Can I Put a Patio Heater on a Wood Deck? [Yes, You Can]

Indeed, heating your patio is one way to keep your space warm in the winter and those chilly evenings. What if your outdoor space is a wood deck? Can you put a patio heater on it?

You can use patio heaters on a wood deck. Patio heaters are also known as outdoor heaters, and they are made to withstand weather elements and are safe to use around kids and pets. Either an electric or propane patio heater, they come with a built-in automatic shut-off feature that shuts off the heater if it’s accidentally tipped over.

This will prevent your deck from fire hazards and make it safe to use these heaters without supervision. However, there are factors you need to consider when using a patio heater on a wood deck which are explained below.

Can you put a patio heater on a wood deck?

Yes, you can use a patio heater on a wood deck. Since most patio heaters have feet that extend out from the bottom of the heater, you should have no trouble as long as the feet are wide enough to keep the heater off the wood entirely.


can i put a patio heater on a wood deck

Not all types of patio heaters can be placed directly on wood decks—some models, such as fire pits, require that you first use a protective mat or an additional element such as a grill cover.

However, in most cases, placing your patio heater on a wood deck is perfectly safe without any special precautions.

The main issue with placing a patio heater directly on wood is that this may cause damage to the surface over time. Avoid this by ensuring at least there is 1 inch of space between the top of your deck and where the bottom of your patio heater sits.

There are some safety factors you need to consider when using a patio heater on a deck, which include 

  • Make sure your patio heater has an automatic shut-off feature if it gets too hot, so it doesn’t damage the surface under it.
  • If you will use more than one patio heater at once, make sure they are evenly spaced apart so that they don’t create a hotspot on your deck where no one can stand because of how hot it is. 

Also, it is important to note that the type of patio heater you choose will affect how safe and effective it is. If you’re going to use your outdoor space for entertaining, consider getting a hanging or wall-mounted electric heater.

If you’re also worried about safety issues or the heat source causing damage to your deck, you may consider choosing an electric-powered model instead.

This way, there will be no cords or fuel sources that could cause accidents or damage. Additionally, many electric patio heaters have an auto-tip-off safety feature, which shuts down the heater when tipped over.

However, if you want to use a propane patio heater on your deck, ensure there is no flammable material underneath or near the heater. When choosing where to place it, consider where you will be sitting most often and try to put it in an area that faces away from wind and rain so that heat does not get blown away from your seating area.

can i put a patio heater on a wood deck

What to consider when using a patio heater on a deck

Get the right heater.

If you spend a lot of time outside, you may want to consider using a patio heater on your deck. This will allow you to enjoy the outdoors even when it’s cold.

Many different types of patio heaters are available, so it’s important to do some research before purchasing. You’ll want to ensure you get one that is safe, easy to use, and works well in your particular situation.

There are a few factors to consider.

  • First, you want to ensure the heater is safe for use in an outdoor setting.
  • You also want to make sure that it won’t be too hot for anyone who might be using it.
  • Finally, you want to ensure that the heater will work with your deck and its surrounding environment.

You’ll need to consider what type of deck you have and whether or not it’s made of wood or synthetic. If your deck is made of wood, you will want to ensure your ideal heater does not cause your wooden floor to dry, warp or crack due to the heat from the heater.


When considering a patio heater for your deck, it’s important to consider the clearance of the area where you want to place the heater.

The clearance is how much space, in inches or feet, the patio heater needs from any surrounding objects. If you don’t have enough space for your patio heater, it will be unsafe to use as it can cause fire burns and fire hazards.

Your patio heater needs at least 3 feet of clearance around them to prevent charring and fire hazards.


The surface of your deck is an important consideration when using a patio heater. First, ensure the area you will be placing your heater is leveled to prevent it from falling easily. Although many patio heaters come with an anti-tilt shut-off feature to ensure they are safe for outdoor use.

Is your deck covered with a roof?

If your deck is covered with a roof, a propane patio heater may not be the best choice for you. A patio heater will produce a lot of heat and carbon and can be dangerous when used in an enclosed area.

The heat given off by these devices can cause fires if left unattended, and it also increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a roofed deck, consider using an electric heater instead. These devices are safer than propane patio heaters and still produce enough heat to make your outdoor space comfortable.

