PDA

View Full Version : Firepit Construction- fire brick or not.


eastcoastjessee
07-06-2011, 07:31 AM
I'm working in a design and starting to price it out. I'm looking at the Belgard site and it appears the firepits they are displaying use no fire brick. Does anyone have any experience doing this? And if I were to use fire brick wouldn't it have to be mortared? And how would that work with a "flexible" system like the Celtik?

Thanks.

DVS Hardscaper
07-06-2011, 08:56 AM
No fire brick is need with the modular kits.

All ya gotta do is buy the kit, some adhesive, and put it together. Labor time is usually 2 hrs. Plus additional time for mitering any pacers/stone around the feature.
Posted via Mobile Device

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-06-2011, 01:47 PM
No fire brick is need with the modular kits.

All ya gotta do is buy the kit, some adhesive, and put it together. Labor time is usually 2 hrs. Plus additional time for mitering any pacers/stone around the feature.
Posted via Mobile Device

I don't totally agree with that system. I put a steel ring on the inside and fill with sand between the ring and srw block. Is it overkill or being to cautious? Probably, but I don't have to worry about blocks chipping or popping and hurting someone. Than again everyone has been wanting gas pits lately.

eastcoastjessee
07-06-2011, 03:15 PM
I forgot about doing a steel ring. Thanks for the input.

tadpole
07-06-2011, 04:32 PM
I make no claims as to being a hardscaper, but wouldn't the steel ring be subject to rapid oxidation due to a combination of exposure to the elements and the level of heat inherent in a firepit? Fireplace brick, on the other hand, is practically indestructible under normal use. Just being 'Consumer curious'.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-06-2011, 05:23 PM
Yes they do, but think of a burnbarrels lifespan. I can't say how long they last since I haven't had one on the ground long enough. I have mine fabbed by a local steel company for under a $100 so it saves me on labor and materials. Not a whole lot but a few hours from start to finish. Now if it's a full blown mason built firepit that burns wood it will be built with firebrick since the mortar is involved already. Maybe I'll see how much a stainless ring would cost.:laugh:

White Gardens
07-06-2011, 06:45 PM
Yes they do, but think of a burnbarrels lifespan. I can't say how long they last since I haven't had one on the ground long enough. I have mine fabbed by a local steel company for under a $100 so it saves me on labor and materials. Not a whole lot but a few hours from start to finish. Now if it's a full blown mason built firepit that burns wood it will be built with firebrick since the mortar is involved already. Maybe I'll see how much a stainless ring would cost.:laugh:

You got to keep in mind though that the firebrick is expensive and also you should use a special fire-brick mortar, which is usually 10 times the cost or more of regular mortar. But, you don't use very much of it.

IMO, I like the look of fire-brick over the steel ring. You can do a better cap that is more appealing. I also don't like mixing steel with stone.

I also think that it is superior to any other method of building of building a pit. But like I said, that's only my opinion.

On the flip-side, it is a lot more expensive to custom build a pit versus a modular unit and steel ring.

....

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-06-2011, 07:05 PM
You got to keep in mind though that the firebrick is expensive and also you should use a special fire-brick mortar, which is usually 10 times the cost or more of regular mortar. But, you don't use very much of it.

IMO, I like the look of fire-brick over the steel ring. You can do a better cap that is more appealing. I also don't like mixing steel with stone.

I also think that it is superior to any other method of building of building a pit. But like I said, that's only my opinion.

On the flip-side, it is a lot more expensive to custom build a pit versus a modular unit and steel ring.

....

Exactly!!!! That's why I think gas pits are becoming more popular, but with a whole different cost and liability! I much perfer to build a woodburner for liablity sake.

Murphy's Law
07-09-2011, 01:26 PM
Now the same question that has been brought up the Tom G's photo thread applies here.

What do you use a foundation when building a firepit that includes mortar and firebrick?

Has anyone gone down past frost for the foundation when building a pit? I have not on firepits but when a structure is above it I always do.

I don't want to start another war but I would like to hear what people do.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-09-2011, 03:59 PM
We have just done a few mortar jobs and put them on a 4"-6" pad with some rebar.

White Gardens
07-09-2011, 05:30 PM
We have just done a few mortar jobs and put them on a 4"-6" pad with some rebar.

Same Here.

Murphy's Law
07-10-2011, 10:39 AM
We have just done a few mortar jobs and put them on a 4"-6" pad with some rebar.


That's good to hear because I just completed one with those same construction methods.

amscapes03
07-10-2011, 08:14 PM
I like the simplicity of the modular kits, but never liked the look of the inside. Whenever i install a kit I have my local steel fabricator make one to size and have it powder coated.

amscapes03
07-11-2011, 07:37 AM
^ Steel Insert, that is. ^

DVS Hardscaper
07-11-2011, 10:27 PM
The modular aren't intended to need fire block.

Biggest thing to be concerned about is that the feature is placed FAR from any structures. Wind always seems
to pick up after the far is lite, and embers do blow!

