Outdoor fireplaces make a stylish and functional addition to any backyard, deck or patio. They provide a focal point for entertaining, give a little extra warmth when the evenings get cool and help create a soothing oasis after a busy day.
Lightweight concrete fire pits bring balance between form and function, creating a beautiful piece that will last for years. But a well-made fire pit can be a big investment, so it’s not a choice you should rush into. Here are five things to know when you’re choosing your new concrete fire pit.
Shape and Size
Obviously this is the easiest place to start, and probably the place you started without even knowing it. You saw a fire pit you love in a magazine, or you’re redesigning a deck or patio and know how much space you have available.
So what do you want your fire pit to look like?
A rectangular fire table, like the one in the picture above, is a great central showpiece that gives your guests something to gather around, and can even function as a place to set a glass of wine while you’re deep in conversation. But a fire table is exactly that—a table—and needs a table-sized space so that friends and family aren’t constantly bumping into the corners.
If you’re looking for a smaller option, or like softer lines, then a bowl-shaped or cylindrical fire pit might be a better fit. A round concrete fire pit often takes less space, can be used as an accent, rather than a central feature, and can bring a unique line to your outdoor design scheme.
The versatility in design, size and shape means that you can easily model your fire pit to your unique taste and location.
Weight of Materials
People choose concrete for its durability and neutral color pallet. But what concrete brings in longevity, it can also bring in weight. A fire pit made from traditional concrete weighs a lot, can crack patio flagstones and needs additional reinforcement for wooden decks to provide the necessary support.
Fire pit manufacturers like Dekko provide an alternative solution: lightweight concrete fire pits. Dekko’s concrete is 60% lighter than traditional concrete, meaning you can safely place it on your patio or deck without reinforcement, and even move it around if you feel like changing up your outdoor layout, with only a little bit of help.
Lightweight concrete also makes delivery & installation both faster and safer. While fire pits with traditional concrete might require forklifting or special installation procedures, the select ultralight aggregates of our concrete make the delivery and installation process significantly more timely and cost-effective.
Although some concrete fire pits are designed to burn wood, more and more of them use other fuel sources like natural gas and propane. These options mean you can light your fire pit with the click of a lighter, manage the flame height and turn it off when you’re done, instead of waiting for coals to burn down like you would with a wood fire.
Between the two, natural gas is generally considered to be the more convenient of the two fuel types, particularly if you’re adding a concrete fire pit to an existing deck or backyard. While it needs to be hard-piped in, you don’t need a tank and you never need to update it for the life of the fire pit.
By comparison, propane is an easier initial hookup. All you need to do is buy a tank, just like you would for a backyard barbecue, hook it up and you’re good to go (although you might want a tank cover—see the Accessories section below). However, once it’s hooked up, you still need to refill the tanks periodically, which means removing it, having it filled and then replacing it.
Who knew a fire pit needed accessories? Whether it’s aesthetics, safety or just being able to enjoy the overall experience, there are a few concrete fire pit accessories you should consider.
- A wind guard. Think about how sheltered your fire pit will be. If it’s low to the ground, with a fence or other structure nearby, you might not need to worry, but if you have windy days, a wind guard keeps your fire pit burning smoothly and your fingertips, clothes and drinks safe.
- A tank cover. A propane tank is an easy way to fuel your fire pit, but it’s not very aesthetically pleasing. A matching tank cover is a great way to hide the unsightly tank and keep the look consistent with your fire pit.
- A weather cover. If you live somewhere where it rains regularly, then a weather cover helps to protect your fire pit against the elements and keeps it looking good year-round. Weather-proof canvas covers should be made to fit your fire pit exactly. A snug fit is essential for keeping the cover tight during windy days.
- A tabletop lid. Whether you’ve purchased a large rectangular or smaller round concrete fire pit, a tabletop lid is a great way to make it a multi-purpose feature of your outdoor living space. Choosing a custom tabletop lid turns your concrete fire pit into a central coffee table or helpful end table for you and visitors to use.
- Fill rocks. Modern concrete fire pits usually have the burn area filled with rocks or glass. This lends itself to a more sophisticated look, instead of a classic campfire aesthetic, but when you’re buying your concrete fire pit, ask which rocks are available, so you know you’ll be happy with the entire finished look.
Concrete fire pits are a very popular design choice these days, but not all concrete is created equal. Make sure you talk to your supplier about durability, how the material is engineered to prevent cracking and what you need to do to keep your concrete fire pit looking good. It may be as simple as a fire pit cover.
Also, ask about how your concrete fire pit will age. Dekko fire pits are made out of 100% pure proprietary concrete that won’t peel, patina, flake or require sealant, meaning your concrete fire pit will stay looking great for years to come.
As one of the most resistant materials used on exterior construction, concrete has become core to Dekko’s design strategy. Our vision wasn’t only to leave lasting impressions with our products, but also to create impressions that last. Concrete is the ingredient we rely on to achieve this. Rain, snow or sleet, our fire pits are prepared to outlast their surroundings; not only to give you peace of mind but decades of use, too.