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How Big Should a Fire Pit Area Be for Ideal Safety and Seating?

How Big Should a Fire Pit Area Be for Ideal Safety and Seating?

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The warmth, light, and sounds of the cracking wood all add to the magic of having a fire pit in your backyard. Your loved ones enjoy cozy conversations, you hear the laughs, and everyone seems to be having a marvelous time.

But this might not be possible if you’ve picked the wrong fire pit size.

So, how big should a fire pit area be? How can you calculate the correct dimensions for the fire pit and surrounding seating area?

I’ve got your back and will answer all your questions in this guide. So, keep reading.

How Big Should a Fire Pit Be?

Choosing the right fire pit size doesn’t only affect its aesthetic value and how it blends with the other hardscape elements in your backyard. But it’s also crucial for safety and functionality.

Small fire pits can be 30 to 36 inches in diameter if round and have dimensions between 27 and 32 inches if square. Medium round fire pits are 36 to 44 inches in diameter and have dimensions between 32 and 39 inches if square.

Finally, large fire pits are 44 to 60 inches in diameter if round and have dimensions between 32 and 53 inches if square.

In general, propane gas fire pits tend to be smaller. But you can also find small wood-burning fire pits if you prefer to use yours for grilling food.

Ideally, you should consider two factors while picking the right fire pit size.

Number of People

How many people will sit around your fire pit? While you might not have an accurate answer to this question as you might host more guests occasionally, you know the number of your family members and average guest numbers you’re comfortable hosting.

A small fire pit will be suitable for two to three people. If you host four to six people, a medium one will work best, and you should consider buying a large fire pit if you usually host more than six people.

Although having a large fire pit can be an excellent addition to your patio or backyard, you don’t want to use excessive fuel when it’s unnecessary. You’ll also waste valuable outdoor space that you can use for other features.

Moreover, talking over a huge fire pit can be a bit challenging since people will be sitting away from each other. On the other hand, a fire pit that is too small doesn’t burn as efficiently as it should.

Available Space

Calculating the available space in your outdoor area and how the fire pit will fit is crucial. You don’t want people to sit too close to the pit for safety reasons.

Ideally, you should install the seating area at least two feet away from a propane fire pit and three feet away from a wood-burning one.

This is because the falling embers can accidentally burn someone while flying.

You don’t want your fire pit to be too large to occupy all your outdoor area, leaving no room for seats. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too small, or your fire pit area will look empty and improperly planned.

How Deep Should a Fire Pit Be?

Whether you want an above-ground or underground fire pit, it should be no taller or deeper than 18 inches.

The underground pit might not emit the desired warmth and light if it is too deep. It will also smoke more because of the inadequate oxygen supply.

When you install a tall above-ground pit, people might not be able to see one another while sitting around it. This can make fire pit conversations less entertaining than you’d like them to be.

When the fire pit is too shallow, it might represent a safety hazard because of the flying embers. People will have to lean in for warmth if you have installed an above-ground fire pit that is too short.

How Big Should a Fire Pit Area Be?

The fire pit area refers to the fire pit and the surrounding seating area.

Ideally, there should be at least six feet of free space around the fire pit from all sides. Otherwise, people won’t be able to sit or move comfortably.

You want to plan your patio or fire pit seating area so people can move around the fire without getting burned or bumping into one another.

So, although you might be tempted to install a large fire pit, you should consider the available space.

Final Thoughts

Before determining the right size for your fire pit, you should think about the average number of people who are likely to use it and the available area in your outdoor space.

You want to design your fire pit area so that people can sit and move around comfortably. This is why you should think carefully about the dimensions and depth before paying for one.


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