What Is The Best Base For A Fire Pit?

If you’re looking for a fun time, one good option is to be putting in a fire pit into your backyard. And while that is a simple thing, there are a lot of questions – and concerns – revolving around fire pits.

But don’t worry, we’ve got some answers for your questions and more.

For example, one question I get asked a lot is what is the best base for a fire pit? The best base by far is going to be stone or concrete based, however, there are some other considerations to keep in mind.

Things like what materials you are burning, whether you’re going to build it or buy a pre-made, and so on.

My suggestion is to read on to get specifics on what would be the best base for a fire pit while also learning some other good practices around fire pit safety.

fire pit base
Brick and gravel fire pit

First, Consider The Code

Before getting into fire pits, the first thing you want to do is check your city’s code on fire pits.

From construction to whether you can even use it.

This is going to vary from town to town but I do know you can always talk to local government or local fire departments for specific details.

Second, Determine Your Build

There are several styles of fire pits out there. From gas burning to wood-burning, you’ve also got below-ground and above ground as well as portability.

There are several considerations involved and these decisions can also be determined by the landscaping of your backyard as well.

Broadly speaking though, for those new to fire pits, I’d suggest an above-ground fire pit is ideal for a permanent one.

If you want something more portable, you can go for a pre-built portable one or even a fire table.

Also note if you plan to make your own fire pit from scratch, most DIY fire pits are below ground since they’re basic and easier to build.

Third, Consider A Liner

Fire pit liners have several benefits that are worth considering. The first big one is that it prevents underground root fires and adds support to fire pits if you want it to be permanent.

Liners are also reasonably priced and last for a long time. Makes sense since the material is usually stone or steel of some kind and will help protect surfaces like patios.

Material that is able to withstand very high temperatures without much issue. For additional coverage for your firepit, you can consider utilizing a firepit ring.

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Fourth, Look At Material

While most people think a fire pit needs wood, you are right to some extent.

There are all kinds of different materials in terms of wood, but there are other considerations as well.

For example, you can put in lava rocks into fire pits without any issues so long as they’re not wet.

In terms of wood, you want to avoid any kind of construction wood like plywood or chemically treated wood since those chemicals will become airborne and you’ll be breathing that in.

You’re better off going with hardwood or fire starters or logs. Softwoods will create excess fumes which aren’t ideal.

Fifth, Consider The Depths

This applies more to when building your own since pre-built fire pits will already have a good amount of depth to them.

When making in-ground pits, the recommended is 6 to 12 inches deep.

You’ll also want the ground to be level as possible before adding anything into the fire pit.

If you decide you want to go deeper than that, you’ll have to consider ventilation by that point so that the fire has enough air to burn. You might need to get a fire bowl to help you with that.

Also, keep in mind that the deeper or higher the walls of the fire pit are, the less likely stray flames will land on something.

Even with a higher level of safety, you still want to keep a watchful eye.

Sixth, Mind Your Distance

Fire safety is important at all times and is a factor in picking a spot for a fire pit.

Always keep a pit ten feet away from any tall trees, fences, or flammable structures at a minimum.

With that in mind, you may have to remove other potential fire hazards from that area to ensure its safety which is fine.

The other thing to be mindful of is the roots of trees as well. Even if you’re far away from a tree, the roots of the tree may not be.

You want to be mindful of that as the roots could catch on fire from the embers in a fire pit and work their way up along the roots to the tree itself.

Firepits don’t have to be alone by themselves, they can be safely used on decks, but additional safety measures should be taken.

Construct Wisely

As you can tell, there are many things to be mindful of when building a fire pit.

Whether it’s temporary or something you’re building in your backyard, be mindful of the surrounding area.

Aside from that, you can build a fantastic fire pit if you plan it outright and get to lighting up your firepit for the first time!

Final Notes

In this post we discussed six key considerations to keep in mind when choosing and building a base for your fire pit:

  1. code
  2. design
  3. liner
  4. material
  5. depth distance
  6. construction

Which base is best for a fire pit will ultimately depend on what type of fire pit you want and where you want to put it.

But hopefully, with these tips in mind, you’ll be able to chose the perfect fire pit and base the next time you’re getting one.

And remember, always consider what’s safest for you and your situation when it comes to fire pits and fires.