What to put under fire pit on deck? As the warm summer evenings approach, there’s nothing quite like spending quality time with family and friends outdoors. And enjoying the cool breeze and engaging in conversations that flow into the night.
What to put under fire pit on deck?
When dealing with a limited yard space and a wooden deck as your sole option for setting up a fire pit, its safety precautions are crucial. The combination of fire and a wooden deck demands meticulous planning to ensure safety.
In this article, we will delve into the crucial aspects of What to put under fire pit on deck? By following these guidelines, you can relish the pleasures of a fire pit on your deck without compromising its structural integrity.
Fire pit for wood deck – best materials to put under a fire pit
Putting a fire pit directly on the deck can cause damage to the wooden surface. But you can avoid such unwanted outcomes by building a protector under the fire pit.
There are multiple options you can choose from to stand on the deck and save it from catching any fire or burn marks. The said options are:
- Fire pad
- Heat-resistant tiles
- Landscaping tiles
- Cement tiles or boards
- Stones, bricks, or pavers
READ ALSO: Can you put a fire pit on a wooden deck?
1. Fire pad
Fire pads are specially designed to protect composite decks from heat embers coming out of fire pits. Mats are quite thick which enables them to tackle harm done by high heat.
These fire pads are available in a variety of shapes sizes and textures. To ensure that fire pads save the deck from maximum damage, place the fire pit in the centre of the mat.
For further protection do not place a direct fire pit on the mat. Use any stand or other support to lift it from the surface.
2. Heat-resistant tiles
Heat-resistant tiles are designed in such a way that they can handle high heat well. These tiles are made of tough materials such as concrete, stone, ceramic, and clay that are well known for their heat resistance.
These are sturdy tiles that can last for a longer time. You won’t have to replace these tiles very often. And above all, you don’t have to worry about damaging the underneath deck surface. They will protect the deck surface from fire cinders coming out of the fire pits.
3. Landscaping tiles
Although landscaping tiles are known for their water resistance abilities. However, they can handle heat too. These tiles are available in multiple shapes, sizes, and textures. Hence you can show creativity in making them attractive so not only they will support you to counter heat damage but will look pleasant to guests.
Furthermore, they are easy to clean and maintain. You can use water and soap detergent for clean-up as well as they can handle pressure washing.
They can be used as multi-taskers, you can use them as deck protectors on breezy nights. Also, when the weather turns to the winter season you can use them as protectors over icy stains, acidic rain, wet leaves, and other debris during the fall season.
4. Cement tiles or board
Another alternative you might use is cement boards. These boards are relatively inexpensive than tiles. And can counterheat well. But they are a heavy substitute to put over wooden decks.
Before putting it directly on the deck surface make sure the deck is able to hold cement boards keeping in mind fire pit itself is a heavy unit.
On the brighter side, they are easy to install and can be painted easily to match the surrounding areas. With these boards, you can also exhibit your artistic skills.
5. Stones, bricks, and pavers
These are the most commonly used options to cut the budget short. But you must know which material are you installing and how they’ll react in certain conditions.
Stones and pavers when exposed to extreme weather conditions expand and contract relatively. And will damage the deck surface when used for a longer time.
If you’re looking in between these three options, bricks would be a sustainable option among them to put under the fire pit on the deck.
How to Safely Use a Fire Pit on a Wooden Deck
It’s crucial to emphasize that when using a fire pit, whether on a wooden deck, in your yard, or anywhere it must never be left unattended.
1. Clear the Deck
Before lighting a fire in your fire pit, ensure that the surrounding area is free from debris. Relocate leaves, pine straw, old newspapers, lighter fluid, or any other highly flammable materials far away from the fire pit.
Remember that fires can pop and crackle, potentially sending embers flying from the fire pit. If an ember lands in a pile of dry leaves or debris, it could ignite, leading to the spread of fire. Sweep the area clean to establish a safe, clear zone around the pit.
2. Move Away from the House
Never position your fire pit directly against the side of your house, garage, or any other structure. Although this should be common sense, people might not fully consider the consequences of starting a fire. Being outdoors alone does not ensure safety.
Apart from the risk of your home catching fire, fire pits emit a substantial amount of heat that can damage siding, resulting in unsightly exteriors or costly repairs.
Moreover, maintain a distance of at least 20 feet between any fires and your home. If your deck is too small to allow for this distance, it’s best to avoid having a fire pit altogether. Consider donating it to a friend with a more appropriate space.
3. Use Pavers Underneath the Fire Pit
For similar reasons, never place a fire pit directly on a wooden deck. The intense heat generated by the fire can scorch, singe, or even weaken the deck’s structure.
In addition to this, specialized fire pit mats designed to withstand high temperatures are available, or you can use pavers or bricks to create a protective barrier between the fire pit and the deck.
4. Dispose of Ashes Properly
Wait until both the fire pit and its contents have cooled completely around 24 hours before properly disposing of the ashes. Scoop the ashes out of the pit and into a small metal bucket or another suitable container.
Moreover, leaving the ashes inside the pit can lead to corrosion over time, especially when they become wet. Additionally, windy conditions could blow ashes out of the pit and onto your deck. You can find surprising uses for wood ashes, such as aiding plant growth and de-skunking pets.
5. Keep Water on Hand
Having a nearby fire extinguisher is essential, it’s also a good idea to have a source of water readily available. For many households, an outdoor hose is nearby, but you can also keep a covered bucket, tub, or pitcher filled with water near the fire pit. Rainwater can serve this purpose as well.
Water is easier to use than a fire extinguisher and is effective at extinguishing small fires. However, if a fire gets out of control, don’t hesitate to use the fire extinguisher.
Safety tips to fire pit for deck
- When you place the fire pit anywhere, observe the location properly. Keep it far away from flammable objects. To follow a general rule of line, it is advised to maintain at least a distance of 10 feet from any flammable object.
- Keep in mind wind can flow in any direction and take fire along with it. If you don’t consider the location you may put your house or other valuable items at risk
- Use fire pads or other protecting materials described above in the article to save the deck from any potential harm.
- Use a stand or anything to hold the fire pit above the protective layer. So the fire pit does not contact directly with the protective layer.
- If you don’t use protective surface heat, embers, ashes, and fire sparks can severely damage the wooden deck surface or even worse ignite a fire.
Use fire pit covers
- There are multiple fire pits in the market that come with covers to prevent the fire sparks from coming out of them. If they do not have any cover or lid, invest some money to buy custom covers for them. They will provide an additional safety layer and will protect against fire sparks and ashes that can potentially burn nearby objects.
- Open flames have a higher potential of catching fire. Do not leave it unattended. With the use of proper accessories and tools, you will be in safe hands.
Check weather conditions beforehand
- Make sure you are well informed on weather conditions. Set up fire pits in the deck area on calm climate days. Do not ignite a fire on extremely windy or breezy days.
READ ALSO: What to Put in Bottom of Fire pit?
This article provides a comprehensive guide on constructing a secure foundation beneath and around your deck, creating a stable surface for positioning a fire pit.
We have also outlined additional safety measures that can be implemented to provide an extra layer of security. By adhering to the precautions mentioned above, you can ensure the safety and integrity of the surrounding area.
Furthermore, it is crucial not to attempt to handle a fire pit immediately after it has burned. The intense heat can make it too hot to handle safely. Allow sufficient time for the fire pit to cool down completely before engaging in cleaning routines or performing other maintenance tasks.