Anybody know if it's possible (legal/advisable) to put a fire pit on a Trex deck? Any advice??? Thx!
only for those who are insane
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The plastic used in Trex burns like rocket fuel. Moreover, as a plastic, it WILL sag, bow, and bend over time, if any weight is applied. Even the slightest heat ... even sunshine ... will make it bend much easier.
You might reconsider whether any kind of fire pit is wise.
While a regular bare metal bowl fire pit probably isn't going to work on a trex deck, thats not saying you couldn't easily make something that would work.
All you need to do is create a firewall between the bowl and the deck. I did this when I made a firepit that could be used on my grass - without creating scortch marks. I first made a platform out of plywood on top of castor wheels. I covered this with a scrap of drywall. On that I placed an old weber grill without the legs. I strapped the handles to the base to keep it secure.
You could do the same with something like Hardyplank on top of a wood frame to keep it off the plastic. I'd keep wheels under it as a head resistant fire base can get heavy quick.
Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA
Also a CRX fanatic!
If your hair looks funny, it's because God likes to scratch his nuts. You nut, you.
I did it and pissed off all my neighbors.
But what do I know, I'm in so cal.
The president came out to see what I did though - Who else can say that as a deck builder?
Remodeling Contractor just on the other side of the Glass City
Yeah, I think fire can put pits in Trex.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville
About 8-10 years ago I built a large deck w/ a lowered section that had benches and a firepit in the center. The deck was about a foot off the ground and where they wanted the pit we installed a 48" concrete culvert section, which we framed around. We left the top of the culvert pipe about a foot above the finished floor height. We filled the pipe w/ crushed stone w/ a top layer of fire brick. The pit worked well but there were a few drawbacks. After about a year they needed to line the exposed sides and top of the culvert as well because the culvert started to breakup in spots. The firebrick solved this problem. Even though the fire was built lower in the pit and the top was raised above the floor there was still the problem of sparks and embers that would occaisionally explode and land on the trex and melt a burn spot into the surface. Next time I would keep the top of the fire pit a bit higher, but you can expect to still get the flying embers from time to time. Even with the addition of those character marks the fire pit proved to work well and this part of the deck was the preferred spot to hang out. The pit is also very easy to maintain.
I would note that Trex is probably safer than wood around a fire pit, in terms of the danger of it actually catching fire. Any arrangement that is safe for wood is likely safe for Trex. The main problem with Trex would be the occasional sparks and resulting pits in the deck surface.
What if the fire pit was gas-burning, not wood-burning? There is a gas line stubbed in the patio area. I don't think it would produce sparks so the only issue would be the heat. Has anybody done something like this? Anybody have pictures of what it would look like?
That is what I'm going to do when I eventually get around to the outside.
While you can get a "loggy" looking pile of non-flammable material, I've seen some really beautiful pits using things like glass marbles, pebbles... really anything that doesn't burn or blow up when you heat it.
A gas appliance would not make me lose any sleep there, if installed with the right clearances per manufacturers directions
I am concerned as to the flammability of Trex, as there have been several major fires at the Trex plant here.
I've spent years next to woodworking and cabinet shops ... with no fire problems. Trex comes into town ... and fires seem almost routine. Some of this may be because of their manufacturing methods ... but it doesn't seem to take much to get that plastic going ... and once it's lit, watch out!
I won't make a definite statement about the finished product, as I am not aware of any 'standard' fire tests (like ASTM E-84) being performed on it. I just am VERY wary of it.
I'm guessing that the shavings are easy to get going. But you don't have shavings around a deck, once rain has washed away the last of the sawdust. Whereas wood splinters, and also becomes more flammable through repeated heat/cool/wet/dry cycles. Wood that's been heated for a long time becomes especially flammable, with a kindling temp around 250F -- one of the reasons that codes are so anal about clearances around fireplace inserts, etc.
The flash point is lower than for wood and paper.
The flame spread rating for Trex is 80 cf 96 - 140 for various woods./
If I read all that right, trex will flame on easier, but flame spread in wood is faster
I'd say you are limited to gas only. Who would use a wood fire on a plastic deck? Of course I could say the same about most decks.
Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.
If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)
You're absolutely right -- it should be a plastic fire.
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