‘Floor Is Lava’ Creators Share Secrets From Behind the Scenes And Explain Why You Can’t Make Those Jumps

Floor Is Lava is the perfect example of “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” Released on June 19, the Netflix show flowed right into the streamer’s top 10 rankings and is still there.

A product of the children’s game, it has splashing lava, harrowing obstacles, and prize money for the winners. For fans, it’s like seeing an over-the-top version of a childhood pastime—with stakes. If you’ve been watching, you probably have questions about the Floor Is Lava game setup.

'Floor Is Lava'
‘Floor Is Lava’ | Adam Rose/Netflix

How is the lava made on ‘Floor Is Lava’?

The show is a little reminiscent of Wipeout, and fans can’t stop watching the goofiness while shouting at the TV, “You’re not gonna make that!”

You can see the adrenaline kick in with the contestants as they try to maneuver themselves around the course to avoid losing their balance or grip and plunging into the lava.

As a fan, you may wonder what it feels like to sink into that stuff, even if it is fake. What’s in it? Is it hot? Where does the steam come from? The creators of Floor Is Lava, Megan McGrath and Irad Eyal, sat for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to spill some secrets.

But the lava formula will remain under lock and key.

McGrath shared that it took months of research and testing before coming up with something that was believable and safe.

Eyal told THR:

The reason we’re being so secretive about it is because it really did take a long time to nail this down. You want the lava to glow. “Oh, that’s easy,” the chemists said, “we could just add in some glowing chemicals.” Well, it turns out those things are carcinogenic. So you can’t have that in there. So it took a long time to figure out exactly how do you make this thing bubble, flow, be slippery, be viscous in the right way, and also be safe that people can be submerged in it for minutes at a time, hours at a time, whatever it is, and come out safely.

‘Floor is Lava’ was not filmed in a studio

An awesomely fun fact about the game is that it takes place inside an out-of-commission Ikea building. The creators couldn’t find a studio willing to let them fill the place with faux lava, and it was a happy circumstance they found a suitable location.

McGrath said, “We had all of our different teams in there. There was a welding shop and the casting department and challenge producers had a giant office that they were working in. It ended up working out really well. The main stage is in, I guess the self-serve area of Ikea?”

Eyal added they cleared the floor out and constructed everything they needed.

Why the course is so difficult

Of course, there was a team dedicated to planning out each room and course. They were meticulous about measuring and the placement of each prop, and conducted tests in the Ikea parking lot (in a pool) and in the building. Eyal tried out the Antiquities room himself and tanked.

He said it is way harder than it seems because once you’re in the room, spatial awareness and perspective become an issue. Those jumps are not easy.

Eyal said:

What you don’t realize when you’re there, when you’re in the room, there’s only a few spots in the room where you really have a perspective to see the whole course. And so you’re trying to sort of figure it out. Even when I knew the course, you’re trying to figure out what your best move is from a spot where you you don’t have all the information until you get up to a vantage point.

If you haven’t checked out Floor Is Lava, it’s worth your time for nostalgia and the laughs. Stream all 10 episodes on Netflix.

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