There’s nothing as pleasurable as spending some time outside your home, seated near a blazing fire on a cold day. This is why many homeowners now install a fire pit in their homes.
Of course, there are portable fire pits that you can buy and install, but they don’t provide as much heat as a big fire pit constructed for you.
To save a lot of costs, many people prefer to construct their fire pit themselves. The first question that comes to their minds is, what kind of bricks can be used for a fire pit?
This article tries to answer the question and also guides homeowners on how to build their fire pits. So, take the time to read this piece through to the end.
The Best Grades of Brick for Fire Pits:
To answer the question, the best kind of bricks for a fire pit is heat-resistant bricks. The bricks are also referred to as fire bricks. This is because they can withstand the heat from fire for several years.
They are available in three grades – High, Medium, and Low. The bricks in the Low category can withstand heat up to 870 degrees Celsius. The ones in the Medium category can withstand heat up to 1482 degrees Celsius.
Finally, the bricks in the High category can withstand heat up to 1648 degrees Celsius. The third category is the best for your fire pit. It will withstand the fire for several years. You can recognize it with the following features:
1. Properties of Fire Bricks
1. The bricks are available in either white or yellow in color.
2. They come in different sizes. You can choose your preferred size.
3. On average, a fire brick weighs about 30 to 35 pounds.
4. They have a high compressive strength that ranges from 200 to 250 Kg/cm sq.
5. They have a very low rate of water absorption, which varies from 5 to 10%.
6. The bricks are not only resistant to heat, but they are also resistant to chemicals.
There are three types of fire bricks in this grade. They are Acidic Fire Bricks, Neutral Fire Bricks, and Basic Fire Bricks. Let us discuss each of them.
2. Acidic Fire Bricks
This type of fire bricks is also called an acid-resistant brick. It is not only resistant to fire, but it is also resistant to acid and other chemicals. Generally, all fire bricks are resistant to acid to an extent.
But acidic fire bricks are much more resistant to acid and other chemicals because an additional amount of silica is added to fire clay to create them.
In fact, silica makes up a very high composition in acidic fire bricks. For the binding purposes, they also contain about 2% of lime. Finally, these bricks are burned at a very high temperature for a very long period.
3. Basic Fire Bricks
These bricks are highly resistant to chemicals and corrosion because they contain a very high amount of magnesia. They also contain a little of lime for binding.
You can get various types of Basic fire bricks. Some of them are Magnesia-Chrome bricks, Magnesia-Carbon bricks, Magnetite bricks, and many more.
These bricks are known for corrosion resistance and chemical resistance. They contain a high amount of magnesia, and lime is used as a binding material. Different basic fire bricks available are Magnesite bricks, Magnesia-carbon, magnesia-chrome bricks, etc.
4. Neutral Fire Bricks
They are a combination of the other two types. They combine the acidic properties with the basic properties. So, you can use these bricks instead of the other types.
This type of bricks is resistant to acids, chemicals, and corrosion. These bricks are available in two types – High Alumina bricks and Chromite bricks.
High Alumina bricks contain a large amount of Alumina, while the high Chromite bricks contain iron ore, bauxite, silica, iron oxide, and chromium in different proportions. Apart from building a fire pit, the bricks can be put to other uses. Here are the other uses of the bricks.
Uses of Fire Bricks:
Due to their relatively lower thermal conductivity, they can be used as an insulating material for ovens and furnaces. They are also used for the inner lining of wood-fueled ovens.
Also, they are used for fire-resistant structures and buildings as a way of reducing fire hazards. Finally, they are used for the inner surface lining of kilns and chimneys, etc.
How Many Bricks Do I Need For A Fire Pit?
Another common question that people ask is about how many bricks they need to build a fire pit. The truth is that we can’t say you need a specific number of bricks. The number depends on several factors that we will explain now.
1. Factors that Determine the Number of Bricks
Size of the fire pit: The size of your fire pit will determine the number of bricks that you will need. When we say size, we mean how wide it’s gonna be and how tall and deep your fire pit will be. A standard fire pit has a diameter of about 20 to 25 inches. A long diameter means a wider pit.
The wider the diameter, the more bricks you will need. Also, the deeper and taller your fire pit is, the more the bricks you will need. Size of the bricks: The size of your chosen bricks also plays an important role in the number of bricks.
If you go for longer and wider bricks, you will need fewer bricks. On the other hand, if you choose smaller bricks, you will need a higher number of bricks.
2. The Thickness of your Fire Pit
This is another factor that you should consider. Thicker walls will require more bricks than thinner ones. So, to find out how many bricks you’ll need, you must decide on the diameter, depth, and wall thickness in your plan.
