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Designer FAQs: Fire Tables & Fire Pits
What’s the point of a fire pit or fire table?
If you love the romance of sitting by a fire after a meal, or you’re looking for a way to extend the outdoor season by keeping your patio warmer on chilly nights, you’re going to love having a fire table. Natural gas and propane fire tables like ours are a low maintenance and—if we say so ourselves—beautiful addition to any deck or patio.
What’s the difference between a fire pit and a fire table?
A lot of people use the terms “fire pit” and “fire table” interchangeably, but we think of fire pits as more portable. You can, provided you follow the placement guidelines in your installation manual, move your fire pit around as needed. A concrete fire table, especially one connected to a natural gas line, would be harder to move.
What’s the best kind of fire table or fire pit? What do you fill it with?
If you prefer a concrete fire table, we offer two ways to fuel them: natural gas and propane. Inside each, you’ll find nonflammable lava rock and decorative beach stones over a burner mechanism. Our fire tables don’t require wood or kindling of any kind, and you don’t have to clean or store a stainless steel bowl. Our fire pits contain pumice stone and lava rock.
If you order the natural gas concrete fire table, it works similarly to a gas fireplace; if you’re used to a propane grill, you’ll have no problem managing a propane fire table or fire pit. We even sell an additional decorative propane tank enclosure as a companion to our concrete fire tables to discreetly cover your propane tank.
Just keep in mind that because the stones are designed to be in our fire tables and fire pits permanently, our fire tables aren’t designed for cooking. To keep leaves and other debris out of your fire table, it’s also a good idea to cover it when it’s not in use, after you cool it down.
Can I install your outdoor fireplace tables by myself?
We recommend professional installation by someone who’s licensed by a local authority with jurisdiction on gas piping. If you order a concrete fire table, they're heavy; you’re better leaving this to our Premier In-Home Delivery pros.
It’s also a good idea to have the burner inspected annually to make sure it’s in good working condition, just like you have your furnace inspected in your house. If applicable, take a look at your gas lines from time to time to make sure they’re in good shape, too, and if they’re not, have a professional replace them.
Can I put an Ethan Allen fire table on my deck or covered patio?
The answer is yes, provided that you have sufficient clearance above and around the fire table. If you place it on a deck, you’ll need to install a desk insulation kit before having your fire table installed over it.
- At least 84" of space between the top of the fire table and your pergola or deck/patio cover; our fire tables are 16" tall, so your clearance will need to be at least 100" above the ground.
- At least 36" of space around all sides of your fire table.
- No solid structure or combustible material on more than two sides
If you have any other questions about whether your installation site is safe, check your installation manual or ask a designer for more specifics before you make your purchase.
How do you light an Ethan Allen fire table?
You light an Ethan Allen fire table or fire pit much as you do a propane grill or gas fireplace. You turn a knob or chrome key to start a slight flow of gas, then place a long-handled match or lighter over the center of the fire table to ignite the gas. Make sure to follow the instructions that come with your fire table. They'll explain everything step by step.
Once your fire table is lit, it’s really important to make sure it’s always attended. If you have our concrete fire table, it’s important to keep that chrome key in a specific place so you don’t lose it—and so you can keep it out of the reach of children.
Can you sit on the rim of an Ethan Allen fire table?
We recommend against sitting on the rim or putting food and drinks on it. If your fire table is next to a seating area, place an outdoor end table or outdoor coffee table near you so you’ll have a place to stash your snacks and beverages. Food and beverage spills, if you don’t blot them up quickly, can stain a concrete fire table.
What do I do if either the concrete fire table frame or the beach stones crack?
Concrete sometimes develops tiny hairline cracks, but our fire tables are fiber reinforced, which prevents these cracks from growing or separating when they happen. They’re not a defect; they’re just part of owning a concrete fire table.
We recommend inspecting your beach stones from time to time, when the fire table is cool, and discarding the stones that have cracks in them.
You can contact Ethan Allen Client Services to order replacement stones, both for the beach stones found in concrete fire tables and the lava rock found in both fire tables and fire pits.
Do you have more questions? Click the Designer Chat icon, or contact your local Design Center—we’re happy to help!