In this article, I will give you information to make a decision on lava or Glass Rocks for Gas Fire Pits to help you make choice on what will work best for you. The cost will be more for the glass, more work will be needed for the lava.
Both will have advantages that each person will like. Most gas fire pits come with lava rocks and can be changed to glass rocks without any modifications to the burn bowl or burner.
Lava or Glass Rocks for Gas Fire Pits
Now let us look at each type and see what will work best for your application.
This is a natural product. It is a very porous material that will radiate the heat from a fire. The rocks will stay warm for a little while after the fire goes out.
Lava rocks have been used in gas BBQ pits for many years. They are a very low-cost medium to help radiate the heat from your flame. The majority of lower-cost fire pits will have lava rocks in the fire bowl.
The biggest drawback to using lava rocks in your fire pit is that the dust from the lava rocks will block the holes in the burner for the fire pit. Keeping your burner clean and clear is very important to keep your fire burning properly.
The lava rocks will only come in one color, various shades of gray and brown. The lava rocks will not reflect any of the flames from your fire.
Glass rocks are a man-made product that has a lot of properties that make them great for fire bowl medium in a fire pit. The cost of glass fire rocks will be quite a bit higher than lava rocks.
Because they are man-made, the glass fire rocks will have a lot more options in color and design than the lava rocks. The price of the glass rocks will be a little higher that the same amount of lava rocks.
Glass fire rocks are found in some of the higher-priced gas fire pits. Changing to glass rocks from lava rocks can be done on most gas fire pits. Check with your owner's manual to make sure that your fire pit can use glass fire rocks.
Colors of glass rocks
Many colors are available in glass fire rocks. From clear to black and several colors in between. The color of the fire rocks will reflect the flame and give your guest a great visual scene.
See some of my replacement glass fire rock examples in my article here.
Shapes of glass rocks
The shapes of the fire rocks will be the factor in how much and the output of the glow from your fire. Round or oval fire rocks will have smooth surfaces.
Some rocks will look like broken glass pieces and have various angles to reflect your fire.
Your choice of shape will determine the amount and shape of your glow from your fire rocks.
FAQs about Lava rocks or Glass rocks
Can you cook over lava or glass rocks?
The simple answer is yes. Precautions are needed to keep any debris or food from falling into the rocks. Lava rocks can not be cleaned and glass rocks may break if you spill something on them and keep the fire burning.
Disadvantages of each style of media.
The lava rocks will be very porous and will give off fine dust. They will not hold the heat as long as the glass rocks.
The glass rocks will be fragile and can be broken. May have broken pieces in the bag when opened. Have to take caution when handling the glass rocks. Make sure that your glass is not wet when you start the fire as it may break or pop from warming up too fast.
My final thoughts on lava or Glass Rocks for Gas Fire Pits
Both styles of fire bowl medium will work to produce heat after the flame has gone out. Each will have its own advantages and disadvantages. I prefer the glass rocks for my fire pit for its simple looks and less matai nance.
The lava rocks will give you a lower-cost option if you are just getting into the gas fire pit market. You could upgrade most fire pits at an additional cost from the lava rocks to fire rocks. Some manuals will tell you not to do this.
The heat displaced by the glass rocks will be a little different than the lava rocks and some damage may occur to your fire bowl if you change. If you really like the glass fire rocks you should just upgrade to the fire pit that comes with the glass rocks.
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