A fire pit is an attractive backyard addition that beautifies your space with cute flames during summers. Fire pits allow you and your family to gather and enjoy a burning fire and mesmerizing flames any day of the year while roasting some marshmallows.
Although an outdoor fire pit provides you with the chance to enjoy the outdoor atmosphere, you need to think about the high heat it withstands and how safe it is.
You see, the materials often used when building a fire pit might not be safe. However, adding a pit liner gives you the assurance that the firepit is safe.
In this article we are going to discuss everything you need about fire pits and if your fire pit needs a liner. Read on to learn more about fire pits and fire pit liners.
What is a fire pit liner?
A fire pit liner is a barrier made of metal that is added inside a fire pit to protect the bricks or stone used to make the fire pit from flames and high heat.
Firepit liners have high resistance to high temperatures all thanks to the durable steel used to make these fire pit liners.
Not all firepits are circular, for that reason, you get a variety of designs, thicknesses, and shapes that match your backyard fire pit.
Some fire pit liners have a lip that sits all around the top on the bricks while others come with a bottom floor.
The difference between a fire pit ring and a fire pit insert?
While the names are somehow confusing, a fire ring and a fire pit insert have two different uses. A fire pit ring is an outdoor square or circle-shaped fabricated metal that is placed on the ground and tinder, wood, and kindling are added and lit to get a firepit.
In simple terms, a fire pit ring is a campfire ring that is a fireproof framework put on the ground to contain the fire.
A fire ring doesn’t have a bottom so your firewood will sit directly on the ground. Most metal fire pit rings have decorative cut-outs and are only suitable for outdoor use.
A firepit insert or liner is the barrier between the rocks or bricks and the fire. In this article, we are talking about fire pit liners and not fire rings.
Read: How to make a fire pit screen at home
Things to consider before installing a fire pit liner
There are many things your will need to ask yourself or think critically about before installing a fire pit liner. Some of these factors are:
The material used to build a fire pit
Fire pits are built using different materials. Some are built with fire bricks and others are built with landscaping pavers and cinder blocks.
All these materials are durable but landscaping pavers and cinder blocks might not tolerate the high heat so they can explode.
Fire pits built with landscaping pavers and cinder blocks look elegant but they need a fire pit liner for protection against the high heat.
If you’re intending to use fire bricks when building a fire pit then you don’t need to stress yourself about a fire pit liner because the bricks can withstand high temperatures.
And now you might wonder why concrete explodes because most people think that concrete is fire resistant and this is where they go wrong.
You see, when concrete is heated under high temperatures, it becomes dehydrated by losing some of its water in the form of vapor.
The water moves away from the heat source and is trapped inside the concrete structure. The vapor expands and when there is no space for it to expand more it explodes.
It is important to consider the material you’ve used before dismissing fire pit liners. If you’re looking forward to creating a DIY fire pit then ensure using concrete or landscaping pavers, ensure that a liner is installed around the fire pit.
How long you intend to use the Fire Pit
Another important factor to put in mind when you’re asking yourself whether you need a fire pit liner or not is how you want your fire pit to look.
Fire pit liners create a beautiful finish when added to the inner rings of the bricks or pavers. If you want clean lines to your backyard fire pit space then you might consider adding a liner.
You can also achieve a smooth and natural-looking fire pit with rocks but they might not tolerate the high heat. You will need to put a fire ring liner in the rock too to protect it against the high heat.
Factors to consider when building Fire Pits
There are key factors that you might need to consider when building fire pits. These factors play a major role when it comes to fire safety and also go downs to if you will need a fire pit liner.
1. The Cost
Depending on your budget, you can purchase a portable fire pit like a fire bowl pit, hire the services of a mason to help you build one, or create a DIY fire pit.
You can purchase a fire bowl pit which is easy to set and are much cheaper than a custom paver pit.
Metal fire bowls are strong and they come with different burning options. You can choose one gel, gas, and gel burning option depending on your preference.
2. Style Of The Fire Pit
The style you choose depends on the space you have and your taste. DIY block kits are great and make things simpler. These DIY block kits come in earthy colors and are assembled together without cutting.
DIY blocks are easy to clean and don’t require any high-cost maintenance. Another thing that we love about DIY block kits is that they can be built on your existing patio. You can prevent your blocks from fading by treating them.
The only con with DIY block kits is that they only use wood fire sources. If you want to use gas then you’ll need a separate burner.
When you choose a custom masonry-style fire pit, you get a fire pit tailored to fit your space. A custom masonry fire pit design is flexible and can accommodate different colors and textures.
A custom masonry fire pit is as durable as your house as long as it drains well and can be designed to use propane (gas) through an additional pipe underground or wood.
3. Source Of Heat
When choosing the source of heat you should consider what source is the availability and cost. In most cases, wood fire pits are better picks than gas because wood is readily available and easy to burn.
Wood produces an orange-yellow bright flame as it burns and pops giving you warmth during winters. Gas burners, on the other hand, are good but they don’t produce the same amount of flames as a wood fire pit but they are incredibly easy to maintain.
The Do’s And Don’ts Of A Fire Pit
- Keep an eye on little kids and pets around your fire pit to reduce the chances of accidents because they move fast.
- The size of the firewood should not exceed the size of the fire pit. All the ends should fit in the fire pit.
- Scoop out the ashes once they cool to make things easier when lightening up the fire next time.
- Ensure you have fire safety gear. Keep a fire extinguisher near the fire pit area
- Do consider fuel supply type and emissions. Firewood produces fierce flames and might be a bit difficult to put off the fire and they also produce smoke and leave you with ash to clean up. Natural gas, propane, and ethanol on the other hand are the clean options with no smoke or ashes. In some places, the authorities have banned wood burning fire pits so be sure to conduct research before you build a fire pit.
- It’s important to install a fire pit liner for the protection of the fire pit from heat
- Don’t use porous materials when building a fire pit. Water retaining construction materials because they trap water vapor and explode. Avoid any flammable structures when working on your fire pit.
- Don’t build your fire pit in hazard-prone zones. Avoid positioning the fire pit in a place with unfavorable winds.
- Don’t attempt to DIY fire pits that use natural gas or propane. It’s good to hire professionals to do the job for you.
- Don’t build a fire pit without the permission of your local authorities.
- Don’t construct a permanent fire pit if your backyard or patio is congested.
Frequently asked questions
Does a fire pit need a liner?
No matter the materials used to construct a fire pit, a fire pit liner is important, and here’s why. A fire pit doesn’t only protect the fire pit from possible explosions but also maintains the structural integrity of the fire pit.
What do you put on the bottom of a fire pit?
You can put dirt at the bottom of your fire pit or start with sand, then gravel, a fire pit glass, and then put bricks.
How do you prepare the ground for a A Fire Pit?
Clear every plant and grass from the ground and dig about 8 inches deep ensuring that the soil at the bottom is compact and at the same level.
What’s the best base for a fire pit?
If you want a good-looking fire pit with a smooth finish then a base with sand and gravel is the best option. If you’re not all about appearance then a dirt base will work perfectly fine.