Chiminea on Decking

Can You Put a Chiminea on Decking? (Wooden and Composite Decking)

There are different uses of a chiminea. It was originally made for indoor cooking, but it is now used as a decorative piece and keeps its users warm. 

Many modern homeowners have decks or composite decks, and they begin to ask whether to put a chiminea on decking?

Yes, you can put a chimney on decking, but this will require extra care and supervision. Moving on, we will discuss the safest surface to your chiminea and also ways to maintain your chimney.

Is A Chiminea Better Than A Fire Pit?

Chiminea on Decking


Before we dive into which of these is better, we need to know what they are and get a clear picture of what they do. A chiminea is a free-standing fireplace, with a traditional round body and a vertical chimney on top of it, and a chiminea only burns firewood. 

On the other hand, a fire pit can come in different vessels, and unlike a chiminea, a fire pit is capable of burning different fuels.

In terms of heat production, a chiminea is not suitable as it is enclosed and has limited access to oxygen, while a fire pit will produce more heat. 

In terms of safety, a chiminea is enclosed and will prevent fire sparks; it also has a chimney at the top to control smoke. However, the smoke from a fire pit cannot be controlled, and there may be sparks coming from the pit.

For ease of use and maintenance, the fire pit is way better as you can purchase a propane fire pit that will not leave ash behind like a chiminea. 

When it comes to size, a chiminea is heavier than a fire pit because a fire pit varies in size and can come in small sizes. So overall, in terms of heat production, size, ease of use, and maintenance, a fire proved superior, making it better than a chiminea.

The Safety Of Putting A Chiminea On A Wooden Or Composite Deck

A chiminea is not the safest option for a deck as there is a danger of fire hazards. Wood is a highly flammable material, and ashes and sparks that leave the chiminea can light up your wood. Not only can this damage your deck, but there is a risk of your house going up in flames.

But other land surfaces can serve as an alternative to a wooden deck; these alternatives are not flammable and are safe for your chiminea to stand on. A floor constructed with concrete, bricks, and other non-flammable materials, is ideal for your chiminea.

Safest Way To Use A Chiminea

Keep your chiminea away from flammable materials. Using a chiminea near a tree is unsafe as sparks could fly and light up the tree; it should also be located far from your house, about 10 feet away from your house. 

There are materials called spark stoppers, they are placed at the top of your chiminea, and they stop or control the rate at which sparks fly.

You should also keep an eye on your kids and your pet, as they may play around it and will kit take caution. Always be present to supervise the use of a chiminea when the younger ones are involved.

Can You Put A Chiminea On Decking?

Chiminea on Decking

You can use a chiminea on a decking because ways have been discovered to make this possible. Purchase a chiminea with a raised base; this will keep it away from the flammable wooden base. If a base is not available, you can build one using bricks.

Creating a separate fireproof place for your chiminea is also a good idea, this way, flammable materials won’t get near your chiminea.

Can You Put A Chiminea On A Wooden Deck?

A wooden deck is made of various hardwood, some of which include oak, cedar, and mahogany. Your wooden deck goes so well with a chiminea on it that you want to buy one for decorating or heating purposes.

It is not advisable to put a chiminea of a wooden deck. Embers, ashes, and sparks can fly off your chiminea and onto your wooden deck, leading to a fire hazard because wood is a highly flammable material. So a chiminea on a wooden deck should be avoided.

Can You Put A Chiminea On A Composite Decking?

Composite decking is made of plastic and wood. The use of a chiminea on a composite decking has been an issue that has seriously been debated. Still, a conclusion was made that a chiminea can indeed be used on a composite deck but with a few restrictions.

Some of these regulations include using a spark stopper and building a space for your chiminea; these rules ensure that you use your chiminea safely on your deck. Do not create large fires as it poses a risk I fire hazard, destroying your chiminea.

What Are The Safest Surfaces For Chimineas?

Chiminea on Decking

From all we have said above, the best surfaces for your chiminea are fire-resistant or non-flammable base; they are way better than a deck.

These materials may include sand, concrete, bricks, tiles, metals, fire pit pads made from stone, or metals. If the decking is your only option, you may create a platform for your chiminea to stand on top.

What Do You Put Under A Fire Pit In A Deck?

To ensure maximum safety when using your chiminea on your deck, or is recommended that you invest in a fire pit pad which can be metal or stone.

For a decking that is not strong, you should not use a very heavy material as its base because, combined with the weight of your chiminea and the weight of the deck users, things may not be pretty.

Should You Put Sand In A Chiminea?

A chiminea can be made from various materials that include cast iron, copper, steel, and clay. Each of these materials works differently, and you may need sand for your clay chiminea. 

Your sand in a clay chiminea should be 3 inches deep; it prevents your clay from cracking or breaking due to high temperature.

Play sand used in kids playground is the best sand for your chiminea. For a metal chiminea, other better materials can go at the base of your chimney; they include lava rocks, pea travels, or pumice stones. They prevent the bottom of your chiminea from getting damaged due to the high temperature produced by the fire.

How Do You Protect Your Patio From A Chiminea?

Chiminea on Decking

Patios are be constructed from concrete, asphalt, and patio pavers. But why do you need to protect your patio from a chiminea? 

Because the surface of your patio is sensitive, there is heat transfer between your chiminea and your patio, and your patio constantly absorbing heat will lead to cracking of your surface materials like concrete.

To protect your patio from a chiminea, there has to be minimal heat contact on your patio. You can place your chiminea on a fire pit pad which is heatproof and will prevent your patio from absorbing heat. 

Sparks constantly flying out of your chiminea to your patio is also a form of heat that can cause damage to your patio surface, so it is recommended that you purchase a spark screen or a spark shield to prevent sparks from leaving your chiminea.

How To Care For A Chiminea

Before using a chiminea, you need to cure it. Curing applies to both clay and metal chimineas; this is necessary to get it ready for burning. 

To cure a chiminea, put some paper balls inside and allow it to burn completely. After it has cooled and dried, put about 3 inches of sand inside and some paper balls; this time, the paper balls should be more. This process should be repeated two to three times with the fire getting larger in each stage.

For your clay chiminea, use only firewood to burn and not charcoal; this will prevent your fragile clay chiminea from cracking since charcoal produces a high temperature. 

It is also recommended that you select a permanent location for your chiminea to prevent moving it from one spot to another. Keep your chiminea inside during the winter and use a chiminea cover to protect it when it’s raining.

Conclusion: Can You Put a Chiminea on Decking?

There are other better alternatives aside from a deck to keep your chiminea, but if you have a composite deck, you can keep your chiminea but with some restrictions. And to safely use a chiminea on a wooden deck, the distance it from flammable items and put it on top of a fire pit.

Curing your clay chiminea is essential to prevent it from cracking or breaking, and curing your metal chiminea is important to keep the paint intact, along with other maintenance processes that will allow your chiminea to last longer.

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We trust this article helped you understand if it is safe to put a Chiminea on Decking?. You may also want to check out How Do You Make a Square Fire Pit Insert?

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Can You Put a Chiminea on Decking?

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