Natural Stone Fire Pits: All You Need to Know

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There is growing popularity in the use of outdoor fire pits. Even homes with nicely incorporated fireplaces are also buying into the idea of an outdoor fire pit. When it is well done, it can contribute aesthetically to the exterior of your home and provide a warm, welcoming area to entertain guests or enjoy time with your family.

Stone fire pits are perfect for homeowners in Columbus and Cincinnati and can be sized according to your unique yard layout and size. Natural stone outdoor fire pits are built with wall stones which are the perfect building material for a fireplace. Utilizing wall stone in your home will also help add a natural feel and can create a soothing and relaxing vibe.

What Is the Best Stone for an Outdoor Fire Pit?

There are different kinds of natural stones, each of them with unique characteristics. However, not all of them may be fit for a fire pit. Stone fire pits should be built with natural stone boulders that are strong and offer a variety of designs. Ideally, your choice of natural stones should also fit the surrounding landscape features.

Here are some of the most recommended stones for an outdoor fire pit:

What Is the Best Stone for an Outdoor Fire Pit?
Stone options

Limestone Fire Pits

Limestone fire pits are made from natural limestone and make a stunning choice for a natural stone outdoor fire pit. Limestone is strong enough to withstand years of exposure to fire and absorbs heat moderately, making a comfortable fire pit to sit around for extended periods of time.

Sandstone Fire pits

Unlike limestone which has a smooth feel, sandstone comes with a grainy finish and that could appeal to you more. Grainy textures allow for more unique patterns and bring out the beauty of the stone’s colors. Like limestone, sandstone does not get too hot and will radiate the heat just enough to keep you warm all evening long.

Granite: The Durable Classic

Heat? No problem! Granite is known for its exceptional heat resistance. Plus, it comes in a wide array of colors to match any style. Its smooth surface makes for easy cleanup, but watch out for slippery spots when it gets wet.

Flagstone: Rustic Charm & Great Grip

Add a touch of natural beauty with flagstone. Its textured surface provides excellent traction and holds heat well for cozy evenings. Choose from a variety of shapes and sizes to create a unique design, but be prepared for a bit more maintenance due to its uneven surface.

Bluestone: Sophistication & Easy Care

Bluestone's smooth, slate-like texture adds a touch of elegance and handles the heat with ease. Its low-maintenance appeal is another plus. Just be aware that bluestone can be a pricier option.

Lava Rock: Affordable & Radiates Warmth

Lava rock is formed by volcanoes, so it naturally handles high temperatures! It radiates warmth long after the fire fades and is budget-friendly. One thing to note: It's best for filling your fire pit, not building the structure.

Stone Fire Pits: From Rustic to Refined

Stone Fire Pits: From Rustic to Refined
Stone patio fire pit

Stone's natural beauty and durability make it a fantastic choice for your fire pit. Here are a few popular styles to suit your taste and DIY skill level:

Simple Stacked Stone: Rustic Charm, Easy DIY

Love the look of natural materials? Layer fieldstone or flagstone without mortar to create a cozy, inviting fire pit with a touch of rustic elegance. This is a great weekend project for DIY enthusiasts.

Mortared Stone: Stability & Design Possibilities

Want a more permanent and polished look? Mortar adds durability and opens up a world of design options, from simple circles to elaborate shapes and features like raised walls.

Veneered Stone: Classic Look, Simplified Build

Enjoy the beauty of natural stone without the complex construction. A pre-cast concrete core with a natural stone exterior gives you the best of both worlds: timeless appeal and a DIY-friendly process.

Built-In Stone: Luxury & Seamless Integration

Built-In Stone: Luxury & Seamless Integration
Stone fire pit

Dreaming of a fire pit that's the centerpiece of your outdoor space? A built-in stone fire pit fully integrates with your patio or hardscaping, creating a breathtaking focal point. For the most intricate designs, this project is best left to the pros.

Raised Stone Fire Pit: Make a Statement!

Elevate your fire pit for a dramatic effect and enjoy improved heat distribution from the raised structure. A stone base or platform adds a touch of grandeur and creates a central gathering spot for warmth and conversation.

