best fire pits for wood deck main
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Can you put a fire pit on a wood or composite deck?

Yes you can, but you will need a buffer between the deck and the fire pit and a way to protect the deck from jumping embers. Here’s the basics for putting a fire pit on a wood or composite (Trex) deck:

  • Place stone or concrete pavers underneath the fire pit to act as a heat dissipator. You may also purchase a heat shield mat

  • Use a large ember mat to further protect the surface underneath and catch any sparks or embers

  • Place the fire pit as far away from the home as possible, ideally a minimum of 10 feet

  • Use a spark screen to discourage embers from leaving the fire pit

  • Always follow your city’s codes, laws, and regulations

The main issue with placing a fire pit on any type of deck is the radiant heat and sparks that may jump from crackling wood. Heat stress over a long period of time can weaken a wood or composite surface where it can become brittle and likely to break. 

We recommend NewTex's 36" FirePad Deck Protector

If you have a vinyl deck, a fire pit is likely a no-go for you. These decks are made out of plastic or PVC materials and expand and contract very easily with excessive heat. 

In the Solo Stove Review, we took temperature measurements below the Solo Stove where they reached 170-200 F. 

Below are the best options, combined with the tips above and at the end of this article, for enjoying a fire out on your deck.


Best Fire Pits for a Wood or Composite Deck

Breeo X Series 19” Smokeless Fire Pit

breeo x series grilling chicken and other meats

The Breeo X-Series fire pit is pictured here with the grill attachment. Food can also be cooked on teh large upper rim. 

Breeo’s X Series fire pit is the perfect option for entertaining, cooking, and relaxing. The smoke-free design prevents smoke from getting on or near your home or guests while the built-in sear plate is perfect for grilling and large enough to keep embers from jumping out around the edges.

Pros

  • 3 heavy duty steel legs keep the fire pit elevated from the surface
  • The smokeless design keeps smoke off of your home and your guests
  • A large sear plate lining the top is perfect for cooking and keep embers from jumping out around the edges
  • Perfect for groups of 4 or more

Cons

  • Recommended stainless steel lid is purchased separately

Solo Stove Bonfire Smokeless Fire Pit

solo stove bonfire secondary burn

The Solo Stove's double-burn effect can be seen above where it appears thereare jets of flames around the upper rim. 

Solo Stove’s Bonfire fire pit is the perfect option for city dwellers or those with limited backyard space. With the Bonfire you get a lot of value for an affordable price. Lightweight, easy to get going, and very portable.

Pros

  • Smaller design is perfect for decks, small patios, or those with limited space
  • Smokeless design keeps smoke from ever reaching your home
  • Affordable and portable
  • Weighs only 15 lbs.
  • Ideal for a family of 4 or less.

Cons

  • Not great for entertaining large groups
  • Fire pit stand is a must and is purchased separately

Breeo Double Flame 19” Smokeless Fire Pit

best portable fire pit breeo double flame stainless steel

The Double Flame is pictured above. Note the legs are built into the stand so there is no need to purchase a separate component. 

The Double Flame is perfect for someone who wants all the features of Breeo’s X-Series, but isn’t interested so much in the cooking side of things. This American made fire pit is perfect for the backyard of a family of 4.

Pros

  • The fire pit’s stand is built into the design
  • Same smokeless technology keeps your deck and living area smoke-free
  • Has the option to add on a grill later if desired

Cons

  • Recommended lid is sold separately

Tips for putting a fire pit on a wood or composite deck

  • Do not exceed the maximum weight capacity of your deck. Pavers plus a fire pit can add significant weight. 

  • Place your fire pit along a support beam and at least 10’ away from the house

  • Ensure there is adequate space on all sides and there is not anything overhanging near the fire pit

  • Keep a fire extinguisher and/or bucket of water nearby

  • Regularly check the top and bottom of your deck for any wear or damage

  • Store wood far away from your deck and home

  • Consider using a gas or propane powered fire pit


Using a gas-powered fire pit on a deck

If the fire is more for show, atmosphere, and ease of use, a gas or propane powered fire pit is the way to go. These fire pits are typically a safer and easier to use option than wood because:

  • There are no sparks or embers that can jump from the fire pit

  • Many propane-powered fire pits have the fire well elevated from the ground

  • Even with a propane tank, many gas-powered fire pits are not very heavy

  • When the night is over, the fire is completely out with the turn of button

  • No need to worry about wood or wood storage

However, don’t think gas-powered fire pits are completely better than wood-burning ones. Gas fire pits have a lot more moving parts and typically will not last longer than what is essentially a metal bowl. Don’t forget the cost of propane adds up and usually will not produce as much heat as a normal fire. 

After looking around online or in your local home improvement store, you’ll find that many gas fire pits are very similar. Most compose of a line that runs to the propane tank with a burner where the propane is lit, similar to your grill. 


Best Gas Fire Pit for a Wood or Composite Deck

Bali Outdoors 28” Gas Fire Pit

This simple gas powered fire pit assembles in around 30 minutes and gets the fire going with just the push of a button. Fire glass is included for an even more elegant appearance. 

Pros

  • Angled base helps to reduce the risk of tipping over
  • Fire is elevated 25” from the ground, no need for pavers or heat shields
  • Simple design keeps this fire pit inexpensive

Cons

  • Requires some assembly

How to set up a fire pit on a wood or composite deck

Our recommendation is to use both a combination of an Ember Mat, and a reflector, like this one, or stone pavers to further dissipate heat. The ember rug will catch sparks or small burning pieces of wood that escape from the fire pit. 

We recommend the 67" x 60" Ember Mat Deck Protector

The reflector or stone pavers help to dissipate the heat from where it’s being concentrated the most, underneath the fire pit. Unfortunately, heat can still transfer through the ember mat and cause damage over time, so this additional step is necessary. 

Lastly, you may even consider purchasing a spark screen to further prevent any sparks from leaving the fire pit. 

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