Last updated on June 22nd, 2022
An outdoor rug is not only a means to express your style but can also add to the ambiance of your space. But what if you have a fire pit around? Can you put a fire pit on an outdoor rug?
Yes, you can safely put a fire pit on an outdoor rug, provided there’s a way to reduce the heat from the pit. In most cases, this will involve using a fire pit mat, a thick pad, or bricks. Sometimes, these solutions may not be visually appealing. If you’re using a propane fire pit, you may not need that extra barrier, especially if the rug is fire-resistant.
Today, we will look at the proper way to use a rug underneath a fire pit and the safety precautions to keep. We will also look at the best rug to use and some other interesting points.
Table of Contents
Are outdoor rugs flammable?
It depends on the rug’s material. Generally, any outdoor rug woven from polypropylene or synthetic material is usually highly flammable. You don’t want to place such rugs near a fire pit or open flame.
Before buying any rug, it’s always a good idea to check the material, especially if you plan to place a fire pit on it. You want to avoid anything that could potentially melt or catch fire when exposed to high heat.
Do outdoor rugs melt under high heat?
Again, the rug material is the biggest factor here. Not all outdoor rugs can withstand high heat without melting or catching fire.
Natural fibers such as cotton or jute burn easily when exposed to heat sources or open flames. In contrast, plastic fibers such as polyester or acrylics do not easily melt in such situations.
Be sure to check the flammability of the rug before using it with a fire pit. You want something that is “flame-retardant,” or you could place a fire pit mat or pad on the rug. Failure to do any of these will mean inviting trouble!
Avoid leaving a fire pit on a rug or nearby overnight. Also, with an outdoor fireproof rug, you can safely place them near a fire pit but not directly in front of an open flame. To prevent flames from spitting onto the rug, you can install a guard in front of the fire pit.
Can you put a fire pit on an outdoor rug?
There’s no straightforward answer here. The type of fire pit you’re using, and the rug fabric will determine whether or not it’s safe to place the pit on the rug.
Generally, most outdoor rugs can be used under a fire pit as long as you’re using a heat barrier to protect the rug from embers. But even then, it’s best to use a rug that is rated flame-retardant or fire-resistant just to be on the safe side.
It’s generally recommended not to put a wood fire pit on a rug, given the enormous heat it generates. Likewise don’t place the pit on a bare wooden deck. Gas fire pits are safer to use on an outdoor rug, but you still need to be careful regardless.
Can you put a rug under a propane fire pit?
Yes, you can. Propane fire pits are safe to use, even on flammable rugs. This is because they are built to radiate heat away from the earth.
Of course, not all propane tanks operate this way, but most are. Regardless, you should be extremely cautious while using a propane fire pit on an outdoor rug.
There’s always a possibility that the carpet fibers can get damaged by the heat. Also, hot embers can fall on a non-fireproof rug, which can cause an ignition or fire.
A good way to know whether you should set a propane pit on your rug is to run the unit for 30 minutes. Then, shut it up and wait for 2-3 minutes. Feel the area directly under the fire pit to see how hot it is. If it’s not too hot, then it’s a sign that the pit won’t ruin the rug.
Can you put a rug under a gas fire pit?
You can put a rug under a gas fire pit if it meets any of these criteria.
First, the rug must be flame-retardant. This means it will not catch fire when placed near a heat source.
Second, the ignition temperature or melting point must be within safe limits. Ignition temperature is the lowest temperature a rug will ignite in the absence of a spark or flame, while melting point is the temperature at which the rug will melt at high heat.
Fortunately, most rugs designed for outdoor use meet at least two of these criteria. So, you can use them with a fire pit.
The only time when it might not be right to place a rug under a gas fire pit is when it’s extremely flammable or has a low melting point.
Can you put a wood fire pit on an outdoor rug?
No, we don’t recommend this. Wood fire pits pose a serious fire hazard. They tend to emit a lot of heat and may generate sparks, especially if you’re using dry wood. These sparks can hit the rug underneath and cause a fire. Though this is more likely to occur with flammable fabrics like straw or polypropylene, it can also happen with rugs that are seemingly flame-retardent. Remember, we are dealing with wood fuel, and things can easily get out of hand.
