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I love a good cinder block fire pit! They’re easy and inexpensive to build, especially with the right idea. These backyard additions can dress up any yard with mesmeric flames and serve as gathering places for late-night s’mores.
So, are you scouring for ideas that’ll help you construct the most attractive, functional, and safe fire pit possible? You’ve made it to the right guide. Study up here with my 19 best cinder block fire pit ideas.
Bottom Line Upfront
I’m all about what’s quick, easy, and safe. This Squared Cinder Block Fire Pit idea is perfect because I can see how to make it, even without instructions, and it seems safe for my kids to play around.
These are the top 3 ideas I think you should consider choosing from.
Best Overall: Squared Cinder Block Fire Pit
This idea shows you how to create a simple yet impactful cinder block fire pit using readily available supplies.
Best for Small Yards: Compact Cinder Block Fire Pit
Would you like an outdoor fire pit but don’t have much space? Consider picking this compact cinder block fire pit.
Best for Large Spaces: Large Above-Ground Fire Pit
Here is a simple cinder block fire pit idea you can recreate in an afternoon.
Can You Use Cinder Blocks to Build a Fire Pit?
Yes, you can easily use cinder blocks to build a fire pit; this guide will show you multiple examples. You can even use these blocks to build temporary fire pits. Place your cinder blocks in a ring, and adjust each block until the corners touch. Ensure their holes are facing skywards before lighting the fire.
Cinder Block Fire Pit Ideas
This great collection will have several cinder block fire pit ideas perfectly suited for you. I chose a variety of different cinder block fire pits that would appeal to the DIYers, but also a range of simple and removable to larger designs that are a permanent installation for your home.
Try this block fire pit shaped like a semi-circle for a less formal, down-home DIY fire pit look. The concrete blocks are merely overlaid but look secure enough. For the center, line the bottom of the fire pit with an inch or two of paver sand or dirt.
You can quickly recreate this versatile DIY fire pit using readily available supplies and a cowboy cooker. Due to its deep nature, the fire pit is also extra safe because the fire is adequately contained. The only downside I can discern with this creation is it’ll need someone with some masonry experience to pull off.
For this DIY task, head for the concrete aisle of the store and find standard-sized cinder blocks. You’ll need a trolley, as you’ll need 48 blocks and 16 cinder block caps for this fire pit. Back in your yard, measure out a spot for the fire pit, and get to work.
See also: Best Porch Fireplace Ideas
An above-ground fire pit is a perfect solution for those who dislike having to dig a hole into the ground. To recreate the cinder block fire pit in the image, find some gravel for your foundation and spread it out. Next, stack your cinder blocks in a rectangular shape to your desired height.
Overlaid Blocks DIY Fire Pit
If you’re lazy and are looking for a fire pit idea you can put together the quickest, here it is. This solution will easily liven up any outdoor space and serve as the perfect sitting area on unexpected cold nights.
I love this simple yet elegant cinder fire pit design from Pinterest. The first things that caught my eye were the stone gravel floor and half-open fire pit interior. The latter allows you to chuck dried cordwood, sticks, and logs into the fire without a hassle.
Don’t let the elegance fool you. This cinder block fire pit idea is extremely easy to replicate without breaking the bank. You’ll need approx. 24 fire-resistant cinder blocks, a small bag of concrete or mortar, and bags of red lava rocks.
That’s all, and you have one of the best aesthetic cinder block fire pits.
Stylish Cinder Block Fire Pit
As a designer, I appreciate creativity when mixed with function. The cinder block fire pit above is built entirely from a single row of concrete cinder blocks and block caps. Still, though, it has managed to stand out as one of the nicest designs I’ve seen so far. The lady behind this design proves how far you can get if you’re willing to get creative.
For an original take on DIY fire pits, go for this laid-back yet awe-inspiring creation instead of perfectly sealed/cemented bricks. Take several cinder bricks and create an overlaid fire pit in the depicted shape. Stack the bricks about four rows high.
This grill-topped fire pit from Lowes comes as a kit with easy-to-follow instructions. If you live somewhere with scorching summer days, this is a great option for cooking outside, so you don’t have to add to the heat in your house. I say this as someone who lives in Canada’s hottest, most humid climate with no AC. Yeah, I know, I’m insane.
Custom Cinder Block Fire Pit
This custom-shaped pit plan requires extensive labor and will need cement to hold together. If you find the design stressful to replicate, feel free to add a personal spin to the whole thing. You never know what you could pull off.
