Build a Fire Ring Pit With Stone and Sweat

If you are looking for inspiration in home design, Houzz is a great place to start. They have more than 500,000 photos from designers that you can clip and save in your “ideabook” for easy reference.
Houzz also has some great editorial pieces that cover remodeling and do-it-yourself projects. One of our favorite projects is this stacked stone fire pit that was made for under $500. It took some heavy lifting to place the stones and lay the foundation but at the end of the day these homeowners not only enjoyed a beautiful centerpiece to their yard but also the satisfaction in knowing that they built it themselves.

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  • Reply
    Tiffany Daniels
    July 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    We understand why homeowners would be alarmed by this article, but the Marble Institute of America would like to assure people that research shows granite countertops pose no threat. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Reports and repeated independent studies have shown granite countertops pose no health hazard.
    • EPA stated Friday: “EPA has no reliable data to conclude that types of granite used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels.” (
    • University of Akron researchers found no threat. (
    • An independent scientific analysis of a variety of studies shows that, accounting for normal airflow in the typical home, radon contributed by granite countertops ranges from 0.01 – 0.02 pCi/L – levels that are 200 to 400 times lower than the EPA guideline of 4 pCi/L.

    By some measures, the amount of radon emitted by a granite countertop is less than one millionth of that already present in household air from other sources. Many granite countertops do not emit radon at all, and those treated with sealant reduce emissions even further.

    Tiffany Daniels
    Cohn & Wolfe on behalf of the Marble Institute of America

  • Reply
    Al Gerhart
    August 11, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Uhh, Tiffany,
    The MIA said that the EPA retracted their support two days after you guys made this claim.

    Look, everyone knows that Cohn & Wolfe are the big tobacco PR firm, so no doubt you have lots of experience in dealing with a cancer risk product. You guys said for years that tobacco was safe.

    And I think by now that everyone knows that Consumer Reports tested only two small granite samples. How can you use this as if it were a major study?

    And the University of Akron study was the one that the MIA paid for, the one that wasn’t published or peer reviewed. Really it was a PR piece. It did show that Cream Bordeaux raised a room level by .27 pCi/L, which is about 67% of ourdoor air Radon levels.

    And 200 to 400 times less than the EPA action limit? My math says that .27 is 1/15th of 4 pCi/L. It seems that one of your studies refutes the other.

    Then your next statement says the radon is only one millionth the regular amount of Radon present, again in direct contradiction to the previous two claims.

    Which is it? Your Dr. Chyi said it was 67%, another study said 200 to 400 times less, now you say one millon times less??????

    You might want to ask for a transfer back to the dept working for Phillip Morris, you aren’t doing well at this job.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    The nsra is installing a hot slab and testing a home live on the net for all to see. Here is a link just in case you all would like to see.

  • Reply
    September 8, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    As you are probably very aware, there have been on-going accusations that have been consistently made against natural granite products having the ability to cause cancer, because of the high levels of radon that they have been said to produce. These accusations have been going on for quite a while, and it is time to put them to rest.

    Who better to accomplish this, than professionals who strive to ensure the safety, as well as the satisfaction of all customers? The National Stone Restoration Alliance is ready to put accusations to rest. Josveek Huligar, a proud member of the NSRA is willing to conduct a very important test in his own home. This is a test that can ultimately change the world of granite, as we know it.

    Huligar plans to have the very slab of granite, which was said to be ‘hot’ and to have contained radon, installed in his own home. The entire process will be on camera no less, for the entire world to see. Before the slab of granite is to be installed, samples will be taken, and the air will be tested in the home, as described by the EPA, and then sent to be evaluated by AirChek ( ), to check for traces of radon and radiation. When this test is complete, the granite will be installed, and then his home will be tested once again to check the levels of radon and radiation. You can monitor this entire process yourself on a public web cam at

    The slab being used for this test has been provided by Mr. Tim Scarlata of Atlantic Granite & Marble ( ), located in Rochester N.Y. After searching extensively to find the perfect slab for the test, Scarlata was able to locate two slabs of granite that did in fact produce higher than normal readings of radiation. Atlantic Granite & Marble will also be fabricating and installing the counter top while on video for the public to view.

    There have been some individuals who have spent large amounts of money on not only the installation of natural granite in their homes, but then they have turned right around and paid tons more money in having the granite removed because of the scare that has been put on society with the radon issues. Huligar, being in the business of ensuring customer satisfaction and quality, also takes this issue very seriously, because the health and well being of his customers are at stake. He plans to do everything possible to ensure the continued safety and reliability of NSRA customers.

    You could certainly be seriously hurt, or even killed if granite were to fall on top of you, but at this time, this is the only way that has been proven to cause harm to anyone.

    It is the believed that the radon scare is nothing more than marketing strategies, and it has done exactly what it was intended to do, and that is cause fear of using granite in the general public. Huligar and associates of NSRA do not believe this to be true. However, he knows how important it is for the public to see that he stands behind the good name of The Natural Stone Restoration Alliance and their objective to supply clients with the natural beauty of stone, and that every effort will always be taken to do so in a safe manner. To further put the publics mind at rest, solutions to any unfavorable characteristics have already been found.

    This test is vital to the natural stone industry, and Huligar is ready to stand up to the test to prove that granite is not harmful to the general public. People need to be able to see these accusations called upon.

    The Natural Stone Restoration Alliance (NSRA) has already done their own research, and released their information that looked at both past and present studies, as well as the marketing strategies used by manufacturers that birthed the scare of radon in the home. The findings of this research are quite simply that levels of radon have no significant difference when granite has been installed in a home.

    Do not let yourself fall into the trap of letting unproven fears cost you hundreds of dollars, find out the truth yourself by watching the web cam at Natural Stone Restoration Alliance | Home, and let this door be closed once and for all. Viewers can also comment on the research that is being performed at

    The set up and testing of the hot slabs starts 9/6/2008 at 10am.

    The test will be ending September 8, 2008 @ 6:15

    Web Site:

  • Reply
    September 23, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    As a distributor of natural stone and man-made countertops, I strongly advise reading more conclusive information from the experts about this granite topic before making conclusions. I have posted links and information from the EPA, MIA, and HPS on my blog:

    Peter Pental

  • Reply
    Al Gerhart
    December 25, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Heh, heh, Huligar clammed up about six weeks back. Seems he found out that his drafty apartment was the reason the Radon levels didn’t rise. No one has heard a peep out of the guys since.

    It looks like the granite industry has responded on this comment page, now for the other side of the story.Here is a link

    At the latest AARST conference (Radon scientists), both they and the CRCPD (state radiation officials) both organized committees to look into the danger. At the conference, there were three scientic papers presented, and two group discussions that showed the risk is not only possible, it showed that no one knows the extent of the problem.

    ASTM and ANSI (both material testing organizations) are also looking at the conrtoversies.

    Here is link to our own testing, currently testing 18 square feet of granite in a 96 square foot room. So far, the Radon levels have maxed out at a bit over 10 pCi/L, like smoking 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes a day.

    This is real folks, I fabricate and sell granite along with other materials. People need to be able to make an informed decision prior to purchase, having the stone industry lying about the issues doesn’t help.

  • Reply
    marble polishing doral
    September 29, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Hey. Great post. Loves to see more. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Scott B
    October 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    This sounds like it would make a great fire pit. It’s nice in the summer to have people over and hangout around the fire and just socialize.

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