Fire Pit Base on Concrete: Know Your Options

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If you’re looking to install a fire pit on your concrete patio, you may be wondering what to put down as the base. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

In this blog post, we’ll go over the best items to put in the bottom of your fire pit to keep it safe and secure. Read on for all the details!

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Simple Introduction to Fire Pits

Introducing a cozy fire pit to your outdoor area can instantly create a gathering spot for friends and family.

Whether you’re looking to build the fire pit on top of concrete or in the ground, you’ll need to decide what to put in the bottom of your fire pit.

Depending on your desired look and budget, there are a few materials you can choose from such as sand, stones, gravel, lava rocks, and fire glass.

Each material has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so in this article, we’ll explore all the options for what to put in the bottom of your fire pit on concrete.

Why Choose Sand?

Sand is an ideal material to use at the bottom of a fire pit, especially when it is placed on concrete.

Not only will it protect the base of the fire pit from irreparable damage that could be caused due to the high heat, but it is also very easy to pour and maintain.

Sand works well with gravel, dirt, and other materials, making it a versatile option for your fire pit bottom.

It can easily be excavated from the bottom of the pit and then tamped down to ensure that there are no air pockets that could cause problems when you are building your fire.

Additionally, sand is also very affordable and can be found at most hardware or landscaping stores.

Stones

Stones are another popular option for the bottom of a fire pit on concrete.

Natural stones such as granite and limestone are great options as they are heat resistant and provide an attractive finish.

Stones can be used in combination with other materials such as sand, gravel, lava rocks, and fire glass to create a unique and eye-catching design.

It is important to remember that stones can be heavy, so it is important to check with a professional before adding too much weight to the bottom of your fire pit.

Additionally, it is important to select stones that are heat-resistant so that they will not crack or break due to the extreme temperatures created by a fire pit.

Gravel

Gravel is a great choice for the bottom of your fire pit. It is a highly durable material that can withstand high temperatures and won’t be affected by the heat of the fire.

It also helps to promote drainage and prevent the formation of puddles.

Gravel should be used in conjunction with sand or other materials to form the bottom layer of your fire pit.

Gravel should be ¾” crushed limestone for best results, and it should be placed in a single layer over top of the sand layer.

This will help to keep the fire pit stable and provide a strong base for all your other materials.

Lava Rocks

Lava rocks are the perfect choice for fire pits for many reasons. They are heat resistant and won’t easily crack or break when exposed to high temperatures.

They also provide a great look in your fire pit and can be used to create a variety of different designs.

When layering with lava rocks, it’s best to place them directly on top of the sand or gravel layer for extra protection.

To ensure that your fire pit is safe, make sure that the lava rocks are well-secured and can’t move around too easily.

With proper care and maintenance, lava rocks can be a great addition to your fire pit and provide a long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing look.

Fire Glass

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Fire glass is a popular choice for fire pits , as it adds a beautiful sparkle and shines to any outdoor living space.

It is also heat resistant, making it the perfect accompaniment to any fire pit.

Fire glass comes in many colors and shapes, allowing you to customize your fire pit to fit your individual style.

It is important to note that fire glass should not be used as the base layer of your fire pit, but instead should be used as an additional layer on top of the sand or gravel.

Additionally, it should be noted that fire glass can be more expensive than other materials, so when choosing this option for your fire pit bottom, it is important to factor in the cost.

Concrete Slabs

Concrete slabs are a great option when you want to create a fire pit on concrete.

They are heat resistant, so they can handle the intense heat of your fire pit.

Plus, they add an extra level of protection to your concrete, as they will absorb some of the heat before it reaches the surface.

Concrete slabs also provide a neat and uniform look to your fire pit, allowing you to create a more aesthetically pleasing design.

However, it is important to remember that concrete slabs may be slightly more expensive than other materials, like sand and gravel.

Fire Bricks or Concrete Pavers

Fire Bricks or Concrete Pavers are a great option for raising your fire pit off the ground.

Not only does this provide a heat shield for the patio below, but it also adds an interesting and attractive contrast to the surrounding area.

Fire bricks are especially suitable for this purpose, as they are designed to withstand high temperatures without cracking or breaking.

However, refractory cement is a better option than regular cement, as it can better withstand intense heat and provide more stability to the structure.

