What's the Difference Between Fire Table and Fire Pit?

Do you want a fire pit or a fire pit table? Are they actually different products? How can you even tell? The answer may not be obvious.

We’ve put together this guide to help you better understand what a fire table is and what makes it different from your typical fire pit. If you’re interested in a new fire feature for your home or business, read on to see if a fire table may be right for you.

What a Fire Pit Table Is… and What it Isn’t

All fire tables can technically be considered fire pits. However, not all fire pits are fire tables. Confused? Don’t be. It’s simpler than it seems.

The most significant difference between a fire pit and a fire table is the surface of the appliance - a fire table will have more usable space on the top, whether a wider ledge or a larger overhang like any other table. The key design in both cases is to accommodate entertaining, whether that be drinks, food, or kicking your feet up - the fire table's space offers more versatility in its design.

That said, different brands will choose to categorize products in different ways, so there’s usually some overlap between both fire pits and fire tables. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to these examples, so consider them as guiding standards rather than hard rules.

Fire Table Materials and Build Quality

Just like with regular fire pits, a fire pit table can be made of any number of materials depending on the style & preference. Concrete, pavers, or even metal-framed fire pits can all be found in fire tables. Choose the material that fits your décor but also consider if you'd ever like to move your fire table and how heavy each of those materials would be to move.

A fire table could be permanent and stationary, but it can also be light enough that you could move it around just like other outdoor furniture.

Fire Table Customizability and Sizing

As with traditional fire pits, you could choose to design your fire pit table in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking to build around your own fire pit kit or you’re going with a ready-to-finish enclosure kit, you’ll still have a lot of flexibility on what you want your finished product to look like.

In addition, fire tables are also available as ready-to-hookup appliances. Shopping for these units is just like shopping for a couch - choose what style or design you like the most, and make sure it's going to fit your needs. Most models are limited to basic configurable options like fuel type, ignition type and color or materials choices depending on the individual model. In any case, fire tables like this often require much less specialized knowledge to correctly install as you simply hook them up to a propane tank and are good to go.

How a Fire Table is Used Versus How a Fire Pit is Used

Possibly the biggest difference between fire pits and fire tables is their intended use. While both present an added level of ambiance to any outdoor space, the way this is achieved is usually quite different.

A traditional gas fire pit is usually designed to replicate the experience of sitting around a campfire. On the other hand, a fire table typically arguably serves as a functional piece of patio furniture first and a fire feature second. With a fire table, you’ll have added space for food and drinks when the unit is not in use, but you’ll be able to transition the unit into a fully-fledged fire feature as needed, making these units a great option for multipurpose spaces.

Exceptions to the Rules

Fire tables generally look something like The Outdoor GreatRoom Montego Fire Pit Table, one of our best-selling units. However, you aren’t limited to that style of fire table if you’d prefer a larger statement piece. Other units, like the Prism Hardscapes Tavola 1, are technically fire tables but are neither small nor lightweight. This premium unit breaks the mold for what constitutes a fire table and can dramatically enhance any space because of it.

You also don’t necessarily need to settle for a preconfigured fire table if you’re set on that form factor, but you’d prefer something more unique. Check out our article on how to build a gas fire pit coffee table if you’d like to get the best of both worlds when it comes to fire tables and custom fire pits.

DIY Fire Pits Versus Fire Pit Tables at a Glance

DIY Fire PitsFire Pit Tables
Price Can be built on a budget or as extravagantly as desired

Additional costs may include running new gas lines and professional installation
Often a more affordable option when compared to a similarly sized DIY fire pit

“Plug-and-play” design allows for much easier installation
Materials Used Most often built with heavyduty stone, brick or similar materials

Designed to be installed and not moved again
Typically designed to be moved if necessary
Customizability A greater amount of customization is available

Units can be made to be one-of-a-kind if desired
Fewer customization options are available

Units are typically limited to a handful of preset configuration options.
Size Sizes vary greatly depending on the needs of the installation Usually the size of a coffee table or end table

Larger, more permanent options are available but are less common
Typical Use Used instead of a wood fire pit to create a safer, cleaner, and more user-friendly fire pit option Retains functional usefulness as a patio coffee table while incorporating the added ambiance of a fire feature

Extended table lips offer a convenient area for food or drinks

Get Professional Assistance with Your Project Planning

While we hope this article has helped clear up some of the confusion around fire pits and fire tables, we understand there’s no substitute for professional advice. That’s why our product experts are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time to help you find the best fire feature for your project. They’ve helped thousands of customers over the years, and they can help you find the product to best suit your needs, too! Contact us for more information.