Choose Your Shape: Classic or Modern?

Round fire pits are timeless and inviting, offering a cozy ambiance perfect for social gatherings. Rectangular fire pits boast a sleek, contemporary look and can even incorporate features like firewood storage or built-in grills for added functionality.

Custom Stone Fire Pit: Uniquely Yours!

Want a fire pit that reflects your personal style? Embrace your creativity and design a truly one-of-a-kind fire feature using curves, unique shapes, or incorporating other materials like tile or metal accents.

Fuel Your Fire: Choose Your Flame

Consider how you want to use your fire pit when deciding on the fuel source:

  • Wood-Burning: The classic choice for a traditional campfire experience, complete with the crackle and scent of burning wood.
  • Gas-Powered: Easy to light and clean, and offers the convenience of adjustable flames for customized warmth.
  • Fire Pit Tables: Enjoy the warmth of a fire while also having a functional table surface perfect for gatherings and conversation.

Finding the Perfect Fire Pit Size for Your Space

Finding the Perfect Fire Pit Size for Your Space
Stone outdoor fire pit

The right-size fire pit can transform your backyard into an inviting outdoor oasis. Here's how to choose the perfect fit:

What to Consider:

  • Space Available: Measure the area where you want your fire pit. Be sure to allow plenty of room for comfortable seating and safe walking paths around the fire.
  • Guest Count: How many people do you typically entertain? A 32-36 inch fire pit is cozy for small gatherings of 3-4 people. For larger gatherings of 6-8 people, aim for a fire pit diameter of 40-48 inches, or even larger.
  • Fire Intensity: Do you dream of roaring bonfires or a gentle, intimate flame? Larger fire pits accommodate bigger fires and provide more warmth and ambiance.
  • Functionality: Want to roast marshmallows or use a grill grate? You'll need a larger fire pit to accommodate these features.

Size Guide:

  • Small Fire Pit (24-32 inches): Perfect for small patios and intimate gatherings of 2-3 people.
  • Medium Fire Pit (36-48 inches): This popular size works well in most backyards and comfortably accommodates groups of 4-6 people.
  • Large Fire Pit (48+ inches): Ideal for spacious areas, big gatherings, or those who love a dramatic, roaring fire.

Additional Tips:

  • Height Matters: A typical height is 22-24 inches, but raised fire pits add visual interest and may improve heat distribution.
  • Check Local Codes: Some areas have regulations about fire pit size. Be sure to check with your local authorities before making your decision.

Remember, the key is finding the right balance between your dream fire pit and your available space. It's better to go slightly smaller to ensure safety and comfort! You can always add more firewood for a bigger fire if needed.

How Much Does a Natural Stone Fire Pit Cost?

Natural stone fire pits are a stunning investment in the look and feel of your outdoor space. While they are the most expensive option, typically ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 or more, here's why they're worth the price:

  • The Investment in Beauty & Durability: Natural stone's unique patterns and colors add a touch of timeless elegance that can't be replicated. Plus, it's built to last, withstanding high temperatures and the elements for years of enjoyment.
  • Material Matters: The type of stone you choose – granite, flagstone, bluestone, etc. – will affect the cost. Each offers its own unique beauty, durability, and price point.
  • Size & Design: Larger, more complex fire pit designs will naturally cost more. Intricate stonework requires skill and time, adding to the overall expense.
  • Labor Costs: If you choose professional installation, especially for custom designs, factor in labor costs. However, the peace of mind knowing your fire pit is built correctly and safely is often worth the added expense.

