One thing contemporary homeowners install in their houses to make them look breathtaking is a fire pit. A fire pit is everything you could ever want in an installation. It keeps you warm, serves decorative functions, and makes your home appear classy. But did you know that fire glass and lava rocks can coexist in a fire pit?
In terms of functionality, lava rocks cannot be replaced with fire glass. Fire glass is a fire pit aesthetic that helps beautify the fire pit by reflecting the flames and making it look flamy and crackly. On the other hand, a lava rock functions as a heat insulator to extend the heat of a fire pit.
If you are confused about what lava rocks and fire glass are, which one is the best option, if one can replace one with the other, this article will clarify everything you need to know about fire glass and lava rocks.
Do You Need Lava Rocks in a Fire Pit?
This is an important question, especially if this is your first time owning a fire pit and you are confused about what should go in it and what shouldn’t. Lava rocks might have been recommended to you by people because they are beautiful, naturally occurring igneous rocks. This makes them cheap and easy to get. They are also dry, light, porous, and contain chemicals that help absorb heat, making them a good heat conductor.
Now, you might be wondering if it is compulsory to have lava rocks in your fire pit. The answer is no. As beneficial as lava rocks are, other items can perform the same functions. But that doesn’t make them outrightly useless. Think of lava rocks as cheap installations that help sustain the heat in your fire pit.
Regardless, lava rocks are unique as they can function in both your wood-burning and gas fire pit. If you don’t like the look of your fire pit, you can use lava rocks as a base and put your preferred medium over them. They function well as a base because they provide a porous surface for water drainage, thereby protecting your fire from dirt and keeping it dry.
They also help shield your fire pit burner from exposure to various weather conditions and surface flame due to their natural insulating abilities.
Using lava rocks in a fire pit is beneficial, but not compulsory. Think of them as something you might need rather than a must-have.
Lava rocks are natural stones that contain heat-insulating components that help sustain the heat in your fire pit. They can help make the heat in your fire pit last longer. But, can you use lava rocks in a wood-burning fire pit? Read our article to find out.
Can You Put Fire Glass in Any Fire Pit?
Fire glass is a fire medium that is considered a beautiful alternative to lava rocks. Fire glass is a type of tempered glass that consists of small stone-like pebbles. It has a long-lasting appearance, even with heat, and comes in various colors, sizes, and shapes.
As beautiful as this fire pit decoration is, it can’t be used in a wood-burning fire pit. Indeed, fire glass can only be used in a gas fire pit powered by propane or natural glass because it is not flammable. That is, it cannot start a fire if you attempt to light it. Fire glass was not created to function as a fire source but rather as a filler and décor, to create a polished and sophisticated look.
You might be wondering how fire glass works if it is not flammable. It is pretty simple. When you light up your gas fire pit, the flames rise around the glass in a manner that appears as though the glass is on fire. This is why fire glass has gained popularity over the years.
Can You Mix Lava Rocks and Fire Glass in a Fire Pit?
Yes, they can be mixed. You don’t need to bother about any risks because they work well together, functionally and aesthetically. The proportions while mixing them depend on your preferences, but a 1:1 ratio is typical.
I have previously established that lava rocks can be used as a base for your fire pit, even when using other fire decorations. This proves that lava rocks and fire glass can be used in the same fire pit.
When using lava rock as a base, you must use enough to cover the heating element of the fire pit. You can then apply enough fire glass to cover the lava rocks.
Benefits of Mixing Lava Rocks and Fire Glass in a Fire Pit
1. Provision of Buffer Zone
Fire glass can provide a buffer zone between the flame, heating element, and fire pit materials, especially metals. This buffer is not as good as the one lava rocks provide. Lava rocks have superior natural insulating properties compared to other mediums. Thus, mixing lava rocks and fire glass gives extra buffering and helps maintain your fire pit.
2. Creates a Balance
Lava rocks have a subtle heat output while fire glass is intense. Mixing both materials in a fire pit balances their heat output characteristics. This blend can create the desired heat level and fire appearance.
3. Enhances the Appearance of Your Fire
Lava rocks, although beautiful, are not as visually appealing as fire glass. Indeed, fire glass provides you with many options to pick from in terms of appearance. However, it shows dirt quickly. Mixing both materials offers you the beauty you’re looking for. At the same time, the dirt can easily blend with the lava rock. Combining them creates a unique natural-artificial look.
4. Saves Money
Fire glass is relatively expensive, while lava rocks are cheap as they can even be handpicked if you live in a rocky area. Mixing them comes down to be cheaper than only buying fire glass.
5. Lower Maintenance Costs
Fire glass is long-lasting, but lava rocks are easier to maintain. As compared to holding just fire glass, the mixed fire media is easier to maintain and saves both the time and money involved in maintenance.
