Here are the types of fire pit mats including what it is, if they work, different styles, the benefits, and how big a fire pit mat should be to protect your deck.
Having your very own wood-burning fire pit at home is a luxury you can add to your home, dramatically increasing its value. More than that, you also get to enjoy spending time beside its warmth, either with a book on hand or while cuddling with your significant other. You are able to build memories with family and friends, which is definitely irreplaceable.
When you have your fire pit though and you place it on your deck, it is important to protect your home and property, especially if your deck is not heat-resistant and can be damaged and worse, set on fire, by flying embers and sparks.
This is why it is necessary to think about every precaution and protection you can prepare when you have a fire pit on your deck. And one of the ways you can do this is through a fire pit mat.
What Is A Fire Pit Mat?
A fire pit mat or protection matting is an affordable safety option you can consider to prevent your deck from coming into any harm. It is an extra layer of protection you can use to safeguard your deck and as a result your home. And the great thing about this type of mat is that it can also add to your deck’s aesthetics and décor.
Quite similar to a regular mat, a fire pit mat is structured and designed to be resistant to high temperatures. When used, flying sparks and embers won’t be able to damage the mat itself and when covered over the deck will also protect the deck and home in the process.
Using a fire pit mat on your deck will be very important, especially if your deck is not fire-resistant and may even be filled with burnt marks like wooden decks and other similar delicate materials.
Fire pit mats are made from heat-resistant materials, including fire-retardant film or fiberglass. They are responsible for protecting the deck from flying embers and sparks and making burnt marks on the floor. They can only be applicable though if your fire pit is standing on legs but if not and the pit lays directly on the ground, a firmer and sturdier material may be required to serve as protection for the flooring and deck.
A thick heat-resistant metal shield or firm volcanic rock fiber pads may be recommended for this situation. You will need a fire pit mat if your wood-burning fire pit sits on a deck that’s flammable and not fire-resistant. They can be made of PVC, vinyl, hardwood, and other similar flammable materials.
It will be a requirement if you want to keep your deck in good condition and away from the possibility of it burning. The mat can also prevent burning on grass areas within your backyard.
Outdoor Fire Pit Mat Benefits
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An outdoor fire pit mat is very advantageous if you have a burning fire pit on your deck that can cause burnt damage and actual burning on the property. If you are second-guessing yourself whether a fire pit mat can help you or not, these are the benefits you can expect from using one.
• Made from different materials and you can choose what material will benefit you the most
• Protection against burnt marks on the deck made from flying embers and sparks
• Allows you to enjoy a fire pit on your deck or yard without having to worry about anything burning (You still need to make sure though to keep an eye on it)
• Affordable compared to other options that can safeguard your home from your fire pit
• Portable and makes the fire pit moveable instead of being limited to a specific spot for it
• Usually cozy to sit on and matches well with the warmth of the fire pit
• Compatible with all ground types for protection
• Available in different sizes and can accommodate small to large fire pits, depending on the fire pit mat you choose
The different benefits you can enjoy from using fire pit mats can either lessen or increase based on the type of fire pit mat you choose to use.
Fireproof Mat For Deck
A fireproof mat is a requirement for your deck, especially if you have a fire pit going. If you’re fond of staying outdoors even when the weather is cold, a fire pit on your deck is a great option to consider and a fireproof mat is a necessity if that’s the case.
You can enjoy warmth outdoors without having to risk potential damage to your deck and home.
Fire Pit Mat For Composite Deck
One of the types of decks that will need a fire pit mat is a composite deck. If you have this kind of deck, you cannot have a fire pit going without any protection laid out on the floor.
If you choose not to go without a fire mat, expect burnt marks on your deck. You can’t even have peace of mind when the fire pit is going and that’s exactly the opposite of what you want to experience when enjoying some time on the deck for warmth and coziness.
The thing with a composite deck is that it’s flammable. You may probably get away without having to use a fire pit mat; your deck is made from a fire-resistant material that’s also treated and finished for additional layers of protection. And this protection is not just from fire and heat but also against spills, stains, and grease.
You need to consider the kind of fire pit you have at home and match it with a mat that will help you protect your deck more. If you have a gas fire pit, you can use a fire pit mat without much cushioning since it doesn’t produce too much heat. It’s an entirely different matter though if you’re using a propane gas fire pit. You need to add more cushions to your deck to protect it better.
Fire Pit Heat Shield
See this fire pit heat shield at Home Depot [sponsored link]
Another option altogether from a mat is a fire pit heat shield. This provides a raised metal guard that creates a barrier between your fire pit and the deck. This design works equally well for wood decks, stone, brick or concrete patios. You can find different sizes to accommodate small to large models.
