What Material Should I Use for an Outdoor Fireplace

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Upgrading from a fire pit to an outdoor fireplace adds a whole new dimension of comfort and cozy to your backyard, but what material works best over time and which is best suited for your home? Answering these two simple questions offers an easy way to plan your own outdoor fireplace project. Here we’ll help answer these fundamental questions in order to help homeowners discover the perfect outdoor fireplace options.

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Brick and Natural Stone

When it comes to an outdoor fireplace, stone and brick still reign supreme. These two building materials have been in use for thousands of years across the globe – and for good reason. Both stand up well to the elements and each offers a unique look and feel. While both offer their own advantages, understanding both the pros and cons can help to make your decision easier.

Generally speaking, brick tends to be the easiest and most budget friendly option for creating an outdoor fireplace. It may require some routine maintenance as the grout or mortar may crack or dry out over time and cleaning out the chimney. You will want to keep the area clear of invasive plant life which can creep into the mortar itself, causing serious problems such as crumbling. While you may be limited in the available colors, you have a variety of patterns in which to lay the brick. The simple, uniform look that brick offers makes it an ideal match for Craftsman and other similar styles where clean lines are the norm.

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Natural stone is an extremely popular option for outdoor fireplaces because of their unique appearance, variety of stone colors and styles. While brick offers uniformity which can compliment many homes and backyard styles, natural stone offers a way to create a rustic, natural look. Using stone does raise the budget of an outdoor fireplace – sometimes substantially – which can be a deal breaker for some however. Routine maintenance on fireplaces built with stone includes some of the same chores associated with brick fireplaces but moss or lichens can be allowed to grow on stone fireplaces more easily, adding to their flexibility when it comes to style. This makes stone a perfect choice for homes that embrace the outdoors or which are more likely to pair well with a rustic look.

Both brick and stone fireplaces require routine cleaning of the hearth, chimney and surrounding area at least once a year. Families who use their fireplaces more often should plan to clean the entire area more frequently in order to keep it working well. Both stone and brick offer durability but when it comes to flexibility in design, it’s difficult to beat the versatility of natural stone. In the end, homeowners need to match up which style is best suited to the overall style of their home and the feel and atmosphere of their outdoor entertainment space.

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