Building a fire pit in your backyard or your garden is an excellent way to create a comfortable outdoor space.
However, you need to know that creating a fire pit is not an easy task. There are a whole host of different factors that you need to take into account, and it’s important that you pay attention to the whole setup.
Creating a stone fire pit may seem like a fantastic idea, and it could provide the ideal space for all your friends and family members to sit around during those cold winter nights. While a stone fire pit is a great idea, you have to understand that creating one is not as simple as you might think.
While a stone fire pit is a much better option than a traditional stove, you should know that creating one requires a bit of experience. If this is your first time creating a fire pit, you need to understand that the materials you use are all going to play an important role.
Stone fire pits are a fantastic way to share stories with your friends and family members. However, what are you going to put in the bottom of the fire pit?
While you have a choice of several materials, it is important that you choose accordingly. One of the best materials that you can use for the bottom of your fire pit is sand.
Why Choose Sand?
There is actually a pretty simple reason why you should consider using sand in the fire pit.
Basically, the layer of sand that you put at the bottom of your fire pit is designed to protect the metal that is used at the bottom of the bowl. The extreme heat produced by the fire needs to be absorbed, and sand does a good job of that.
Sand in the desert is actually quite absorbent and can easily absorb the heat. Not only that, but the heat is also distributed evenly throughout the entire base all around the sand.
If you are not using sand, the heat will be concentrated in a specific region. As you might know, this is probably going to cause the metal that lies at the bottom of the fire pit to deteriorate and completely burn through.
Think of sand as an insulator, since it is going to prevent the major levels of heat and also help disperse all of the heat all over the base and prevent wear and tear on one specific part of the fire pit.
One of the things that you should know is that fire needs oxygen to light up. Without oxygen, there can be no fire. For that purpose, there are various kinds of fire pits that you can build on your property.
There are some fire pits that have holes at the bottom since they provide decent air flow at the bottom. The air from the top also makes it easy to light up the fire properly.
Even if there aren’t any holes, the air is going to flow properly due to the bowl shape of the fire pit. Some people think that by adding sand at the bottom of the fire pit, you are actually restricting the amount of air that can flow properly.
Ultimately, this will prevent the fire from building properly.
Keep in mind that there are quite a few fire pit owners who do not like to use sand. The reason for that is simple: the wood fire ash can be utilized as a fertilizer. One can use that ash and spread it around the garden to improve the quality of the soil.
So, if you are looking to cultivate the wooden ash and use it in your garden, using sand in your fire pit might not be such a wise idea. Basically, it all comes down to your personal choices.
The first thing that you need to do when you purchase a fire pit is to go through the instructions of the manufacturer.
You have to make sure that you go through the instructions because each manufacturer gives their own instructions and advice for their products. You should absolutely not ignore the instructions.
For instance, most manufacturers usually state that you should use at least an inch or two of the sand at the bottom layer to cover the fire pit.
On the other hand, there are some manufacturers who will ask you to avoid using sand at all. This can save you quite a bit of money and time, especially if the fire pit is designed that way.
You should know that cleaning up the sand after a bit of time can be quite difficult. This is all the more difficult if you want to clean the sand but wish to keep the ash.
Even though sand is a great way to protect the base of the fire pit from irreparable damage that could be caused due to the high heat.
You should know that there are a few reasons why sand might not be a suitable choice for use at the bottom of the pit. First of all, you should know that sand tends to retain moisture.
So, even though you are using the sand to protect the bottom of the fire pit, you should know that it may cause corrosion at an accelerated rate at the bottom of the bowl.
If the bowl is exposed to moisture on a regular basis, this could lead to serious damage. Another reason why you should avoid using sand is because some fire pits already come with built-in holes at the bottom.
These are designed to offer greater ease with circulation and drainage, so adding sand at the bottom will actually cause these holes to choke out. This will ultimately hinder the original purpose for which these holes are made.
Protecting the Pit
You also need to understand that simply using sand might not be enough to protect the fire pit. While it is going to keep the bottom of the pit protected from the extreme heat generated by the fire, you should know that this is about all the protection that the sand is going to offer.
There are some manufacturers who promote the use of sand, while others choose to remain silent. If the manufacturer of the fire recommends that you use sand, it’s a no-brainer. Just get some and pour it at the bottom of the pit.
However, if you are thinking that this will be enough to protect the fire pit, you are mistaken. You will have to take additional measures to protect the bottom of the fire pit as well.
One of the biggest issues that you are likely to face with the bottom of the fire pit is the presence of rust.
Rust is not only going to make the fire pit look really bad, but over the passage of time, rust is also going to cause the metal at the bottom of the fire pit to wear down. This is going to result in holes and areas that will begin to chip and fall off with the passage of time.
The only way to protect the bottom of the fire pit is to properly take care of it. You have to protect the fire pit as much as possible.
For instance, you should avoid leaving the fire pit out, as it is going to be exposed to the elements. The more exposure the fire pit gets, the quicker it is going to succumb to rust and eventually break apart.