.
Posted via Mobile Device

DVS Hardscaper
07-11-2011, 10:47 PM
I like the simplicity of the modular kits, but never liked the look of the inside. Whenever i install a kit I have my local steel fabricator make one to size and have it powder coated.

Nothin like a Long Island iced tea to make the day better!!!


Doesn't the powder coating burn off and put all kinds of masty stufff in your client's lungs?

I have a truck with a powder coated bed. I hate it.



,

amscapes03
07-11-2011, 10:59 PM
No (to the powder coat), not so far. I have a powder coated steel ring in my FP and haven't seen a change in it yet. To date, I've had around 40 fires in it.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-11-2011, 11:18 PM
They all need some kind of fire block in my opinion. I'm worried more about people sitting close to an over built fire making shrapnal than a house catching on fire. Although both get a lot of consideration.

Karmascapes
07-12-2011, 12:02 AM
I completely understand the worries, but whether you're using brick/steel or wood/gas the open exposed area is really the important part. As long as the block is secure and the offset between top row and wood placement are ideal there really isn't anything to worry about. They both work and sure wood fires can burn at much higher temps but the steel inserts are not going to explode b/c there is no contained pressure.

Just my 2 cents, but then again it cost more than a penny to make a penny.

White Gardens
07-12-2011, 12:14 AM
Doesn't the powder coating burn off and put all kinds of masty stufff in your client's lungs?

I have a truck with a powder coated bed. I hate it.
,

They now have a high temp powder coat that works pretty good from what I've been told.

One local guy does a chrome simulation powder coat also, looks pretty neat.

But yes DVS, I've talked to a few guys who have had dump beds powder coated and it really didn't last any longer than enamel or other cheaper paints. Most are salt trucks too, so even the smallest crack in the finish allows salt and moisture in and the steel rots under the paint.

..

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-12-2011, 08:18 AM
I completely understand the worries, but whether you're using brick/steel or wood/gas the open exposed area is really the important part. As long as the block is secure and the offset between top row and wood placement are ideal there really isn't anything to worry about. They both work and sure wood fires can burn at much higher temps but the steel inserts are not going to explode b/c there is no contained pressure.

Just my 2 cents, but then again it cost more than a penny to make a penny.

Agreed....I'm referring to modular kits that don't come with a steel insert.

DVS Hardscaper
07-12-2011, 10:54 AM
A concern of Mine has been the block getting too hot.

I called my supplier whom makes concrete masonry block and retaining wall block. They do not make fire brick, buy the
Manager sure knew alotta about it and how it's made.

About 18 months ago Paver Pet said their fire pits don't need brick or steel because their block is so dense. Paver Pets words. So I ran that by our local producer an he said "that's a bunch of crap". He said fire brick has a rating of 3009-degrees, and retaining wall block such as mini-Creta, etc has zero heat rating because manufacturers are not required to have a heat rating. For block to have a heat rating, he said they need to be fired in a kiln.

So, all fire features need either fire block or a steel ring. Nicolock has a steel ring that comes with their kit. Techo does not,
They have a sheet metal tray, which I dont consider to be the same as steel.


.
Posted via Mobile Device

White Gardens
07-12-2011, 03:06 PM
I agree about the block and it's density. Any cheap block, especially home store block definitively doesn't have the density to hold up to heat.

I've even moved some of those blocks around peoples properties and have multiples break on me do to defects.

Even the best engineered wall blocks aren't as dense as concrete, and I've seen concrete break from heat.

Now, another question, does a steel ring actually insulate enough against gross negligence and huge fires? Personally I don't feel it is as it's a conductor not an insulator.

But, having a steel ring is better than nothing.


......

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-12-2011, 03:43 PM
I have the ring made for mine about an inch or so smaller in diameter and fill that with sand to disapate(sp) the heat. Like I said earlier I'm probably being overly cautious, but the lawyer's never stop so we can't either.

Karmascapes
07-12-2011, 04:23 PM
I've personally seen techo's warp under heat down here. STL have u ever had crystalization occur in your buffer zone? Reason I ask is if the ring gets hot enough to damage the block, then the temps would be high enough to bond the sand mixture too right?
Posted via Mobile Device

DVS Hardscaper
07-12-2011, 04:47 PM
I have a thread from this past winter or fall about the liability of fire features and people laughed at me! Do a search and check it out!

.
Posted via Mobile Device

DVS Hardscaper
07-12-2011, 04:50 PM
And think of a wood stove. They have fire brick inside, to protect the iron!

Doesn't make sense to me to use steel.......

.
Posted via Mobile Device

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-12-2011, 04:55 PM
I've personally seen techo's warp under heat down here. STL have u ever had crystalization occur in your buffer zone? Reason I ask is if the ring gets hot enough to damage the block, then the temps would be high enough to bond the sand mixture too right?
Posted via Mobile Device

In theory yes, but I haven't noticed or heard anything. On a side note you get Techo block down in Arkansas?

Karmascapes
07-14-2011, 12:32 PM
Yea in a round about way, one of the guys I know at a local supplier has a brother that works for a dealer in a certain east coast state, they have put deals together for me before.