Fire Pit Sizes: What You Need To Know (2024)

Imagine this - you're cozied up on a cool evening, the air is filled with the smell of burning firewood, and the soft crackling sound of the fire pit adds to the overall tranquility. You are surrounded by your loved ones, sharing stories, laughter, and maybe some freshly roasted marshmallows. This beautiful picture doesn't just fall into place, though. One vital element that can make or break this idyllic scenario is the size of your fire pit.

Choosing the right fire pit size is essential, not only for creating the perfect ambiance but also for safety and functionality. To help you make the right choice, this article will delve into the role of size in different types of fire pits, how it impacts their functionality, and how to measure a backyard fire pit.

We'll also explore the pros and cons of small and large fire pits, size considerations for different types of fire pits, and optimal seating area dimensions. Furthermore, we'll discuss how fire pit size affects the selection of accessories and the influence of material choice on the size and design of the fire pit. Finally, we'll cover the impact of size on DIY construction vs. professional installation.

So, buckle up as we embark on this comprehensive guide to fire pit sizes, aiming to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision and create unforgettable memories around the fire.

Understanding Fire Pit Dimensions

Fire pits have been a part of human life for centuries, serving as a gathering place, a source of warmth, and a means to cook food. In its most basic form, a fire pit is a structure that contains a fire, preventing it from spreading and providing a degree of control. Today, fire pits range from simple dugouts in the ground to intricately designed constructions that complement the outdoor decor.

Its size plays a significant role in its type and functionality. A portable fire pit is typically smaller and perfect for those who prefer a movable heat source or have limited outdoor space. On the other hand, larger fire pits like Prism Hardscapes are usually stationary and can serve as a centerpiece for a more intimate space. In-ground fire pits, chimineas, fire tables, and ring fire pits all come in different sizes, each offering a distinct aesthetic and functional advantage.

Fire Pit Sizes: What You Need To Know (1)

Fire Pit Space Calculator

The Fire Pit Space Calculator is a tool designed to help users determine the ideal space needed for a fire pit in their backyard. By entering the dimensions of the available space and desired seating capacity, along with the recommended seating area per person, users can calculate the remaining area available for the fire pit itself. This tool assists readers in planning and optimizing their fire pit installation, ensuring adequate space for comfortable seating around the fire pit while maintaining a safe and enjoyable outdoor environment.

Fire Pit Space Calculator

Small Fire Pit vs Large Fire Pit

There are benefits and potential drawbacks to both small and large fire pits, and understanding these can help you make an informed decision.

Small Fire Pits


  • Portability: Small fire pits are typically lightweight and easy to move, making them ideal for those who like to rearrange their outdoor spaces or take the fire pit on camping trips.
  • Ease of Maintenance: They require less fuel and are easier to clean than larger fire pits.
  • Safety: With less fuel required, there's a smaller likelihood of fire-related accidents.


  • Limited Heat: Small fire pits generate less heat, making them less suitable for larger outdoor spaces.
  • Limited Seating: They're better suited for intimate gatherings as they can't accommodate a large crowd.

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Large Fire Pits


  • Warmth: Large fire pits produce more heat, making them suitable for heating larger spaces.
  • Bigger Gatherings: They can cater to more people, creating a cozy atmosphere for larger get-togethers.


  • Space Requirements: Large fire pits take up more space and aren't usually portable.
  • Maintenance: They require more fuel and effort to clean.

The choice between a small and large fire pit should be guided by your specific needs and circ*mstances. Here are some situations to guide you:

  • Space: If you have a compact outdoor space, a small fire pit is likely a better fit. For expansive patios or backyards, a large fire pit can be more suitable.
  • Purpose: Are you looking for a fire pit mainly for warmth, cooking, or aesthetics? Larger fire pits are ideal for more heat and cooking on a larger scale, while small ones are perfect for ambiance.
  • Gatherings: If you host large gatherings, a large fire pit might be better. But, for smaller, more intimate settings, a small fire pit should suffice.

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Size Considerations for Different Types of Fire Pits

In-Ground Fire Pits: Depth and Diameter

In-ground fire pits are a permanent feature that can add a touch of rustic charm to any outdoor space. Let's look at how depth and diameter play a crucial role in designing these fire pits.


A good depth for an in-ground fire pit is between 6 to 12 inches. This range ensures adequate ventilation for the fire while keeping it contained. Remember, too shallow can make your fire pit less safe as embers can easily escape, while too deep can hinder oxygen supply, making your fire smoky.

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The diameter should be decided based on your needs. For smaller gatherings, a fire pit with a diameter of around 36 inches works well, but for larger parties, you might want to go up to 48 inches or more. Remember, the larger the fire pit, the more heat it can provide, but it will also require more fuel.

Portable Fire Pits: Portability vs Usability

Portable fire pits are excellent for those who enjoy flexibility and frequent changes in their outdoor arrangements. Here's how size factors in:


Smaller fire pits are easier to move around and even take along on trips. They're ideal if you're looking for a fire pit that you can use in different locations.


Larger portable fire pits, though harder to move, provide more heat and have more room for logs, which means longer burn times. So, while portability decreases with size, usability increases.

