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A Comprehensive Buying Guide to Fire Pits

by N. Miller November 21, 2021 15 min read

A Comprehensive Buying Guide to Fire Pits

Gathering with companions around with fire and staring up at the sky has a very primitive but calm quality. We've gone a long way from the primitive stone hearths that early man created for warmth and company (and, most likely, cooking up some gigantic steaks), so much so that fire pits now have their product category. While early people relied on fire for survival, current versions serve various functions depending on their design. They may be peacefully warm and inviting meeting spots, beautiful additions to a garden, or the actual center focus of an outdoor area. Fire bowls stand out in any garden, and fire pit tables provide appealing eating and leisure spaces.


As you can see, there are few constraints on the design and function of fire pits, making them difficult to comprehend. We've seen personally how many different shapes, sizes, and styles are available. Our specialists have put this guide together to cover everything you need to know when buying an outdoor fire pit. Are you ready to ignite the flames of curiosity?

Fire Pit Table for a Backyard

Types of Fire Pit Fuels

Cave dwellers used to burn wood in their fire pits, and we now have a few more possibilities. Gas has surpassed wood as the main fuel source, with a few new options popping up here and there. Wood-burning versions let you replicate family camping trips in your garden, but gas models are more adjustable. 

Gas models must always be filled with media, and the color, kind, size, and texture of the fire pit filler are all customizable. Though fire glass is the most commonly used media, your filler can be combined with and even augmented with fire pit décor to provide a decorative touch. There are additional distinctions between gas and wood fire pits, but we need to go through each fuel type in greater depth.

  • Wood fire pits- A blazing bonfire in your backyard sounds enticing. That is precisely what you will get with wood fire pits, which are generally the most economical way in this category and available in various sizes and patterns. They are extremely lightweight, allowing you to relocate them to where the greatest warmth is required. Perhaps most significantly, wood-burning fire pits can create larger and hotter flames than gas equivalents (winter bonfires, anyone?) and are safe to use when cooking with hardwood. Aside from roasted marshmallows and caveman steaks, you'll have to build your fire from the start and clean up ash after each usage. Never install a wood fire pit beneath a structure, but never use them on flammable surfaces such as wooden decking.
  • Natural Gas fire pits-Gas fire pits are the most handy alternative, as they are easy to start and generally mess-free. Natural gas fire pits and propane fire pits are identical. Still, they differ in mobility – propane models are portable when coupled to ordinary, 20-pound tanks, but natural gas ones are connected to gas lines and fuelled by utility companies. It's worth noting that a few propane units may be linked to large tanks on your home, but they forfeit movement and must be examined and installed by a qualified plumber. However, natural gas versions need expert installation, even if you take full advantage of how simple it is to construct one using a DIY fire pit kit. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that gas fire pits should never be used for cooking.
  • Liquid Propane-If you are looking for a brighter flame that can be seen even during daylight with the sun shining, LP is your best option. There is no setup or installation costs when using LP because there is no need to hire a certified gas installer, which is necessary when using natural gas for your gas fire pit.
  • Bioethanol-Bioethanol is a sustainable, clean-burning fuel that produces no smoke, ash, or embers. It's a pourable liquid, so you can keep refilling the burner pan to keep the fire running for as long as you need. It is a good alternative for adding ambiance, but it does not create much warmth.
  • Charcoal- A charcoal fire pit is ideal if you want to cook meals on your fire pit. The charcoal will impart a similar texture and flavor to your meal, plus the charcoal creates a regulated, even heat with a smaller flame.

Fire Pit Styles

Fire pits

The basic fire pit is a timeless feature of any house that may be found in various forms and sizes. They may be as simple as a homemade fire pit in the corner of your yard or as elaborate as a full stone fireplace. The nicest thing about making your own is that you can create it whatever shape or size you desire. If you have a wide location with plenty of room and want to entertain a larger number of people, you may build a larger fire pit! It's simple to put some patio furniture around the fire pit to create a personalized seating area. On the other hand, if you have a smaller area, you may tone down your fire pit and turn it into an intimate hangout for a few close pals.


Fire Pit

When it comes to the conventional fire pit, there are a plethora of material possibilities. The pricing may vary depending on the material you use. Of course, the higher-end material will be more costly. Brick, stone, concrete, cast iron, and stainless steel are the most common materials we see. These metals withstand high temperatures and are also corrosion resistant! The most popular fuel source for a conventional fire pit is wood, although additional alternatives include propane, natural gas, and charcoal. Another option is to go with a full-fledged electric fire pit! With that choice, you sacrifice some of the allure of a natural fire.


