This post may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What To Put At The Bottom Of a Fire Pit

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors and have a cozy fire going, then building a fire pit is the perfect solution. However, if you aren’t sure what to put at the bottom of your fire pit, there are plenty of options!

In this blog post, we will explore some different ideas so that you can find one that works best for you.

What To Put At The Bottom Of a Fire Pit?

What do you put at the bottom of a fire pit? The possibilities are endless so we’ve grabbed ten unusual options to kick things off…

1. Dirt

Dirt is free and readily available; all you have to do is dig it up from the outside.

While dirt is extremely convenient and easy to use, you should be aware that its heat resistance is slightly lower than that of sand.

When using dirt, the most significant issue is that it tends to become tightly mixed in with the sand. When it comes to cleaning up afterward, this is going to be a major issue for you. To clean up the fire pit, you’ll need to use a shovel.

It isn’t difficult, but it does necessitate some effort. You’ll also have to refill the dirt every time you’re about to use the fire pit

2. Sand

Essentially, the layer of sand at the bottom of your fire pit is intended to protect the metal used at the bottom of the bowl. The extreme heat produced by the fire must be absorbed, and sand is excellent at doing so.

The sand in the desert is actually quite absorbent and can easily absorb heat. Not only that but the heat is evenly distributed throughout the entire base, all the way around the sand.

Read More: Can You Use Play Sand In A Fire Pit?

Consider sand to be an insulator, as it will help disperse the heat throughout the base and prevent wear and tear on a single area of the fire pit.

One thing to keep in mind is that fire requires oxygen to light up. There can be no fire without oxygen.

Some fire pits have holes in the bottom, which allow for adequate airflow. The air from above also aids in the proper lighting of the fire.

Keep in mind that some people prefer not to use sand in their fire pits. The reason is straightforward: wood fire ash can be used as a fertilizer. That ash can be used to improve the soil quality by spreading it around the garden.

So, if you want to keep the wood ash and use it in your garden, putting sand in your fire pit might not be a good idea. It all boils down to your personal preferences.

KAYSO INC Silica Sand for Fire Pits, Fire Places, Gas Fire, Base Layer Decoration - 10lb Heat and...
  • BASE: Works great for a base on...
  • MODERN DESIGN: Gives Fireplace and Fire Pits and...
  • HEAT/FIRE PROOF: Can be used with either Gas or...
  • SAFE, NON-TOXIC AND NATURAL: Can be used indoor...
  • COST-EFFETIVE ALTERNATIVE: Can be use instead of...

3. Lava Rocks

Magma lava rocks are a fantastic alternative. They may, however, be difficult to locate. Natural magma lava stone is the best option because it produces the best results. They’ll be the perfect shade of pink, and they’ll fit perfectly in the bottom of your fire pit.

One of the reasons why lava rocks are such a good choice is that they have such an exotic and stylish appearance.

The fire pit will obviously have a significant impact on the appearance of your yard, so it’s critical that you choose the right design. When it comes to using the magma lava stones, however, you must exercise extreme caution.

However, there’s no need to be concerned; if these stones can withstand the heat at the bottom of a lava pit, they’ll be fine in the fire pit. Magma lava rocks are a great option if you want something that will last a long time and won’t need to be replaced.

However, you should be aware that there is a drawback to this. For starters, magma lava rocks are slightly more expensive and more difficult to come by. In most cases, ordering magma lava stones over the internet is a good idea.

There are a plethora of online stores that sell magma lava stones at reasonable prices.

Even so, you should be aware that magma lava stones are clearly more expensive than sand, dirt, or gravel, which are practically free.

Black 3-5 Inch Lava Rock | Fireproof and Heatproof Volcanic Lava Rock, Perfect for Fire Pits,...
  • IMPROVES FLAME PERFORMANCE by spreading the gas...
  • GAS COMPATIBLE, for use in indoor and outdoor...
  • ECO-FRIENDLY AND SAFE for indoor and outdoor...
  • HASSLE-FREE INSTALLATION: Lava rock is easy to...
  • WARNING: Lava rock may pop or crack while...

4. Fire Pit Glass

You’re probably aware that there are a variety of materials that can be used beneath the pit. The majority of these materials are also reasonably priced.

However, if you want something a little more exotic and one-of-a-kind, fire glass is a good option. Despite its high cost, fire glass is one of the best materials for use beneath the pit.

Finding good fire glass isn’t going to be difficult because there are so many different patterns and colors available on the market.

Keep in mind that they are slightly more expensive than other materials like magma stones or sand, but they are a much safer alternative.

