It’s the garden kit that lets you come out of hibernation early and extends long summer evenings. Here’s why it’s hot
Houzz UK Contributor. I’m a freelance writer and sub-editor with more than 15 years’… More
There are lots of different types of fire features for the garden, ranging from small, bowl-sized pits and tall, elegant columns to full-of-character chimineas and even grand outdoor fireplaces with proper brick surrounds. But the one that seems to be having its moment in the spotlight is the fabulous fire pit table.
As the name implies, a fire pit table can provide you with a place for a sophisticated, sit-down alfresco dinner or, if you opt for a bar- or coffee-table-height model, you’ll have the perfect spot for year-round sundowners and snacks. Want one? Check out these desirable designs and helpful tips.
Get in on the act
There are so many reasons to love a fire pit table. The obvious one is that it gives you a table (whether that’s a coffee, dining, bar or side table) and provides the heat needed to make your outdoor area an inviting space throughout the seasons.
The not-so-obvious reason is that the majority are powered by gas, though wood-burners are also widely available. Why is this good? Well, gas is a cleaner fuel that won’t produce smoke or ash. Also, at the push of a button (or flick of a lighter), you’ll have stunning flames you won’t have to continually stoke with logs.
Choose your fuel
There are two different options for gas – natural (mains) and propane. Bottled propane gas is more expensive than mains gas and bottles can run out in the middle of your party, but propane is less fuss to fit (mains will require professional fitting) and will allow you to have a portable model. Most gas fire pit tables have an adjustable flame that allows you to control the flame height and therefore the temperature.
An alternative to gas is bioethanol, which is a clean-burning and efficient fuel that emits no smoke or ash. You just fill a chamber with the liquid and it’s good to go. Numerous designs on the market are suitable for outdoor use and can be fitted into a custom-built surround or slotted into a tabletop.
The polished granite fire pit table in this image is gas-powered. The flames are surrounded by a discreet glass screen – something to consider if extra safety is a priority. The top has LED downlighters fitted underneath, creating a glowing halo that makes the table the centre of attention.
Make space for dinner
Looking for something that will accommodate a crowd? This custom-made fire pit table is gas-powered and built from concrete and granite, with a top that allows plenty of room for a proper sit-down dinner.
Before you decide on a location for your table, you’ll need to think about fire safety. For instance, you don’t want to position it under low-hanging branches. Some gas-powered models can be used on a patio with a roof, but you’ll need to check with the manufacturer first. Also look into local laws to find out what the rules regarding fire placement are in your area.
It goes without saying that you should always use your common sense. For instance, if you’re going for a coffee-table-height design, don’t place it in a high-traffic area where someone could trip over it. Finally, your fire pit table will have been designed to work with a specific type of fuel, so don’t substitute with a different kind; always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for using your table.
Go back to nature
Just look at how going for a bespoke design in stone can make this modern piece of garden kit feel at one with nature.
Fire pit tables come in an array of materials. When deciding on a model, whether it’s off-the-shelf or bespoke, think about durability. For example, if you’re after a contemporary look, you could opt for stainless steel or a powder-coated steel, which won’t rust. For a more rustic look, try decorative cast iron or a polyresin design that replicates the look of stone but is low-maintenance (real stone is porous and holds onto dirt).
Round it up
OK, this garden definitely isn’t on the small side, but if you have a compact outdoor area and want to maximise space, you could go for a circular fire pit table like this stunner, which can slot neatly into a corner. And did you notice this one’s on wheels, so it can be moved around?
Raise the bar
This circular fire pit table is at bar height, which is perfect for having a few drinks with friends. The key here is comfy bar stools, so you can perch happily for the duration.
Slot into a small space
This smart model proves even a compact courtyard can have an amazing entertaining area complete with fire pit table. This bespoke design offers the convenience of gas, but with a stone-built surround that blends beautifully with its Yorkshire countryside setting.
Embrace the extravagant
It’s good to finish on a high note, so the final fire pit table is about all-out glamour. This look-at-me bespoke design with natural gas fire has a sleek, brushed-aluminium top and a powder-coated bronze aluminium base. With something like this, you’d want to eat alfresco every night.
What would your dream fire pit table look like? Is it one of the designs featured here? Let us know in the Comments section.