When hosting friends, one of the worst feelings is realizing you don’t have sufficient sitting space around your fire pit. The developers behind this creation went above and beyond to ensure this homeowner never faces that issue.
To get even more creative, consider painting the cinder blocks and adding complimenting cinder block benches. If that doesn’t lighten your mood every day after a long day’s work, I don’t know what will.
Temporary fire pits are prevalent, thanks to their practicality and simplicity. This fire pit idea shows you how to create one using 25 cinder blocks and a pair of grill racks. This fire pit idea also looks like something one could easily pull off while camping or backpacking.
In the wilderness, however, one would need to replace cinder blocks with natural rough rocks.
Compact Cinder Block Fire Pit
You don’t wanna spend a small fortune on a fire pit or deal with tons of heavy cinder blocks? Consider getting this compact cinder block fire pit. I love the varying color scheme of the cinder blocks and block caps. Consider building the fire pit with colored cinder blocks to spruce up the fire pit further.
Rocket stoves were first created for use in developing nations where wood harvesting had led to vast deforestation. As shown in the image above, this fire pit solution requires small twigs to operate. No logs are required. The construction’s chimney effect is responsible for the highly efficient, largely smoke-free burn.
Um, HELLO, swanky backyard hang out! Only a few home improvement ideas are as mesmerizing as elevated fire pits; this cinder block creation proves why. The whole look is a little bit more intense. But if you pull it off, rest assured that all your guests will be left in awe.
Tabletop Fire Pit
Tabletop fire pits are elegant, trendy choices due to their innate ability to gather people around. With this idea, however, you make the pit on a concrete walkway instead of constructing it on grass or soil. You also provide a comfortable sitting space around the fire pit.
Look how these designers were able to turn simple cinder blocks into an ergonomic fire pit. I love the key-hole design, the ease of installation, and the simplicity. If my yard had sufficient space for this idea, you can rest assured I’d have it as a permanent addition. We have a huge yard, but it’s already filled with things for the kids and hubby’s garden, LOL.
In-Ground cinder block fire pits are becoming increasingly dominant among fire pit enthusiasts, and for a good reason. Fires in these pits are more visually striking, and the constructions minimize the chances of accidents caused by out-of-control fires. This is definitely something to consider if you have small kids running around.
After constructing this In-Ground fire pit, let it sit for at least 24 hours before starting a fire. This period allows the construction to cure.
How Many Cinder Blocks Do You Need to Make a Fire Pit?
Unless your goal is to create a massive bonfire, you don’t need many cinder blocks to create a decent-sized fire pit. A standard backyard fire pit will need between 15 and 24 cinder blocks to construct.
As a general rule, ensure you keep your fire pit a realistic size. Don’t build it too high, lest you don’t benefit from the fire itself.
Should Your Fire Pit be Recessed into the Ground?
Your fire pit can either be recessed into the ground or over the ground. The look you eventually go for will depend on your desired end-result. Most basic fire pits have their pits 6 to 8 inches below the ground.
You can go deeper if you desire. But remember that you don’t want the hole so deep that you can’t enjoy watching the fires.
The points and questions below will help you decide whether to go for an in-ground, above-ground, or tabletop fire pit.
Think about how you will use the fire pit. Will you want to cook over it, or is it primarily for gazing and warmth? Also, consider how big you’d like the DIY fire pit and the shapes you’re considering. Recessed fire pits are generally smaller in diameter compared to their above-ground counterparts.
Finally, note that fire pits recessed into the ground have fewer risks because out-of-control fires are greatly limited. Dangers related to nearby combustibles are also less likely with in-ground fire pits.
That said, a unique risk of recessed fire pits is that they’re dangerous for pets and children. These vulnerable loved ones can easily stumble into such fire pits, so watch them closely during and after fires.
What Else Do You Need to Make a Fire Pit?
In addition to cinder blocks, these are the six more supplies you’ll need to create your dream-fire pit.
Metal Fire Pit Ring
This is an optional purchase. Only get a metal fire pit ring if you need help finding your circle while laying down the bricks.
Once you’ve found your fire pit circle, you’ll need spray paint to mark where the stones’ outsides will hit.
Mattock, Shovel, or Any Other Digging Tool
After marking your circle, use the mattock, shovel, or whatever digging tool you have and dig out the fire pit. If the ground underneath your designated fire pit spot is filled with rocks, pick tools that can handle the job.