Heating Capacity

A patio heater can be a great way to add some extra warmth and ambiance to your outdoor spaces. But before investing, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right heater for your needs.

Heaters are rated by BTUs (British Thermal Units), which measure how much heat they produce in an hour. Most outdoor space heaters range from 5,000 BTUs up to 40,000 BTUs and above. To figure out what size heater you need, consider the area you plan on heating. For example:

If you have a large open deck space with no obstructions (such as furniture or plants), consider getting a 15,000-20,000 BTU heater. This is enough heat output to keep the entire area warm without constantly adjusting the unit’s settings or moving it around while entertaining guests or enjoying dinner parties with friends and family members.

If you have a smaller deck space with obstructions like chairs or tables, consider buying a 10-12000 BTU model instead because it won’t take long for those obstructions, such as chairs or tables, to get hot.

What type of heater can I use on my deck? 

There are several types of heaters you can use on the deck.

  • Electric heater

These use electricity to generate heat, so they’re great for smaller spaces where you don’t need too much heat or with no adequate ventilation.

They can be mounted on the wall or ceiling of your deck, so no digging is required. Electric heaters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They have a low fire risk and do not require much maintenance.

Electric heaters are great for decks because they require no special installation. All you need to do is plug them into an outlet and let them get to work. You can find them in various styles and sizes, so finding one that fits your needs shouldn’t be too difficult.

  • Propane heater

These heaters generally burn propane and can be portable or installed into the deck. Many people use these because they are easy to use and provide even heat across the entire area they’re heating.

They also allow you to easily adjust the temperature, which is important to ensure everyone feels comfortable in their own space.

Propane heaters are also great options for decks because they can be installed directly onto the decking, and their portable options too. However, they are more expensive than electric heaters, so it’s important to consider all factors before making your choice.

  • Wood stoves

These stoves are typically used in colder climates, where temperatures drop below freezing during winter. They burn wood pellets instead of propane or natural gas, making them an eco-friendly choice for those who live in rural areas with access to forests full of trees (and wildlife!).

  • Inbuilt Heater

If you want something more permanent for your deck, consider installing radiant heat panels underneath it! This method uses infrared rays from an electric source that emanates warmth through the flooring material underneath them instead of fans like other types of furnaces do; this makes them much quieter. 

 What Patio Heater Is The Best For My Deck?

If you’re looking to add warmth and ambiance to your deck, you should consider a few things when buying a patio heater. The first is the size of your deck. If it’s large enough to accommodate an outdoor heater and seating area, you’ll want a larger patio heater that can put out enough heat to cover the entire area.

Many smaller electric patio heaters will do the trick if your deck is smaller.

Other considerations include whether or not you need portability with your patio heater and whether or not it needs to be plugged into an outlet. We’ve compiled a list of our top choices for the best patio heaters available today.

Each of these products has been carefully chosen for its ability to provide safe and efficient heat in any outdoor space. The best part? They all come with warranties, so you can feel confident when shopping.  Let’s dive in!

Amazon Basics Outdoor Propane Patio Heater 

Increase the comfort and relaxation of outdoor activities with the AmazonBasics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Gas Patio Heater. This backyard heater burns clean, odorless liquid propane fuel to produce up to 46,000 BTUs of heat. 

best patio heater for deck

The robust frame is built from steel and powder-coated for strength and durability, and its stainless-steel safety ring protects users from accidental contact with hot surfaces. This outdoor patio heater comes with wheels for easy mobility and convenience and a push-button ignition for convenient operation.

Briza Infrared Patio Heater

The Briza infrared patio heater is a great option if you want something stylish and well-made. It has an easy-to-use remote control to adjust the temperature without getting up from your seat.

Also, it features three levels of heat, thus allowing you to choose the one that is suitable for you. It has an adaptable stand that allows you to use this heater indoors or outdoors without worrying about damaging anything around it (such as wood floors).

SereneLife Infrared Outdoor Electric Space Heater

This SereneLife Infrared Outdoor Electric Space Heater is your solution if you have a cold floor or area. It is a 1500-watt heater that provides comfort and warmth to large areas such as patios, porches, and decks.

can i put a patio heater on a wood deck

This infrared heater is lightweight and easy to carry around, providing extra warmth when you need it most, making it a great vertical heater for porches and patios. It comes with a durable and all-weather aluminum alloy frame and stainless steel base cover to ensure it stands the test of time.