Having said that, the only time it’s safe to put a fire pit on an outdoor rug is if the rug is fireproof or fire-resistant. Or else, you can use a fire pit mat or pad.
Can you put a fire table on an outdoor rug?
Yes, you can. In fact, fire tables are much safer than other open flames like campfires. The additional spacing between the edge and the pit provides a bit more safety and prevents children from getting too close. But you must never leave the table unattended.
If you plan to keep the table under any shade, ensure there’s enough ventilation in the area. Also, the higher the table, the better, as this reduces the chances of sparks getting on the rug. Avoid keeping household items or any flammable material on or near the table. These include but not limited to plastic items, napkins, paper plates, and others.
Be sure to choose a fire table that is CSA certified.
What Should You Use On an Outdoor Fire Pit?
If you must put a fire pit on your outdoor rug, then placing a non-flammable material between the pit and rug is recommended. This helps to reduce the heat generated by the pit, making it safer to use. Below are the common options available.
Fire Pit Mat
A fire pit mat is the number one way to protect your outdoor rug or floor from possible heat damage by a fire pit. It’s made with 100 percent fireproof material and is completely free of phthalates.
Besides its insulating qualities, it catches embers from a pit, which also protects the rug underneath. Some also have cushioning effect.
Fire Pit Heat Shield
Another solution you can consider to reduce the heat generated by a fire pit is to install a heat shield.
A heat shield is usually made of steel and aluminum and is installed beneath a fire pit to protect the rug or surface below. Like a fire pit mat, it doesn’t burn or ignite in high heat, so you have nothing to worry about.
However, shields can be bulky and expensive and may not look pleasing to the eye.
Bricks are more affordable than heat shields and are easy to set up. Some are provided with grids or plastic spacers and can be stacked and stored away during the colder months. Another good thing about bricks is that they have a visual appeal and tend to last for many years if properly maintained.
A close alternative to bricks is slates or tiles. They can withstand high heat and won’t chip or break like traditional bricks.
What is the right way to install a firepit with an outdoor rug?
One of the best ways to install a fire pit with an outdoor rug is to use bricks. Bricks are inexpensive, safe, and easy to install. They help to significantly reduce the amount of heat generated by a pit. Pavers will also work, but some bricks are usually installed with mesh or plastic spacers to raise them above the ground. The latter can be stacked and stored away during the colder months.
Whether you use bricks or pavers, both provide a good foundation for a pit and add a layer of heat resistance. Another good thing about bricks is that they are aesthetically pleasing, unlike fire pit mats. They can also last for decades if properly maintained.
While bricks may seem easy to install, they can take a lot of time, and things need to be done correctly. To be on the safe side, it is best to hire a professional such as an expert mason or a bricklayer. You can also use a fire pit installation service or company.
What are the best types of rugs for outdoor fire pits?
Outdoor rugs are made using different fabrics. Not all of these will work under a fire pit. Below are the materials to consider and what you can expect:
Fiberglass is the first (best) material we recommend for fire pits or fireplaces. It’s a form of reinforced plastic from glass fiber and may be woven into a fabric or flattened into a sheet. It is extremely durable – more durable than all-natural and synthetic materials – and doesn’t melt or smolder when it comes to direct contact with embers or coals. This makes it the best option for a fire pit. However, it’s also the most expensive option and might not be very comfortable.
Most people opt for outdoor polypropylene rugs because they are stain- and water-resistant. The material is derived from petroleum and has a low melting temperature and ignition point under normal conditions. This means “normal” polypropylene is not safe to use with a fire pit and can melt quickly.
To prevent this, many polypropylene fiber rugs are treated to make them waterproof and improve their heat resistance, but they still melt in high heat.
Wool is a common choice for traditionally woven outdoor rugs. However, unlike polypropylene, it’s a natural fiber, and it tends to cost more. It doesn’t need to be treated to make it fireproof because it’s naturally fire-resistant. However, it is highly absorbent, which makes it less suitable for outdoor use unless you use it under a gazebo or some other shelter.