Fire Pit Mat For Grass
See this fire pit mat at Amazon [sponsored link]
If you’re not using your fire pit on your deck though and rather on the grass, a fire pit mat can still do its job. Since fire pit mats come in a wide variety of options, you can choose one that’s specifically designed for grass.
The grass is also a flammable material like wood and if you’re planning on using a fire pit on it, you will have to safeguard it from burning and getting set on fire much as you do with wood.
The height of the fire pit and its proximity to the ground will also be considered when choosing the ideal fire pit mat. The closer the fire pit is to the ground, the more cushion will be necessary to protect the grass from direct heat.
And the higher your fire pit is the bigger your mat needs to be to protect the area from flying embers and sparks. When it comes to grass, a higher fire pit is a better option to avoid setting it on fire.
Fire Pit Mat For Concrete
Concrete is a non-flammable material that’s often added to the flooring for better durability and stability when you install a fire pit on the grass. Adding a few pavers or blocks of concrete will guarantee that even if you lay down the heat closely and directly to the grass, the heat won’t reach the ground and cause irreparable damage.
If you have concrete flooring for your deck, this in itself is a safety measure that can help you protect your home when using a fire pit. Will you still need a fire pit mat? Well, not as much as you will need when you have a wooden deck or if you are using the fire pit on your lawn.
But it is an added layer of protection nonetheless and you can even use it to spruce up your concrete deck and dress up your yard in a trendy way.
Do Fire Pit Mats Work?
Yes, fire pit mats work but you will need to use them properly and match them with the kind of deck and fire pit you have at home.
The effectiveness of fire pit mats and their necessity will highly depend on where you’re planning to install and use the fire pits, how far they are on the floor, and what kind of flooring you have on your deck (if you choose to use the fire pit on the deck. You may also need to take into account the kind of fire pit mat you’re using.
A fire pit mat needs to be heat-resistant to effectively accomplish its goal. A thin and large fire pit mat is more effective when used on a fire pit that stands a bit higher on the ground and does not directly sit on the deck. But the closer your fire pit is to the ground, the more cushioning it will need to protect the deck on your yard from its direct heat.
Do I need A Mat Under My Fire Pit?
To be on the safe side, as long as you have a fire pit going then using a fire pit mat is not a bad decision. However, there are specific situations where using a fire-resistant mat under your fire pit is an absolute must, including the following:
- If you have flammable flooring in your deck whether it’s made from other more delicate materials
- If your fire lit is on your yard and you want to protect your lawn and grass
- If the fire pit doesn’t have a stand and would need to be laid down directly on the deck or lawn with the source of heat directly touching the floor
More than just a fire pit mat, you can also get a spark screen for additional protection. And of course, make sure you look after the fire once it’s lit.
How Big Should My Fire Pit Mat Be?
The size of your fire pit mat depends on the size of your fire pit and your deck. You will also have to take into account the height of the fire pit and how high it is to the ground.
You can go for a smaller fire pit mat if you’re using a small and short fire pit. The standard fire pit dimensions are 36 to 44 inches wide and 12 to 14 inches in height.
Match the size of your mat with these dimensions and make sure to allow enough space for the mat to extend outwards so that you will be able to see the mat and make use of its aesthetics.
If you’re planning to get cozy on the floor then you will need a bigger mat. You should also make sure to increase the height of the fire pit to 18 to 20 inches so that you can safely sit down around the pit without the danger of flying embers and sparks falling on you.
What Do You Put Underneath A Fire Pit?
When preparing your fire pit, you need to prioritize having a functional yet safe one at the same time. And this is possible if you start layering the bottom of your fire pit with the following materials:
• Lava rocks
• Fire pit glass
• Paving stone
You can arrange your fire pit in the order of these materials starting from the bottom to the top. But if you can’t find some of these items, you can go for simple dirt. Make sure though that the dirt is leveled and compact. The combination of sand and gravel will always be the ideal and attractive item to put at the bottom of your fire pit.
Now, if you’re considering even underneath these items and the fire pit itself, you will have to take into account where the fire pit will be placed. If it’s in the yard, the ground is usually prepared by clearing away plant and grass materials and excavating the soil (around 8 inches).
If it’s on your deck though, use fire pit mats made from heat-resistant materials like fiberglass and fire-retardant film to protect the deck from the heat.
Visit our gallery on 30 outdoor fire pit ideas for more related content.