You should be aware that the fire glass is made specifically for use in the pit. Their heat resistance is incredible, and there is virtually no risk of the fire glass exploding due to the extreme heat. If you have the financial means, fire glass should be your first choice.

Fire glass is, without a doubt, the most effective material for keeping the fire pit safe.

You should also be aware that there are many different types of fire glass on the market, making choosing the right one a challenge.

To make things easier for yourself, you might want to look online for different options and then pick the best one.

GASPRO 10 lbs Fire Glass for Propane Fire Pit, 1/2-Inch Reflective Fireplace Glass Rocks for Fire...
  • 【Perfect Upgrade】 Awesome alternative of the...
  • 【Sparkly and Mesmerizing】 With gorgeous...
  • 【Stunning Flames】 Vibrant blue color, glistens...
  • 【Decent Quality】 Not melt, degrade or pop,...
  • 【Sufficient Portion】Adequate enough for 28-30...

5. Gravel

Gravel is another excellent option you have. Gravel is an excellent choice because it is widely available, and if you have a fire pit and are looking for a low-cost option, you should definitely consider it.

If you don’t want to be fussy about the amount of gravel you use, just enough to cover 10% of the fire pit will suffice.

This will ensure that the fire pit functions properly, and you’ll always have the option of adding more later. However, one thing to keep in mind about gravel is that it is not designed to withstand high temperatures, especially when compared to other materials like sand.

If you’re going to use fire glass or magma lava stones in the mix, for example, gravel might not be the best choice. There’s a good chance these will blow up as well.

As a result, the best option is to use materials that are designed specifically for use with gravel.

Stanbroil 10 Pounds Lava Rock Granules for Fire Bowls,Fire Pits,Gas Log Sets, and Indoor or Outdoor...
  • Natural black lava rock with hints of browns and...
  • Granules are small and vary in size from 1/2" to...
  • Durable, long-lasting, fire pit rocks look great...
  • Withstand the most extreme temperatures without...
  • Perfect for fire bowls, fire pits, and indoor or...

What To Put At The Bottom Of My Metal Fire Pit?

Sand seems to be the most popular choice to put at the bottom of the metal fire pit.

A layer of sand should be placed in the bottom of your metal fire pit according to some wood burning fire pit manufacturers.

The solution is simple: A layer of sand in your wood burning fire pit bowl is supposed to protect the metal from extreme heat.

It’s an easy material to find at any local hardware store and it will keep your fire pit out of direct contact with the ground. The only problem is that sand can easily come loose and spread all over your patio or deck.

What Rocks To Avoid Putting At The Bottom Of Your Fire Pit?

In general, avoid using rocks unless they are very small, about the size of a dime. This will reduce the danger by limiting the amount of damage that an exploding rock can cause.

Most common rocks to be avoided in fire pits include:

  • Sandstone
  • Limestone
  • Pumice
  • Gravel
  • River rocks

It doesn’t completely eliminate the threat, so proceed with caution. Almost any type of rock, especially porous and wet rocks, has the potential to explode.

When wet rocks heat up, trapped air and water expand rapidly, breaking the rock open and sometimes causing it to explode.

Best Rocks For Inside A Fire Pit

Most common rocks to use in fire pits include:

  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Slate

These hard rocks are much denser than soft rocks and are less likely to absorb water and explode when heated, making them ideal for a stone fire pit.

Fire-resistant brick, lava glass, lava rocks, and poured concrete are all safe rocks. If you use your fire pit frequently, you might want to consider covering it in bad weather to keep it dry and safe.

What To Put At The Bottom Of a Fire Pit

Should I Put Stone In The Bottom Of My Fire Pit?

Fire pits should never be made of sandstone, river pebbles, natural rocks, or gravel since they are more susceptible to fracture or explode when exposed to high heat.

Regardless of the sort of fill you choose, make sure it’s dry before igniting the fire. Even wet lava rock has the potential to erupt.

Should I Put Lava Rocks In The Bottom Of My Fire Pit?

Yes, The most popular filler for a fire pit is lava rock. Its porous nature makes it easy to soak up the heat from the flames, but also retain much of its heat after they die down.

Lava rocks are available in various sizes and different colors depending on how you want your final product to look.


A fire pit is an amazing addition to any deck or patio. However, the bottom of a firepit needs maintenance and protection from burning embers so it can be enjoyed for years to come.

To keep your backyard inviting and enjoyable, we recommend putting lava rocks in the base of your fire pit.


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.

Write A Comment Protection Status
Pin It