How to Build a Round Fire Pit with Bricks?
Step 1: The first step is to find out if a fire pit is allowed in your neighborhood or not. The fact that some people are installing it in their homes does not mean it is allowed. You must find out if it is allowed or not.
And if it is permitted, you may also want to find out the guidelines to avoid violating them. For instance, a wood-burning fire pit is not allowed in certain communities.
Step 2: You have to create your fire pit on level ground. So, if the site is not level, fix it. Fill the low spots and remove higher areas. Now, place a metal bowl in the pit to get the bowl outline before you remove the bowl.
Step 3: Add 3 to 5 inches of gravel to the fire pit area and level it with a rake. You can check with a construction level and keep adjusting it until it levels up.
Step 4: Now, start by placing the first layer of bricks. Each of them should be placed at an angle to the other so that they will form a circle in the end.
The circle has to follow the outline of the bowl. You can place the bowl in the fire pit again so that it can guide you as you position the bricks. You can remove the bowl after arranging 2 to 3 layers of bricks.
Step 5: Continue to arrange the bricks and cement them until you get to the desired height.
Step 6: Once again, you should place the metal fire pit bowl inside the newly constructed fire pit. The outer rim of the bowl should rest on the top layer of bricks. You can now set the screen on top of the bowl to complete the fire pit.
We must let you know that constructing a fire pit is not as easy as it sounds. While we won’t discourage you from doing it yourself, we think it is a better idea to hire a professional for it.
Fire Pit Precautions:
1. Create Enough Vents
When gas accumulates at the base of your fire pit, it could cause a fire hazard. That’s why you must create adequate vents for proper airflow. This will aid cross ventilation and prevent gas buildup.
2. Get Necessary Tools for Quick Extinguishment
Before you start the fire, you must have fire extinguishing tools handy. The fire could get out of hand. You should have a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water, or a shovel with which you will scoop sand or ashes on the fire. You must also make sure that someone is attending to the fire all the time.
3. Watch the Wind
Look out for the wind before you start your fire. Don’t start a fire if winds are greater than 15 miles per hour, and any fire must be 10 feet away from any combustible structure.
4. Don’t Throw Rubbish into the Fire
Many objects produce heavy smoke when burning. Apart from the fact that your neighbors won’t appreciate heavy smoke billowing in the air around them, the thick smoke can be dangerous to your own health as well. Burn only wood in a wood-burning fire pit, and the wood must be very dry.
Your fire pit alone cannot complete the fun. You also need a great deck. Unfortunately, most people don’t rejuvenate their decks as often as they should. Here is why you should get your deck rejuvenated regularly.
Why you Should Get Your Deck Rejuvenated Timely?
Your deck beautifies your home much more than you think. It gives your home a complete facelift. Most importantly, it increases the sales potential of your entire home. Here are other reasons to hire a deck rejuvenation expert to fix your deck as and when due.
1. Prevention of Wood Rot
Whether it is deck rejuvenation, deck maintenance, or deck painting, they all have one thing in common. They help to prevent the rot of your deck wood.
Your deck is what welcomes your guests. It is not quite pleasant to welcome your guest with a warped or rotting deck. Get your deck rejuvenated as soon as possible to prevent wood rot.
2. Prevention of UV Damage
Modern exterior paints now have some anti-UV properties, and that is why they prevent UV rays of the sun from penetrating. That means getting your deck painted or rejuvenated will shield it from UV, and this will extend its lifespan.
3. Visual Appeal
You must have been to several houses with a great deck, and you would have also seen homes with not-so-pleasant looking decks. You know the difference. Bad decks deface the whole building.
You don’t want a prospective home buyer to turn down your home because he thinks it was built a couple of centuries ago.
Yes, a warped deck can make homes look much older than they are. More so, some of your neighbors will assess the interior of your home with the exterior.
4. Repulsion of Water
Your deck is outside and not shielded from the rain. Since deck painting is an integral part of deck rejuvenation and new exterior paints now have an element of water resistance in them, rejuvenating your deck will help to repel water from it.
Prevention is always better and smarter than cure. It will cost you a lot if a part of your deck gets damaged by water. Remember, mold and mildew growth are often associated with water damage.
Preventing water damage with deck painting will save you a lot of costs. Apart from water, it also prevents extractive bleed, splitting, warping, cracking, and raised grain.
You can only enjoy all the benefits of deck rejuvenation if it is done by one of the best service providers. So, it is better to leave the job for a highly reputable company that has been handling the service for several years.