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How to Build a Fire Pit Ring

Cozy up to a warm fire with a new backyard fire pit ring. The following instructions will show you how to install a fire pit ring kit.

Planning for an Outdoor Fire Pit Ring

Diagram showing cross section of fire pit kit layers.

Our fire pit kit is comprised of blocks and a metal ring insert. Check the contents of your kit to see if additional materials are needed before assembling. Our kit can be installed on grass — on top of a gravel paver base — or on top of a patio. You can also design and build your own custom-sized fire pit using rectangular retaining wall blocks, or set the fire pit in ground. See Fire Pit Ideas for instructions and design inspiration.

Caution

Before beginning any excavation, call 811 to check for underground utilities. Also, before you buy materials or begin work, check local building codes, ordinances and homeowner association guidelines to make sure that fire pits are allowed.

Choose a Location

Choose a location for your outdoor fire pit kit.
  • For safety, choose a spot located away from your house and low-hanging limbs, or anything else that could catch fire.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough room for outdoor furniture around the fire pit. It's best to keep the back legs of furniture about 6 to 7 feet away from the pit.
  • For convenience, you may want to locate your fire pit near your wood pile.

 

 

Prepare the Area

Marking the fire pit ring kit location using a compass made of string, marking paint and a wooden stake.

Begin by marking the fire pit layout. If you’re building on grass, use a stake, string and marking paint to create a compass and mark the outline of the pit. Our kit required us to dig a base slightly wider than the assembled kit to ensure a wider, stable base for the blocks. After the kit is assembled, you can fill in areas around the stones with soil and grass seed.

If you’re building on a patio, set the metal ring insert in place and lay the first layer of stones around it. Then set the insert aside and continue with installation.

 

Installing a Fire Pit Kit on a Patio

Diagram of a stone fire pit kit installed on top of a paver patio.

If you’re installing on a paver patio with polymeric sand in the joints, you’ll need to line the bottom of the fire pit to protect the sand. Use fire-rated bricks cut to fit the inside of the pit. Cut the bricks using a circular saw with a concrete blade or a stone chisel and hammer. See Cut Patio Block for detailed instructions.

Lay the Paver Base (If Installing on Grass)

Step 1

Removing the sod using a shovel.

Remove the sod and dirt to a depth of 2 inches.

 

 

Good to Know

Keep the sod slightly wet if you plan to reuse it.

 

Step 2

Tamping the ground using a hand tamper.

Compact the soil using a hand tamper.

Step 3

Checking the location with a level.

Check the area with a level. Adjust if necessary by adding or removing soil as needed and tamping again.

Step 4

Evening out the paver base with a rake.

Add approximately 2 inches of gravel base and spread evenly using a garden rake.

Step 5

Tamping the wet paver base.

Wet the paver base with a garden hose and tamp down. Then add another 1/2 inch of paver base and tamp again, keeping the base level.

Set the Stones

Step 1

Setting the first row of stones in place.

Lay the first row of stones in place, making sure the blocks are touching.

Step 2

Inserting the metal ring to check the layout.

Set the ring in the middle of the stone ring to check the layout and make any adjustments. Also, check for level as you’re working. Remove the metal ring and set aside.

Step 3

Setting the second row of blocks, staggering the joints.

Set the second row of blocks in place, staggering the joints with the first layer.

Step 4

Applying construction adhesive.

Remove two stones at a time and apply landscape adhesive, then reposition the blocks.

Step 5

Laying the third row of blocks.

Set the third row of blocks in place using the same technique used for the second row — checking the staggered joints and locking in place with landscape adhesive. Allow the adhesive to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Good to Know

Make sure the construction adhesive has completely cured before lighting a fire.

 

Step 6

Inserting the metal ring and adding lava rock.

Set the metal ring inside the fire pit. Finish by filling the pit with lava rock up to the bottom of the metal ring insert.

Step 7

Completed fire pit ring kit in use.

Add some kindling and logs and relax next to the warm glow of a backyard fire!

Caution

Only use stones that are specified as heat resistant in your fire pit. Keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand or water nearby just in case, and always fully extinguish fires before leaving the fire pit area unattended.