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Natural Gas, Wood-Burning, and Propane Fire Pits: Flame Control and Fuel Storage

The size of natural gas, wood-burning, and propane fire pits plays a significant role in flame control and fuel storage.

Flame Control:

A larger fire pit provides more space for the flame to spread out, creating a larger, more dramatic fire. However, it also requires more fuel to maintain. A smaller fire pit can still provide a hearty fire but with more contained, easier-to-manage flames.

Fuel Storage:

For wood-burning fire pits, a larger size allows for more wood, creating longer-lasting fires. With propane or natural gas fire pits, larger sizes may mean built-in storage space for your propane tank, though they will consume more fuel.

Consider these factors when deciding on the size of your backyard fire pit. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. The best size for your fire pit depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Fire Pit Seating Area Dimensions

Optimal Square Fire Pit Seating Area Dimensions

A perfectly sized and planned seating area is essential to enjoy your fire pit to the fullest. When dealing with a square fire pit, here are some dimensions to consider:

Your seating area should be large enough to comfortably seat your guests while maintaining a safe distance from the fire pit. A good rule of thumb is to keep a distance of at least 7 feet from the edge of the fire pit to the seats. This allows for ample legroom and safe distance from the heat.

If you want to include a pathway around your seating area, add another 3 feet to the total size. Therefore, if your fire pit is 4 feet wide, you would need a minimum area of 14 feet by 14 feet for the fire pit and seating (4 feet for the fire pit, 7 feet for the seating, and 3 feet for the pathway).

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Optimal Round Fire Pit Seating Area Dimensions

Round fire pits tend to be more intimate due to their design, encouraging circular seating arrangements. Here's what you should consider:

As with a square fire pit, a distance of at least 7 feet should be maintained between the fire pit and the seating. This will ensure everyone is comfortable and safe from flying sparks or excessive heat.

If your fire pit is 4 feet in diameter, you should aim for a total seating area diameter of 18 feet (4 feet for the fire pit, 7 feet on each side for seating).

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How many inches is a fire pit?

A typical fire pit is 36 - 44 inches in diameter with wood & 22 inches in gas. Square fire pits average interior length between 34 inches to 34 inches in wood and 20 inches in propane. In most instances the external wall should be extended 12-20 cm.

Installation and Construction: Size Matters

Installing and constructing a fire pit involves careful consideration of its size. Let's explore the impact of size on DIY construction versus professional installation, provide step-by-step instructions for DIY installation of a specific size fire pit, and highlight the importance of size in professional fire pit construction.

DIY construction vs. Professional Installation

The size of a fire pit can significantly impact the complexity and feasibility of DIY construction. Smaller fire pits with simpler designs are generally more manageable for DIY projects, requiring basic construction skills and tools. However, as the size increases or if you desire a more intricate design, professional installation may be a better option. Professionals have the expertise to handle larger projects, ensure proper safety measures, and create custom fire pits that meet your specific size and design requirements.

Step-by-Step DIY instructions

Step 1: Planning and Preparation

  • Determine the desired size and location for your fire pit.
  • Check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits.
  • Gather the required materials and tools, including fire-resistant bricks or stones, gravel, sand, a shovel, a level, and safety gear.

Step 2: Marking and Excavation

  • Use stakes and a string to mark the outline of your fire pit.
  • Dig a hole according to the desired size and depth of the fire pit, ensuring a sturdy and level base.

Step 3: Building the Fire Pit

  • Place a layer of gravel at the bottom of the excavation for proper drainage.
  • Start laying the fire-resistant bricks or stones around the perimeter, ensuring they fit tightly together.
  • Continue stacking the bricks or stones, creating additional layers until reaching the desired height.
  • Use a level to ensure each layer is even and aligned.
  • Leave an opening for airflow and consider adding a fire ring or liner for added protection.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

  • Fill the bottom of the fire pit with a layer of sand.
  • Double-check the levelness and adjust if necessary.
  • Clean up any excess debris and ensure the surrounding area is clear of flammable materials.

Professional Install Option

When opting for professional fire pit construction, the chosen expert must take into account the desired size of the fire pit. They will assess the available space, recommend appropriate dimensions, and design a fire pit that meets your size preferences. Professionals ensure proper construction techniques, adhere to safety standards, and utilize their experience to create a fire pit that not only fits the designated area but also enhances the overall aesthetic and functionality of your outdoor space.

By considering the impact of size on DIY construction versus professional installation and following a step-by-step guide for DIY installation, you can successfully build a fire pit of a specific size. Alternatively, choosing a professional ensures that the desired size is taken into account, resulting in a well-designed and expertly constructed fire pit.

Fire Pit Sizes: What You Need To Know (8)


Choosing the right size for your fire pit is essential for ensuring safety, maximizing enjoyment, and complying with legal regulations. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have explored various aspects of fire pit sizes and their significance in creating the perfect outdoor gathering space.

It is crucial to consider size when selecting a fire pit to ensure that it fits comfortably in your outdoor area and provides adequate warmth and functionality. By measuring the available space, considering the number of people you want to accommodate, and evaluating the specific needs of your outdoor activities, you can determine the ideal size for your fire pit.

