You’ve recently bought a gas fire pit and you might have some questions on the product you recently purchase that was not on the manual like, “How to arrange lava rocks on a gas fire pit?” or “What type of lava rocks you can use for your gas fire pit?”.
We’ll both of those in this article to make sure you make use of your new fire pit properly.
What are Lava Rocks?
Lava rocks are a kind of magmatic rock that is the result of extrusive magma that has been formed by diagenesis and compaction. It falls under the igneous rock category and is formed as erupted lava is cooled down. It is porous, and also contains air bubbles that expand when it is dried. These air bubbles cause the lava rocks to be extremely lightweight and the reason behind why they have holes that look like bubbles.
Lava rocks can be found in two colors: red and black. The minerals in the rock, as well as the process of cooling determine its color. The red color appears only when iron in the lava starts to undergo oxidation when it’s cooling down.
Functionally, the fire pit’s lava rock forms an impermeable shield which shields parts of the burner in the fire pit, facilitating uniform distribution of flames, as well as the heat produced and protects it from direct exposure to flame.
Types and Sizes of Lava Rocks to use for Gas Fire Pit
All lava rocks are suitable for fire pits, they are available in red and black color options or tumbled/rolled for a more elegant appearance. There no grey. This is a popular myth. The black lava appears to be gray when it is used.
Lava rocks are available in various sizes, ranging from crushed stones, to smaller rocks that are that are up to 1 inch in diameter, up to massive chunks of 4 inches in diameter or bigger. Lava rock measuring approximately 1 to 3 inches wide is the most popular selection for fire pits. Only use genuine lava rocks in fire pits, and not synthetic ones designed to be used in gardens.
- Black Lava Rock – Standard
Natural volcanic rock makes an excellent base layer and are cost-effective fillers for gas fireplaces and fire pits. They improve the appearance of fire pits because of their beautiful color and texture.
- Red Lava Rock
Also known as Cinder Rock, Red lava rock is a light and porous volcanic rock that has a burgundy-red hue. It is a natural substance which varies in size and color.
Red lava rocks are one of the least expensive and most efficient methods to make your fire pit distribute the heat in the area effectively. It’s also visually appealing and is a less expensive alternative to the costly ceramic or glass log installation.
- Rolled Lava Rock
Rolled Lava Stone is a contemporary variation from the original lava stone. They’re a smooth, regularly shaped stone, which has the appearance of speckles. They are safe for use in fireplaces and in fire pits. Rolled Lava Stones retain heat more effectively than logs, which makes them more efficient and cost-effective. Rolled Lava Stones look great as an addition to fire glass, and look stunning in fire features of any kind.
How do you arrange lava rock on a gas fire pit?
When placing your lava stones in your gas fire pit no matter whether it’s a bowl or a table, it is important to be patient. Be aware of dust accumulation within the rocks because of how they were made and disposed of, so don’t put all of it in the fire pit. Dust and small pieces of the lava rocks will hinder the flow of air which will stop the flames from escaping which will reduce the output performance of the gas fire pit.
Another option to keep dust out is to wash the lava rock thoroughly to eliminate dust. Allow some time to dry after which, once it’s clean, you can then place them in your gas fire pit.
If the burner you have is the kind that is designed to be completely covered in the lava rock, then it should not be more that half-an-inch beneath that lava rock.
If you’re using a crossfire burner with jets, the jets must be left open or you could position the lava rock in such a position that ensures the air flow on one other side is free of obstacles.
How Deep Should Lava Rocks Be in a Fire Pit?
Lava rocks are easy to take care of and provides your fire pit a modern look. The fire pit should be filled with the lava rock that is between 4 and 5 inches thick. If wood is the fuel you prefer then stack it on top. In the event that you’re burning through gas then you can add additional lava rocks and fill up the whole fire pit or even fill the fire rings.
How to maintain lava rock in a fire pit?
Lava rocks are easy to maintain and can last for more than 3 years depending on how often you fire up the fire pit. However, constantly moving the rocks around could reduce its lifespan since it can cause it to break up into smaller pieces.
We recommend that at beginning of each season, you remove the lava rocks and sweep or vacuum any dust built up and also clean the burner to ensure the gas ports are not blocked. Then, put back the lava rocks for future use. Always put a cover on your fire pit when not in use.
Fire Pit Safety and Fire Pit Tips
- Make sure that the fire pit is an area with enough ventilation. Install your fire pit place outside and not inside, or in a covered area.
- Cut off any branches with a low hanging If you are planning to have an outdoor fire pit in a wooded area or with lots of foliage.
- Check that the area you’re using to build your fire pit is secure. Make sure you don’t put it on a wooden surface and ensure that the fire pit is level before lighting.
- Be sure that the bowl is drainable to ensure that it doesn’t overflow with water when it rains. There are fire pits with the 1.5″ hole already drilled for drainage as well as the gas pipe.
- Do not burn anything when there’s no protective layer of lava rock in the bottom of your fire pit. In the event that you’re planning to burn wood, place the lava rocks that is at least 4-5 inches thick. You can then add the firewood above the lava rock. Make sure to fill the fire pit using enough lava rocks so that it covers the fire ring to allow gas to burn.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand and don’t forget to wear gloves while working with the fire.
- Cover the top with more lava rocks to ignite it until the fire reaches the highest point of the fire pit, concealing the lava rocks below.
- Place the gas line into the bowl’s bottom. Place the valve for on/off valve, that it is close enough to the fire pit for easy use.
- Even with the most effective precaution of using lava rock to help diffuse heat and cool the fire pit, concrete fire pits may create hairline fractures because of extreme temperatures and cooling. To keep cracks to an absolute minimum, do not use huge, hot wood fires that heat up to very high temperatures. They are hotter than gas and lava rock for an open flame.
- Certain states and counties have made burning wood illegal, so, make sure you check the local laws.