Depending on the cinder block fire pit design you’re going for, you may need gravel to fill the pit hole. Gravel gives your fire pit the drainage it’ll need when it rains.
Masonry Adhesive and Rubber Mallet
When laying the second row of bricks, apply the masonry adhesive on each stone’s bottom side. Next, use the rubber mallet to even and tighten the block placement. Repeat the process with all following rows until you reach your desired height.
Use mortar to seal the blocks together.
Safety Tips For Building a Cinder Block Fire Pit
Adhere to these safety tips while constructing your cinder block fire pit to avoid any potential pitfalls.
The first step is confirming that fire pits are legal in your region. If you’re unsure, head to the local fire department and ask what is required of you. Alternatively, you can call them and ask if any inspections or permits are needed.
Pick the Right Spot
Ensure you’ve picked a spot that’s at least 10 feet away from obstructions for the fire pit. This includes building structures, fences, garages, sheds, trees, and even shrubs.
Also, inspect the area above every potential fire pit location and ensure there aren’t any overhanging tree branches. You don’t want the sparks accidentally igniting dry foliage on the tree.
See also: Best Porch Fence Ideas
Fire-Rated Cinder Blocks
Start the fire pit with fire-rated cinder blocks. If you’re getting new blocks, that information should be available on the manufacturer’s website. If the information isn’t available on the product’s description page, give them a call or leave an email.
If you’re using cinder blocks you already own, ensure they’re lightweight and porous. Porous blocks vent any vapor that forms inside them by turning it into steam. If they’re not porous enough, they could explode as steam builds.
The Size of the Fire Pit
A smaller diameter circle is more stable than a wide one when it comes to fire pits. If you’ve never constructed one before, start with a smaller one. A three-foot-diameter fire pit could easily accommodate three to four people.
Add one foot for each additional person the fire pit circle hosts.
A Fire Pit Steel Ring
Line the innermost wall of your fire pit with a steel fire ring. This addition will prevent the wall material from drying out due to regular exposure to the heat.
Use MeteoBlue to identify the prevailing wind direction in your location. Ensure you won’t have smoke from the fire pit blowing into your home through open windows and doors.
Once your fire pit installation is complete, invest in a fire-retardant sheet and keep it nearby. This will come in handy anytime a fire accidentally escapes its bounds. Similarly, have a fire extinguisher in a nearby outdoor shed, garage, or grill cabinet.
Types of Cinder Blocks You Can Use
You should consider these eight types of cinder blocks when picking material for your cinder block fire pit.
Also known as Cinder Masonry Wall (CMW), standard cinder blocks are the most common. The standard sizes for these blocks are 8 inches by 8 inches by 16 inches
This type of cinder block has the same height as the standard block but half the length on the face. After articulation, its dimension usually drops to 8 inches by 8 inches by 8 inches.
Cinder blocks with curved corners are also known as ox-tip blocks. The curved sections can be on the corners or the entire blocks and usually help avoid sharp corner borders.
Header blocks are usually required to complete all work on the wall and deliver structural support. These blocks are the same size as standard blocks but with sculpted tops for the slab.
Gray Cinder Blocks
These cinder blocks deliver strength, durability, and excellent acoustic insulation qualities. They’re also affordable, energy-saving, fire-resistant, and meet ASTM C-90 specifications.
Hollow return cinder blocks allow you to join two walls with a brick weave at corners.
Sash cinder blocks can be double, single, corner, or solid and are used to face window openings in block walls.
Stretcher cinder blocks are designed to join other stretcher blocks, so their sides are smooth, and ends are half hallowed.
Answer: Yes, it’s safe to use cinder blocks for a fire pit. Just make sure that the cinder block walls are level and stable.
Answer: A cinder block fire pit should have a lining to ensure that the fire pit remains durable. Extreme heat can quickly damage cinder block structures. Fortunately, a fire pit liner will help form a shield between the fire pit and flames.
Answer: Yes! When concrete blocks are heated to extremely high templates, they can explode. That’s according to a 2019 research by Swiss and French researchers from Empa.
Backyard entertaining can certainly be enhanced by adding an attractive and functional Cinder block fire pit. And while pulling off the best pit won’t be easy, you’ll be happy you stuck it out in the end.
Did you find one of these that would work for you? I’d recommend the Squared Cinder Block Fire Pit idea if you want ease and safety.
For everyone’s safety in your home and neighborhood, carefully adhere to the dos and don’ts I’ve highlighted above. And pop over to our site for even more great ideas!