What is Best to Put in the Bottom of a Fire Pit? | SUNCREAT - suncreatoutdoor (2024)

A fire pit is a common feature used for outdoor gatherings and warmth. However, many people may overlook the importance of the bottom of a fire pit. If you have a fire pit, choosing the right material to place at the bottom is crucial. Not only can it enhance burning efficiency, but it can also extend the lifespan of the fire pit. So, what exactly should you choose to put in the bottom of a fire pit?

Considering the primary function of a fire pit is for burning wood or charcoal, the material at the bottom should have good ventilation and heat resistance. Whether you have a homemade fire pit or a professionally made one, it is recommended to place sand at the bottom.

Why is sand the best material for the bottom of a fire pit?

Sand is a common and affordable choice. Layering fine sand at the bottom of a fire pit forms an additional insulation layer, acting as a buffer between the wood or fuel and the bottom, preventing it from burning or scorching over time, thus reducing damage to the fire pit itself. Sand can absorb some of the heat generated by the flames, distributing the heat evenly throughout all the sand, reducing uneven heat conduction that may lead to localized burning of the fire pit, and effectively improving air circulation, keeping the flames burning.

Are there any recommended types of sand to choose from?

Silica sand is a good choice; it's also known as the most affordable type of sand available for purchase, allowing you to use the fire pit year-round without breaking the bank.

When should you not use sand in a fire pit?

Although sand is useful for heat transfer, improving air circulation, and extinguishing fires, if your fire pit's bottom has designed ventilation holes, there's no need to place sand or any other alternative at the bottom to establish a protective layer. Because the designed ventilation holes of the fire pit need to remain unobstructed during use, facilitating air and heat conduction inside the fire pit. Accidentally covering the holes designed for the fire pit may result in the accumulation of toxic smoke and gases.

Are there any drawbacks to using sand at the bottom of a fire pit?

Although placing sand at the bottom of a fire pit is a common practice and has some advantages, there are also some drawbacks:

●Moisture absorption: Sand is prone to absorbing moisture in humid environments, leading to dampness. Damp sand not only makes it difficult to ignite the fire pit but may also produce a lot of smoke and gases, affecting the fire pit's usability. Therefore, when not using the fire pit, it's recommended to store or cover it to reduce water retention inside.

●Difficult to clean: If sand is exposed to flames for a long time, residue from burning may accumulate on the surface of the sand, requiring time to clean. Of course, you won't spend too much time cleaning regularly throughout the year, so when you clean the ashes inside the fire pit, you can clean them together.

●Increased weight: Placing sand at the bottom of the fire pit may increase the overall weight of the fire pit.

Are there any other material options besides sand?

●Fire bricks or refractory bricks: Fire bricks or refractory bricks are a common choice, possessing good heat resistance and capable of withstanding high temperatures without damage. Laying fire bricks or refractory bricks at the bottom of the fire pit can protect the bottom structure while promoting air circulation, improving the burning efficiency of the flames.

●Wire mesh or metal grate: Wire mesh or metal grate can be placed at the bottom of the fire pit to prevent direct contact of charcoal or wood with the bottom surface, reducing wear and damage to the bottom structure. Additionally, they have good ventilation properties, aiding air circulation.

●Rocks or slabs: Placing some rocks or slabs at the bottom of the fire pit is also a good option. These natural materials have good heat resistance and stability, protecting the bottom structure and promoting air circulation, thus improving the burning efficiency of the flames.

●Sand or powdered rock: Similar to sand, sand or powdered rock can also be placed at the bottom of the fire pit, offering good ventilation properties and being less prone to moisture absorption. They can effectively absorb some of the heat generated by burning, reducing damage to the bottom structure.

In conclusion, choosing the material to place at the bottom of a fire pit requires considering ventilation, heat resistance, and protective properties. Materials such as sand, fire bricks, or slabs are excellent choices that can improve burning efficiency, extend lifespan, and ensure safety. When using a fire pit, always be mindful of selecting suitable materials and follow safety guidelines to ensure enjoyable and safe outdoor activities.

What is Best to Put in the Bottom of a Fire Pit? | SUNCREAT - suncreatoutdoor (2024)


What do you put in the bottom of an outdoor fire pit? ›

What Do You Put in the Bottom of a Fire Pit? To create a safe, sturdy foundation for a fire pit, we use a gravel paver base. Other common materials used for the bottom of a fire pit are sand, lava stones, dirt, fire glass and concrete slabs.

Should you put sand or gravel in the bottom of a fire pit? ›

Since different fire pits can be made in different sizes, some fire pits may require a little more sand than others. However, an inch or two of sand in the bottom of the fire pit is usually acceptable. Most of the recommendations you'll see from manufacturers use an inch or two of sand as a barrier.

How to add drainage to a fire pit? ›

Dig out the ground under the fire pit and then lay a tile leading to wherever you want the water to go. Then fill in the firepit with drain rock.

What is the best rock for the bottom of a fire pit? ›

Natural lava rocks and fire-proof sand are excellent base layers for a fire pit.

Should I put anything in the bottom of my fire pit? ›

Placing a layer of sand or gravel at the bottom of a fire pit can help with heat distribution and protect the base from extreme temperatures. It also makes cleaning up ash easier.

What is the best fill for a fire pit area? ›

Gravel or crushed stone is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to create a backyard fire pit area! Putting gravel on the ground around your fire pit creates a nice, level base for seating.

What is the best material to put under a fire pit? ›

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit? You'll want to start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit, and then top the sand with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones or even bricks for your fire pit. Alternatively, you can simply use dirt.

What kind of gravel do you use for a fire pit area? ›

Pea gravel is another great option for fire pit areas.

What is the best stone for a fire pit base? ›

Limestone is strong enough to withstand years of exposure to fire and absorbs heat moderately, making a comfortable fire pit to sit around for extended periods of time.

How do you fill an outdoor fire pit? ›

The best choice for fire pit fillers is gas logs, cannon fireballs, lava rocks or fire glass. These materials have natural heat insulation and retention properties, making them great filler materials.

How deep should a firepit be? ›

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. Depth: A good depth for an in-ground fire pit is between 6 to 12 inches.

Why dig a hole for a fire pit? ›

Another advantage of a fire pit dug into the ground is that the fire will be better contained. If the fire is in a hole, it will not spread, provided that you do not have a lot of dry leaves around the area and you are not in a bushy area during the dry season.

Do you put sand in the bottom of a fire pit? ›

Regardless of which of the many fire pit uses you choose to enjoy, adding sand to the bottom of your fire pit will help protect it from the heat of the fire and may well extend the pit's lifespan.

What stones should not be used in a fire pit? ›

Basalt. A volcanic rock, basalt is a mix of quartz, iron ore, and similar substances. It's formed under extreme heat, which is why it has a darker hue. While attractive for other landscaping uses, basalt is generally not a rock you want in your fire pit.

What is the best thing to put under a 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.

Does a fire pit need a liner? ›

The sharpness adds a modern touch to your cozy fire pit area. Rocks are a great option for a more natural looking fire pit. Rocks are beautiful accents but most cannot withstand the constant heat of a fire so be sure to use a fire pit liner.

Does a fire pit need holes in the bottom? ›

Are holes in the base of a fire pit necessary? No. It may seem surprising, but your fire pit will work just as effectively with or without base holes. Base holes do allow a little more airflow and so offer a faster burn, but that also means you will burn through wood faster.


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