1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Help with fire pit on top of pavers

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by thinkxingu, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    Hi All,
    Can't find a clear answer, so I thought I'd ask here: we are about to start our first summer owning a lakeside camp, and one of our first changes will be to move the fire pit. The one there is a two-level ring of field stone with what looks like stone dust or other heavily compressed substance in the middle. We're planning on just moving the ring of rocks to another place but are concerned the heat from the fire will crack the pavers below. What is an inexpensive way to insulate the pavers below from the fire heat?

    Any other (low cost) suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,358
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Ashes.
  3. Warm_in_NH

    Warm_in_NH Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    588
    Loc:
    central NH
    Back when I had a chiminea it recommended using sand to insulate the bottom from the heat.
    DevilsBrew likes this.
  4. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    478
    Loc:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Mu fire pit sits on top of a 3 X 3 group of 18" pavers with a bunch of rocks around the 4 sides. I burn some pretty intense fires given the size and some of the stuff I've gotten rid of (old decks etc). Clean out the ash in the spring right down to the pavers, never seen one crack yet. I left one squre in the middle with no paver.

    Even if they did crack. so what? Won't they be sitting on the dirt below?
  5. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    661
    I was going to suggest sand. It also makes leveling a fire pit area very easy to manage.
  6. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    "Even if they did crack. so what? Won't they be sitting on the dirt below?"
    Yeah, but I don't want to have to replace anything if I decide to move the pit again- especially for a couple dollars and minutes' work.
    OK, so I'll rearrange the rocks and put down a couple inches of sand.

    Thanks!
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,358
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Why would you put pavers in a fire pit? I've owned / built several, all directly on dirt. No need for any other "floor."
  8. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    The patio is already built and I've got a nice set of stones that I can build a ring with.
  9. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,346
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    Piece of cement board like Durock?
  10. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,419
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Dirt, sand, ashes, all possible. If you're going to have great epic 12 hour fires with beer and friends, that heat could soak in pretty good. Any chance you could pull out the pavers and set them aside? If not, you might think about a thick layer of something insulating. (I would make up a mix of clay, sand, and lots of sawdust... but then I have extra clay)
  11. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,128
    Loc:
    Michigan's U.P.
    I think the best solution is to remove the pavers from wherever you place the pit. Ring the new location with your rocks. When you want to move it again, level out the remaining hole and reinstall the pavers?
  12. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    I was thinking about pulling the pavers, but I'm a bit nervous that the others will shift and this patio is nice and tight.
    I think I'll tamp down a nice layer of sand as suggested above--4" or so--and deal with any issues that might arise. I'm thinking that'll be fine for what we'll be doing, and I also think we'll probably never move it once its in place. As a last resort, if damage did occur and we moved it, I could always match pavers up as best as possible.

    Thanks, all!
    Adios Pantalones and Beer Belly like this.
  13. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    OK, so good and bad came of this: the good is that I moved the fire pit and everything looks and fits perfectly, but the area the pit was above didn't have pavers. I should have pulled out the ones below where we moved the pit to, but didn't want to loosen up the patio (though it seems like that's not too much of an issue, seeing as the other ones were missing to begin with). In any case, short of pulling up the (now) moved fire pit and pulling out the number needed to fill the other hole, and short of just buying replacement pavers (age might make that an impossibility), what can I do to cover the hole?!

    Thanks, all.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,358
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I'd pull the necessary pavers from under the new pit. Fill the gap under the fire pit with new pavers of the same size, to keep anything from shifting / loosening up, color not being important there.
  15. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    To complete this thread: I found replacement pavers in the back of a warehouse near the camp and filled the spot- if you look close, you can tell the difference, but there will be a table over it and with some weathering should fit perfectly. I bought about a dozen extras, just in case. Fire pit looks great and is working out perfectly.

    Thanks, all!

Share This Page