chiminea on a wooden deck

Is it Safe to Use a Chiminea on a Wood Deck?

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Do not use a chiminea directly on a wooden deck as it can damage your deck and be a fire risk. Decks are usually made from material that is highly flammable such as wood. Chimineas are extremely hot when lit and can spit out hot embers and sparks.

Do use a veneer material under your fireplace that will give enough separation from your chiminea and your very flammable wooden deck.

For many folks researching chimineas for the first time, it may well be that a deck is your only option for a place to put a chiminea and by following a few simple guidelines we can get your chiminea on your deck safely.

chiminea on wooden decking

Chiminea on a Wooden DEck SAfety Tips

Make sure there is open space above your chiminea. Remember that fires release carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide along with a bunch of other nasty fumes. The area must have open-air ventilation for it to be a suitable place for a chiminea.

You may find my other article on chiminea safety worth reading.

Don’t underestimate how hot the bottom of your chiminea will get – even if it was legs or is on a stand, you need to use something to protect your deck once the fire gets going.

WHAT TO PUT UNDER YOUR CHIMINEA ON DECKING

This can be any non-flammable material that can provide a level surface for your chim. The Youtube channel Modify made this really great video showing how they built a hearth from tiles especially for their chiminea. Great job guys!

chiminea on deck
Video by Modify on How to build a chiminea hearth for a wooden deck

Tiles are a great example of a material you can use. Also consider:

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Best Types of Chiminea For A Wooden Deck

reddit user chiminea on deck
reddit user u/jescereal

The main consideration for the best type of chiminea for your wooden deck is how much space you have to work with. Small chimineas can make a wonderful addition to smaller deck space and really make the deck an attractive location where people want to gather.

If you are limited on space, another consideration is how close you are to any structures – such as your house. The closer you have to be to your house, the smaller your chiminea should be.

Remember your banisters if they are also wood just like this Reddit user who used paving slabs to create a nice hearth for their chiminea. Try and keep your chiminea at least an arm’s length away from the wooden decking surround.

Can I put a Chiminea on a Vinyl PVC Deck?

PVC decking (polyvinyl chloride) is becoming more popular as they require less maintenance. Vinyl decking does not have any wood in I but is it safe to put a chiminea on it?

chiminea on pvc decking

For the most part, follow the same advice for putting a chiminea on a wood deck. Just keep in mind that if your PVC deck does get damaged by the heat of your chiminea, it may not be as easy as sanding out the damage. As long as you think carefully about fire-proofing the area properly, it should be fine.

TIP – Remember you should never leave a fire unattended. When considering the position for your chiminea on your deck, is there a place where you could see your fire from inside your property? At the end of the evening, you can retire inside while keeping one eye on the dying fire.

Can I Put a Chiminea on Composite Decking?

Composite decking is made of wood fibre combined with recycled polyethylene. It’s a great alternative to wood decking as it offers qualities like being more waterproof, much longer-lasting, etc.

Some experts will advise never to put a chiminea or a fire pit on composite decking. However, the same rules apply here. If you can safely buffer your deck surface from the chiminea, and you follow common sense and fire safety, it’s possible for you to create a safe surface for a chiminea.

TIP – Keep in mind that your decking should not be in an undercover area – chimineas need full ventilation and are strictly only to be used outside. They can be extremely dangerous and even fatal if used in an area that is not sufficiently ventilated.

Checklist For Putting Your Chiminea on a Deck

Here are all the things you should keep in mind to keep yourself and your family safe when putting a chiminea on a deck.

  • Surface. Preparing your deck surface by installing a fire proof material. This can be anything from a heat mat to some paving stones.
  • Location. Choose a posiition on your deck where the chiminea will have room to breathe. Away from anything flammable, nothing overhanging.
  • Sand. Clay chimineas should alwasy have a layer of sand in the firebowl. This is something you can utilise in you chiminea, regardless of the material of your chim, to help further insulate the heat of your chiminea fire from your decking.
  • Spark screens. Metal chimineas usually come with a spark screen in the chimney stack and also on a door. These are great for chimineas going on a deck as it minimises flying sparks and embers. If you have a clay chiminea, you can add a spark arrestor to your chiminea.
  • Watch over your fire. Try and position your chiminea somewhere the fire is visable form your property.
  • Avoid wind. Don’t light a fire on a deck on a windy day. It’s just asking for trouble.

chiminea On Decking

Once you’ve considered all the safety advice and you want to go ahead and install a chiminea on decking, you do have the choice of opting for a heat mat or going for a more permanent installation like a brick hearth.

I hope you find a solution that is best for you. Let me know how you got on.

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