Fire bowls

Fire BowlsWhen it comes to the conventional fire pit, there are a plethora of material possibilities. The pricing may vary depending on the material you use. Of course, the higher-end material will be more costly. The most common materials we see are stone, brick, concrete, stainless steel, copper, and cast iron. These metals withstand high temperatures and are also corrosion resistant! The most popular fuel source for a conventional fire pit is wood, although additional alternatives include propane, natural gas, and charcoal. Another option is to go with a full-fledged electric fire pit! With that choice, you sacrifice some of the allure of a natural fire.

 

Fire tables

Fire TableThe fire table is even better than dual function in that it can also serve as a fantastic focal point for your backyard or patio! Fire tables combine form and function into one. Not only does the fire give warmth (obviously), but the table also serves as a nice spot to put your feet up or rest your beverages. There are various types to select from, so you're sure to find a table that complements your patio decor.

Gas or propane is nearly often used to power fire tables. A wood-burning fire table is both dangerous and difficult to manage. It may detract from the pleasant aspect of sitting around a fire. The fire table, like the fire bowl and column, is portable and reasonably easy to move. If you have a limited patio space, the fire table is ideal because it is portable and easy to store. You should seek dual-function patio furniture, as we discussed in a recent blog article about conserving space. 

Fire & Water Bowls 

Fire and Water bowlOpposite forces attract. You've undoubtedly heard this phrase before concerning the science of human interaction. However, the same may be said about how the parts of a landscape combine.

Fire and water bowl features are excellent examples of this. Not only can fire and water landscape elements provide a visually striking focal point, but the warm ambiance of fire combined with the soothing sounds of water creates a calm setting. Fire and water bowls are one of our top selling products as it goes well with any theme of your house. 


Tiki torches

Tiki torches are a fun and entertaining way to light up the night and turn your outside area into a tropical paradise. They may be used to light up dark garden walks or for outdoor gatherings, and they also keep biting insects away, allowing you to enjoy a swat-free evening. The torches are available in various designs, ranging from classic to contemporary to eclectic, and may be used as either temporary tikis or permanent garden ornaments.

Tiki Torches

Tiki torches have many designs and shapes. Tiki torches are available in three different materials: wood, glass, and metal. Although wood tiki torches have the typical bamboo appearance and are the least expensive, they are not as durable as metal or glass equivalents. There is also the risk of fire from wood torches. Glass tiki torches have a more artistic appearance and are more resistant to damp conditions. Although less conventional in design, metal tiki torches are the safest and will last the longest in the weather. They cost more than wood torches and less than glass torches.


Fire Pit by Materials

The material you select will have a significant impact on longevity, maintenance, and total cost. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. A fire pit constructed of powder-coated steel, for example, will have a significantly shorter lifespan than one built of concrete or cast aluminum. If the weather is a common concern where you live, extremely durable materials such as stone, concrete, or GFRC are the best alternatives. Now that we've frightened the daylights out of you let's take a closer look at each type of material available. 

  • Powder-coated Steel- Steel comes in a variety of colors and textures, with a wide range of prices and qualities. Unprotected steel rusts, but powder-coated steel retains its look.
  • Stainless steel-It is more expensive than other materials, stainless steel is extremely corrosion-resistant, weather, and heat. With meticulous care, this light metal will likewise last for many years.
  • Copper- Copper is one of the greatest materials since it is long-lasting and does not rust. Although surface treatments can keep the original hue, its gleaming exterior will develop a characteristic green patina with time.
  • GFRC-Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) is the material of choice for all producers. GFRC is lightweight and sturdy, with much strength compared to a normal concrete at a fraction of the volume.
  • Corten Steel- Corten or often known as weathering steel, is an alloy created to remove the need for metal painting. After prolonged exposure to the weather, it develops a persistent, rust-like look. The protective rust coating over the metal eliminates the need for painting or expensive rust-prevention procedures. This protective layer also prevents subsequent rusting.
  • Hammered Copper-The Hammered Copper Fire Pit elevates nights around the fire. A stunning hammered solid copper fire pit serves as an exquisite focal point for outdoor gatherings.
  • Wood Grain-The Wood Grain Fire Pit is made in GFRC Concrete and stamped with a wood grain texture. It will add character and ambiance to your outdoor space. The distinctive wood texture is available in three different hues, allowing you to adapt this item to your particular taste. 

Fire Pit Shapes

360 Seamless Lip -

Fire and Water  360 Seamless lip

 

Fire and Water features have a unique opportunity to be enjoyed as a 360 seamless lip water flow while the fire is centrally lit. The 360 of water can be enjoyed from all sides. 

 

 

Round- 

Round Fire Bowl

Consider a circular fire pit if your garden design includes curves. This will look excellent with four deep seating club chairs to create the ideal four-person party pit area on your patio!

