Step by Step: How to install a simple fire pit

November 8, 2018 -  By
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Tire pits continue to be popular as more homeowners strive to create an outdoor oasis in their own backyards. But before installing a fire pit, there are several factors for contractors, as well as their clients, to consider.

The most common types of fire pits are wood burning, natural gas and propane. Wood-burning fire pits are less expensive to design and install than gas or propane versions, and they provide the sounds and smells many homeowners associate with a backyard fire. For customers willing to invest the money, gas or propane fire pits are easier to clean and maintain because they produce no ash and almost no smoke. Also, a fire can be started instantaneously, without the need to gather wood and other materials.

The shape and size of the fire pit and the materials used to create it are also important. There are several options, including a masonry fire pit faced with stone veneer, ceramic tile or stucco; interlocking block made from engineered stone; and natural stone. Most often, the fire pit design will dictate what materials are used. It’s interesting to note that many professionally installed fire pits aren’t actually pits at all. Instead, they are built 16 to 21 inches above ground to prevent drainage issues and to help the fire draw more air.

Follow these steps to install a basic wood-burning fire pit.

Step 1

Perimeter of fire pit (illustration: David Preiss)

illustration: David Preiss

Mark the outer diameter circle with spray paint. Remove any sod, stones and roots found inside the circle. Dig a circle 5 inches deep, making sure the circle is level.

Fill the fire pit with gravel, then level and tamp down.

Step 2

Steel ring of fire pit illustration (illustration: David Preiss)

illustration: David Preiss

Lay fire pit pavers on top of the gravel and place the steel ring in the center of the pavers.

Step 3

Completed fire pit (illustration: David Preiss)

illustration: David Preiss

Lay fire pit stones around the ring, staggering joints on each layer. Use a rubber mallet to secure stones against the fire ring. Add adhesive to the top stones to keep them in place as an additional safety precaution.

Download a PDF copy of this page from the magazine to use as a training tool at your company here.

Source: RealStone Granite Products; Engledow Group

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