Distracts From Man Made Elements
Just like I dont like the flat look of most water features, I have an issue with patio furniture.
Patio furniture looks out of place in natural themed gardens. You can see and feel that they are man made. I personally prefer some short walls or flat stones for a natural and improvised lounge area.
But just so you see how versatile lava rock is, the only time I found patio furniture to not be out of place was when it was used in conjunction with a red lava rock gravel.
In a Spanish Arabian style rooftop garden in the Algarve. Its something weird, but I found that only Arab theme gardens and Zen gardens just integrate artificial fixtures better than other motifs. And the red gravel just unifies the setting so well that everything just looks like it belongs together. The warm reddish cityscape also works well to complement the rooftop garden. So in that scenario, even artificial man-made elements just get pulled into the theme.
The best way I can describe it is that it was just like flagstone paths. On their own, they look manufactured, but when integrated into a path with some red gravel, you believe it despite the bolder contrast.
Polished Red Lava Rock 1/2-1
The red gravel lava rock makes a bolder statement, especially when combined with a pale flagstone. Its like the light is seduced by the contrast and stops noticing the artificial feel of the individual element.
Vibrant Walls And Irresistible Waterfalls
Lava rocks, lava glass, fire glass and landscape glass make a bold statement, and this makes them ideal for large set pieces. For example, they can make any plain wall or non-horizontal surface vibrant and textured. The reason this works is that large 3D shapes are already shocking, so adding texture to it isnt all that surprising.
Add some running water over them, and you have an exquisite water feature that has a unique textured look. The water blurs the texture even more and integrates the glare in itself. Its a really great effect that adds vibrancy even to still water.
We are not very fond of the bland slat look of most water features. The clean ceramic look is too similar to a bathroom and should be separate from the garden. We feel the same about pairing stones around water features. Look at rivers and streams, the bottom is either dark and cold or rich and brown in the warmer areas.
Conversely, if you go to an oceanic theme, you are met with dark blues, or emerald tones, Nowhere on earth can water be found on an insipid flat white background outside of the human bathroom. Its unnatural, clinical and uninspired.
Can You Burn Wood With Lava Rocks
You may be wondering if you can burn wood while using lava rocks. You can burn wood on lava rocks, but you need to take some precautionary steps to do so.
Place a protective layer of lava rock up to 4-5 inches from the top of your fire pit. You can then place the firewood on top. Do not burn anything without this protective layer of lava rock. If youre curious, we also have an article on the best materials you can burn in a fire pit!
Note: In some states and counties, it is illegal to burn wood. You will need to check your local laws before you burn wood.
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How Do You Put Together A Fire Pit Using Lava Rocks
It is recommended to use smaller lava rocks on your first layer of rock. This will increase support by adding a solid foundation for the following layers of rock. This method also provides thermal protection.
When first opening the container of lava rocks, dump some lava rocks into a bucket and rinse them off to rinse off any dust it may have accumulated during shipping. After you have rinsed them, dump the rocks onto a towel and allow them to fully dry for a few hours.
You can add the lava rocks once the fire pit is properly put together, which includes:
- The burner being in place
- The gas being connected
- The plate being positioned
Place enough lava rocks around the fire pit and burner so it is just enough to cover the burner, being careful not to pile them on too thick. Now your fire pit is ready.
What Is Fire Glass Exactly
Fire glass is not regular glass. Regular glass can heat up and explode. These crystals are tempered or fire rated. Therefore, it does not burn or melt. It will not discolor either, which makes it a great option for both outdoor fire pits and indoor fireplace beds.
That said, Glaz Chips Fire Glass says that propane gas burns dirtier than natural gas. Therefore, a slight film of soot build-up can accumulate on the glass itself. They recommend rinsing down the glass after an extended period of time to clean them.
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How Much Fire Glass Do You Need
If your pit has a deeper fire bowl and you want to save money, they suggest using lava rock as the bottom layer. Lava rock costs substantially less. This strategy lets you fill the space while taking advantage of the increased heat of the fire glass on the top layer.
If you only need a small amount of fire glass, Bond sells a 10-lb jar of Lava Glass in multiple colors . A jar sells for about $20 .
Alternatively, buying smaller container lets you mix and match bead colors without having to buy excess pieces. Of course, you can also use these lava glass rocks in a traditional indoor fireplace because they are heat resistant.
Are There Different Kinds Of Lava Rocks
There are several different kinds of lava rocks. In fact, you have quite a few options when it comes to size, color, and consistency. Most lava rocks are black, dark red, or gray in color.
You can also get them in large, medium, or small chunks. You can even find tumbled lava rocks, which are smoothed out to prevent the rough edges that they typically have.
