With the right fire pit, you can stay comfortable in the fresh outdoor air well into the night. Before you start gathering with loved ones and laughing into the wee hours, you’ll want to choose the right design for your space. We’re excited to help you boost your backyard ambience with a perfectly pleasant pit.
Fuel Type of Fire Pits
Fire pits come in a wide range of styles, materials, and sizes, whether you want to install yours on the patio or on the outdoor dining table.
Wood Fire Pits
The rustic charm of a roaring campfire in your own backyard sounds appealing, right? That’s exactly what you get with wood fire pits, which are usually the least expensive option in this category and come in many different shapes and styles. They also tend to be lightweight, meaning you can move them where warmth is most needed.
Gas Fire Pits
Easy to ignite and mostly mess-free, gas fire pits are the more convenient option by far. Natural gas fire pits and propane fire pits are quite similar, but they differ in terms of mobility — propane models are portable when attached to standard, 20-pound tanks, whereas their natural gas brethren are hooked up to gas lines and fueled by utility companies.
Popular Type of Fire Pits
A fire pit table is similar to an outdoor coffee table, but it has a campfire in the middle. The tables are elevated on legs, and, like regular tables, these come in a vast array of styles. You can place drinks and snacks down on the flat surface surrounding the pit — just remember not to put them too close. Tables are often larger than other fire pit styles. They’re not as easy to move, but they’re perfect for kicking up your feet.
Fire bowls, like tables, can come in a huge range of sizes. Instead of having a table surface surrounding the pit, this style has a large container that holds the logs (for wood-burning fire pits) or glass beads (for gas-powered fire pits). It can be elevated on legs to help heat dissipate, or it can sit directly on the ground. Bowls can be highly portable and easy to clean, depending on the size you choose.
If you love the look of a fire pit but want something that feels more like a traditional campfire, consider a fire ring. Lightweight and easy to move, these round pits are typically made of metal and are shorter in height than tables, resting directly on the ground.
Create a dramatic, elegant look with a fire column. These designs are taller and generally thinner than tables, and they often run on gas. They may have fire bowls sitting atop them, but some styles have recessed compartments that make the fire look as though it’s coming directly from the top of the column — almost like a grand torch.
Pagodas are freestanding fire pits, inspired by Asian architecture, that keep the fire enclosed. Typically square in shape, pagodas have a curved roof and chimney to let the smoke escape from the top. The fire is enclosed by mesh screens on all sides, helping to keep sparks contained. With a square shape and see-through screens, the fire can be enjoyed on all sides.
Material of Fire Pits
Fire pits are available in various materials, and the material you choose will depend on where and how often you will use it. From steel to stone, there is a fire material that will fit your needs.
Steel: Steel fire pits often use a corrosion-resistant metal to coat the fire pit, making for an extra-durable fire pit when handling the elements. The steel material makes the fire pit lightweight, making it easy to pick up and move.
Cast Iron: For a classic but rustic choice, opt for a cast-iron fire pit. It is sturdy and heavy, giving you peace of mind knowing that it won’t be easily knocked over. Cast iron is an excellent heat conductor and is efficient at spreading heat.
Aluminum: Aluminum is a popular option for fire pits. It is affordable, lightweight, and durable. It requires little maintenance and is heat-conductive.
Stone: For masonry detailing, opt for a stone fire pit. Stone fire pits are a great way to tie in materials that are used in your outdoor home decor (like brick or stone detailing). While it isn’t susceptible to rust, the stones can crack if exposed to extreme changes in temperatures.
Stainless Steel: A contemporary (sometimes industrial) look, stainless-steel fire pits are durable, lightweight, and great for handling the outdoor elements.
Copper: Copper offers a warm, shiny look to a fire pit, creating a touch of warmth to your backyard or patio. As it sits outside, it can develop a green-like patina. If you want to keep the original copper color, you’ll need to clean and maintain your fire pit frequently.
Concrete: Whether made from poured concrete or concrete blocks, this heavy material offers durability and strength while being a low-maintenance option. Concrete is heavy, so be sure to place it in an area you want it for the foreseeable future.
Common Fire Pit Sizes
36″ or Less – These are typically referred to as fire “bowls” or fire “urns”. The purpose of these smaller fire features is more for decorative use, such as accent fire bowls around a pool.
36″ – 45″ – This is a very popular size that fits on most patios. Large enough for 6-8 people to enjoy. Think about adding a nice deep seating sectional or club chairs to make this your nightly go to spot!
45″ – 60″ – If you have a large backyard or patio, consider a larger fire pit in this size range. Guaranteed smiles and fun, you can easily have between 8-12 people around a fire pit of this size.
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