Fire Table vs Fire Pit: 4 Factors to Consider When You Buy

fire table vs fire pit

Fire Table vs Fire Pit: 4 Factors to Consider When You Buy

Sitting around a flickering fire on a cool night is one of life’s simple pleasures. You might be toasting marshmallows with the kids. Or, you might be chatting over a bottle of wine with friends. Fire features like fire pits and fire tables make your backyard cozier.

But how do you decide whether a classic fire pit or a sleek fire table is better for your home and lifestyle? At first, these backyard fire features may seem similar. But, they have key differences in fuel type, heat output, placement, and looks.

In this handy guide, we’ll compare fire pits vs. fire tables. You can weigh the pros and cons and find your perfect backyard fire feature. We’ll look at factors like:

  • Fuel source and heating ability
  • Structure, shape and placement flexibility
  • Environmental impact
  • Costs over time
  • Ambiance and visual appeal

By the end, you’ll know if a fire pit or fire table is the best backyard upgrade. They bring warmth, beauty, and joy to your outdoor space. So cozy up…and let’s get started!

1. Fuel Source and Heating Functionality

When choosing between a fire pit or fire table, a key consideration is which fuel works best for your needs. Also, consider what heat output you’d like.

Fire pits burn wood. So, they need more effort to gather logs and to clean up. However, wood-burning fire pits put out intense heat. It warms you to your bones on a chilly night. You can also cook over the open flames, perfect for weenie roasts or backyard barbecues. The downside is dealing with smoke, sparks and ash.

In contrast, fire tables most often run on gas (propane or natural gas). Simply flip a switch or turn a dial to safely and cleanly light the flames. Gas fire tables don’t get nearly as hot as wood-burning fire pits, but they emit a lower, warmer glow of heat. No cooking here, but easy ambiance with no smokey smell or ash to sweep up later.

2. Structure, Shape and Placement

When choosing between a fire pit and fire table for your backyard, also think about the available structures and shapes.

Fire pits are typically round in shape and designed to be built into or placed directly on the ground. This can allow for more flexibility in placement. However, realize that a permanent fire pit will be more difficult to move or remove later on. Portable fire pits offer the versatility to reposition around your patio or yard.

Fire tables have a table-top structure. They stand on legs, unlike fire pits. Fire tables come in many shapes. These include rectangles, squares, or ovals. They match your outdoor décor. Their mobility means it’s easy to rearrange your patio on a whim. But permanent infrastructure, such as gas lines, may need to be added nearby during set-up. This is if the event is not relying on propane tanks.

3. Environmental Factors to Consider

When choosing an outdoor fire feature, it’s also important to look at its effect on the environment. At first glance, gas fire tables may seem more eco-friendly than wood fire pits. But it’s not quite so simple.

Fire pits use firewood. They do produce smoke and carbon emissions. These can harm air quality, especially in cities. However, keeping a supply of firewood supports local economies. It often uses wood waste. Managed timber harvesting helps maintain healthy forests through selective thinning.

In contrast, fire tables burn cleanly. They are powered by propane or natural gas and make no smoke, sparks, or ash. But, these fuels aren’t renewable. Their extraction and transport create pollution. There are some renewable gas options, like biofuel, but availability is limited.

Gas fire tables likely have less environmental impact. They likely have less impact than wood-burning fire pits. But, researching can even the score. Look into sourcing sustainable firewood or renewable gas.

4. Budget and Operating Costs Over Time

When choosing between a fire pit or fire table to improve your backyard, consider more than just the upfront cost. The ongoing operating expenses over months and years should be part of the equation too.

In general, gas-fueled fire tables often cost more upfront than wood-burning fire pits. You can find simple DIY fire pit kits for under $100 or splurge on a fancier manufactured gas fire table for $2,000 or more. But cheaper initial cost doesn’t always mean better value long-term.

Fire pits require a consistent supply of firewood, which can get costly over time. Gas for a fire table costs money too, but convenience may be worth the expense. Either way, you’ll need to do maintenance and cleaning. It will be needed down the road, when dealing with ash, debris, spider webs, or hardware issues.

When evaluating a budget, calculate 5-year and 10-year cost projections for each option. Don’t just look at the initial price. Get quotes on fuel supply. Factor in potential maintenance costs. This way, you will understand the total investment over the years.

Fire Table vs Fire Pit

Deciding between a fire pit and fire table to complete your backyard retreat involves many factors. Think about your priorities. They include fuel type, heat output, where it goes, impact, looks, and budget.

If you want bold, wood-fueled flames for cooking and warmth, the hands-on time for a fire pit may be worth it. Fire tables have cleaner, more convenient gas features. They also have better mobility and less maintenance. If you want those features, a fire table could be your match.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other if your outdoor space and budget allow! You can get a wood-burning fire pit for gatherings. Pair it with a gas fire table for quick ambiance.

Just be sure to consider all the trade-offs. Decide if a classic fire pit or modern fire table fits your lifestyle better. Use this comprehensive comparison as your guide. It can help you choose the perfect backyard fire feature to meet your needs.

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