What color you get is a matter of preference, but size is a different story. The smaller the lava rocks, the more evenly they will disperse heat. So if youre concerned with providing warmth with your fire pit, you may consider medium or small lava rocks or a mixture of both!
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What Are The Chemical Components
There are a few main and subsidiary chemical components in lava rock. These components include the elements:
In fact, they contain a high amount of iron. Iron was discovered around 3500 BC and has a melting point of 2800 degrees Fahrenheit! This aids in the heat resistant property of lava rocks.
Magnesium was discovered in 1755. Its melting point is 1202 degrees Fahrenheit. This element is what helps enable lava rocks to be lit and also make them burn brighter!
Calcium was discovered in 1808. It has a melting point of 1548 degrees Fahrenheit.
Iron and Magnesium are known as the ferromagnesian group, which simply means they form essential chemical components. These ferromagnesian elements have a fast cooling rate.
Lava rocks also contain a minute amount of silicon and aluminum. Silicon was discovered in 1824 with a melting point of 2577 degrees Fahrenheit. Aluminum was discovered in 1825 and has a melting point of 1220.581 degrees Fahrenheit.
Final Words : Which Is Better Lava Rock Or Fire Glass
Both are good at distributing heat, and they also both look fabulous in a fire pit. Fire glass comes in a choice of finishes, and is great for creating a fashionable, contemporary look. Lava rock also looks lovely, especially if you want a more rustic effect.
If theres a good chance your fire pit will keep getting wet, fire glass is an easier option. Wet lava rock can explode when the water trapped inside it turns to steam, so youll need to spend time drying it out. Wet glass doesnt have this issue .
However, fire glass can cost up to four times the amount of lava rock, so if you want to stick to a budget, lava rock is the better option. If cost isnt the concern, simply choose which one you like the look of the best. Need help deciding? Take a look at this short film about lava rocks and fire glass.
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What About A Burnt Or Smoky Smell
This smell coming from your fire pit simply means it is time to dust. Before you attempt to dust, make sure you give your fire pit plenty of time to completely cool. Then you can use a dust rag to wipe all surfaces dust can build up. It is important to dust or else it can generate heat which can damage parts of your fire pit.
What Is Fire Glass
Unlike lava rocks, fire glass is man-made. They are created out of fire-rated glass that is tempered via insanely high temperatures. Due to this process, they are essentially resistant to melting, burning, and even discoloration, making them a widely popular choice for fire pit owners.
They come in a variety of colors and sizes ranging from polished squares to smooth ovals. All of which are highly reflective and can add a dazzling touch of vibrance to any fire pit.
Read our in-depth guide:What is fire glass?
Lava Rock Installation And Adjustment
After the burner is in place, the gas connected and the plate positioned, it’s time to add the lava rock. Don’t pile the rock too thickly or the gas will be unable to sustain a flame through it. Move the rocks around gently with a poker until the flames take a form you like. When using new rock, stay clear of the fire pit for 20 to 30 minutes after it is lit to allow moisture in the rocks to burn away.
Can I Mix Fire Glass With Lava Rock
Yes, you can mix fire glass and lava rock in a fire pit, and youll get a great effect. The rustic rock and shiny tempered glass complement each other beautifully, and it creates a really aesthetic finish.
Also, fire glass is more expensive than lava rock, so by diluting it with the cheaper product, youll save a few dollars. Just bear in mind that the glass portion will need more regular cleaning than the rocks will.
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Should You Switch To Fire Glass
Honestly, I think this comes down to personal preference. Consider these questions:
- Do you prefer the look of sparkly crystals as compared to natural, rustic lava rock?
- Does your fire pit already have lava rock? Do you want to spend the extra money to switch?
Heres another idea: You can combine fire glass with lava rock. If you go half-and-half, you may be able to cut your costs while still enjoying more heat.
Dos And Donts For The Jungle
Thats the difference between something actually powerful and something that is different from the norm. Powerful assets outshine, sometimes literally everything else. The fear is that they become eyesores. But guess what, rectangular turf can also be an eyesore if used as an accent. That rich green can look really weird in an arid themed garden. But still, people do it. As a statement of disobedience towards nature: Look at me, I have water in the desert!
In my own personal opinion, even a glowing red lava rock plucked right out of a volcano isnt intense, its an earthy tone. It verges on the side of bland, and it defines what we perceive as natural color tones. Its literally the easiest tone to blend into other design elements and can serve as an accent, counterpoint to something brighter or background.
Polished Mixed Pebbles 1/2-1 Ideal for Earthy Tones
In a zen garden, you use it as an accent or to frame for a path. Dont use it as gravel changing the whole theme of restraint and cleanliness. If you know how to use the light you can use dark lava rock walls in a crowded tropical jungle garden without making it too crowded, and dark.
