People Roasting Marshmallows Over a Fire

Are you planning on an outdoor fire pit or fire ring? Whether you opt for a portable fire ring like our custom Fox River Fire Ring designs or you choose a more permanent fire pit, how and where you build it is important for your own safety. No matter where you plan to create your outdoor fire pit – your patio, your backyard, your cabin at the lake, your cottage or your campsite – it is important to have a stable, heat resistant surface to build upon. With that in mind, many potential customers at Fox River Fire Rings want to know – what materials should I build my outdoor fire pit on? We may be able to help.

What Materials Should I Put Under My Wood Burning Fire Pit?

Do you want to add a fire pit to your backyard space? Do you want to avoid a burned out patch of grass in your backyard? Do you want to create an open space around your fire pit for family and friends? There are a lot of materials that you can choose from to create that space and provide a stable, flame-resistant surface for your Fox River Fire Ring.

Here are some materials that you can put under your wood burning fire pit or fire ring to create a safe and attractive outdoor space. These materials can be used with portable and permanent outdoor fire pits.


A popular option for fire pits at local campgrounds, sand is affordable, easy to use, is virtually maintenance free and most importantly, absorbs heat from the fire to prevent unwanted damage. Sand will last for years in your fire pit, but it can retain moisture that may lead to rust on your steel fire pit or fire ring.

Gravel and Crushed Stone

Do you hate the look and feel of sand? Gravel, pea gravel or crushed stone may be a great alternative for your outdoor fire pit. Gravel will retain heat longer and will prevent any unwanted spread. Gravel is available in many different varieties that can create an attractive area around your fire pit and can be used with sand to create an even better base.

Lit Fire Pit with Lava Rocks
Lit Fire Pit with Blue Fire Glass

Lava Rocks

Did you know that lava rocks are used specifically as a fire retardant? And they look pretty good in your fire pit. Lava rocks provide a fun, natural and rustic look that you may enjoy in your outdoor space. Lava rocks are leftover via volcanic eruption and are made from a porous rock that will drain water and dissipate heat in your fire ring.

Fire Glass

Vibrant, colorful fire glass is more common in permanent outdoor fire pits – or propane fire pits on patios – but it may be a fun addition to your outdoor space. Fire glass is available in a variety of styles and colors that are sure to wow family and friends around the fire. A cool aspect of fire glass is that it is a little flammable and will help maintain your fire without spreading it.

READ MORE: What Types of Wood Should I Burn in My Fire Ring?

No matter what type of outdoor fire ring you choose for your backyard, campsite, cabin, patio or cottage, you may ask – what materials should I build my outdoor fire pit on? We can help answer many of your fire safety questions right here at Fox River Fire Rings. Contact Fox River Fire Rings today to learn more about our custom steel fire rings made in the U.S.A.!