Buyer’s Guide: Do You Need a Fire Pit Ring?

There can be fun building a fire pit on the weekend in your backyard all on your own.

Although you will have to make some decisions like finding the right materials needed, this will affect the quality of your fire pit.

You surely do not wanna miss out on any important or use any irrelevant material or item in building your fire pit.

In the market, one can find the fire pit ring inserts in several shapes, sizes, quality, features, and performance.

If you are planning to build your stone/brick fire pit, then it is likely that you will be able to find the exact size and shape of a fire pit ring insert that will fit inside your fire pit.

To get that, get ready for paying more as you will be requiring a custom-made fire pit insert which will eventually cost you more as compared to the ones available online.

In this article, we will provide you every needed information about fire pit insert, their uses, need, availability, and so on.

Also, this guide will help you estimate the amount you should be prepared to spend.

What Exactly Is a Fire Pit?

DIY Fire Pit

A fire pit is usually a structure in either circle, rectangle, or square shape made out on the ground outside the house using stone, brick, and metal.

The space in it is used for burning fire and these pits are designed specially to contain it.

Also, it can be used just like an ordinary campfire if you feel like toasting marshmallows.

They provide you with warmth, coziness, and a natural source of the night for spending evenings and nights outdoors.

What Are Fire Rings?

Benefits of a Steel Fire Pit Ring

When metal is fabricated into the desired shape such as a circle or square, we get fire pit rings which are just a section for your fire pit.

The fire pit ring is placed on the ground inside the pit, wood, tinder, etc are added and then we lit it! There you go.

They are baseless, meaning they do not have any bottom therefore your wood will directly be placed on the ground.

But we are not here to discuss these fire rings, instead, we are here for fire pit insert rings. See the image below to have an idea of it.

Practical Advice for Fire Pit Inserts

Practical Advice for Fire Pit Inserts

When incorporating a fire pit into your backyard oasis, the right approach enhances the ambiance and ensures safety and durability.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you measure, install, and maintain your fire pit insert effectively.

1. Measuring for Your Fire Pit Insert

  • Determine the Shape: Identify the shape of your fire pit (circular, square, rectangular) to select a compatible insert shape.
  • Measure Inner Dimensions: For circular pits, measure the diameter across the center. For square or rectangular pits, measure the length and width inside the pit walls.
  • Consider the Lip: Fire pit inserts often have a “lip” that rests on the pit’s edge. Ensure your measurements account for the lip’s width, allowing it to overhang properly for stability.
  • Depth Check: Measure the depth of your fire pit. The insert should sit low enough to contain the fire safely but high enough to allow adequate ventilation.

2. Installing Your Fire Pit Insert

  • Prepare the Site: Ensure the fire pit area is clean and free from debris. The base should be level and stable.
  • Position the Insert: Carefully lower the insert into the pit. For heavy inserts, seek assistance to avoid injury or damage to the pit structure.
  • Adjust for Fit: Once in place, adjust the insert to ensure it’s centered and the lip evenly overhangs the pit’s edges.
  • Secure the Insert: Some inserts might require additional support or anchoring. Use masonry adhesive for stone or brick pits to secure the lip to the pit’s edge, if recommended by the insert manufacturer.

3. Maintaining Your Fire Pit Insert

  • Regular Cleaning: After each use, once the insert has cooled, remove ash and debris. This prevents corrosion and maintains airflow for efficient burning.
  • Rust Prevention: If your insert is made of steel or another rust-prone material, periodically apply a high-temperature-resistant coating to prevent rust.
  • Check for Wear: Inspect your insert regularly for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or significant rusting, which could compromise safety.
  • Cover When Not in Use: Use a cover to protect your fire pit and insert from the elements, particularly during off-season months, to prolong its life.

Does a Fire Pit Need a Ring Insert?

There are two answers to this question, YES and No, concerning their reasons.

No, you do not need a fire pit insert ring if you do not care about the money spent in making the fire pit.

