Fire Pit Material Options

Learn how to choose which fire pit is right for you, from sturdy stone to modern stainless steel—and everything in between.
Related To:
Granite Stone Fire Pit

Granite Stone Fire Pit

Fire pits are available in many materials, such as this modern use of granite stone and pebbles.

What kind of fire pit is right for your family? Narrow the field of fire pit material options by focusing on what you want a fire pit to do for you and your home. Maybe you’re in the market for a fire pit that will warm a cozy patio on fall and spring evenings. A heavy chiminea-type fire pit chases evening chill quite easily. Or maybe you have kids who like to host sleepovers. In that case, a basic campfire-style fire pit provides the perfect outlet for making s’mores and roasting hot dogs. Learn some tricks to make choosing from the array of materials on the market somewhat easier. 

Every fire pit decision boils down to this key question: What does your city, county, or even neighborhood covenant have to say about fire pits? You might have your eye on a classic copper bowl that’s the ideal size for your patio, but if it’s not up to code due to location, size or prevailing winds, your fire might be snuffed before you light the first match. Learn the rules for your locality before embarking on your fire pit quest.

Once you understand what’s allowed and required, start by considering where you’ll site the fire pit. If it’s located closer to a home in a small yard, you might want to choose a material that complements your home’s architectural style and materials. Or you might want to use the fire pit as focal point, which means intentionally selecting a material that’s graphic, bold and decidedly different from your home, like a blend of stone and stainless steel or colorful ceramic tile.

Do you want a fire pit that’s mobile or permanent? If you want a fire pit you can take with you to the beach or camping, select a lightweight metal bowl-type pit. Beautiful copper or steel fire pits are light enough to carry and good-looking enough to occupy center stage at home.

A permanent fire pit features a heavier, durable material, like stone, brick, or concrete. The design can be as simple or intricate as you want. It can be a focal point of an outdoor patio area and incorporate built-in seating, or it can be a basic brick circle you put together yourself in a few hours.

Of course your budget comes into play as you select what kind of fire pit you want. Some materials are cheaper, like cast iron, a simple stone campfire-type ring, or a DIY cinder block fire pit. You might want to invest in an eye-catching gas-fired fire pit that’s housed in a sleek steel table and filled with fire-glass.

If you want to use your fire pit for cooking, choose a material that supports a grill or allows roasting meats and marshmallows. Some gas fire pits aren’t designated for cooking. Most stone, cinder block or brick fire pits easily accommodate grills or rotisseries.

Many smaller metal fire pits typically have handsome, bowl-type designs that complement any setting. The one drawback to choosing a metal fire pit is if you have young children. The metal can become quite hot, and it’s important to keep children away from these sizzling surfaces.

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