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Having a fire is a great way to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors while keeping warm and comfortable. If you have a firepit and are wondering about some of the best ways to maintain your firepit through the years, you may be curious about using sand in the pit itself.  

Should I Put Sand in the Bottom of My Firepit? 

Placing sand at the bottom of your firepit is highly recommended whether you are using a homemade firepit or a prebuilt pit, such as a Walden Legacy firepit.

LEGACY SERIES™ COMPLETE FIRE PIT INSERT SET

What Does Sand Do For a Firepit? 

Placing an even amount of sand towards the bottom of your fire pit will create an entire layer of additional heat protection. Sand can act as a buffer between the wood or fuel you use in your fire and the bottom of your firepit, preventing it from burning or charring over time.

The sand helps in the process of absorbing heat while working to redistribute it equally. Without sand or another buffer at the bottom of your firepit, heat can quickly become unevenly distributed, resulting in a burn or unwanted burn marks on your firepit itself. If you do not use a form of a buffer at the bottom of your pit, you run the risk of causing the grate or structure to break down over time, which can cause your firepit to begin chipping, cracking, or even peeling. 

What Type of Sand for Your Firepit?

Using silica sand is highly advisable when placing the sand at the bottom of a fire pit for an additional layer of heat protection. Silica sand is also known as the most affordable type of sand available for purchase, making it optimal for those who enjoy plenty of fire year-round.

Are There Other Options if Sand is Not the Best?

Yes. Thankfully, nature provides an array of solutions when it comes to making and managing fire, regardless of the firepit you are using. Some alternatives to help create a barrier layer of protection inside of your fire pit if you do not have access to silica sand include:

  • Bricks
  • Cement blocks
  • Gravel/rocks
  • Dirt (dry dirt)
  • A metal grate (even one from your grill may suffice)

When Not to Use Sand in a Firepit

While it may seem that using sand is always necessary anytime there is a fire, this is not always the case. If you are using a firepit that includes holes in the bottom of the pit itself, it is unnecessary to place sand or any other alternative to create a layer of protection at the bottom of the pit.

The holes included in the firepit must remain open and accessible at all times to allow for proper airflow. Covering the holes designed for the firepit may result in a buildup of toxic fumes and gasses if you are not cautious. 

WALDEN LEGACY SERIES™ 30" FIRE PIT RING

What Are Some Drawbacks to Using Sand in a Firepit?

While using sand is one of the best ways to protect a firepit from collecting too much heat or burning too quickly, there are a few drawbacks to using sand if you are not careful, including:

  • Moisture-collecting: Sand is a known moisture collector, which can leave your fire pit space dampened and ineffective for an extended period. Properly covering and storing your fire pit when it is not in use is the best way to minimize the amount of moisture the sand in your firepit accumulates during rainy months of the year, depending on your location.
  • It can contribute to the rusting of your firepit: If you allow the sand in your firepit to sit and collect water, the dampness may eventually lead to the rusting of the pit. Remove damp and moist sand from your firepit to keep the pit's surface as dry as possible.
  • Weight: Sand is extremely heavy in large quantities and becomes nearly impossible to move when it is weighed down with water. Too much sand in a waterlogged firepit can be an extreme hassle. 

Understanding the benefits that sand offers in a firepit can help you prepare your fire pit the next time you plan to relax or cook by the fire. With a proper layer of protection in place using sand, you can let your fire pit burn for hours while maintaining your peace of mind and without thinking twice. 

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