Which is Better - Lava Rocks or Fire Glass?


Fireplace media is designed for use in gas fireplaces and firepits. It evenly distributes gas and creates a barrier between the flames and burner. Additionally, media provides a decorative function. When you choose media for a gas fireplace, there are several things to consider. Lava rocks and fire glass offer very different aesthetics and features. Let's explore key differences between both options.


Lava rocks are naturally occurring igneous rocks. These rocks are found near volcanoes. They are formed when hot magma releases gas and cools down. This chemical reaction causes the formation of rock shapes, known as basalt, or lava rock. Lava rocks are naturally porous. As a result, they are great heat conductors and disperse heat fairly well.


While lava rock is naturally occurring, fire glass is man-made. Created from tempered glass, it can withstand extreme heat. Consequently, the glass will not melt, burn or become discolored. This media is completely safe and does not emit toxic chemicals. It also has the ability to radiate up to 4 times more heat than just wood alone.

Lava Rock and Fire Glass Colors


Next, let's examine the look of lava rock vs fire glass. The polished finish of the fire glass provides a modern feel. The endless color combinations and brilliant shine are sure to enhance the ambiance. If you prefer a traditional or natural look, opt for lava rock. The subtle hues blend well and allow for the fire or gas logs to be the star of the show.

Lava Rock

Lava rock offers a traditional, rustic look. The igneous rock has a matte finish and will not reflect the appearance of the flames. Because it is naturally occurring and unaltered, there are few color options. It is typically found is basic colors such as red, brown or black. Lava rock has been the go-to choice for fireplaces and fire pits for several years.

Fire Glass

In comparison, fire glass is available in many options due to its manufactured nature. These various styles allow for a customized look. You can easily mix and match the colors and cuts. Whether you opt for jagged, square pieces or smooth, round glass, you'll appreciate the dazzling look. The glass is available in both reflective and non-reflective finishes.


Generally speaking, both media options are durable. However, over time, the rocks will break down and deteriorate. Depending on how often your fireplace is enjoyed, the lava rocks will need to be replaced every 1-2 years. Alternatively, fire glass will last for a much longer time than lave rock. Because it is specifically designed to withstand high temperatures, fire glass will not damage over time.

Whether you choose the tried and true lava rock or modern and trendy fire glass, we have many options available.