Natural Stone Fire Pit Material Cost Options

Stone Material Price Range (per sq ft) Pros Cons
Granite $75 - $200 Durable, Heat-Resistant, Color Variety Can Be More Expensive
Flagstone $50 - $150 Rustic Charm, Retains Heat, Textured Uneven Surface (More Cleaning)
Bluestone $100 - $250 Elegant, Smooth, High Heat Resistance Higher Cost
Fieldstone $40 - $100 Natural, organic look, affordable Less Uniform, Requires Careful Selection

Estimating the Cost of Your Natural Stone Fire Pit

Dreaming of a cozy fire pit in your backyard? Here's a breakdown of the costs involved with using natural stone:

  • The Star of the Show: Stone Materials: The type of stone you choose greatly impacts the price. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300 per square foot, with factors like durability, color, and rarity affecting the cost.
  • Building a Solid Foundation: Base Materials: To ensure stability and safety, you'll need a base of gravel, crushed stone, or even concrete. This can add $100 to $500 to your project.
  • Essential Safety & Functionality: Components: Don't forget to budget for safety features like a spark screen and practical items like a fire pit ring. These typically range from $100 to $300.
Important Note: These are estimates, and your final cost will depend on the size, design complexity, and your location. Always consult with a professional landscaper or contractor for the most accurate quote tailored to your dream fire pit.

Fire Pit vs. Outdoor Fireplace: Which Is Right for You?

Stone fire pits and outdoor fireplaces bring the magic of fire to your backyard but offer different experiences. Choose based on your space, budget, and desired ambiance. Here's a breakdown to help you decide which one is right for you:

Feature Stone Fire Pit Outdoor Fireplace
Cost More Affordable Higher Cost (Materials & Labor)
Setting Cozy & Casual Versatile (Casual to Formal)
Portability Some Options are Portable Permanent Focal Point
Fuel Source Wood, Gas, Propane Primarily Wood-Burning
Heat Retention Good Heat, Less Retention Superior Heat Retention (Enclosed Design)
Smoke Control More Smoke (Open Design) Chimney Directs Smoke
Safety Open Flame, Needs Supervision Enclosed Design (More Child/Pet-Friendly)
Additional Features Less Customizable Potential for Hearth, Mantle, Storage

#1. An Outdoor Fire Pit Is More Convenient

An outdoor fire pit offers several shades of convenience than a fireplace. You do not have to worry about how a fire burning indoors and the smoke from it will affect your home. In addition, building a fire pit outside the house gives you options to experience warmth while being outdoors. In essence, you can create a glorious campfire within the confines of your backyard.

#2. Getting a Fire Pit Is Cheaper

Considering all the factors surrounding fire pit selection and installation, building and maintaining an outdoor fire pit is cheaper than constructing an indoor stone fireplace, as there are large-scale home construction items to factor in. It is easier to install an outdoor fire pit and you can begin to enjoy warmth almost immediately.

#3. Fire Pit vs Fireplace Is More Safe Option

Fire Pit vs Fireplace Is More Safe Option

With an outdoor fireplace, there will be fewer concerns about the heat getting too high or too low or even a fire accident that would directly affect the house.

Outdoor fire pits with stones are the safest. They are typically surrounded by solid stone pavement and pose less risk of a fire outbreak if ambers accidentally fall over the sides.

And if an accident does happen, an outdoor fire pit is much easier to contain and douse than an indoor fire.

#4. Outdoor Fire Pit Offers Great Aesthetics

No one can deny how a stone fire pit can greatly uplift your home’s landscape. You can pick the stones to use, their colors, cut, and texture before construction. You can also play with combinations that best match your home’s exterior décor. A professional stoneworker can guide you through this process, explaining how each stone type can enhance the beauty of your home.

#5. Fire Pits Increase Your Curb Appeal

Think of how a fire pit can bring more appeal to your home when observed from across the street. Getting professional guidance before constructing a fire pit will ensure you come up with something that adds value and meets your family’s needs perfectly. From additional backyard seating to potentially even creating a second dining area outdoors, an outdoor fire pit is guaranteed to add value and beauty to your current landscaping layout.

The Bottom Line

An outdoor fire pit offers you all the benefits of an indoor fireplace, coupled with other benefits like safety, affordability, convenience, and landscape appeal.

If you are considering installing a custom natural stone fire pit, then Stone Center advises you to hire an experienced stonework professional to guide you through the process. You can also go through our stone products catalog alongside your family members and stoneworkers or contact us. You will undoubtedly find the best natural stone options to meet your unique outdoor fire pit vision and deeds.


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Jon Smiley

Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.

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