If you love spending nights in your backyard, the thought of building your fire pit can be exciting, but you should get a few things out of the way before starting.
One of the first questions you need to answer is, do you need a fire pit ring?
From the get-go, installing a fire pit ring along with your fire pit offers many benefits, including safety, stability, and enhanced durability.
Now the question is, do these advantages outweigh the additional cost?
Allow us to provide you with the right answers to make the decision process easier.
The Basics of a Fire Pit Ring
Before we go any further and answer this question, let us first discuss some fire pit ring basics.
First things first: we need to establish what a fire pit ring is.
As you prepare to take on this DIY project, you will probably come across the phrase “fire pit insert.”
Technically, the two terms do not mean the same thing and should not be used interchangeably.
A fire pit ring is a solid metal framework that sits on the ground directly.
It is a fireproof structure designed to contain a flame and protect the surrounding area.
On the other hand, an insert is a steel layer that lines the inner surface of your fire pit.
It helps hold the bricks together and protects them from the long-term effects of extreme heat.
For the purposes of this discussion, we will cover both types of fire pit accessories.
They are fairly similar in construction, and it is just a matter of installing them inside or outside your fire pit.
What Material Are Rings Made Of?
Many of today’s fire pit rings are made from steel, a highly durable material that can withstand constant exposure to heat.
It is more likely to stay intact under extreme temperatures and weather conditions than rocks or bricks.
What makes steel even better than other metals is it is easy to weld into different shapes.
Most rings are circular and shaped like rings, but there are also oval or square-shaped rings.
It all depends on the configuration of your custom outdoor installation
If you plan to install the ring inside your fire pit, you should go with one that uses steel.
That said, some brands use iron, copper, and other similarly tough materials.
It is a good choice if you want a ring that will surround your fire pit.
What Are the Different Types of Fire Pit Rings?
While the concept of a fire pit ring is pretty straightforward, this component can come in different forms.
For instance, a ring that surrounds the fire pit can be decorative.
Some brands have cutouts of different shapes, creating a unique atmosphere every time you use your fire pit.
There are also collapsible fire pit rings that you can take along on camping or other outdoor adventures.
As for inserts, some models help reduce or even eliminate smoke, enhancing your fire pit experience.
When it comes to the exterior, some are powder-coated while others are galvanized. Some brands even use a rusty finish.
What Are the Advantages of Using Fire Pit Rings?
A fire pit ring is not required if you are building a fire pit for your backyard.
It will still function as designed, and you can enjoy warm and cozy nights at home.
That said, installing a fire pit ring offers several benefits, such as:
The heat that a fire pit generates feels comfortable from a proper distance.
However, you probably do not know that its flames can actually reach temperatures of over 1,000 °F.
Constant exposure to this condition might lead to cracks and other damage to your fire pit.
It could split or even crumble, given enough time, especially if you do not use high-quality bricks.
Installing a fire pit ring can help enhance your fire pit’s durability.
The metal layer will take the brunt of the heat and protect all the materials on its exterior.
As a result, your fire pit will be more durable, which means you can enjoy it longer.
Another reason you should invest in a fire pit ring is that it can provide added stability to the structure.
While it is true that construction adhesive can get the job done initially, a lot can happen over the years.
For instance, the fire could soften the adhesive and compromise the integrity of your fire pit.
By itself, this scenario may not be enough for the fire pit to break down.
However, your installation would be more vulnerable to incidental contact without the mortar or adhesive.
Installing a fire pit ring can shore up the structure and give it more strength under any condition.
Perhaps the biggest draw of having a fire pit ring is that it provides an additional layer of protection.
If you install it inside the fire pit, the ring will stabilize the structure and prevent any untoward incidents.
It will allow you to focus on enjoying the experience without any worries.
On the other hand, using a ring that surrounds the fire pit helps control the flame.
It will prevent your bonfire from accidentally turning into an uncontrollable wildfire.
This feature will come in handy if you live in an area with plenty of flammable structures.
Do You Need a Fire Pit Ring?
At this point, you have a clear idea of the many benefits of using a fire pit ring.
Still, you need to consider one more thing before using one: do you need a fire pit ring?
Note that if you use the liner, your structure would be more or less permanent.
If you plan on having a fixed backyard feature, you should invest in this fire pit accessory.
It will keep your fire pit stable even after years of frequent use.
That said, a ring would also come in handy, even if your fire pit is only semi-permanent; in fact, you can use it along with a portable fire pit for camping.
Remember that some fire pit rings are portable or collapsible, and you could easily transport them if needed.
So if you love spending nights in the woods from time to time, you should have one in your shed or garage.
How Do You Choose the Fire Pit Ring to Use?
If you want to buy a fire pit ring, you might be in for a big surprise.
There are so many brands and models on the market today that picking just one can be overwhelming.
What is more, while these products are quite simple, there are still a few things that you need to consider, namely:
One of the first things you need to settle on is what thickness to get.
Some rings are only one millimeter thick, while others can go as high as four millimeters.
Before you make this choice, note that the thicker the material, the more protection it offers However, it would also be heavier.
If you use it more at home, then a four-millimeter fire pit ring would be suitable.
On the other hand, a lighter and more portable ring would be the better option.
Even more important than the thickness is the material that the fire pit ring is made of.
As mentioned, most brands use steel on their products. Steel is durable and resistant to heat, so it would make for a great fire pit ring insert.
However, if you are going to use the ring to provide cover for your fire pit, copper or iron will do.
Another feature you must consider when shopping around for a fire pit ring is the size.
Of course, your choice will depend on the size of the installation you want in your backyard.
It will always help to know beforehand what size the rings usually come in.
Most rings have heights that range from six to 12 inches. As for the diameter, it usually falls between 24 inches and 46 inches.
If this size range does not meet your installation needs, your best option is to have a custom-built ring.
However, doing this would be more expensive.
Finally, it would help if you looked at the fire pit’s price tag before buying it, but this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
The good thing about having so many options is that you would surely find one that fits your budget.
There are reliable brands that cost less than a hundred dollars.
You can also choose from a wide range of premium brands that cost much more but offer more value.
Making the Right Choice
Overall, whether or not you need a fire pit ring will solely depend on you.
That said, we conclude that a fire pit ring involves additional costs but can enhance the whole fire pit experience.
It is also essential in some situations, like when you are out in the woods with a portable fire pit.
While it is not strictly a requirement, a fire pit ring would be nice to have.