Building a fire pit in your backyard can provide a comfortable area to gather around for warmth, light and entertainment. Taking the proper steps to prepare your fire pit for use is critical. Proper lining of your fire pit will help ensure that there are no runaway fires. Having a safe fire pit does not, however, eliminate the risk of a fire getting out of control. You must have fire safety equipment near the fire pit, such as fire extinguishers and hoses, and some basic idea of how to use it.
Things You'll Need
- Refractory mortar mix
- Mixing bucket
- Mortar knife
- Fire bricks or field stones
Mix the refractory mortar according to the manufacturer's instructions in your mixing bucket. Be sure to wear a face mask before starting the mixing process, as the mortar mix can easily irritate your lungs.
Apply a thick, even coat of mortar to the inner wall of your fire pit. A ½- to 1-inch thick coat should do the trick.
Place your fire bricks or field stones in a tiered pattern on the mortar, applying mortar to the tops and sides of each stone as you go. Do not put mortar on the top row of stones, as this is not usually a desired look.
Clean up any mortar that has fallen on any bricks before it dries, using a wet washcloth.
Allow the mortar to dry for at least 48 hours before using the fire pit. Doing so early could cause rapid expansion of any remaining water in the mortar, which could destroy your fire pit lining, or worse, hurt someone.
Tips & Warnings
- If the inner wall of your fire pit is a large area, you should only apply the mortar to a manageable area, so that you can complete work on that area before the mortar begins to harden some, leaving it hard to work with.
- When you are cleaning up, do not wash the mortar residue down the drain, or at least minimize the amount you do, as the mortar can easily clog up your drains. Instead, use paper towels to wipe out the mortar from the bucket and the mortar knife before rinsing them.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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