Properly sizing your fire pit also plays a significant role in safety. Maintaining appropriate distances from structures, flammable materials, and neighboring properties reduces the risk of accidents and ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Moreover, a well-sized and well-designed fire pit adds immense value to your outdoor space. It creates a focal point, encourages gathering and conversation, and enhances the ambiance of your backyard or patio. Whether you prefer a small and intimate fire pit or a larger one for entertaining larger groups, the right size will elevate your outdoor experience.

In conclusion, take the time to carefully consider the size of your fire pit, whether you opt for a DIY construction or professional installation. By selecting the appropriate size, you can create a safe, inviting, and enjoyable fire pit that becomes the heart of your outdoor gatherings. Embrace the warmth, beauty, and magic that a well-sized fire pit brings to your outdoor living space.

Price: $

Fire Pit Sizes: What You Need To Know (2024)


Fire Pit Sizes: What You Need To Know? ›

You need enough room for your guests to sit comfortably. Fire pits generally run 4 to 5 feet across at their widest point. Smaller options mean snugger seating, while a larger fire pit can accommodate a crowd. Keep at least 2 feet between a gas fire and your seating area for safety.

How to decide on the size of a fire pit? ›

Small fire pit dimensions should measure 3 feet wide, while a large pit can go up to 6 feet wide. Ideally a fire pit should be between 36 and 44 inches wide (including the width of the walls) in order to comfortably seat multiple people around it whilst still maintaining an intimate setting.

How many BTU fire pits do I need? ›

Size of Space Needing Heat
Size of Patio or Backyard (sq ft)Recommended BTUs
550Approximately 40,000
800Around 60,000
1,200At least 80,000
2,500Up to 160,000
2 more rows
Dec 19, 2023

What is a good diameter for a fire pit area? ›

To create a spacious area for gatherings of 6 or more people, choose a large fire pit size of 4 to 5 feet in diameter. This provides ample room to add chairs and benches around the fire. For wood burning pits, allow a total space of 10-16 feet wide to incorporate safe clearances from the flames and smoke.

How big should a fire pit be for 6 people? ›

For a more intimate gathering space, a 3-foot-wide fire pit would work. Or, you go up to 6 feet wide (including the thickness of the walls) to accommodate six or more people. Fire pit size also includes the depth (in-ground) or height (above-ground) of the fire pit.

Can a fire pit be too big? ›

Striking the right balance is crucial. A fire pit that's too big can pose safety risks, while one that's too small may not provide the desired effect or utility.

What is the best shape for a fire pit? ›

A round fire pit is the most common shape, especially for wood-burning models. Like a campfire, this shape emits heat evenly around the perimeter to help ensure a warm seat for every guest. Choose a rectangular fire pit for narrower patios and create some design interest in your outdoor space.

Will a 50000 BTU fire pit keep you warm? ›

Is A 50,000 BTU Fire Pit Table Warm? A fire pit generating up to 50,000 BTU will be very warm if you sit close to the table and can heat up an area between 675 sq ft and 700 sq ft. The distance from the 50,000 BTU fire pit at which you will feel comfortably warm on a cold evening outdoors is between 8 and 10 feet.

How long will a 50000 BTU fire pit last? ›

The short answer is that the typical 50,000 Btu firepit will burn for about seven hours on a 20-pound cylinder. For perspective, the same amount of propane will get you about 18 to 20 hours of grilling time.

What does 40000 BTU mean for fire pit? ›

Therefore, the higher the BTU, more warmth you will feel from the fire. One British thermal unit (Btu) is approximately equal to the energy released by burning a match to give you an equivalent! So 40,000 BTU is like having the power of 40,000 match sticks warming you up.

How far should a fire pit be away from the house? ›

Place your fire pit at a safe distance (10-25 feet) from any flammable structures or surfaces. This includes your house, trees, shed, vehicle, neighbors' property, and wood deck, among other things. Keep your fire pit away from overhanging branches. A 21-foot clearance is standard for most municipalities.

What to put around a fire pit? ›

Putting gravel on the ground around your fire pit creates a nice, level base for seating. Plus, it protects the ground and surrounding area with a non-flammable material in case any embers make their way out of the fire pit.

How deep should a backyard fire pit be? ›

As explained earlier in this article, a hole for the fire pit should only be 15 to 20 centimetres deep, with a few more inches added in case you want to put gravel at the bottom. This is easily within the range of most able-bodied people.

How many layers should a fire pit have? ›

A fire pit typically has three or four rows of blocks. Repeat the test-fitting for each layer before securing with adhesive.

How many chairs should be around a fire pit? ›

If you have a square fire pit, place a chair on each side of the pit. For a rectangular fire pit, keep it cozy by placing a sofa or loveseat on each long side and a chair on each shorter side. You can also utilize a sectional sofa on one side to accommodate more guests.

Should a fire pit be round or square? ›

Square fire pits tend to be the more efficient option in terms of space, making them much more suitable for smaller yards and patios. Seating layouts are also generally much simpler around a square fire pit, whether you go for permanent seating or moveable patio furniture.


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