 


Square-

Square Fire Pit Table

 

A square fire pit is an excellent choice for a patio with straight or harsh lines. You may choose four deep-sitting club chairs or a love seat with two club chairs.

 

 

 

Rectangle-

Rectangle Fire Table

 

A rectangle fire pit will add length to your patio if it is narrow or lengthy. These look fantastic with a sofa or love seat, two swivel chairs, or even a sectional outdoor couch!

 

 

Pillar or Tall Vase design-

Fire Pillars

 

Fire Pillars are inspired by a tall vase designs. They are great to have a fire feature in small areas. As the name suggests they are adapt for placing on either sides to give a dueling fire pillar feature. 

Ignition - Manual & Automatic

Both ignition techniques produce a magnificent fire in a matter of seconds. Your selections will determine the optimum ignition system for you. 

  • Manual Ignition-A fire pit's match light ignition is manual. When installing this kit in your fire pit, you must open a gas valve that allows the gas to flow. Remember not to crank the gas up - this will result in a huge flame that will burn quickly and is also highly dangerous. To start the fire, use a long-stem light or a long match close to the burner. You may change the size of the flames by adjusting the gas valve. Turn off the gas valve to extinguish the flames.
  • Spark Ignitor -The manual ignition system incorporates a battery-powered electronic sparker. This ignition method requires a few more steps to ensure good ignition, but it still is simple to use. First, push the igniter button to ensure that a spark is being created and that everything is in working order. Then, make sure the control panel valve is turned off before carefully opening the gas valve. Push the igniter button and keep it down while turning on the control valve. When you see a flame, release the button and begin resting around the beautiful fire.
  • Automatic Electronic Ignition- Automatic ignition’s primary function is to spark and ignite the flames automatically. To use, turn the switch "on," and that's all there is to it. You'll enjoy the warmth and brightness of the flames in seconds. When you turn that switch on, the module beeps once to indicate that it is conducting diagnostics. The ignition then begins to spark, and the automatic valve opens. The flame will ignite after 12 seconds. When the flame sensor detects a flame, the sparking stops, and a second beep indicates that the device is operational.


Safety and Placement

Another important thing to consider when deciding where to place a fire pit is safety. 

Distance from surroundings: The majority of pits are 20 to 48 inches square or in diameter. In addition, you should keep the fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structures on the sides, such as your house and trees in your yard. Although fire pits may distribute a lot of heat, this distance helps protect the side of your house and the flowers in your garden from being too hot. Check with local or county officials and see if there are any restrictions on where you may put up your fire pit in your region.


Fire Product base: In addition, your fire pit should never be placed directly on grass or decks. To protect the ground or your deck, put it on a stone slab or base that reaches 18 inches beyond the pit's perimeter. A concrete or brick patio is an excellent location for a fire pit, and you can also buy a pit pad to place beneath it. You can place these mats almost anywhere in your yard to protect the ground beneath the fire pit.


Placement of fire product:A comfortable fire pit area put up in your covered porch or beneath a pergola may seem appealing, but it can also pose a few safety problems. It is preferable to put your fire pit in an open area. This is because floating embers can drift up from the pit and land on the rafters or the roof, which is a risk you don't want to take. If you want to put your fire pit in a covered area, a gas-powered pit is better than a wood-burning option. The flames are easy to control, and there is little danger of stray embers escaping. This also applies to trees; never position your pit beneath overhanging tree branches.


There is a fire pit design for everyone, from sleek and beautiful to sturdy and rustic. Consider the style and shape that appeals to you, and then narrow your search to the various options made from the material you prefer. When you allow your great taste to lead you, creating a peaceful sanctuary outside is simple!


Fire Media

Fire media is the tempered glass and lava rock that is used to fill your fire pit, allowing it to work securely and correctly. Fire media comes in a number of styles, including contemporary fire glass jewels and tumbling lava rock, as well as realistic-looking log sets.
Fire Glass
Fire Glass
Fire glass is a transparent, jewel-like medium composed of heat-treated tempered glass for gas fire features. This sort of media is available in various colors, styles, forms, and sizes and is designed to reflect heat rather than melt, discolor, or generate smoke. From shiny coated choices that give a hypnotic glitter and flair to broken and diamond edges that add a distinctive surface against the flames, fire glass is sure to bring a modern touch to your gas fire pit or fireplace without making the burner too congested.

Lava rocks

For gas fire pits and fireplaces, lava rock is a timeless alternative. This naturally produced mineral's porous structure facilitates improved airflow for your gas fire pit and performs an excellent job of storing heat. Though rough and gritty by nature, lava is also available tumbled, eliminating the rough, harsh edges and smooths it out if you want a polished, modern, or transitional aesthetic. Since it is an organic material, the sizes and colors will differ from batch to batch. 

