Find out if your DIY fire pit needs a liner

Making s'mores, roasting hot dogs, and enjoying a warm fire in your backyard are some of the best parts of summer.

Having a fire pit in your backyard allows you to enjoy a blazing fire any day, but have you ever thought about how your fire pit withstands constant heat?

Some materials used to construct fire pits aren't fire-safe, but simply adding a fire pit liner ensures the safety and structural integrity of your fire pit so it is ready to go at all times.

Read on to learn more about fire pit inserts and how you can make the perfect fire pit for your yard.

A roaring fire in a DIY fire pit, which features a fire pit liner.

What is a Fire Pit Ring Liner?

A fire pit ring liner (also called an insert or surround) is a metal barrier that can be added to the inside of a fire pit to protect stone, bricks, or pavers from high heat and flames.

Fire pit liners are made from durable steel with a high-temperature resistant finish and are available in a variety of functional designs and shapes. Some inserts have a lip that goes all the way around the top to rest easily on the bricks of the fire pit while others feature a bottom floor that makes them easy to insert into an existing fire pit.

Fire pit liners are available in a range of thicknesses and a variety of sizes.

Most fire pit liners are available in a large range of stock sizes including 20 inches to 50 inches. They can also be custom made if you work with the right fabricator and are willing to pay a little more.

Does Your DIY Fire Pit Need a Liner? 3 Questions to Consider

Before you build your fire pit, there are some things you'll want to decide so your fire pit will best suit your needs.

How Long Do You Plan to Use Your Fire Pit?

If you're envisioning your fire pit as a permanent part of your backyard or patio, you'll definitely want to use a fire pit liner. Doing so can prevent you from spending time and money fixing cracked or damaged materials.

However, if you want to use the fire pit temporarily or very few times during the year, a liner may not be necessary. In this case, a better option would be a portable or standard outdoor fire pit.

What is Your Fire Pit Made Out of?

If your fire pit is made of fire bricks, you won't need to use an insert. Fire bricks are made to withstand intense temperatures and are an excellent choice for permanent fire pits.

If fire bricks aren't an option for you, landscaping pavers, cinder blocks, or bricks are great alternatives when used with a liner. These materials are highly durable and provide an elegant look, but if they are exposed to high temperatures there is a chance that they will explode. According to Popular Mechanics, when these materials become overheated the water vapor trapped inside them begins to evaporate and expand which can lead to an explosion.

A fire pit liner provides a protective barrier between the materials and the flames. Plus, it makes your fire pit easier to clean and maintain.

Fire pit liner used with this brick fire pit.
How Do I Want My Fire Pit to Look?

Adding a fire pit liner to the inner ring of bricks or pavers is the perfect way to add clean lines to your outdoor space.

Liners are black, smooth, and create a seamless appearance. The sharpness adds a modern touch to your cozy fire pit area.

Rocks are a great option for a more natural looking fire pit.

Rocks are beautiful accents but most cannot withstand the constant heat of a fire so be sure to use a fire pit liner. Plus, liners will keep logs contained as they burn while the rocks add a rustic element to your outdoor gathering.

What is the Best Fire Pit Ring Insert to Use?

There are a couple things you should look for when selecting the perfect fire ring insert.

The first aspect you should consider is how big you want your fire pit to be. Ask yourself how many people need to comfortably sit around the fire and how much yard space you have. After you've decided, measure what would be the inner diameter of the fire pit to determine what size insert you'll need.

Another thing to keep in mind when looking for the perfect fire pit insert is how many pieces it comes in.

The fewer pieces needed to assemble it the better because there is less of a chance that pre-drilled holes won't line up, causing the insert to assemble unevenly.

Build a DIY Fire Pit That Will Last with a Fire Pit Ring Liner

Building a backyard fire pit takes lots of time, planning, and patience. Taking the time to thoughtfully plan out where your fire pit will go, what you will use to build it, and how it will impact the rest of your yard are great ways to ensure you get the most out of your fire pit.

Before you purchase materials for your fire pit, check your local safety codes to ensure that you are permitted to build a fire pit and determine the safest way to construct one.

After that, determine where you want to build your fire pit. Take into account the direction of the wind, the location of your home, the distance from buildings and other seating areas, and what direction everyone will face when seated around the fire pit.

DIY fire pit with a fire pit liner in the backyard.

Planning ahead and allowing space between sheds, garages, and other outbuildings is a great way to ensure nothing catches fire if an emergency occurs. As a rule, keep at least 10 feet between the fire pit and all combustible or flammable structures and surfaces.

It is also a good idea to build your fire pit in a location that can easily be seen through at least one window in your home. Some general locations to avoid include: on a wooden deck, near low-hanging branches, or under a pergola or covered area.

Your fire pit should be 6-12 inches tall, according to Earth, Turf, and Wood Inc., so children won't have to lean over the edge of it to roast a marshmallow or other fire-side treat. This height range is tall enough to safely contain logs as they burn and allow safe access to the hot coals and flames.

Safely Enjoy a Fire with Your Family

Building a safe fire pit allows you to enjoy it for years with your family and friends.

Using fire-safe materials like a fire pit liner not only protects your fire pit but keeps it looking nice over time. Now that you know what is needed for a safe fire pit, you're ready to start planning.

For additional safety tips, check out our blog article 14 Must-Know Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips for Your Next Fire.

Fire pits

About the Author

Josh House
Josh House
Josh House is a digital marketer who has a passion for video production and a soft spot for a good pun. During a cool evening, you’ll find him aspiring to build the perfect fire while strumming campfire songs on his guitar all night long.

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