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The Reasons Why Fire Pit Tables Are Such A Great Idea

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Fire Pit Tables Start From £135.00 For Coffee Table Versions, Up To £1200.00 For Complete Dining Sets
Fire Pit Tables Have Found Their Way In To Garden Centres As Well As Online Stores
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By John Turner, 10th February 2014

The Reasons Why Fire Pit Tables Are Such A Great Idea

Jamie Oliver Fire Pit Table SetWhen it comes to fire pit tables, I can't help but think "what took so long!!" For those who haven't been introduced to this clever (but really quite simple) concept, a fire pit table is a garden table with a hole in the middle. Place a fire bowl in that hole and voilà! We have ourselves a fire pit table. Fire pit tables were first introduced in America 10 years ago, and have gradually begun to find their way on to the UK market in the last 3 years. The first product of note was the Jamie Oliver Fire Pit Table by Hartman, made from solid cast aluminium. Not far behind was the Europa Durango Fire Pit Table, very different in construction through its slate table surface

Three years on and the UK market has started to mature, and with a wider range of models and accessories on offer, it's time to talk about the fire pit table as a highly versatile and useful piece of garden furniture that can play a role in most gardens. I hereby declare the fire pit table an excellent idea, and here's why....

Fire Pit Tables Can Be A Garden Table, Patio Heater, Barbecue, And Drinks Cooler All In A Single Product

Eaton Fire Pit TableWho would think that a hole in a garden table could be so handy - but the truth is that it is. True fire pit tables come complete with an infill section which covers the said hole (beware of products without an infill piece), and this allows them to function in their primary role as a garden table. In most cases it is difficult to tell the table apart from an orthodox table when the infill piece in place. The picture (right) of the Eaton Fire Pit Table (by Vistera) is a case in point. The cast aluminium construction of the table surface allows an almost seamless finish, so it is a fair assertion that a fire pit table doesn't compromise its functionality and appearance as a standard garden table

When it takes your fancy, you can remove the infill disc to make up a fire for the purposes of keeping warm, or having a barbecue (or both), and again, just because fire pit tables are multi-functional, it doesn't mean they are a "Jack-of-all-trade-master-of-none" product. As an owner of the Armande Fire Pit Table Set (by Gardeco) I can say that both the fire pit and barbecue grill are pretty decent. The fire bowl sizes don't tend to be below 50cm in diameter, and this is more than enough to make a good fire and cook for numerous guests. If you're not a big fan of fire (shame on you), then why not try some ice. Manufacturers are now giving the option of a stainless steel bowl to use instead of the fire pit, converting the product in to a quirky drinks table with integral ice bucket. The list goes on - Gardeco have introduced a lazy susan accessory to their range which mounts on to the fire bowl opening, and uses the infill section as the Lazy Susan surface. With all this functionality in one purchase, this has to equate to savings

Fire Pit Tables Have Versatility That Save Money And Space

Funchal Mosaic Fire Pit TableI'm a person who believes that if a product can perform more than one task really well, then it shouldn't waste the opportunity. We live in times where the British consumer wants true value and utility from their purchases, and with the property climate the current generation is enduring, saving space has to be high on the agenda too. Fire Pit Tables are perfect for smaller courtyard or urban gardens, or for those who simply want to save the money on buying separate appliances. Even in cases where you might not use a fire pit table beyond its capacity as a garden table, it seems a shame not to have the option available in case circumstances change, or as a back-up to your current barbecue or patio heating arrangements. A fire pit table doesn't cost a great deal more than a regular garden table

Fire Pit Tables Don't Cost Any More Than An Orthodox Garden Table, So Why Pass Up The Additional Functionality?

Durango Slate Fire Pit TableAs a case in point I will use the Durango Slate Fire Pit Table by Europa. This nicely made table sells for circa £399.00 on the internet. The standard table equivalent to the Durango is the Alcira Table which is also made with a slate surface, and of the same dimensions. The Alcira can be found through the internet for between £349.99 and £399.99 - similar to the Durango. My point here is that even if you are not even likely to fully use the extra functionality of a fire pit table, it would seem a shame to pass up the opportunity to have the more versatile product, when there isn't a discernable cost difference. You never know when the extra features might come in handy.

Admittedly it seems that fire pit tables don't tend to extend past 120cm in diameter, so those looking for a larger table may have to go orthodox on this factor alone, but remember that the fire pit table market is still a relatively young one, so this situation is likely to change. Something I would have to assert for the skeptics among us, is that fire pit tables do not compromise on quality to gain their multi-functional status. In fact, I could argue that they are more durable than standard garden tables

Fire Pit Tables Are Made From Hardwearing Materials, And Are as Durable, If Not More Durable Than Standard Garden Tables

Bloomsbury Fire Pit TableThe first place to start on this subject is the fact that a fire pit table can't be made from wood, and in my opinion wooden garden furniture has been long over-rated. Even the highest quality teak furniture doesn't look its best after the first 24 months of use. Fire pit tables, however, have to endure the rigours of intense heat and flames, and they need to be made of tough stuff. The Bloomsbury Fire Pit Table and Eaton Fire Pit Table (Vistera) are both models made from cast aluminium, which is extremely durable. Aluminium doesn't rust, is very strong, and resistant to high temperatures. Other models, including the Funchal and Madeira, have steel frames made with ceramic and slate surfaces respectively, and this combination can be equally as durable. Ceramic tiles and slate, again, are very durable, weather resistant, and naturally hardwearing when exposed to extreme temperatures. I would argue that the fire pit table market produces more durable products than the garden table market as a whole. Not necessarily through choice, more through design necessity

So this is my unequivocal approval of the burgeoning fire pit table market, but I want to see more from the manufacturers

The UK Fire Pit Table Manufacturers Are Doing Well, But I'd Like To See More Developments

As with many of the developments in the UK garden products market, we do tend to lag behind the more adventurous Americans, who have a far greater range of products which include gas versions. It would be great to see a gas fire pit table hit the UK market, for the extra ease of use and cleaner burning properties of LPG and Natural Gas. I'd also like to see larger tables surfaces (as mentioned above) and perhaps even a gas griddle insert. A fire pit table may just be a table with a hole in the middle, but the further possibilities are actually quite exciting

John Turner is a freelance writer for the Home and Garden retail sector. All opinions and rights remain with him. Any duplication of prose or images is strictly prohibited without prior consent

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