A Backyard Wood Burning Fire Pit Update With Roman Pavers

Growing up spending summers at the lake, one of my favorite memories are evenings spent around the bonfire roasting marshmallows. No longer having a lake cabin, I wanted to replicate the memories with a backyard firepit. Unfortunately, the simple cinder block one that came with our house was situated directly under a tree and precariously close to our neighbor's garage. Since it needed to be moved anyway, we decided to do a backyard wood burning fire pit update with roman pavers.

Backyard Wood Burning Fire Pit With Roman Pavers

Not only is it safer for bonfires and looks much better too, but we also increased the size of the paver stones around it to accommodate benches and chairs. You can do it inexpensively if you wait until the end of the season when they are clearing them out. We bought our pavers last Fall and waited until the Spring for our fire pit update project.

Backyard Wood Burning Fire Pit Update With Roman Pavers

This is what the cinder block fire pit looked like before. See what I mean about it being directly under the tree and too close to our neighbor's garage? When the tree is in full leaf, the fire pit zone is canopied by the hanging branches.

Shortly after we moved into the house we added a few rows of roman pavers around it - too small for chairs to be set on.

Backyard Cinder Block Fire Pit Before

After we moved the firepit we decided to upgrade the cinder blocks with stone fire pit blocks that come in a kit. This increased the size of our fire pit too, which we like.

The biggest job was removing the grass (my job) tamping and leveling the dirt to accommodate the new pavers.

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products we used or recommend for this project. At no cost to you, we receive a small commission if you make a purchase.

To lay the stones you'll need...

To lay the stones you'll need a garden bow rake, flat edge shovel, rubber mallet, level, soil tamper, polymeric sand, heavy-duty push broom, work gloves, nose mask, eye protection, and power compactor (we rented ours from Home Depot).

Levelling Dirt DIY Fire Pit Surround

We did the happy dance when we found Roman pavers being cleared out for $1 each. The only problem is they came in a flat of three colors, totally different than our original pavers. For that price, we decided to lay the stones in a random pattern so no one would notice the difference between the new pavers and the old ones.

Before laying the stones we had to tamp the soil and make sure it was level. It helped to have a small garden rake and rubber mallet to make sure each paver was level as we worked.

After the fifth row, we were deciding if we should go another two rows to meet up with our flower bed edging.

You may be wondering why we extended the stones to the right in the picture below. It leads to an outdoor bar. Well, an outdoor bar at night, DIY Potting Bench by day. It's perfect for a beverage station and S'mores prep zone.

Wood Burning Fire Pit With Roman Pavers

To bind the pavers we used polymeric sand, it's a little more expensive but much more durable than sand alone. When working with this product a mask and eye protection is a MUST. First, we poured the polymeric sand over the pavers and with a heavy-duty push broom spread the sand to fill the joints completely between each paver.

DIY Fire Pit Roman Pavers Polymeric Sand

Then we rented a vibratory plate compactor to tamper and sift the sand between the pavers. Sorry I didn't take any photos of this step because there was way too much dust in the air and I headed indoors.

Once filled the top of the pavers needed to be cleaned with a broom. You can use a leaf blower but you've got to be very careful it doesn't blow any of the polymeric sand between the pavers. You want the top of the pavers to be completely free of any debris and polymeric sand before moving on to the next step.

Polymeric sand needs water to activate the binding agents and so with a garden hose and the nozzle set to the shower setting spray the pavers to get the polymeric sand wet.

Backyard Roman Paver Fire Pit After

We love our backyard fire pit now and the enlarged roman paver surround can fit several people comfortably around the fire pit.

Update: We decided after living with it for a bit to add more roman pavers to rows six and seven to complete the circle. Again, we waited until they were on sale at the end of the season.

I made a cute Firepit Subway Sign for the fence near the fire pit zone (pictured below). To add ambiance to the firepit zone, these DIY Solar Fence Lights are a great idea and so inexpensive to make.

For more backyard inspiration visit my DIY Outdoor Living page.

Backyard Wood Burning Roman Paver Fire Pit

Backyard Wood Burning Fire Pit Before and After

If you have any questions about this makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.


  1. Hi Marie!
    I love your new and improved fire pit! It turned out so nice! What a great spot for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows! Thanks for sharing at Homestyle Gathering!


    1. Thank you Kim! I'm working on new seating for it soon too.

  2. This is absolutely wonderful and love that it's just in time for summer! Thanks for sharing with To Grandma's House We Go, I'll be featuring you next week.

    1. Well you know how to make a girl's day! Thank you so much Chas for the feature 🤗

  3. That turned out awesome! Makes me want to update my fire pit now. If you're looking for another link party to join, we just started a new one today. You can find it here https://handmadeweekly.com/handmade-otherwise-link-party-week-1/ I think that our readers would really love your content.

    1. I'm glad you like the update to our firepit, Hannah and thanks for the invitation!

  4. Marie,
    I love that fire pit. Great idea. Congrats on being featured at Over The Moon linky party.

    1. Thank you so much for the feature, Bev, much appreciated! xo

  5. Great idea! It looks like such a nice space to relax in and enjoy :)

    1. Thank you Sarah, it really is! The next best thing to a firepit by the lake.

  6. Such a great DIY project, and I love your pictures of the process! Would love for you to share at our new link up; Handmade & Otherwise. http://petalspiesandotherwise.com/handmade-otherwise-link-up-week-2/

    1. So glad you like our firepit makeover, Katy and thanks for the invite!


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