wood in fire pits, lava rocks present a more effective solution. They are quite durable and provide an even distribution of heat when cooking.

In this article, we’ve addressed most of the questions people ask about lava rocks and fire pits. Let’s fire away, shall we?

How to Arrange Lava Rocks in a Gas Fire Pit

The idea of using lava rocks is exciting for most people until they get to this point. However, as you’ll soon realize, arranging lava rocks in a gas fire pit is not as difficult as it looks. Follow these easy steps to fill your fire pit:

  1. Prepare the fire pit base to be flat and even. This arrangement makes it safe and ready for use.
  2. Pour your lava rocks into a large container. We don’t recommend pouring the rocks directly into the fire pit. They are usually quite dusty and can damage your burners.
  3. Clean up the lava rocks before use to get the dust off them. You can do this with a brush, fabric, air pistol, or water. If you choose to clean dusty lava rocks with water, you’ll need to leave them to dry before use.
  4. You can now pour the clean rocks on the fire pit. Spread them out evenly over the pit’s surface and make sure they cover up the surface and burner.
  5. Go on, don’t be scared. You can light the burner now. You’ll have a perfect fire.

How Much Lava Rock Do You Put In A Gas Fire Pit?

The amount of lava rock you can put in your fire pit is dependent on the size of your fire pit. The general rule of thumb is to multiply the length, width, and depth of your fire pit and divide the result by 19. The outcome gives the weight in pounds of how many lava rocks you should use.

What Is The Purpose Of Lava Rocks In A Gas Fire Pit?

Why exactly should you use it? If you’re one of those wondering what the rave over lava rocks is all about, you’re about to find answers. Here are 3 purposes lava rocks serve in a gas fire pit:

  • Burner Protection and Durability

Lava rocks protect your burner from direct contact with water and other things that can damage it. Also, as they absorb most heat, they prevent the burner from wearing out quickly.

  • Heat Retention and Distribution

Due to their ability to retain heat, lava stones are excellent for your gas fire pit. They also help distribute heat evenly across the fire pit.

  • Aesthetic Appeal

There’s a beautiful ambiance that comes with sparkles and glowing embers. Lava rocks in a fire pit can give you that feel.

Should I Put Lava Rocks In The Bottom Of My Fire Pit?


When arranging lava rocks in your fire pit, you can put lava rocks at the bottom. However, we recommend using small-sized rocks, preferably between a quarter and half an inch. These rocks serve as a protective layer over the burner.

How Long Do Lava Rocks Last In A Fire Pit?

Lava rocks can last up to two years in a fire pit. You don’t have to worry about changing them ever so often. Their heat-resistant nature allows them to withstand adverse conditions.

However, after two years, you may begin to notice them cracking or crumbling. This means that they’re beginning to wear out, and it’s time for them to be replaced.

How Deep Should Lava Rock Be In A Fire Pit?

Although instructions concerning how deep the lava rock should run will be provided by your fire pit model, many make them anywhere between 2 and 5 inches. The size of your fire pit determines how deep you can build your lava rocks.

Is Lava Rock Fireproof?

Technically, yes.

Here’s a quick fun fact: Lava rocks are made from solidified molten magma, which is way hotter than any fire pit. This means that your fire pit cannot melt the rocks – they’ve gone through worse fires.

How To Light A Lava Rock Fire Pit

There are 3 kinds of lava rock fire pit ignitions you can have. They include:

  • Matchlight Ignition: Slightly turn on the valve enough to allow little gas out, push aside the rocks on the burner, and light it with a matchstick. Use a long matchstick for safety purposes.
  • Push-Switch Ignition: This is quite similar to the matchlight-style fire pit. The only difference here is that you use a switch button to light the fire rather than a matchstick. Once you turn on the ignition, it creates a spark that lights the burner.
  • Electric Ignition: You need electricity to turn this fire pit on. All you have to do is connect it to the power source and push the switch button to turn the fire on.

Why Are My Lava Rocks Exploding In My Fire Pit?

If your lava rocks are exploding in your fire pit, that means that they’ve become wet. Lava rocks are made of Basalt and are quite porous, which means water can get into them easily. When you heat up a wet lava rock, the steam from the water inside explodes inside the rock.

If you’re certain that your lava rocks aren’t wet, another reason why they may be exploding is that you’ve used them for years. It may be time to get a new bag of lava rocks.

How Does Lava Rock Work In A Fire Pit?

When you create a fire, the heat discharged from the burner usually goes straight upwards. Lava rocks help disperse the heat across the entire burner surface, making your fire hotter and evenly dispersed while protecting the burner below.

Can I Use Glass Instead Of Lava Rock In My Fire Pit?

Glass? Absolutely not.

Fire glass? Definitely.

Fire glass is an effective substitute for lava rock, the only downside being that it is expensive. It has been tempered to withstand high heat temperatures, making it different from your regular glass.

What Are The Alternatives to Lava Rock?

Instead of lava rock, you can use fire glass, tumbled lava rock, sand or dirt. They do the same job effectively, just some more than others.

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