Wooden decks are a very common feature in outdoor yards and gardens. They are a place to gather with friends and family for a few drinks, a BBQ, but what about having a fire? Having a fire pit on a wooden deck seems like it a good idea, but can you put a fire pit on a wooden deck?
There are a lot of ways in which you can have a fire pit on your wooden deck, however there are a lot of luckily avoidable risks as well. You Never want to set your fire pit directly on your deck as ashes, sparks, and heat can damage the wood. However, there are many solutions as to how to elevate your outdoor deck space by adding a fire pit.
There are two fire pits you could possibly place in or on your deck. You could do a built in fireplace into the deck or you could have a free standing fire pit that you place onto the deck. There are many pros and cons to both but no matter what you choose the result will transform your outdoor space.
Let’s look into the different options as to how you can put a fire put on a wooden deck.
Free Standing Fire Pits
If you have a simple, metal, freestanding fire pit there are ways in which you can put your fire pit on your deck without damage. One option is to purchase a fire pit pad which is designed to protect wooden deck surfaces from extremely high temperatures up to 1,400 degrees F.
There are also do it yourself options such as creating your own pad using a cement fiber board and tile. First, you want to make sure your deck will be able to withstand the weight of both the fire pit and the cement tiles. Then you will measure the space required, experts suggest having your pad extend at least 24 inches beyond the fire pit on all sides.
You will then need to gather your materials. First, you will need a cement fiber board, you can find them at most hardware stores such as Lowes or Home Depot. Then you will need tiles of your choice as well as a tile adhesive. You will then simply use the adhesive to place the tiles on the desired area or your cement board. You will then let it dry and place it on your wooden deck under your fire pit!
Fire Pits Built Into Your Deck
There is a very wide range of options for fire pits you could potentially build into or on your deck. You can choose from a wide range of materials, styles, and different ways to ignite the flame.
First, you will want to decide for your fire pit shape, the most traditional is a circle but you could also make a rectangle or a square shape. The shape you choose will determine what shape of material you will need to get.
For a ring, you will need trapezoidal blocks that are narrower on one side, this makes for a gap free fire pit with the bricks fitting together nice and snug.
For a square, you will need rectangular blocks which come in many size and material varieties.
Choosing the right material for your fire pit is very important, you want to make sure you get something that can withstand the heat as well as being durable. The inner wall must always be made of fireproof materials, fire brick is the most common as well as recommended material. As for the outer wall, It doesn’t have to be fire proof but it definitely needs to be heat resistant. Some options for this include brick, stone, masonry blocks, granite, concrete pavers or even heat resistant outdoor stucco or tile would work.
The easiest way to do this is to simply build the fire pit on top of your deck rather than building it into your deck. You will want to make sure to fireproof the deck area you are planning to build the fireplace.
How Do You Want Your Fire Pit to Burn
There are several options for what type of flame you want your fire to burn. You can choose between natural gas, propane or wood burning.
One of the biggest reasons people choose propane for their fire pit is because it is portable, and easy to start the fire. This allows you to be able to move your fire pit from one area to the space to another if you choose, unless you have a built in fire pit.
Natural gas on the other hand doesn’t allow for portability as it’s attached to a natural gas line, however it definitely outsets the cost of propane. Additionally, natural gas is simply more convenient since you will always won’t have to worry about getting more or running out as you would propane.
The final option is to simply have a wood burning fire pit. This is definitely the more rustic option, but there is nothing like roasting s’mores over a wood burning fire. There are some cons to this, such as having to have wood on hand, start the fire, tend to the fire and finally make sure the fire is all the way out.
Cost is a huge factor as well when considering which option to go with, wood burning stands at the cheapest, then natural gas and finally propane. They are all good options, it just comes down to what works best for you in your personal outdoor space.
How to Safely Have a Fire Pit in Your Outdoor Space
Any fire pit, regardless of if it’s on a wooden deck or not, is a fire risk for the homeowner. In order to safely have a fire pit in your backyard, you must first make sure to keep all chairs and outdoor furniture a safe distance from the fire pit. This will greatly reduce the risk of starting a fire in unwanted places.
A few other tips experts suggest is keeping a fire extinguisher nearby as well as having a lid to be able to place over the flame so that it doesn’t get out of control. Also, make sure to have the flame and coals entirely out when you are done.
Before making the decision to add a fire pit, make sure you are able to with your home insurance policy, city ordinance and/or your homeowners association.
So in conclusion, yes, you can put a fire pit on a wooden deck. While there are many safety precautions one must take when considering whether or not to put a fire pit on a wooden deck, it is definitely something that can be done. You also don’t need a whole lot of skill to do it, or you could even use a fire pit you buy from a store, as long as there’s a layer of protection between the fire pit and the deck!
Fire pits are a great way to add a bit or flare to your outdoor space. They create a place for gathering with family, friends, neighbors or even just with yourself. Just make sure to build your fire pit properly and safely, and in no time you will have a transformed deck space.