Fire pits are the perfect addition to your backyard if you want to enjoy the outdoors year-round with loved ones. Fire pits are quickly becoming one of the most desirable DIY projects for homeowners. Before you rush to start building your very own fire pit, let’s discuss which bricks are the best to use for your fire pit.
Inside the fire pit you should use dense fire bricks, also known as hard bricks, because they are created to withstand extremely high temperatures. The exterior can be made from a broader range of materials, like sandstone. Be careful not to pick a rock that will explode from heat, such as limestone.
Every homeowner wants a fire pit in their background to gather around with loved ones and enjoy the evening in any weather. In this post, we’ll break down what the best bricks are that you can use to build your very own fire pit.
What are the best bricks to use for my fire pit?
When it comes to building the interior of your fire pit, you’re sort of limited in your options. You must use dense fire bricks, also known as bard bricks. Unlike standard bricks, this type is built to withstand the heat of your fire pit. These bricks can withstand up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Hard bricks range from yellow to orange and they are usually about 8 pounds each. Fire Bricks are made with a type of clay called fireclay, which has silica and alumina.
Another benefit of fire bricks is that they’re able to withstand the weather year-round. They can stand up against drastic temperature changes from extremely high to very low. If you live in an area with drastic weather changes, then these bricks will be much easier to maintain than other types of bricks.
When it comes to the exterior of your fire pit, you have a broader range of options. Solid bricks, landscape pavers, hard stones like granite or flagstone, and poured concrete are popular choices. You can pick from almost any type of material that suits your vision, if they do not have direct contact with the fire. You should also keep in mind how much maintenance that type of brick will require.
Now that you know what type of brick you’ll need to purchase, it’s important to mention what shapes you should be looking for. If you are building a circular fire pit then you’ll want to find fire bricks with angled sides, and if you are building a rectangular fire pit then you’ll be fine using bricks with straight sides.
Once your bricks are all sorted, don’t forget to grab all of your bricklaying tools for the best building experience!
The difference between regular bricks and fire bricks
The most important difference is that fire brick can withstand extremely high temperatures and regular bricks cannot. Some other differences are that fire bricks are heavier than regular bricks and they are denser. Firebricks are usually white but there are various different methods you can use to change their colour. Fire bricks can be tinted, stained, or dyed during manufacturing in order to change their colour. Since it is so easy to change their colour, this makes them more customizable than regular bricks.
Regular bricks have much more thermal conductivity than fire bricks. Thermal conductivity happens when temperatures travel from one brick to another, which creates insulation. This is why fire bricks are used for items and furnaces, to help retain the heat.
Will regular bricks explode in a fire pit?
It is not a common occurrence for regular bricks to explode inside of a fire pit, but it can happen. Even if regular bricks don’t explode inside of a fire pit they can still crack or break down, still causing your fire pit to get destroyed. Using regular bricks can result in an explosion since water vapour can easily get trapped inside of them. Fire bricks have enough holes in them to allow the water to pass through.
Alternatives to fire brick
There are a few materials you could use instead of fire brick in order to build your fire pit including ankar sandstone, red clay bricks, and refractory concrete. Not only is ankar sandstone able to withstand high temperature like fire brick, but it also has a grey-green colour which could be more favourable to some than the typical colour of fire brick.
Red clay bricks have the same ability to withstand heat as fire bricks, making them an excellent alternative. It is extremely affordable, and you can find them for a cheap price in most hardware stores. You also may be able to find this type of brick in demolition yards for free or in local newspapers where people might be tearing down old buildings. These are all heavy materials, so to make it easier to transport them, make sure you have a heavy-duty wheelbarrow.
Refractory concrete is not an alternative to fire brick, but it is the perfect mortar to use on the interior of your fire pit.
Bricks that shouldn’t be used in fire pits
Wet rocks cause trapped air and water to expand quickly. Add in heat from a fire and the expansion occurs even faster. The pressure from this is what causes rocks to explode. Limestone, sandstone, gravel, and river rocks hold a lot of water. Because of the water retained by them, they shouldn’t be used in a fire pit in order to avoid an explosion.
Are concrete blocks safe for fire pits?
Concrete blocks can be safe to use to build the outside of the fire pit but should always be used with a firebrick interior as a precaution. You need to be cautious when using concrete for a fire pit because it retains moisture and steam pressure builds quickly in the stone. This pressure can cause the concrete to crack or explode. This is why people are urged to line the inside of the pit with fire bricks. Alternatively, you can try a fire bowl to place in the pit that can also protect concrete from the heat. Concrete blocks also typically have a shorter lifespan than firebricks.
There are tons of options out there, making it easy for you to find durable materials that fit into your desired theme and fire pit. Before you start building your own fire pit, make sure to check the building codes in your area. Depending on what type of fire pit you choose to build and what location you are going to build the pit in, the codes may vary.
Now that you know what materials build a better fire pit, do you know if old houses are built better than new ones? There are advantages to brick cladding over veneering, but is there a bricklayer shortage in Ireland? Check out Paragon Tools Ireland for more bricklaying tips and tools.