Fire Pit Ideas for Wood Decks

Written by lauren vork
Fire Pit Ideas for Wood Decks
Fire pits are easy to build on soil but require more care over wood. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

As anyone learns before grammar school age, fire and wood don't mix--unless you want a bigger fire. If you want to enjoy both the warm, crackling glow of an outdoor fire pit and the beauty and texture of a wooden deck, explore some suggestions that will allow these two options to safely mix, whether you're looking for a modest flame or a roaring bonfire.

Raised Metal Cage Pit

For a simple, hassle-free and attractive fire pit option, purchase a metal fire pit on legs. These pits feature a large, shallow metal bowl wherein a fire is made and burns. The bowl is elevated on legs that hold it about a foot above the ground, making the pit ideal for a level wood surface. These pits are also highly portable, come in a variety of styles and are easily extinguished using their large, metal lids.

Stove Pit

For a more permanent, less portable but still easy-to-install fire pit, choose a ceramic or metal fire pit with a shape inspired by an old-fashioned pot bellied stove, also known as a chiminea. Like the broader, bowl-shaped pits, these stoves are elevated on legs that keep the fire and heat elevated while a tall chimney releases heat and smoke above. A disadvantage of this design is that you can't seat guests all around the fire, but the quantity of smoke blowing at eye level is greatly reduced.

Cut-away Stone Pit

For a fire pit experience that's closer to that of a large, round bonfire, build a large, round stone fire pit into a portion of the deck that's cut away. For safety as well as aesthetic value, the cylindrical, well-like shape encasing the fire pit is made thick enough to keep the fire from affecting the wood. These pits can be made of natural stone, bricks, poured concrete or a combination of these things.

Floor Level Pit

For a floor level fire on a wooden deck, the actual fire pit will generally be contained inside the circle of cutaway wood with plenty of space around it for safety, which allows you to use a fire pit design that would otherwise be unsafe on a wooden deck, such as an artisan fire bowl. Cover the inside of the cutaway portion with stone, concrete or metal to create a fire-resistant patch in your wooden deck, making it safe to use any fire pit designed for decks of these materials.

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