How to Build a Flat Top Grill

Written by krista martin
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How to Build a Flat Top Grill
Obtain a permit for building a fire pit if necessary. (wire wheel image by Tracy Horning from

Part of enjoying your flat top grill is the time you put into making it. While it is a time-consuming project, it certainly adds to the aesthetic of your backyard. The taste of home-made grilled food will make the time and effort well worth it. Once it's built, all you have to do is put in a little bit of maintenance to keep it in good condition.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • String
  • Spray paint
  • Shovels
  • Trowel
  • Mixing tool
  • Iron rake
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Level
  • Bucket
  • Capstones
  • Stones
  • Gravel mix concrete
  • 1/4-inch rebar cut into 2-foot pieces
  • Pre-mixed mortar mix
  • Fire bricks
  • Circular grill grate

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  1. 1

    Plan how big your grill will be based on the diameter of your circular grill grate. You want to be able to fit the grill grate to sit comfortably on top of your fire pit.

  2. 2

    Stack stones about 12 to 18 inches high to serve as the wall for your fire pit.

  3. 3

    Hammer the rebar or firm stick into the centre of the area you are building in.

  4. 4

    Measure half the diameter of your pit and use this length for your string. For example, if your pit is 5 feet in diameter, the string will be 2 1/2 feet.

  5. 5

    Tie the string to the rebar or stick.

  6. 6

    Tie a spray can to the other end of the string and pull it taut. Walk in a circle and spray paint the circle to act as your boundary for the fire pit.

  7. 7

    Dig out 4 to 6 inches of dirt in the sprayed area, keeping the area level. This is the base for your fire grill pit.

  8. 8

    Cut the string to 1 1/2 feet and tie the end around the spray can.

  9. 9

    Spray the diameter of the inner edge. If your outer diameter is 5 feet, for example, it will now be 3 feet because your outer wall is 12 inches thick to create a smaller circle.

  10. 10

    Mix premix concrete with water until it has a spreadable consistency.

  11. 11

    Spread the concrete between the two circles. The inner circle should not have concrete.

  12. 12

    Push the concrete down with an iron rake until it's about half way below the ground level. Smooth out the mixture with a trowel.

  13. 13

    Place the rebar pieces in the wet concrete until they are completely covered and let the concrete dry.

  14. 14

    Mix the premix mortar and spread it on the outer half of the concrete base using a trowel.

  15. 15

    Set the stones around the outer edge, starting with the face stones. Then set the fire bricks on the inner edge.

  16. 16

    Add mortar to the inner edge of the concrete base and set one row of fire bricks over them.

  17. 17

    Place mortar over each row of fire bricks to keep them together. You may have to cut the last brick with a stone chisel or hammer if it doesn't quite fit the diameter.

  18. 18

    Measure each row of bricks to ensure they are level all the way across. Use a trowel to pack the bricks down slightly.

  19. 19

    Place the next layer of face stones, applying mortar between each row of the inner edge.

  20. 20

    Place two rows of capstones using mortar in between them. The outer row is for the face stones and the inner row is to cover the fire brick.

  21. 21

    Place your circular grate grill over the top of the fire pit.

Tips and warnings

  • Locate the grill on flat terrain away from trees and bushes.

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