Book a consult with an expert Book Consult

Fire Pit Installation – Your Complete Guide

Versastone firepit

A fire pit provides a great place to relax and entertain guests. It can also add value to your home and creates a visual statement in your yard.

Required tools and materials

  • String line
  • Tape measure
  • Retaining wall blocks
  • Compaction tool
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Pegs or stakes
  • Gloves and eye protection
  • Saw (to cut blocks if required)
  • 10-20mm aggregate
  • Crushed rock (for base)

Foundation

Pavers or Concrete Slab

If you are building your fire pit on an existing paver or concrete slab, drill through to provide a 50mm diameter drainage hole at the lowest point. This will allow rainwater to drain in to the ground. Fill the drainage hole with clean stone.

Grassed Area

Mark out the area of the fire pit and excavate to a depth for – 150mm for compacted aggregate based, a 25mm layer of bedding sand and about 50 to 75mm of fire pit wall that will be buried below ground level. You also need to allow for your crushed rock base to extend out at least 150mm on all sides of your fire pit.

Place and evenly compact your aggregate base. For best results, use a vibratory plate compactor or hand tamper. Spread 25mm of bedding sand and level. Keep in mind that the 25mm setting bed will reduce to around 15mm once the retaining wall blocks are set in to the bedding sand with a mallet.

Building your fire pit

Laying the first course

Place the first course on the levelling pad and tap in to place, ensuring your blocks are level, front to back, and side to side. Use your spirit level for each block. Using a string line and level is recommended to ensure the first course is laid correctly.

Make sure each block is butted up next to the next lock with no gaps. If you are using a hollow block system (ie Versawall), ensure your blocks are then filled with free-draining aggregate. A solid block system requires no aggregate filling.

Second course

Place the second course on top of the first course with a cross bond and ensure interlocking nibs on the blocks below lock into the blocks above as each one is laid. Where applicable, each block should then be filled with free-draining aggregate (if it is a hollow block system only).

Capping units

Once you’ve laid all courses to your desired height and where applicable, clean off the tops of all blocks. Ensure all dirt and particles are removed from the surface to ensure the capping units adhere correctly.

Capping units can then be attached using a heat resistant concrete adhesive. Ensure adhesive dries completely and do not light a fire for at least 48 hours to ensure your adhesive cures properly.

Metal unit or brazier

Once your fire pit is built, you can place your metal insert or brazier. This will contain the fire and insulate the blocks from degrading so your fire pit is built to last.

Different Blocks to build your Fire Pit

Garden Stone

  • Size of your fire pit can vary dependant upon number of blocks required.
  • Allow air to flow into your fire pit by leaving spaces half way up on each side of the pit.
  • No mortar or glue necessary to bond each course.
  • Steel fire dish insert recommended.
Garden Stone Firepit Table
Garden Stone Blocks Sandstone - Garden Edging
$6.95 each

Mini Wall

  • Bed first course into a sand and cement mix.
  • For pits over 1 block high, apply a thin bed of mortar (2-4mm) between courses.
  • Suitable for use as fire pit barrier blocks – when a steel fire dish is used within.
Miniwall Firepit Table

Natural Impressions

  • Each course after the vase level will produce slightly smaller circle.
  • For courses 2 and 3, one block will need to be cut or split with a mallet and bolster to complete a neat circle.
  • Suitable for use as fire pit barrier blocks – when a steel fire dish is used within.
  • Build to a maximum of 3 courses high.
Natural Impressions Firepit Table

Versawall®

  • Perfect for square fire pits – specialty left and right corner units are  DIY friendly.
  • No cuts needed for blocks – cuts will be needed for caps.
  • Dry stack blocks, mortar down caps into place with thin bed (2-4mm) of mortar.
  • Suitable for fire pits up to 800mm (4 courses high).
Versawall Firepit Table

Visit us at APC to pick up a free sample!

Or, send us a product enquiry or request a quote online

Save this article to your deviceDownload PDF