Muskoka Lifestyle Commercial Ultra Quartz Infrared heater

Muskoka Lifestyle Commercial Ultra Quartz infrared heater is designed for indoor, outdoor, and other large areas.

heater for deck

The infrared heating elements produce radiant heat to warm you from the top down and ensure that the air around you is heated without causing an uncomfortable feeling on your skin from convection currents.

Infrared rays are invisible and feel less hot on the surface of your skin. This heater comes with three settings; high, medium, and low, allowing you to choose one that is comfortable for you. 

Do I Need More Than One Patio Heater for my deck?

Your deck may need more than one patio heater if you have a large area to keep the entire space warm. If you have a smaller area, you may need just one heater.

However, suppose you live in an area with snowfall. In that case, it’s best to have more than one patio heater, especially if you use an electric heater because snow can make it difficult for the heaters to stay on for long periods.

If you are using the patio heater for a party or other outdoor event, it would be best if you had more than one heater so that guests don’t have to stand around waiting for their turn to be warmed up by the sun.

The number of heaters you need is determined by how wide your space is. When choosing a heater for your space, It is important to know what type to choose by how efficient these heaters are. 

Placing a patio heater on a wood deck FAQs

Is It Safe to Put a Patio Heater on a Wooden Deck?

It is safe to put a patio heater on a wooden deck. Since it is made from fire-resistant materials and designed for outdoor use, your wood decks are less likely to catch ablaze. But make sure you do not leave any flammable objects such as rugs or furniture too close to the patio heater, as these can also ignite and cause a fire.

However, there are some precautions you should take to ensure the safety of your deck and the people who use it.

Consider whether you have enough space for a patio heater. If not, you may consider moving it to another area where it can be placed safely.

Also, if you are using an electric heater, ensure that the place where you will place your patio heater is close enough to an outlet that can support its need for power. If not, consider installing one near your deck so you can plug in without running an extension cord from inside your home or garage.

Do I Need Permission to Install a Patio Heater?

The answer is no; you don’t need permission to install a patio heater.

However, you should always check with your landlord or property owner before installing one. Suppose they have any restrictions or regulations regarding the installation of patio heaters on their property. In that case, they’ll let you know—and they may even be able to help guide your decision-making process.

Also, you may want to consult the local building code to see if you need permission from the city or state before installing it.

If you have a condo, the answer may differ depending on whether the condo association has an official policy about patio heaters.

Suppose you live in an apartment building or another type of multi-unit housing with no landlord, and each person owns their unit. In that case, you do not need permission from anyone else to install a patio heater as long as it is safe and compliant with local codes.

How Far Away from my Patio Heater Should I Sit?

While sitting on your patio, you may have noticed that the heat from a nearby heater can be intense. You probably have a few questions. Is it safe to sit close to the heater? How far away should I sit? Where should I place myself, so I don’t get burned by the heat?

Keeping a safe distance of at least 3 feet from the patio heater when you are sitting near it is important. The heat of the fire can cause severe burns.

Well, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to safety and comfort when it comes to using patio heaters. First, you should never sit directly in front of the heater due to its intense heat output. Instead, try sitting at least 3 feet away from the unit. This will ensure that your face isn’t too close to the flame and also allow for better airflow around your body, so you don’t get overheated.

What Kind of Surface Should I Choose for Underneath the Patio Heater?

Many people have asked, “What kind of surface should I choose for under the patio heaters?” As well as “Do I need to use a concrete pad for patios?” The answer is that you can use any suitable surface for the patio heaters—for example, deck, patio flooring, or even concrete. But using a gravel surface is not recommended because your patio heater may not sit well on it.

Here are some options:

  • Cement
  • Asphalt
  • Brick pavers
  • Wood decking or wood decking tiles
  • Tiles


Patio heaters are designed for this specific purpose and can be an economical choice for the warm months when you won’t need to use them as often.

Choose a heater that will adequately cover the area you want to be heated, keeping in mind that it’s better to have more floor space covered than a heater with a smaller base. While these heaters are designed for outdoor use, they can be used safely on wood decks if they’re constructed from pressure-treated lumber, practically all wood decks.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that heating your patio will damage the wood. This is a common misconception that does not hold.