A fire pit is a fantastic garden feature to make your outdoor space liveable through the cooler months of the year. Whether you install a permanent fire pit or a portable fire pit, you'll need to ensure that it will effectively contain a fire while still burning well.
The material that you place in the bottom of the fire pit, underneath the fuel for the fire, is key to ensuring that the fire pit is both safe and effective at warming your yard.
At All Green, you can find a range of fire pits and accessories. Visit in-store to see our fire pits on display for inspiration to create outdoor warmth in your garden.
Here's what to use in your fire pit
Both permanent and portable fire pits can burn brighter with the right lining materials.
Permanent fire pits can contain heavy material as it won't need moving regularly. You can combine large rocks, gravel and sand to ensure a fire-proof base that won't inhibit the flame.
Pro tip: Install a steel ring to line the inner wall of the fire pit. The steel contains the heat produced by the fire and will prolong the life of your fire pit.
A portable fire pit needs materials that can be lifted out and moved. Smaller rocks, glass or gravel are easily removable when you want to clean the fire or move it to another location.
Here are some materials that can withstand high temperatures and help a fire to burn as well:
A thin layer of sand can help to contain any fire. You might use sand a filler for any cracks in the floor of a dug fire pit.
An inch of sand at the bottom of a metal fire pit can help to protect the bowl from the intense heat of the fire. Whether your fire pit is portable or permanent, having sand at the bottom is a handy precaution. If you ever need to smother the fire in a hurry, you can grab a nearby shovel to use the sand.
Gravel provides drainage, particularly for permanent fire pits dug into the ground. It tends to compact better than sand, allowing for stability over time.
Crushed rocks provide a stable base for a wood fire, and is suitable for permanent or portable fire pits. Choose a hard rock that is fire resistant, such as granite, marble or slate.
Firepit glass rocks are decorative and add a bit of sparkle to any gas or ethanol fuelled fire pit. Glass rocks may not be suitable for wood fire pits as the smoke and soot will fade the glass.
Fire-rated bricks or half bricks at the base of a fire pit will allow oxygen to fan the flames. Bricks can also withstand high temperatures, making them a suitable material for your fire pit.
Concrete makes a sensible bottom layer for a permanent fire pit. If the aesthetics are important or you want concrete for a portable fire pit, you can find painted or coloured concrete shapes that you can use.
Not all rocks are suitable for use in a fire pit, so make sure you check the type of stone before using it. Porous or wet stone, such as sandstone or river rocks, may crack or explode when they reach high temperatures.
Hard rocks like granite, marble or slate are suitable for use in fire pits. Lava rocks are another popular option.
Choosing the right fuel for your fire pit
Once you've lined the fire pit with the material of your choice, you can load it with firewood. Firewood needs to be dry to burn effectively, so make sure it's stored undercover. Kindling — small sticks and twigs — and tinder, such as pine needles or bark shavings, can help get the fire going.
Ethanol or gas are suitable for decorative fire pits that add ambience to your yard. An advantage of ethanol or gas fire pits is the constant temperature they put out, and the reduced amount of smoke and soot.
Now that you know how to fill your fire pit, it's time to browse for fire pits for your yard!