Picture this—there’s a lovely evening blaze in your brick fire pit. You’re relaxing and enjoying time with your family. Everything is just about perfect. And then…one of your paver bricks explodes, sending scorching-hot projectiles everywhere! Not good.
A fire pit can add value to your outdoor experience, but only when designed correctly. When designing a fire pit, you must first understand what type of brick pavers to use. In this blog post, we’ll highlight the primary differences between kiln-fired and non-kiln-fired pavers.
Kiln-Fired Versus Non-Kiln: Why Does It Matter?
Not all brick pavers are made the same, and some aren’t safe for fire pit construction.
Brick pavers are typically manufactured from clay, which contains tiny, porous particles that are fairly weak. Clay also contains minute air bubbles, which can expand when heated, and cause the paver to crack or, in some cases, burst (think of pottery).
Kiln-fired clay pavers are slow-heated to temperatures just under their melting points. This sintering process softens the particles, compacting them and drying out the moisture. The result is a non-porous, strong, crystalline material that’s much more heat-resistant than a non-fired brick paver.
But that doesn’t mean non-kiln-fired pavers don’t have advantages.
Benefits of Each
The primary advantage of non-kiln-fired brick pavers is their affordability, which makes them ideal for many brick construction projects. If you’re on a budget, you may be tempted to use them to build a fire pit. However, this type of brick paver is not suitable for fire pit construction. Don’t risk your family’s safety to save a little on materials.
Kiln-fired patio pavers, also called refractory bricks or fire bricks, are manufactured to withstand extremely high temperatures, like those generated in your fire pit. They are excellent for fire pit construction because they don’t expand, crack, or blow apart.
So, if you can’t use non-kiln pavers in fire pits, what can you use them for?
Selecting the Right Application
Non-kiln pavers are still highly durable and long-lasting when used to construct walkways and patios.
And as previously mentioned, kiln-fired pavers are suitable for most high-heat applications since they’re more thermally efficient. They’re generally used to build fire pits, outdoor ovens, and hearths.
Learn More From All Brick
At All Brick, we’re dedicated to helping homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan make the most out of their outdoor spaces.
If you’re planning the construction of a brick paver fire pit, please remember the importance of working with kiln-fired pavers. A brick paver fire pit can add value and decades of enjoyment to your patio or another outdoor hardscape, but safety should always come first.
Contact us today if you have general questions about fire pit construction or to schedule a project consultation.