What is a fire table and should I buy one?

Are you looking for a stylish outdoor heater to make your outdoor space warmer and more inviting? How about a fire table?

fire table hero

In this article you’ll learn what a fire table is, how it works and how it compares to other outdoor heaters. This should help you work out if a fire table ticks the right boxes for you.

Disclaimer: The following article was written by Vortex Leisure Pty Limited, the parent company of Spa World Limited and owner of the Spa World and Vortex trademarks. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.

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What is a fire table?

A fire table is a table with a flame centerpiece. A fire table can be used to place drinks on, keep those around it warm and is usually portable. A fire table is a statement piece available in many designs and styles.

Fire tables can be fuelled by gas, coal and firewood. Some brands such as EcoSmart™ use renewable liquid bioethanol fuel. Fire tables come in a range of shapes and sizes. For example, EcoSmart™ outdoor fire tables are available in circle, square and rectangle shapes and their heights range from a low table with a height of 34 centimetres to bar height of 1.45 metres. This makes fire tables suitable for casual dining or standing around.

Base fire table in a commercial space

What is a fire table made of?

A fire table can be made from a range of materials including concrete composite, grade 304 stainless steel such as premium EcoSmart™ fire tables, as well as tiles and brushed steel.

What is a fire table used for?

A fire table is a focal point that brings people together and provides warmth to the area surrounding it. You can also dine around a fire table, place food and drinks around it, some give you the ability to cook or grill food and its stylish design makes it an eye-catching feature for your living space.

What is the best heat source for outdoor fire tables?

A fire table is a portable outdoor heater that can be fueled by a number of materials including gas, wood and bioethanol.

Determining which heat source is best comes down to some of your preferences.

If low environmental impact is important to you and perhaps you are looking for an outdoor fireplace that is clean burning (combustion produces carbon dioxide and steam) carbon neutral and a renewable energy source, then an outdoor fire table fuelled with bioethanol could be a good option for you. If you would like to add extra warmth to an area, you can consider placing another outdoor heater outside with the bioethanol fire table, such as an infrared heater that is not affected by wind.

However, if you are looking for a fireplace with a flame that will burn hotter than bioethanol, heat options including gas, wood (which can burn around 300 times hotter than gas) or charcoal may be more suitable. If you are looking for a fire table that gives you the ability to cook or grill on it, then a fire table fueled with firewood or charcoal could be the right choice for you.

It’s important to note that during a total fire ban in Australia, open flames including gas, wood, coal and bioethanol are prohibited when used outdoors. However if you are likely to use your fireplace year-round, an ethanol fire can be brought inside and is safe to use during a total fire ban.

How do bio ethanol fires work?

It’s important to note that lighting bio ethanol fireplaces needs to be done with extreme care.

EcoSmart™ instructs users who are turning on an EcoSmart™ AB Series ethanol burner to -

  1. Extend the lighting rod towards the burner
  2. Remove burner lid with the rod hook
  3. Dip end of lighting rod into burner and wetting it with fuel
  4. Light the end of the rod with lighter
  5. Dip the tip of the rod back into burner to ignite the flame
  6. Remove lighting rod and lighter and stepping away from the burner
  7. To extinguish the frame, use the lighting rod hook to lift the burner lid and cover the burner

What is bioethanol?

e-NRG® (a brand of Mad Design Group) is a liquid fuel known as bioethanol that’s used to ignite the burner on EcoSmart™ heaters. According to the e-NRG website, bioethanol is environmentally friendly because it’s made from fermented plant sugars such as sugar cane, corn and potatoes which varies in different countries. Bioethanol has a low environmental impact because it emits heat, steam and carbon dioxide instead of by-products such as smoke and soot.

e-nrg Bioethanol Carbon Ethanol Fuel

Do bioethanol fireplaces produce heat?

Yes. When bioethanol combusts, it produces heat, steam and carbon dioxide. This is also known as a ‘clean emission’ (according to EcoSmart™).

How much does a fire table cost?

The quality of fire tables on the market are often reflected in the price.

For example, the EcoSmart™ fire tables available at Spa World™ range in price from $876 to just over $3,000. Bioethanol fuel cartons can be purchased on the SpaWorld™ website.

Do fire tables give off heat?

Although fire tables emit heat, they are designed to be more of a fire feature than an instant or far reaching heat solution.

As an example, EcoSmart™ fire tables use bioethanol to emit energy efficient heat. The fire tables can heat an average of 60 square metres and can burn for 7 to 13 hours.

According to EcoSmart™, the fuel efficiency of a fire table can heat can vary, depending on the model, where the fire table is installed and the type of bioethanol sourced in each country (according to EcoSmart™).

Fire table vs fire bowl vs fire pit

It’s likely you’ve heard about fire tables, fire bowls and fire pits but may not know the difference between them. Hopefully the following explanations make this easier for you.

A fire table is a table with a heater centerpiece that can be used to entertain, dine on and is portable. They also come in various sizes and heights from low to bar table height. A fire table is considered more of a statement piece rather than a heater solution for a large space.

Fire tables usually run on wood or eco friendly liquid bioethanol such as the EcoSmart™ range.

base 40 fire pit table

A fire bowl usually has a classic bowl shape and doesn’t have a surface to place drinks on. It can also be described as a modern take on a fire pit and available in a variety of sizes.

Fire bowls can be fuelled by materials including wood and eco friendly liquid bioethanol.

Mix fire pit bowls

A fire pit has a similar function to a fire table except you can’t place drinks on it. Fire pits can also come in a greater variety of shapes and designs - portable, on legs, freestanding and some can be set as a permanent in-ground fixture.

Fire pits usually use wood, gas or liquid bioethanol to emit heat.

Stix fire pit in a new American home

What are the best fire tables in Australia?

There are a number of fire tables available in Australia. Some of these brands include

  • EcoSmart™ (offer bioethanol burners) that are available for purchase at Spa World™..
  • Icon Fires (offer bioethanol burners for customised installations)
  • Cocoon Fires® (offer fireplaces that are fueled with bioethanol)
  • Planika® (offer fireplaces that can be fueled by either LPG or natural gas)

Should I buy a fire table?

If you are looking for a fireplace that will provide some heat, bring people together, give your living space a modern edge, enough room to safely place objects on and will emit clean heat, then a fire table could be the best option for you.

However, if you are looking for a permanent fixture, something that emits heat to a larger area, then perhaps another heating solution such as an outdoor electric heater or patio heater may be better.

Fire tables are available in many sizes, colours, heights and shapes. When selecting a model for you, it comes down to what best suits your desires and needs.

In Summary:

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what a fire table is, key features, how it compares to other fireplaces, pricing and where you can buy one in Australia.

Still have questions? Wondering how a fire table compares to other outdoor heaters on the market such as a gas heater, electric heater or patio heater? Learn more by reading Best outdoor heating Australia (Pros, cons, comparisons and more)

You can also visit a Spa World™ store near you to view our range of outdoor fires. For more advice on fire tables, send our friendly customer care team a message or give us a call.

Disclaimer: The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd: Cocoon Fires® trademark is owned by Cocoon Fires USA LLC e-NRG® trademark is owned by ESmart Group. Icon Fires™ trademark is owned by The Hinchcliff Group Pty Ltd Planika® trademark is owned by Planika Sp. z o.o. spólka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia (sp. z.o.o.) POLAND
Affiliations: Vortex® Spas, Fisher™ Spas and Spa World® are trademarks owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd. Spa World is an approved distributor for EcoSmart™ products. The EcoSmart trademark is owned by MAD Design Group.

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