Fire Pit Designs

Editor’s Review:

Scott Cohen for the Landscaping Network reviews square, round and rectangular fire pit designs, both cast in place and precast models. He discusses fire bowls by the pool reflecting in water to create a different kind of ambiance – a very popular design trend today in outdoor living. He shares some design tips for using lava rock, heights for a fire pit and other tips for creating that resort like feeling for those staycationing at home.

Video Transcript:

Hi I’m Scott Cohen from The Green Scene here for

You know, fire pits come in so many different shapes and sizes.

There’s round, square, rectangular.

We can even use fire hearths.

Hear that sizzle on the flame?

That’s why fire pits are so popular.

They’re a great place to relax and it creates a romantic ambience for just about any patio.

You know I think that since the beginning of time we’ve enjoyed sitting around fires.

This fire pit here is directly adjacent to a patio area.

It adds warmth and it’s placed at the end of a swimming pool.

That is a vanishing edge pool so it’s going to create a reflective edge.

And fire and water is a great combination.

We get the flames over the water.

It’s a great view from the house having the fire and the water.

This fire pit’s constructed out of a precast concrete bowl.

Now the inside of this has been veneered with a fireproof material to help protect the cast concrete.

We’ve got a stainless steel ring and we’ve covered this with recycled, crushed, black glass.

That gives us a real nice look during the day; at night we see a lot more blue flame.

On this particular project we’re on a vanishing edge pool, so we have a combination of fire and the water.

The view from the house reflects the fire across the water. It’s just terrific.

Now I placed this here because it’s adjacent to a sundeck and people can hang out at night and enjoy the sunset and this fire pit at the same time.

On this project I chose an oversized, square fire pit.

This is in a courtyard area and this is cast-in-place bullnose concrete and this is adobe color.

And I’ve set the height at 12 inches.

Now, while it works for seating, actual seat height is typically 18 to 20 inches.

The reason you set a fire pit lower is so that you keep good circulation into your feet and legs.

If you’re sitting adjacent to a fire pit and you have your feet elevated at, say, 18 to 20 inches, you start to lose circulation and you don’t realize you’re getting a hot foot.

So that’s why we want to keep the fire pits at about 10 to 12 inches in height.

Now this one here is about four feet wide and that’s nice and big for a courtyard area like this but it works here.

This flagstone patio is sized appropriately to handle two to three, maybe even four lounge chairs.

That’s great during the daytime but at night it’s flanked by these two fire bowls.

And that’s just a great way to create a certain amount of ambience and certainly that resort-style feel that people like to have in their own backyard.

And more and more we’re seeing a trend of what’s called ‘staycationing’ where people want to create an environment in their own backyard that feels like a resort.

No better way to do that than with fire and water as a combination.

These fire bowls are called low oblique fire bowls.

They’re cast out of concrete and we veneer the inside with fire brick to protect the finish from the hot fire that’s right adjacent.

Now we’re using a stainless steel gas ring here and it’s been covered with lava rock to bring the flames up higher.

When you use lava rock you get a nice yellow flame.

Sometimes people use a lot of crushed glass.

That gives you a more contemporary look but also gives you a cooler blue flame.

Fire pits are an inexpensive way to add a lot of interest in your own space.

Consider putting a fire pit in your backyard.

I’m Scott Cohen for