The demand for fire tables has escalated greatly in recent years due to their function as a patio centerpiece that creates both ambiance and warmth. They are quickly becoming the next “must have” for anyone with a backyard patio. Yet, there are many different price points, styles, and options. How do you choose? Here are our top 8 things you should consider.
- Location. With any fire feature you will want to start by considering the location. Is it a straight-lined patio or free-flowing? How much space do you have? Will you move the table? If it is something that will move around, you may also want to consider a lighter material. A table too large for your space may result in guests falling off the patio while a table too small will leave an awkward amount of open space. You should also consider how many people will typically be sitting around the table. Are you sitting on one side overlooking your backyard or are you looking to wrap people around a circular table?
- Functionality. How are you going to use the table? Most fire tables will include or have an optional burner cover. Do you plan to dine on the table or use it to play cards? If you are looking to dine, you could even get a dining table with a fire feature. If you are looking to have people stand around and chat, you may want to consider a higher fire table that people could comfortably place drinks on or lean up against. If you are looking for a cozy atmosphere, you may instead want to consider a fireplace. A fireplace can cozy up a patio while also providing more height and possible protection from wind.
- Material and Style. Fire tables come in a huge variety of materials such as polyethylene, aluminum, granite, stone, and wicker. Consider the durability of the material, whether or not it will fade, and the atmosphere you are striving to create. For example, a wicker table will often create a more tropical feel while a sleek glass or granite top will appear much more modern. When buying you should also pay attention to little details such as what type of stainless steel is used for the burner.
- Fuel Source. The most common fuel sources are wood, propane, and natural gas. While the natural crackle and smell of wood is awesome, it is also messier. Natural gas removes the burden of replacing a propane tank, but it requires a gas line and removes mobility. Propane is the most popular fuel providing mobility and also a clean burn.
- BTU Output. British Thermal Output refers to the heat that the flame will provide. Higher BTU means more heat. Many tables allow for flame (and thus temperature) adjustment. While varying levels of adjustability exist, having the ability to create ambiance without too much heat on a warmer night or large flames on a cool night is worth the cost of an upper-end fire table.
- “Fire Media.” Fire media refers to what is inside the burner. Most fire tables come with clear tempered glass stones, but you could also add lava rock, gas logs, and different colored gems or crushed glass. Utilizing different fire media can create a more unique feel and provide another opportunity to tie the fire table into your existing landscaping.
- Safety and Durability. While safety restrictions are increasing, it is a good idea to consider the safety standards of the tables that interest you. Look for tables that are safety tested and listed by UL LLC. This will ensure the table has safety features such as shutting off when the flame is put out by extreme wind. Many tables made overseas are less likely to follow these safety precautions. Another element of safety is durability. Look for companies that offer a warranty and stand behind their products.
- Price. Whenever you make a purchase, you should consider the price and have an idea of your budget. While a fire table can be a large investment, spending a little bit more up front will provide much greater quality, longevity, and overall satisfaction. Budget wisely, but make sure you know what you are buying when you make an investment!
Whether you know exactly what style you want or you need to explore the options, our knowledgeable staff is here to help you bring home the perfect fire feature for your patio. Stop in to our showroom, take a look at our website (https://www.vandeheys.com/services/retail/fire-tables/) or give us a call to take the next step in perfecting your backyard haven.