Fire Pit Ideas, Inspiration, and Designs to Get You Ready for Spring
Yes, winter is still here and going strong, but let’s stay positive and think happy thoughts. What better way to think of warmth than to imagine spending time outside in the summer next to a cozy, luxurious fire table or fire pit?
To help you get geared up for the warm weather and inspire you for the ultimate backyard upgrade, here are the latest fire pit and fire table trends to watch in 2019.
Fire Pits and Fire Tables – What’s the Difference?
Once upon a time, fire pits were typically installed permanently in a backyard, usually with stacked stones. While these are still common, you’re just as likely to see fire pits that are a bit more portable, using a heat-resistant metal pan or drum to hold wood logs.
Fire tables are a much more recent innovation, providing all the benefits of a fire pit with a bit more décor and style, and making use of propane or natural gas as a fuel source. Fire tables are typically much more portable and boast a larger surface area than fire pits. And, as the name suggests, they offer surface to rest food and drink on.
Both fire tables and fire pits range in height, size, and style. Fire tables are also available in various heights, such as coffee table, dining table, and bar heights.
In-ground fire pits are installed below, you guessed it, ground, patio, or deck level. Above-ground fire pits are installed on the ground and can be moved much more easily compared to their in-ground counterparts.
Why Fire Pits and Tables are Great for Backyard Landscapes
Focal Point & Design
You can design your backyard landscape around your fire pit, making it the centrepiece of your backyard.
Warm for Crisp Summer Evenings
Whether sitting around a fire table or fire pit, you can enjoy cool evenings staying warm by the fire. Fire tables and pits generate heat on cool nights and extend the time spent outdoors into the colder months.
Great for Entertaining
The flames of fire pits set the mood and light up the yard with a warm glow, making it easier and more enjoyable to host guests outside at night.
Comfortable Gathering Space for All
People are drawn to the warm glow of fire pits. So along with the warmth and lighting, you can make your fire pit a comfortable place to be by encouraging guests to take a seat around the fire with comfortable seating.
Different Styles of Fire Pits
The modern look for fire pits and fire tables combines raw materials, clean lines, and soft features. This trending style often uses neutral tones, exposed metal, and raw wood.
The Industrial design is minimalist, using repetition and as few materials as possible. Industrial-style fire pits typically feature square or rectangular shapes, clean edges, and refined lines. Materials used include concrete, chrome metal, and wood, such as walnut or white oak.
The Rustic style is simple, yet sophisticated and warm, using wood as the most prominent design element—faux, painted, raw, or distressed wood.
Exciting Materials Use in Fire Pits and Fire Tables
- Natural stone
- Flat stone
- Reflective black tile
- Glass surrounds
- Fire glass—clear or coloured
- Riverbed stones
Types of Fuel Used
Wood is the traditional fuel for fires and is excellent for fire pits in the country. But depending on where you live, you may not be able to use a wood-burning fire pit in your backyard or you may need to obtain a permit before installing one.
For example, if you live in the city limits, you will have stricter burn laws than if you live outside the city limits. Be sure to check local burn laws on your municipality’s website before choosing a fire pit for your backyard.
Propane, Ethanol, and Bioethanol
For a clean burn, ethanol and bioethanol are ideal for fuelling fire pits and fire tables. Fire tables are typically gas-fueled, making them easier to light than wood-burning fire pits. Propane is one of the most common types of fuel for fire tables, but it’s also worth it to check out these other clean-burning alternatives.
Fire gels usually use isopropyl alcohol or methanol for an easy-to-light flame. Fire pits and tables that use gel fuel are ideal for smaller areas, such as balconies, small backyards, gardens, and courtyards. Again, make sure your municipal bylaws permit flames on these structures before taking any action.
Fake logs are fuelled by gas, ethanol, or fire gel, and can be used in place of firewood in wood-burning fire pits and smaller locations.
For both safety and aesthetics, you will need to find an ideal location for your backyard fire pit or table. This location will also determine the type, design, and fuel source to use.
For small backyards, gardens, and patios, especially in the city, use smaller fire pits and fire tables fuelled by ethanol, gel, or fake logs. Consider using a portable fire pit, fire bowl, tabletop, or chiminea.
If you plan to use a fire pit on your balcony, be sure to check with your building regulations first. Many apartment buildings have fire bans (including BBQ bans) in place on their balconies.
Your fire pit options are almost endless in an open backyard—depending on where you live. You can install a permanent fire pit, or you can use larger gas fire pits or tables on your patio and lawn.
Safety and Use
No matter the location you choose for your new fire pit, be sure to keep it away from flammable materials, such as trees, foliage, and structures like your shed, pergola, house, and wood deck. Keep in mind the amount and direction of the wind in your backyard. You don’t want to place your fire pit in a location that will have smoke blowing into your neighbour’s home or backyard.
The ideal surface for a fire pit or table is flat and solid. Gravel and paved areas work well, too.
A fire pit or table should be conveniently located so it is not in the way of foot traffic in your backyard. There should also be enough space to move around the fire pit easily and safely too.
If you opt for a gas fire pit and you want to hook it up to your home’s gas line, you will need to have a professional do this installation for you.
Best Paired with Aluminum-Framed Furniture
Due to the heat from fire pits, only use patio furniture that is safe around fires, such as aluminum-framed furniture. Aluminum disperses heat so your chairs will remain cool to the touch and won’t risk melting around your fire pit.
Teak patio furniture is also safe to use around fire pits because teak is heat-resistant.
To browse the latest styles of fire tables and fire pits, visit your local patio experts. They can help you choose the best type of fire pit for your backyard and patio and get you ready for the warm weather that will be here soon enough.