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Looking for a way to enhance your outdoor space and stay warm and cozy on your patio or deck? A fire bowl can make your space more inviting and luxurious.
But you may have many questions about fire bowls. What are fire bowls, and how do they differ from fire pits? What factors are important when choosing an outdoor fire bowl?
In this guide, we will answer your questions in-depth and help you find fire bowls that are safe and high in quality. Let’s get started.
What Are Fire Bowls?
“Fire bowl” is generally a phrase that is sometimes used interchangeably with “fire pit.” Fire pits are metal bowls that function a bit like portable outdoor fireplaces. They can use wood, propane, or natural gas as fuel. The bowl’s design keeps the flames contained so that you can enjoy the comfort of a fire safely on your patio.
At Outland Living, we only refer to our propane fire pits as fire bowls. So, in this guide, we will be focusing specifically on propane-fueled fire bowls.
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Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Choosing the Right Fire Pit Bowl: Factors to Consider
How do you pick the right fire pit bowl for your needs? Let’s go over some key considerations.
1. Manufactured or DIY
It is possible to make a fire bowl yourself. We strongly suggest that you avoid the DIY option and purchase a manufactured fire bowl. We will discuss in detail why in just a little bit.
We recommend propane fire bowls to most buyers. Why? Because they are more versatile than wood-burning fire pits. While wood-burning fire pits can work on large concrete patios or decks, you can use a propane fire bowl safely with less clearance, making it suitable for a smaller patio or deck.
Propane fire bowls also are essentially smokeless, which is another excellent benefit over wood-burning pits, which produce smoke.
Finally, it is hard to beat the convenience of propane fire bowls. They are portable and easy to move from one location to another on your patio or elsewhere in your outdoor space.
Do some measurements where you want to put your fire bowl. Check to see what size fire bowl will be appropriate for your space and still offer safe clearance.
Exactly how much clearance you need varies by manufacturer and product. But for reference, you need 36 inches of clearance on all sides and 80 inches of clearance overhead for Outland Living fire bowls.
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4. Materials & Finishes
A variety of materials are used in manufacturing fire bowls, including concrete, copper, and steel.
Some people like copper because of its appearance, and may enjoy the patina it develops. But it can be pricier than other materials, and if you do not like the patina, the upkeep can be challenging.
As for concrete, it is affordable and durable, featuring weather resistance. But it is not at all portable, and may not suit all aesthetic preferences. Brick and stone are alternatives to consider, but they cost more than concrete.
We recommend choosing a firepit with high heat enamel coating on the bowl to prevent corrosion and heat discoloration, and stainless steel for burners and fasteners. Enamel coated and stainless steel resists corrosion and is strong enough to stand the test of time. Moreover, it results in a lighter, more portable product, and is far easier to maintain than copper. Its appearance fits well with a wide range of decorative styles.
Check for a powder-coated frame to avoid rust. Also look closely at the seams and joints to make sure that there is no powder coat missing. With respect to the construction of the frame, you also should check that the fasteners are high quality and made from stainless steel.
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5. Design Choices
Finally, along with materials, consider other aspects of the design of a fire table from an aesthetic standpoint. Try and create a cohesive look with the rest of your outdoor décor.
How To Build A Fire Bowl
Did you find your way to this page while searching for information on how to build a DIY fire bowl? Even though it is possible to build a fire pit bowl, here are a few reasons we recommend you purchase a fire bowl outdoor product that has been professionally manufactured instead:
- Cost: It is more expensive than you think to build your own fire bowl. And if you make mistakes along the way, that will increase the cost above your projections. And if something should go wrong, the damages from an outdoor fire could be more than you can cover.
- Time: Just as there may be unforeseen costs in association with a fire bowl DIY project, the time required to complete the project could also be more extensive than you are picturing.
- Safety regulations: Any fire bowl you use, including one you design, must conform to all safety regulations enforced in your area. Not only that, but it is possible you may not even be able to use a non-CSA-certified model. Your HOA, for instance, may forbid it.
- Permits: With a proper, certified fire bowl, you should not need a burn permit. But if you do not have one, you might. If you build your own fire bowl, you probably are going to need to apply for a permit since it is not a certified product. You can avoid that entire hassle by just purchasing a quality fire bowl.
- Portable is always better: The majority of DIY fire pits are made using bricks or stones. They stay in one spot in the yard permanently. But when you purchase a stainless steel fire bowl, you can pick it up and move it anytime you want. You can use it at home or bring it with you to events elsewhere. And if you move, you can take it to your next location. The fire pit you build in your backyard yourself would need to be disassembled and rebuilt from scratch.
Where To Buy Fire Bowls
Ready to bring the warmth and elegance of a fire bowl to your outdoor space? Outland Living manufactures high-quality CSA-certified fire bowls. Our products are made of stainless steel and feature a protective powder coating + enamel finish.
With a range of sizes and features available, you can find the fire bowl that will best suit your needs. Our Premium model features auto-ignition, and there are carry bags, covers, carry kits, and natural gas kits available for most of our models as well. Shop our collection of fire bowls now!