Glass Vs Lava Rock Fire Pit

Glass Vs Lava Rock Fire Pit: Which One Should You Pick

Lava Rock or Fire Glass

There’s nothing like a fire pit to boost the aesthetics of a room while providing some much-needed warmth during the cold months. However, the choices surrounding the construction and design of a fire pit can be confusing to lots of people.

If you’re wondering what to choose as a medium or topping, our glass vs lava rock fire pit guide is here to help you decide. We’ll compare both materials under a set of qualities including composition, durability, and heat conductivity.

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1. Composition

The glass used in fire pits is called fire glass. It’s made out of tempered glass fragments (fire rated) and is resistant to heat, so it won’t melt or burn. Fire Glass does not discolor giving it a long life.

It is recommended that rinsing down fire glass if you have not used your fire pit for a long time to clean off particulate matter that may be on the surface and when heated possibly discolor them.

In fire pits and fireplaces, this glass is incorporated to disperse warmth, cover the jets, and reflect light. It’s polished to make the edges blunt, not to mention, it doesn’t shatter and doesn’t give off smoke or toxins when burned.

As for lava rocks, they’re true to name as they originate from the depths of the earth’s crust. Following volcanic eruptions, the resulting molten rocks turn into a type of porous rock referred to as basalt or lava rock. 

Typically, lava rock is black, red, or brown and has a surface made up of small holes, so it looks like a solidified sponge. Similar to fire glass, lava rocks are heat-resistant and don’t emit toxins or smoke.

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2. Heat Conductivity

As far as heat conductivity goes, fire glass takes the cake. Compared to lava rocks, glass retains heat for a longer period thanks to its reflective surface that reflects as well as absorbs heat.

What’s more, maintaining the temperature in fire glass doesn’t require as much propane or gas as do lava rocks.

On the other hand, the porosity of lava rocks deems them as a poorer conductor of heat. While this can work for mild winters or small spaces or mild winters, chances are it won’t be enough to keep you warm in frostier weather.

Lava Rock For a Fire Pit
Lava Rock For a Fire Pit

3. Aesthetics

When it comes to looks, fire glass is what you need if you’re seeking to give the room a dramatic appearance, especially at night. Not to mention, it comes in a wide range of shapes and colors so you can easily find something that matches your taste.

If you’re after a more rustic and authentic look, you’re better off choosing lava rocks. These will deliver your desired natural appearance while providing an even distribution of flames.

However, unlike glass, lava rocks are available in limited colors: black, red, and brown. This is because no artificial powders or dyes go into manufacturing this material.

4. Durability

Both fire glass and lava rocks are extremely durable, with a lifespan of up to 20 years if maintained properly. This means regular cleaning and tossing, as well as using a cover to prevent color fading upon exposure to sunlight. 

5. Safety

Fire glass and lava rocks are considered safe for use both indoors and outdoors. As we mentioned earlier, these materials are heat-resistant and don’t emit smoke or toxins.

However, the only risk with either glass or lava rocks is the possibility of cracking or exploding when exposed to water after being heated.

6. Cost

Finally, when it comes down to price, fire glass is more expensive than lava rocks. The main reason for this is that glass is artificially manufactured as opposed to the naturally-occurring lava rocks.

7. Conclusion

So, which one should you choose? Well, it all depends on your needs and preferences. If you want a fireplace that delivers warmth but requires less maintenance, then fire glass is the way to go.

Lava rocks are great for those who prefer a more natural look but also want to save money. However, if you’re looking for a fireplace that offers a wide range of colors and designs, then fire glass is the way to go.

What color glass looks best in a fire pit?

The best colors for glass in a fire pit are reds and oranges. These colors are associated with warmth and safety. However, other colors such as blues and greens look great too.

What color fire glass should I buy?

Reds, Oranges, and Blues are the most popular fire glass colors, but you can get a good variety of colors. This really depends on your preference. You can get any color you like, from clear to dark or a mix of vibrant colors. If you’re looking for a specific shade, you can always ask your retailer for advice. You can also get diamond fire glass that has sharp edges. Fire Glass is most commonly used in a Propane Fire Pit and Outdoor Fire pits because they do not absorb moisture.

How do you clean a gas fire pit’s fire glass? You’ll have to remove the glass first before you can start cleaning it. To do this, pour some hot water over the fire glass. Let the glass soak for about five minutes, then wipe away the excess water and clean the glass.  Once the glass has dried, you can put it back in place. 

Can you mix fire glass and lava rock in a fire pit?

Fire glass is a type of volcanic glass that has been melted at extremely high temperatures, producing a clear glassy substance. Lava rocks are pieces of molten lava that have cooled down into solid chunks of rock. They are usually found near volcanoes, where they were ejected from the volcano during eruptions. When mixed together, these two materials create a beautiful combination of colors and patterns.

If both together the lava rock is placed on the bottom as it is better at heat insulation than fire glass. What this means for propane fire pits is that it protects the propane jets while preventing the fire pit bottom from overheating. Lastly spread a fire glass set on the top.

What ratio of Fire Glass to Lava Rocks Should I use in a Fire Pit?

The best ratio of Fire Glass to Lave Rocks is 1/3rd fire glass and 2/3rds lava rock. This gives the fire pit a nice balance between flame height and temperature. However many folks will use a 50/50 ratio also.

Which is More Durable: Lava Rock vs. Fire Glass in a Fire Pit

The fire glass is more durable than the lava rock if your firepit is susceptible to rain and soaking. Water can really degrade lava rocks and they take a long time to dry naturally. If using heat to dry them use extreme caution and a very small flame or low heat.