Lava rocks

Unlike other fire media, which come in various colors, lava rock's brownish-black tint, sometimes a deep red complexion, is the norm as shown in the photo above. However, this may be advantageous because the dark tones hide unsightly soot markings, making it low-maintenance. However, keep in mind that because lava rock fades with time, it will need to be replenished in the future.


Fire pit media calculator

All gas fireplaces and pits can benefit from a layer of media, although the amount required varies from model to model. Using a media calculator, you can determine how much you'll need to convert your fire pit or fireplace into a spectacular centerpiece. We recommend using 1–2 inches of media to cover the burner, but don't overfill your fireplace or fire pit.


How to clean fire glass?

Fire glass is a common and trendy addition to gas fire pits. These little yet stunning pieces substitute wood logs and create a richly modern look appropriate for both indoor and outdoor living areas. These useful products are timeless and one of the most ecologically safe fire media alternatives to have for your fire feature, with stunning classic and reflecting hues, different forms, and sizes. They are resistant to high heat and will not burn when compared to other media. There is no need to be concerned about a mess because they emit no smoke or ash. However, they, like anything else, may accumulate dust. Fortunately, little minor upkeep is necessary. Check out our full cleaning guidehere


How to clean lava rocks?

You can easily clean lava rocks with water. The simplest method is to remove the lava rock from the fireplace and put them in a bucket and fill them with water, allowing them to soak for a few minutes. You may even use a small amount of mild soap. This will aid in the removal of any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in the porous structures of the lava rock.


Fire Pit Cleaning And Maintenance

Fire pits are a fantastic addition to any patio—they provide that welcome touch of warmth on cold evenings, and they make the ideal meeting area for laughing and remembering memories. No one will notice soot, dirt, or rust in the comfort of the evening fire. You will, however, want to maintain your fire pit looking attractive during the day. For proper care and maintenance, follow these guidelines:


Cleaning the debris

The first step in cleaning your outdoor fire pit is to remove any material that has accumulated. This may be done in a variety of ways, depending on the kind you have. However, you will need to clear any leaves, twigs, ash, or other debris that is not a part of your fire pit. Using a vacuum cleaner can be beneficial.


Ashes can smolder for days, if not weeks after the flames have died out. As soon as the ash and cinders are cool enough to handle, scoop them into a metal container with a lid using leather gloves and a shovel. Another advantage is that your fire pit will be ready for your next night of warm relaxation around the fire!


Metal Surfaces

Metal surfaces are quite simple to clean. First, remove any loose material from the interior and exterior metal surfaces using a dry scrub brush. Scrub all metal surfaces with a soft brush using a solution of 1/4 cup potassium carbonate dissolved in 1 gallon of hot water. Continue by completely rinsing the fire pit with new water, taking care not to neglect the grates and screens!


Masonry Surfaces

​​Dissolve 1/2 cup of grease-fighting dishwashing liquid in 2 gallons of hot water. Use that solution and a scrub brush to clean all of the stone or masonry surfaces. A hose fitted with a jet stream nozzle will be handy for giving the fire pit a thorough rinse. It is important to keep the burner clean so that the fuel can flow through it without difficulty.


Covering after cleaning

When you've finished cleaning your fire pit, cover it up until you're ready to use it again. Purchasing a cover for your fire pit is optional, but highly suggested. It will not only make your life simpler by lowering the amount of cleaning required, but it is also one of the greatest ways to avoid elemental damages caused by rain, sun, and strong winds. Take a look at them if you need to locate the right cover for your fire pit.


Preventive and maintenance measures

Keeping your fire pit clean of material such as leaves, pebbles, or insects is essential and will go a long way. No rubbish of any type should be thrown in the fire pit.

  • Check all screws and other hardware before each season and at least once a month after that; tighten as required. Check any fuel connections as well.
  • Never use accelerants such as gasoline or other combustibles since the incredibly intense fire they produce might harm your fire pit.
  • Keep all plastics away from fires and hot surfaces. Melting plastic not only creates a sticky mess that is exceedingly difficult to clean, but it also emits poisonous gases!
  • Never, ever use water to put out a fire in a fire pit! The abrupt temperature shift may cause it to break or distort.
  • Remove creosote buildup regularly. This is a highly combustible result of wood burning.
  • If feasible, store your fire pit in a dry, protected place to keep it safe from harsh winter weather. 
  • When not in use, cover it with steel to avoid dirt from entering the pit.

Keeping your fire pit in good condition is far less difficult and expensive than replacing it. By following these tips, you can keep your fire pit looking its best while also ensuring that it lasts for many pleasurable hours to come.



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