One way of making your fire pit more aesthetically pleasing is by adding colorful glass at the bottom of your pit. But, can you use any kind of glass in a fire pit? Read our article to find out.
Can You Replace Lava Rocks with Fire Glass?
You may be thinking about new ideas to remodel your fire pit; here is one for you. If you have an old fire pit with lava rocks, it is possible to replace them with fire glass to give your fire pit a fresh look. The replacement depends on your preference as fire glass give a sparkly, colorful crystal-like look rather than the natural stony look you had before.
However, you must know that this replacement can only be done if you have a gas fire pit. Even if you used lava rocks just for the outer-layer decoration of a wood-burning fire pit and not as a buffer, you can’t replace it with fire glass as it tends to attract soot and dirt quickly.
Benefits of Replacing Lava Rocks with Fire Glass in a Fire Pit
- It gives your fire pit a fresh, polished, and beautiful look. Fire glass does not have lava rocks’ natural rustic appearance. Instead, it is reflective and sparkles, which makes it a spectacle.
- It allows you not to stick to one look. Unlike lava rocks, which mostly come in rough shapes and neutral colors like black, red/brown, and gray, fire glass come in various colors and well-defined forms. You can choose to mix different colors to give your fire pit a unique look. This gives you a chance of leaving your guests in wonder when you change the medium properties as you wish.
- As moisture is not suitable for lava rocks, it is not good for fire glass either. Fire glass is an excellent alternative to your lava rocks because it is not porous. Therefore, it does not absorb moisture, contrary to lava rocks. This makes fire glass easier to dry and keep dry.
- One of the reasons you might be considering replacing your lava rocks is because they absorbed a lot of moisture that wasn’t noticeable on the surface, which caused them to crack or explode. It has been established that fire glass cannot absorb water. Therefore, you need not worry about cracks or explosions. It only gets wet on the surface, which is noticeable, and you can take necessary precautions before lighting the fire pit.
- Fire glass evenly distributes the heat in a fire pit. If you’re going for a pit that spreads fire around the room adequately, think of picking fire glass over lava rocks.
Is Fire Glass Better Than Lava Rocks?
Which one is better depends on your preferences. They are both durable, non-toxic, and serve their purposes well. Most people believe that fire glass is way more attractive and appealing than lava rocks because of its texture and appearance. On the other hand, if you’re into traditional and natural appearances, you will definitely prefer lava rocks.
Besides, fire glass has better conductive properties than lava rocks. Fire glass distributes the flame heat evenly because it is smaller. To get that effect with lava rocks, you have to break them into smaller bits. If you reside in a cold region, fire glass will be your best option as you will want more heat. On the other hand, if you live in a warm area, you won’t need as much heat. Therefore, lava rocks will be your preferred option.
When it comes to cost and availability, it is essential to know that lava rocks are cheaper and easily accessible. On the contrary, you sometimes won’t find fire glass around you, so you need to place an order with a delivery fee, thus adding to your expenses. This makes lava rocks a better option in this category.
You’ll need twice the quantity of lava rocks to fill your fire pit if you’re going with fire glass because they are small pebbles and you need a lot to fill the whole fire pit. For the other features, like appearance, you can overlook the cost.
Fire glass requires more maintenance than lava rocks because it frequently gets dirty with extensive use. However, keeping up with the maintenance is easy as you only need soap and water to clean it. If you are up for this, you still get to enjoy fire glass’ benefits.
If you are planning to get a fire pit for your property, you need to familiarize yourself with its parts and how it works to make sure that you will be able to use it safely. One of the things that you need to know about is the material that you are going to use to line the bottom of your fire pit. Here are 5 things you can put at the bottom of a backyard fire pit.
Does Fire Glass Radiate Heat?
Yes, it radiates heat very well. We’ve seen that it reflects more than lava stone, but it also radiates about three to four times more heat than wood or artificial log. The amount of heat released is not a function of the heat generated, but a function of its reflective properties.
In simpler terms, if fire glass, lava rocks, and wood are exposed to the same amount of flame, fire glass will still radiate more heat to you. Besides, when in use, it provides a constant flow of warmth since it does not hold any heat in but simply reflects it around.
Fire glass is the modern trend for a fire pit and will make your guests’ jaws drop. Although, you can choose to remain traditional as this is not a bad option either. Not only has it been established that you can replace your lava rocks with fire glass, but we’ve also seen that you can mix them if you don’t want to do away with lava rocks.
Not every modern trend is here to kick traditional options out of the market. Instead, fire glass is just a more sophisticated alternative to your lava rocks. So before making a purchase, take a deep breath, weigh in your options, and choose, not solely based on attractiveness or cost, but also on the benefits you can get from each.
With all that in mind, it is up to you to decide which is better for you. The good news is that if you eventually buy one and think the other is better, you don’t need to discard the one you’ve purchased. You can use them for other decorative purposes in your house, garden, patio, or swimming area.