You just have to be sure you get enough light into the scene, so their texture doesnt get easily overlooked. Low light, thick vegetation, and dark matte tones do the same thing, dont use all of them at once.
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How Long Does The Lava Rock Last In One Fire Pit
They can last for approximately two years before starting to show wear signs. Then keep using these rocks in a fire pit till they get crumbly looking.
Several ways will allow you to extend the lifespan of lava rocks, including avoiding moving these rocks around too much and not enabling them to get wet for too long.
Is It Possible To Use The Lava Rock In Propane Fire Pits
These rocks will work well for any propane fire pit as they can withstand extremely high temperatures.
Also, they are helpful in many other ways, such as distributing the heat evenly.
Besides making a decent warmth for others around the fire, they also prevent cold and hot spots from developing, damaging the fabric of fire pits.
These rocks are also helpful in making a drainage layer at the bottom of fire pits and protect gas burners from extreme heat.
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How Do I Order Fabric Swatches Or Fabric Samples
We offer fabric swatches and samples for most products on our site. Please navigate to the product that you are interested in purchasing and select the green ‘Request a Free Swatch’ text. That form will allow you to select from the fabrics specific to that product. We ship fabric samples within one to two business days. Theyre also free!
Pros And Cons Of Using Lava Rock In Fire Pits
Now that weve answered the question, Is lava rock safe for fire pits? its time to take a look at the pros and cons of using this material.
As we mentioned before, one of the main advantages of using lava rock is that its heat-resistant. This means that your fire will be able to burn hotter and longer without damaging the rocks.
Additionally, lava rock is a great insulator, so it can help to keep your fire pit warm even after the flames have died down.
Another advantage of using lava rock is that its very easy to find and relatively inexpensive. You can purchase lava rock at most home improvement stores or online.
The main disadvantage of using lava rock is that it can be difficult to clean. The porous nature of the material means that soot and ashes can easily become trapped inside. Additionally, the sharp edges of lava rock can make it difficult to remove debris without damaging the rocks.
We found some Cheap ones HERE
If you do decide to use lava rock in your fire pit, be sure to clean it regularly to prevent build-up. You can clean lava rock with a wire brush or a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment.
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Fire Glass Or Lava Rocks
When choosing the right type of media for your fire pit, you have to consider factors beyond aesthetics. You have to weigh the cost against their durability and lifespan as well as the type of climate youre in.
For example, while fire glass may be the more heat-efficient option, lava rocks can fare pretty well in more humid or hotter climates that only experience cool drafts every now and then.
But, if I had to choose one, I would definitely go with fire glass as theyre durable, long-term, and produce beautiful flickering hues that make chilly evenings a joy to welcome.
About The Author
Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.
How Do I Clean My Teak
Cleaning teak furniture once a year with a soft-bristled brush and soapy water will remove most accumulated dirt. To remove and prevent mold and mildew, use a mold and mildew cleaner. To prevent food or drink stains, you can also use a stain-shield solution, which creates a water-based shield that prevents stains from seeping through. Its also important to know what not to do when it comes to teak furniture care. Avoid pressure-washing teak, which can scour and roughen the woods surface, or steel wool, which can create rust spots.
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How Long Do Lava Rocks Last In A Fire Pit
Lava rocks should last for around two years before they start to show signs of wear. Keep using them in your fire pit until you notice them getting a little crumbly looking. There are a couple of ways to extend their life: try not to move them around too much , and dont let them stay wet for too long.
How Do You Find The Perfect Spot For Your Fire Pit
The most important thing to remember when deciding where to place your fire pit is ensuring it will be in a good, well-ventilated area. If you want to place a fire pit on your deck, please be careful.
There are mixed recommendations on whether or not fire pits should be placed indoors or on covered patios due to the potential hazard of not having enough ventilation.
Hazard Warning: A fire pit that is not well-ventilated will develop a buildup of toxic smoke and harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide!
You also need to learn of your local regulations regarding the set up of your fire pit. Some of these regulations include:
- Fires should be a minimum of 25 feet away from buildings and combustible structures or materials, like decks or trees. Sometimes there is an exception for approved portable outdoor fire pits.
- There may be a minimum clearance above the fire of 21 feet for overhead branches.
- Typically, a fire pit cannot be placed within 10 feet of property lines.
In addition to the area you are placing your fire pit in, you will need to keep in mind what you are placing your fire pit on. Do not place your fire pit directly onto a wooden surface.
Do You Want an In-Ground or Above Ground Fire Pit?
The difference between in-ground and above ground fire pits is the location of the fire: whether the fire is in-ground or above ground. Deciding which one you want really boils down to personal preference.
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