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Can You Use Play Sand In A Fire Pit

Can you use play sand in a fire pit? This is one of the most common questions we get asked.

The answer, however, depends on what type of fire pit you have and how big it is. In this blog post, we will cover everything and tell you exactly what to do!

Can You Use Play Sand For a Fire Pit?

Play sand if perfectly safe to use at the bottom of your fire pit. If your fire bowl or ring has a screen around the bottom of it then you have what’s called an “open burning system” and this isn’t possible to use play sand in.

So, what you need to do is simply replace the old play sand with a different kind of media. You can use lava rock or natural river rocks.

Read More: 5 Materials to Put in the Bottom of Your Fire Pit [SNEAKY]

Just make sure that whatever you using doesn’t have any sharp edges and will not puncture through the bottom of your fire pit.

For those who don’t know how much amount they should put in their fire bowl or ring then we recommend putting around two inches of sand into it which should be enough for most people.

Should You Put Sand In The Bottom Of A Fire pit?

It is recommended to put sand at the bottom of a fire pit. Sand absorbs the heat and distributes it equally throughout the whole base of the pit. If there’s no sand, then the heat may become more concentrated in one area of the base.

Sand is very cheap and easy to get. It is good for the bottom of fire pits because it can handle the heat, and can easily be disposed of when finished with a pit.

The benefits of having sand at the bottom are numerous:

  • It costs less than other materials like bricks or stones because they can be reused after you take down your fireplace for another season
  • They absorb heat well so that none is wasted by escaping through an empty space between rocks or wood on top
  • The heat from the fire is absorbed evenly throughout the whole bottom of a fire pit since no area gets hotter than another by being closer to the flames.
  • Sand is the most widely available material for fire pits. Most home improvement stores or hardware shops carry it, and sand can also be found on beaches so you don’t have to buy anything new!

Read More: What To Do With Ashes From A Fire Pit? [11 TIPS]

Is Silica Sand The same As Play Sand?

No, Silica sand and play sand are very different from one another. Silica sand is much finer than play sand.

Silica Sand

This type of sand is generally used in different manufacturing processes such as glass and pottery making or foundries due to its high purity levels (99%).

It also has a number of other uses such as filling up cracks on roads since it doesn’t erode easily; filtering water; producing toothpaste; polishing metals, etc..

On top of all this, silica sand is toxic and may have detrimental effects on human health, one of which is silicosis, a condition that can be acquired after only a few months of heavy alike.

Play Sand

This type of sand is often used in the landscaping industry to fill aquariums, garden pots, and children’s play areas.

It has very low amounts of quartz thus making it easily compactable while providing adequate drainage at the same time.

While this sounds like a great thing for gardens and flowerbeds, there are some downsides to using Play Sand instead of Silica Sand.

Because it can retain moisture longer than usual since its pores are larger; eventually resulting in mold growth if you aren’t careful enough with your maintenance efforts!

Read More: How Many Bricks Do You Need For A Fire Pit: Calculator

Can I Use Beach Sand For A Fire Pit?

Beach sand is a great option for your fire pit. It can be used as an alternative to gravel or river rock, and it doesn’t cost much at all since you will likely have some on hand from the beach anyway!

It is easy to find and may be free, depending on where you live near the beach. The only disadvantage of using it for this purpose is that it tends to be very fine-grained and may not hold up as well as other types of rock or lava rock when exposed to intense heat from a bonfire or fire pit.

What Sand Is Best For Fire Pits?

If color isn’t an issue then play sands or silica sand sands work well too! It really depends on what kind of look you’re going for when choosing which type of sand to go within your fire pit.

We would recommend staying away from silica based sands since they typically burn hotter than others due to their chemical makeup. You want something that will act more as insulation rather than a heat source.

What Can I Use Instead Of Sand In A Fire Pit?

Instead of sand, you can use glass beads or lava rocks. They are not as heavy so they won’t affect the structure of your fire pit.

You can even find colored glass balls that would look great around a bonfire or beach party!

For something less expensive but still very durable, try using fine river rocks instead! River rocks may work better than actual stones because they’re easier to clean off any spills or messes made near the fire pit area.

Also, remember never burn anything other than natural wood (no painted/treated lumber etc.) inside your fire pit as it can release dangerous chemicals into the air.

Can I Use Paver Sand For A Fire Pit?

Paver sand for fire pits is a great option if you want to build an outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

Most paver sand should work fine, especially since this kind of material normally doesn’t get hot enough for it to burn anybody who sits on top of it.

However, some types might not hold up very well against heat from fires because they don’t contain the right kind of materials for this use.

Before you order any paver sand, it’s a good idea to determine what type of material is best for your needs and then find out which companies offer the most competitive pricing on that particular product.


If your fire pit doesn’t include drainage holes and you don’t intend on exposing it to water, using sand in your fire pit should be fine.

It’s worth noting that sand can’t replace crushed lava rocks, pea gravel, as a filler material for the firepit.


Meet Bob Vil, is a seasoned patio enthusiast and the author behind the informative and engaging content on our patio website. Bob Vil has a degree in Civil Engineering (BSCE). With over a decade of experience designing, building, and maintaining patios, fire pits, and porches, Bob Vil is an expert in all things outdoor living. Throughout his career, Bob Vil has worked on a wide range of projects, from small, intimate patios for residential clients to large-scale commercial installations. His knowledge and expertise have helped countless homeowners create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces that they can enjoy for years to come.

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