Fire Table On the Terrace: No Smoke, No Smell, No Dirt

Since one month we have our fire table on the terrace in operation. We are enthusiastic about the advantages. A field report.

We used to burn real wood in a fire bowl. But then we didn’t have a Bangkirai wood terrace and so we were not yet afraid of flying sparks and burning logs falling out. Nevertheless we didn’t want to miss sitting together at the fire and so we started to deal with the topic “fire table”.

Fire tables are usually operated with propane or natural gas. The gas burns without residue and odourless as far as possible – an advantage over the conventional fire basket. After only a short time at our old fire basket, our clothes had absorbed the smell of the fire, smoke was drawn into our eyes, ashes had spread in all directions. So it was not so difficult for us to say goodbye to the “real” fire, but we were still afraid that the charm of our fire basket could be lost with the purchase of a fire table.

Fire tables are already available from 300€ at the DIY store. However, there are also productions from polished natural stone for more than 12.000€. Especially the natural stone variants look uniquely beautiful, but were too expensive and too big for the terrace. Due to the price alone, they are probably more suitable for the roof-top bars of renowned hotels.

The gas cylinder has to go somewhere

What we didn’t know at first was that with most fire tables the gas bottle is not in the table itself, but a few meters away from the fireplace. This circumstance has to be considered when planning. After all, probably only a few people want to look at an ugly, grey gas bottle. For safety reasons, the supply lines to gas bottles must not exceed certain lengths, so one is somewhat restricted in the positioning of the gas bottle.

The gas bottle of the fire table is hidden in the side table on the left.
The gas bottle of the fire table is hidden in the side table on the left.

There are also tables in which the gas bottle is built in, but these are mostly dining tables with a corresponding height, which were out of question for our outdoor sofa seating area.

In our selection we concentrated on manufacturers who offered suitable covers and housings for the gas cylinder. Table and housing should be made of one piece, so that it would not be too restless on the terrace.

Our Happy Cocooning fire table with teak and concrete-look tabletop

For the above mentioned reasons we decided to buy a fire table from Mania / Happy Cocooning (Amazon Affiliate Link). For the side panelling we chose teak wood in the look “Nice & Nasty”, which probably corresponds best to a kind of “Outdoor Shabby Chic”. For the tabletop we chose a tabletop in grey concrete look, which is cast out of a glass fibre concrete mixture.

Incl. attachable side tables, side table for gas bottle cover, glass surround, pressure reducer and matching covers, this version cost 2085€.

Our happy cocooning fire table in Nice & Nasty design
Our happy cocooning fire table in Nice & Nasty design

So the table is quite expensive, but the cheaper alternatives from DIY stores and Co. had big deficits: Either the gas bottle would not have been hidden or the materials used would have looked extremely cheap and plastic for not even a few 600€. Thus, for us, there was no way around teak wood and concrete slab, even if the price already hurts.

In my eagerness I overlooked the fact that the glass surround was already included in the delivery and reordered it in a second order together with the side tables the same day. The next morning I received a call from Mania. A nice lady informed me about the scope of delivery and asked me to cancel the over ordered part and to send both orders together. Great customer service. After all, in 2020 you are not used to people thinking in the interest of the customer.

Cuddling atmosphere at the fire table
Cuddling atmosphere at the fire table

The delivery took place within two days of the order. I informed the shipping company about a time window for delivery and this was perfectly adhered to. The table was then delivered on a Euro pallet.

After unpacking, we found that the concrete cover of the side table had broken. After a call to the manufacturer, a replacement was sent to us by DHL within two days, we did not have to send the broken cover back, the support was again customer-oriented and friendly.

For all the enthusiasm, however, there are also three minus points for the table:

  1. The additionally ordered side tables must be drilled and screwed together by yourself. With a product of this price I would have expected this ex works.
  2. The fire table cover cannot be placed over the table when the side tables are hooked in. They must therefore be removed again and again.
  3. The individual boards of the side panel of the table are not painted on the underside and thus provide a point of attack for water and moisture. You can repaint it yourself, but with a table at this price I would have expected more.

Real campfire feeling

We had the concern that the gas fire would not live up to the charm of a real campfire for nothing. The enclosed ceramic logs almost look like real wood and yet you don’t need to worry about the textile covers of the garden furniture.

After 3 weeks with our fire table we were invited to a couple of friends. Later in the evening there was a campfire in the garden. At the latest in this evening we noticed again that we did not miss the stench, nor the flying embers and smoke that burned in our eyes. Only the cracking of the wood and the typical campfire sounds are missing at our guest table – but you can hear the hissing of the propane gas.

Roasting marshmallows at the fire table
Roasting marshmallows at the fire table

The ceramic logs radiate the heat of the fire well in all directions. If you don’t want this, because there are cool drinks on the table, for example, you should place the glass top around the fireplace.

We especially like the possibility to roast marshmallows (Amazon Affiliate Link) in the evening over the flames of our fire table. This has almost become a little weekend ritual for us.

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