As you layer your fire pit bottom with sand, gravel, lava rocks, and fire glass, consider topping it all off with some heat-resistant concrete pavers or fire bricks.

Not only will they look great, but they’ll provide extra protection against heat and help ensure that your fire pit lasts a long time.

A fire pit burning fully unattended with 2 empty chairs and a patio wall seat

Tips for Layering the Fire Pit Bottom

When building a fire pit on concrete, layering materials is essential for preventing heat damage to the concrete.

Start at the bottom with sand, which will create a heat-resistant barrier between the concrete and the other materials in the fire pit.

Next, add a layer of gravel or broken pieces of fire bricks. This layer will help keep the sand in place and give support to the heavier materials that will be added later.

After that, add layers of stones, lava rocks, and fire glass.

Finally, top it off with concrete slabs or heat-resistant pavers to create an attractive covering for your fire pit.

With these tips in mind, you can create a beautiful and safe fire pit on your concrete patio, to understand more check out our fire pit buyers guide here.

Layering the Bottom with Sand

Layering the bottom of the fire pit with sand is a great option for providing a heatproof base layer.

Sand helps to evenly distribute heat when used in a fire pit and creates an additional layer of protection against heat.

It can also act as a buffer between more delicate materials like fire glass or lava rocks.

Silica sand is especially well-suited for fire pits and can be found in most home improvement stores.

When layering the bottom of your fire pit, make sure to spread the sand evenly and cover it with other materials such as gravel, stones, lava rocks, or concrete pavers.

Using Gravel as a Base Layer

Gravel is a great material to use when layering the fire pit bottom. It is easy to spread and is a great barrier between the sand and the fire pit surface.

Gravel helps provide an even distribution of heat, allowing the fire to burn hotter and brighter. It also helps to prevent the sand from shifting around during use.

Gravel can also be used as a decorative material, providing an attractive background for the lava rocks or fire glass that may be added later.

Layering with Fire Bricks

Layering with Fire Bricks is often a great choice for the bottom of a fire pit, especially if you are looking for a heat-resistant material.

Fire bricks are specially designed to withstand high temperatures and can provide an extra layer of insulation when layered with sand, lava rocks, or other materials.

When laying fire bricks, it is important to make sure that they are level and secure, as they can cause an uneven heat distribution if not properly installed.

Additionally, be sure to use the appropriate mortar or grout to seal the fire bricks together and prevent any moisture damage.

Using Heat-Resistant Pavers

Heat-resistant pavers can be an excellent choice for the bottom of your fire pit if you want to add an extra layer of protection to your patio.

Raising your fire pit on a platform of heat-resistant pavers will create a heat shield for the patio below, and these are also great to use in conjunction with gravel.

Heat-resistant pavers come in various shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your fire pit perfectly.

Additionally, these pavers are very durable and can withstand high temperatures, making them a great choice for any outdoor fire pit setup.

Consider Adding Lava Rocks

Lava rocks are a great choice for layering the bottom of fire pits on concrete.

Not only are they heat resistant, but they also create an aesthetically pleasing look to your fire pit.

Lava rocks come in a variety of sizes and colors, so you can easily customize the look of your fire pit.

The best way to use lava rocks is as a top layer to your fire pit base. This will provide an extra layer of insulation and create a more attractive look.

Be sure to purchase lava rocks that are designed for fire pits, as other types may not be able to handle the heat.

Can I Use the Same Heat Shields for Fire Pits on Concrete and on Grass?

Yes, you can use the same heat shields for fire pits on concrete and on grass. Heat shields are designed to protect both surfaces from heat damage. However, when using a fire pit on grass, it’s important to also consider how to protect the lawn from potential damage.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing what to put in the bottom of a fire pit on concrete, it’s important to consider the materials you’ll be using.

Sand is often the best choice, as it provides good drainage and won’t be damaged by heat.

Stones, gravel, lava rocks, fire glass, and concrete slabs can all provide additional support and protection.

It’s also important to layer the bottom properly with sand, gravel, fire bricks or pavers, and lava rocks.

Heat-resistant options such as concrete pavers should be used to help protect the concrete surface.

With careful consideration of these materials and proper layering techniques, you can create a safe and beautiful fire pit for your concrete patio.