Other similar materials to wool that are naturally fire-resistant are jute and seagrass. The main problem with these materials is that they are not durable outdoors.
Polyester is another popular outdoor rug material. It’s a synthetic fiber, so it’s cheap and readily available. It might not be as durable as polypropylene, but it’s also great for outdoor use. It doesn’t trap water and can be easily steam cleaned when necessary. Ordinary polyester is not fire-resistant but tends to melt when it comes in contact with embers or flames. But like polypropylene, it can be treated to make it more fireproof. Most outdoor rugs made of polyester blends have good fireproofing properties.
Nylon is made up of polymer fiber which increases its flame retardancy. However, it’s not flameproof like fiberglass and will melt slowly on contact with embers. But since it melts slowly, the underlying rug is protected from singeing. Nylon is best suited for sealed fire appliances.
Precautions when handling fire pits over outdoor rugs
Below are several safety measures and precautions you need to keep when using an outdoor patio rug under a fire pit.
- First, keep a fully charged fire extinguisher close by. Although you don’t plan for emergencies, you want to be prepared if they occur.
- Second, make sure the fire extinguisher is compatible with the rug. Not all extinguishers can put out every type of fire. It depends on the content and the rug material.
- Next, be sure to clear out particles and debris from the vents. This is important to ensure the safe release of gas.
- For a propane fire pit, make sure the tank is kept far away from all combustible items. It should be positioned at least 18-inches above ground level when filled.
- The best way to prevent fire accidents when using a gas fire pit is to use propane units that contain at least 20 percent propylene. These units are usually designed to ensure there’s no unintended contact between high gas levels and flammable surfaces.
- When installing your fire pit, make sure it’s on a level surface. This is crucial for safety. Again, to avoid any issues, get a professional to do the job.
- To prevent embers from making contact with the fire pit rug, use an ember mat. These mats are usually fire-resistant and help shield the rug underneath from embers.
- Finally, choose a rug specifically designed for a fireplace or fire pit. Most of the time, these rugs are made of fiberglass, which is highly fire-resistant and won’t melt or burn if an ember falls on it.
FAQs – Can you put a fire pit on an outdoor rug
Is it okay to put a fire pit on an outdoor rug?
Yes, it’s okay to put a fire pit on an outdoor rug as long as it’s the right type of rug (mostly fiberglass or polyester blends) and the fire pit is well-built. Always follow your city or state’s recommended guidelines and procedures to install your fire pit.
Will a fire pit mat prevent an outdoor rug from melting or catching fire?
Fire pit mats, especially ember mats, are typically flame-retardant. Thus, installing one under a fire pit keeps the rug underneath from getting too hot or melting. However, while these mats are inexpensive and easy to move around, they don’t usually provide a stable foundation. Also, they don’t make the best decorative pieces.
Are outdoor rugs fire resistant?
Some are. Outdoor rugs made of fiberglass and plastic fibers are typically fire-resistant or flame-retardent. This doesn’t mean they can’t ignite, but they don’t burn easily.
What’s the best way to protect your outdoor rug from a fire pit’s heat?
The best way to protect your outdoor rug from fire pit heat is to place a non-flammable material between the rug and fire pit. Some options that work well, especially for propane units, are fire rings, pit mats, grate, stone paver, and heat shields.
What’s the best fire pit design for a backyard covered with an outdoor rug?
There are several fire pit designs to satisfy all kinds of tastes. These include but not limited to rings, bowl-shaped, tablet-shaped, chiminea style, and even fireplace-style fire pits. Whichever design you choose, the most important thing is to put safety and function first. It shouldn’t be too light or tall but heavier.
To crown it all, you can place a fire pit on an outdoor rug, but it’s recommended to provide protection for the rug by using a fire pit mat or some other heat shield. Also, be mindful of the type of rug material. You want to choose a fire-retardant rug such as fiberglass or treated polyester.
Always prioritize safety and function in whatever fire pit design you decide to use. And make sure the pit fits into the available space. If you’re not using a portable pit, make sure you build with the help of a professional, following all the rules and procedures set by your city.