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Can You Put a Fire Pit on a Deck? (Factors to Consider)

Can You Put a Fire Pit on a Deck? (Factors to Consider)

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Whether you’re bundling up during the Holiday season or enjoying a summer barbecue, fire pits are a must if you have an outdoor seating area. This begs the question, can you put a fire pit on a deck?

While you can get away with putting a fire pit on a deck if you take the necessary precautions, this can be a fire hazard. So, it’s best to keep flames far from your home and your deck.

Do you want to find out more? Keep reading this article for all the information on the different types of fire pits and how to safely place one in your yard. Let’s dive in!

Can You Put a Fire Pit on a Deck?

The first rule of setting up a fire pit is choosing an appropriate location. Your fire pit should be far from any flammable objects, including your deck.

If you have a sturdy, inflammable deck, you might be able to place a small fire pit on it. Alternatively, some types of fire pits are safer than others, especially if you take essential measures.

Though you shouldn’t put a fire pit on a deck if you have other options, ultimately, this depends on the type and material of your fire pit and deck.

Fire Pit Types

Here are all the different types of fire pits and how safe they are to place on a deck:

1- Metal Fire Pits

Metal fire pits are the most common type of fire pits. They’re cheap, portable, and easy to use.

Accordingly, you can use the multipurpose fire pits when tailgating, in picnics, or in your yard.

Metal is an excellent heat conductor, which means the outside of the fire pit will be almost as hot as the flames within. In turn, this heat will transfer to your deck.

Furthermore, since these fire pits are lightweight, they can easily get knocked over. Not only will this damage your deck, but it’s extremely dangerous.

For this reason, if your deck is made of flammable material, metal fire pits might not be the right option for you.

2- Concrete Fire Pits

Concrete fire pits are sturdier, heavier, and more durable than metal ones. Even if you light up your concrete fire pit overnight, it’ll likely stay cool, leaving your deck undamaged.

Having said that, concrete fire pits aren’t a good fit for most decks. They’re too heavy and require plenty of space.

You also need a professional to install the deck. As if that wasn’t enough, installing concrete fire pits costs a fortune.

So, while concrete is the safest material for fire pits unless you’ve planned on installing the pit when constructing your home, it’ll be incompatible.

3- Fire Pit Tables

Fire pit tables combine the best of concrete and metal fire pits. As the name suggests, these tables have an integrated fire pit.

This means the flames will be high enough, so as not to affect the deck. Moreover, the tables come in numerous materials, such as ceramic and stone.

What’s more, fire pit tables are typically high, which means there’s enough space between the flames and your deck, and less heat can reach the deck.

Deck Materials

Some deck materials are less flammable than others, meaning that you can place any type of fire pit, including metal ones, without worry. Here are all the types of deck materials:

1- Wood Deck

Whether you’re using hardwood, softwood, or pressure-treated wood, you shouldn’t place a fire pit on them.

For starters, wood is a flammable material. After all, there’s a reason it’s used in fireplaces!

Yet, even if you take all the safety precautions, there’ll still be a chance of the heat and embers getting to the wood, causing cracks and discoloration, also known as surface burns.

Unfortunately, while you can try to reverse the damage by sanding the wood, the damage is often permanent.

Additionally, once a part of the wood deck is ruined, it needs to be quickly repaired. Otherwise, the wood will be susceptible to further damage.

To explain, the surface burn might seem small. Yet, this area of wood is untreated and can quickly get water damage and wood rot, leading to the complete collapse of the deck.

Accordingly, it’s best to keep fire pits far from your deck! If a wood panel is burnt, you should fix it as soon as possible.

2- PVC Deck

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is another popular deck material. It’s far cheaper than all wood types, and it’s also durable and less susceptible to the environment.

That said, PVS is essentially plastic, meaning that fire pits would completely melt your PVC deck.

As for fire pit tables, it’s important to remember that they might still cast sparks and flames, which will damage your deck.

Luckily, fixing a PVC deck is far easier than fixing wood decks, as you can fill any holes or melted regions with epoxy. However, unless you hire a professional, it might not look right.

3- Composite Deck

Composite decks are made from a mixture of wood fiber and recycled polyethylene. Accordingly, this deck is both wood and plastic. Naturally, it doesn’t do well with heat.

Heat from fire pits can quickly warp your composite deck. You can easily fill the affected area with epoxy, or replace the entire composite plank.

4- Stone Deck

Stone might not be the most popular decking material. That said, stone, concrete, and brick are some of the few fireproof deck materials.

Accordingly, you won’t risk your house catching fire or damaging your deck, no matter the type of fire pit you’re using.

Still, placing a fire pit on your stone deck will likely change its color. You can reverse this damage, returning your deck to its original shade.

Yet, over time, the discoloration and scorch marks will be permanent. For this reason, using protective materials under the fire pit is crucial, regardless of the type of deck you own.

What to Put Under a Fire Pit

Fortunately, even if you have a less durable deck, you can place a fire pit on it by separating it with a protective, inflammable material.

A fool-proof method to put your fire pit on your deck is to use fire-resistant mats. You can also take this a step further by adding a heat shield on top of the mat. You can also use a patio slab made of concrete or lava stone.

To keep your deck extra protected, using spark screens prevents any embers, flames, or sparks from hurting you and damaging your deck and outdoor furniture.

Can You Put a Fire Pit on an Outdoor Rug?

While there are numerous protective materials to put underneath your fire pit, an outdoor rug isn’t one of them.

In fact, the location of your fire pit is the most important part when setting it up. You want to avoid having it anywhere near flammable objects, including rugs.

Accordingly, not only does placing your fire pit on an outdoor rug risk ruining it, but it also poses a safety hazard.

Final Thoughts

Can you put a fire pit on a deck?

You shouldn’t put a fire pit on a deck. That said, it depends on the type and material of the fire pit and the deck. For example, stone decks can withstand almost anything, and fire pit tables are safe, even on wood decks.

Additionally, if you’re well-prepared, you can definitely place a fire pit on a deck. All you need to do is get a heat-resistant mat and spark shield. Then, you’re ready to enjoy a warm, outdoorsy day.


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