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The bottom of the fire pit is typically where you will find dirt, gravel, lava rocks, or fire glass.
Determining which type of material to use for the bottom of your fire pit depends on what you are looking to do with it. Dirt or gravel is typically best for people who are looking to create a natural aesthetic. For people who want a more colorful look in their backyard, lava rocks are the best option. If you're looking for something that resists cracking and doesn't require much maintenance, fire glass is the best choice.
One of the most popular alternatives to sand is dirt because it is natural and inexpensive. It also has a natural scent which many people enjoy. Gravel and lava rocks are other options to get the desired texture without spending too much money. Fire glass is one of the more expensive options, but it might be worth it if you want your fire pit to be more decorative.
Lava rocks are a popular choice for the bottom of fire pits. These stones are porous and will retain heat well after the fire has died down. Lava rocks will also produce less ash than other rock types because they're denser and thus more resistant to conducting heat away from the burning.