You will want to put the fire pit away when it is not in use, or you should consider buying a heavy-duty fire pit cover that you can use to cover the pit when it is not being used.
For people who don’t want to move the fire pit every now and then, using the cover is a great idea. It is going to let you keep the fire pit on your patio or your backyard, and it will remain absolutely safe from all the elements.
Furthermore, you should also consider investing in a high-temperature spray that is resistant to rust. These sprays are generally designed to create a layer of protection on the surface that they are sprayed on.
Ultimately, they are going to protect the fire pit and prevent rust from building on the interior and the exterior of the bowl.
This is going to ensure that your fire pit continues to look good and also functions properly. Finally, you should know that if you are going to add sand at the bottom of the fire pit, it might be a wise idea to keep a check on the levels of moisture at the bottom of the pit. Ideally, you should check the moisture levels once a month.
It primarily depends on the kind of climate that you live in. If you live in a more humid region, the rust is going to build up much faster. If the sand is excessively moist, you might want to get rid of the whole thing and replace it altogether.
This is just an additional layer of protection that is going to keep your fire pit in prime condition and make sure that it remains free of dust for a longer period of time.
Another option available for use at the bottom of the fire pit is dirt. Dirt doesn’t cost a single penny and it’s readily available; you just have to dig it out from the outside.
However, while dirt is incredibly convenient and easy to use, you should know that the heat resistance it offers is slightly less when compared to sand.
The biggest issue that you are going to face when using dirt is that it tends to get tightly mixed in with the sand. This is going to create a serious problem for you when it comes to cleaning up the whole thing afterward. You will have to make use of a shovel to clean up the fire pit.
It’s not difficult, but it requires quite a bit of an effort. Not only that, but you will have to refill the dirt every time you are about to light up the fire in the pit.
Furthermore, if there are already holes at the bottom of the fire pit, using dirt is a terrible idea. It’s just going to choke the holes and prevent airflow.
Another great option available to you is gravel. Gravel is a fantastic option because it is commonly available and if you have a fire pit and need an inexpensive option, you should definitely consider using this.
If you don’t want to be very particular about the use of gravel, you should just put in enough to cover 10% of the fire pit.
This is going to ensure that the fire pit works perfectly, and you always have the option of putting in some more later on. But, one of the things that you should know about gravel is that it is not designed for use at high temperatures, especially when you consider other materials such as sand.
For instance, if you are going to add fire glass or magma lava stones into the mix, you might not want to consider using gravel. There is a high chance that these might explode as well.
Therefore, the best thing to do would be to make use of materials that are specifically designed for use with gravel.
Magma Lava Rocks
Magma lava rocks are actually a fantastic option. However, they might be a bit difficult to find. Ideally, you should choose natural magma lava stone, since they offer the best results. They are going to be the perfect shade of pink and you can easily use them at the bottom of your fire pit.
One of the reasons why lava rocks are a great choice is because they give you a very exotic and stylish look.
The fire pit is obviously going to play an important role in the way your yard looks, and it’s imperative that you choose a suitable design. However, you have to be particularly careful when it comes to using the magma lava stones.
However, there’s no reason for you to worry, because if these stones can stand the heat at the bottom of a lava pit, they can easily stay safe in the fire pit as well. If you are looking for a reliable option that is going to last a while and won’t need to be replaced, you should definitely consider going for magma lava rocks.
But, you should know that there is a downside to this. For starters, magma lava rocks are slightly more expensive, and you will have a hard time finding them. In most cases, it might be a wise move to order the magma lava stones from the web.
There are plenty of online stores that offer magma lava stones at affordable prices, and they are relatively affordable.
Even then, you should know that the prices of magma lava stones are obviously higher when compared with sand, dirt or gravel, which are practically free.
By now, you know that there are quite a few different materials that can be used under the pit. Most of these materials are also relatively inexpensive.
But, if you are looking for something that is a bit more exotic and unique, you should consider using fire glass. Fire glass, despite its cost, is one of the best materials that you can use under the pit.
There are various different kinds of patterns and colors available in the market, so finding decent fire glass isn’t going to be a problem.
Keep in mind that they are slightly more expensive when compared with other materials such as magma stones or sand, but they are also a much safer option.
You need to understand that the fire glass is specifically designed for use in the pit. Their heat resistance is off the charts, and there is virtually zero chance of the fire glass exploding as a result of the high temperature. If you can afford to make a purchase, you should definitely opt for fire glass.
Without a doubt, fire glass is by far the best material that you can use to keep the fire pit protected. You should also know that there are several varieties of fire glass available in the market, so selecting the right one can be a bit difficult.
To make it easy for yourself, it might be a wise idea to check online for different variants and then select a suitable one. it is important for you to make sure that you choose fire glass that actually has a similar color scheme to the fire pit area that you have designed.
These are just some of the most common materials that you can choose from when selecting suitable materials for your fireplace.
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