For buying materials, and everything else that was invested in it, if you do not want the fire pit to last longer and look amazing for years then the answer is NO.

On the contrary, if you do not wish to see the rusty, dirty, spoiled, worn out, crumbling brick look of your fire pit then you need a fire pit insert ring.

Fire pits can produce temperatures that can go above 1000 ℉, this level of heat can break down the masonry structure which is responsible for keeping the things together. 

Getting a fire pit insert and installing it is simple and cost-effective.

This is a comparably small investment regarding installing a fire pit in your backyard.

However, most people in an attempt of saving some bucks lose the real advantage.

Having a fire pit insert will only extend the life of your fire pit as well as will make your outdoor space look awesome and worth spending time with loved ones.

What Is a Good Diameter for a Fire Pit Insert?

What Is a Good Diameter for a Fire Pit Insert

To be honest there is no exact answer to this question, as it depends on many aspects that may affect your choice.

Things like your budget, taste & preference, the space you have got, etc influence your decision.

In the US market steel, fire pit rings are found in a range from 24 to 46 inches in terms of diameter. One can always go for a custom-size option for the fire pit insert ring.

If you have the budget to order a custom fire pit insert, then there is nothing to worry about as the metal fabricators will make the fire pit insert of your desired size.

When purchasing a fire pit ring insert, keep in mind that the diameter which the manufacturer provides is the inner diameter of a fire ring, not that of its lip.

It will also illustrate your fire pit’s opening size.

If you have not started planning or making your fire pit on your own, then we would recommend you get the fire pit insert ring first and then continue.

Try to plan & build your fire pit in accordance with the specification of the fire pit insert for less trouble.

Choosing the perfect and best-suiting fire pit insert ring will improve the result of your fire pit built.

Is your fire fit already been built, and lacks a ring? For that matter, you would have to look out for a fire pit insert ring that has an inner diameter suiting your fire pit and lip big enough to rest smoothly and evenly on the top of the fire pit.

You will have to see to it that the lip overhangs the inner edge all around on the fire pit evenly and stays in place.

We would recommend a metal fire pit insert that is no smaller than 30 inches, however, convenience according to space is an exception in this case.

The best fit would be anywhere from 36 inches to 40 inches for your project. This will provide you with a little more space to fill in the woods rightly, proper airflow, and other such perks.

A smaller-sized fire pit insert can work but you will have to do some more work then. Like cutting your firewoods into smaller pieces so they may fit inside.

The bigger the fire pit, the more space for people to gather around.

Most fires put insert rings have a depth of around 10 inches, so make sure your fire pit can accommodate it. Always get the largest one you can afford.

How Much Does a Fire Ring Insert Cost?

Generally, a fire pit insert can range from $50 to $250, totally depending on its size and quality.

Some fire pit inserts can cost you more than $250 but they are worth it because of their additional features and better performance of it.

Spending a few extra bucks can be worth it and good for the life of your fire pit. Make sure you explore all possible options before buying.

The Bottom Line

Purchasing a fire pit insert will not cost you millions of dollars, rather it will be like an investment that all adds durability to your fire pit, protect the structure, make your pit look nicer, and a great addition to your project.

If you had bought a fire pit insert that cost less money than you can still get another one, this time a better one when the previous fire pit inserts ages up.

A few more dollars will get you the fire pit insert you would love. If you are having masonry woodwork on the fire pit, then a fire pit insert is a must.

A professional will always include a fire pit insert for a great look that will last long.

Vivian Le

Vivian Le, possessing a Master’s in Architecture from Harvard University, has been transforming living spaces with her DIY expertise for over 15 years. Since joining us in 2020, Vivian has shared her creative and practical solutions, inspiring countless readers. Her experience ranges from small home improvement projects to large-scale renovations. In her leisure time, Vivian enjoys pottery and exploring historical architecture. Apart from that she is also a passionate urban sketcher, often found capturing the essence of various cityscapes.

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