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Fire Pits on Wooden Decks

There are many people who enjoy a warm fire on the cooler days outside, they wonder if they could use their Fire Pits on Wooden Decks without burning the house down.  The answer is yes if you follow the right precautions.  I will go over some options in this post to answer some of your questions.

Many people have wooden or composite decks attached to their homes, they would like to stay close to the door when it is cooler outside.  Using a fire pit on one of these surfaces can be done if you take some precautions and use the right fire pit or protection.

There are several options to solving this problem, without having to go to the middle of your yard to have a fire to sit around. Let us look at some of these options.

 

What are your options

There are a lot of options depending on what kind of ambiance you are looking for.  If you want the look and feel of a fire pit, you can use a propane-fueled fire pit.  They do not produce heat on the bottom so they can sit on combustible surfaces in safety.

An Electric heater can be placed on a table to give you enough heat to keep you warm on most cool nights.  Some will resemble a lamp and your guest will not even notice them on a table.

Protection for composite and wooden decks can be done with a Dek-Protect system.  This system will shield your deck material from the excess heat of a wood fire, you would still have to protect siding material if your deck is small.

Now let us look at the details of each of these examples and see what path you need to take.



table top propane heaterPropane-powered fire pits

 

The most styles will be offered in the propane-powered heat source for your outdoor space.  From a tabletop burner to the full fire pit with different styles.

A tabletop heater can be purchased in the style of a stand-up heater to a miniature fire pit that attaches to the table through the umbrella hole.  I have several articles on these types of fire pits here.  The good thing about this style is that it does not take up a lot of floor space and you can sit around your table and play cards or have some beverages.

The stand-up propane heater can be a big brother to the tabletop models.  They will take a little floor space and the heat is quite high compared to others.

A regular fire pit can either have the power source inside or outside.  The remote styles can have a lower profile than the ones that have the tank inside.

Ingles Acacia wood chat set with a gas fire pit

Ridgewell gas fire pitUniflame gas fire pit

The two fire pits on the left have the tank inside, the fire pit on the right has a remote tank inside of a cabinet that is built for it.  Remote fire pits will have about a ten-foot lead hose to connect to a tank.

I have many articles on different styles of propane fire pits on this site, see this link for your propane fire pit solutions.

The propane-powered heating solution has the most choices of style and designs.  Making a choice of style and options could be the hardest part of choosing this style of heat.

Pros

  • No mess to clean up after a burn
  • Can be purchased in several designs
  • Once lit, nothing to do unless tank runs out

Cons

  • Have to have a spare tank available
  • Some will need space away from vinyl siding
  • Most cannot be used for cooking

electric table top heater

Electric Heaters

 

Electric heat is an easy solution that can be just plugged in and turned on.  No mess or cleanup, no power source to run out while enjoying your evening.  Most styles of this heat source can even add to your outdoor decor.

Make sure that a properly sized cord is used if the heater cord will not reach a power source.  Most will be required to sit on a table, not designed to sit on the floor.

This type of heating solution will require the smallest side clearances, this will be a great solution for those with smaller decks or a balcony.

 

Pros

  • Easy to use, just plugin
  • Easy to move when needed
  • Some can be a good light source also

Cons

  • Cannot cook with this power source
  • Most are smaller and put out little heat
  • An extension cord may be needed to get to a power source

 

Fire Pit on DeckProtect boardDeckProtect system

 

For those who just have to have a wood-burning heat source on their wood or composite decks, a Dek Protect system will work well for you.

Made of volcanic rock and ash material that will repel heat very well.  Made with a metal base that will keep all of your material in place.  It will protect up to 1400 degrees of heat for extended periods of time.

It is available in sizes from 12 by 12 inches up to 30 by 30 inches and is about 2.3 inches thick.  For those who have to have a wood-burning fire pit on their deck, this is a great solution for under your fire pit.  You still need to keep at least 10 feet from walls that could be damaged by the heat of your flame.

For more of my information on a DeckProtect system, see my post here.

Pros

  • Allows use of wood-burning fire pits on wooden and composite surfaces
  • Can move easily when you want to move the fire pit
  • One-piece, no assembly

Cons.

  • Does not cover large areas
  • Can be damaged by legs of fire pits
  • Can damage deck material if left when not in use over summer



What would I choose for my Composite deck

 

I would use a propane-powered for my choice of Fire Pits on Wooden Decks, others may have other ideas of what to use.  I think that a propane-powered fire pit will give you the best heat source for your money and still let you choose a design that fits well with your outdoor decor.

Let you know what your solution was for your deck with a wood or composite surface.  Did you just move out to the yard where the heat from the wood-burning fire pit will not permanently damage the surface below with its extreme heat?

Any questions or comments use the forms below and I will get back to you shortly.

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