With the growing desire to decrease maintenance around your home while increasing enjoyment in your backyard there has been an increase in the number of composite decks. But with the change of building material, we also need to change of activities on your deck.Fire tables are increasing in popularity as a relaxing, warming addition to an outdoor space. A central feature of your deck for family and friends to gather around, enjoying the playful flames.
Why Are Propane Fire Tables So Popular on Composite Decks?
Fire tables are a great addition to your backyard space that won’t break the bank.
The cost of a propane fire table is considerably less than the cost of your composite decking.
But the addition of a fire table will draw you out to enjoy your deck more often. Making having a composite deck that much more worth it.
Convenience and Safety
Propane as opposed to other fuel sources is one of the easiest and safest ways to enjoy a fire. A simple turn of a knob and you can enjoy the warmth of the fire.
Unlike wood fire which can throw sparks potentially damaging the composite decking. Propane throws no sparks. Nothing but the mesmerizing lapping of flames.
With a fire pit, it means that friends and family can sit around, drink, eat, and talk, sharing an involved, cozy experience right on your deck.
And where once this kind of product might have been reserved for the wealthy, or indeed as part of some country resort, there are now countless affordable consumer models available to the public.
Also, with our ever-modernizing lives, there has been somewhat of an outcry for the old-fashioned and the natural.
A fire pit is akin to what our ancestors would have used to keep warm and cook with, and as such, there is a survivalist, caveperson element that a lot of people are attracted to.
A few years ago while out camping. I noticed that people naturally gathered at my friend’s camp spot. Where he kept his fire constantly burning. Attracting people as they meandered past his site. Myself included.
The same is true with a deck.
People will naturally gather around the fire table.
Relaxing in the cool of the evening, watching the stars. Sharing a warm or cool drink on the deck. Laughing and chatting the evening away as the flames draw them in.
All without damaging the beautiful composite decking.
Protecting Your Composite Decking Under a Fire Table
I know you came to find the best fire table for your composite deck but we must address the elephant in the room first.
“As per the fire table’s CSA requirements, we must recommend the appliance be used on a non-combustible surface as a safety precaution.”Outland Living
First I appreciate Outland Living being upfront and honest about this. This can’t help their sales of fire tables but they tell you anyways.
So I to want to warn you that all decking including composite decking is combustible. Some decking like Azek PVC decking has added fire retardants to reduce flame spread with a class A rating. Which is amazing and far better flame spread rating than most other composite decking. The same is true regarding wood. Except for Ipe, which also has a high fire residence rating.
So a quick deter first, before revealing my top picks for fire tables for composite decks.
It is best to take steps to protect your composite decking from the heat of the fire table. Yes, I know that there are thousands of fire tables being used on composite decks without any protective layer under it. And you might be that lucky person, that can enjoy your fire table for years without ever damaging your decking. But I don’t want to recommend you do so without knowing how to decrease the potential for damage and fire.
Fire Mat for Under a Fire Table on Composite Deck
Fire tables are safest used on a non-combustible surface like a concrete patio. But steps can be taken to allow you to enjoy a warming fire on your deck also. But this never replaces careful watching and testing of your fire table to ensure that it does not get to hot under the table.
There are many different styles, colours and sizes of mats available for under a fire pit. You are looking for a mat that is
- Heat Resistant
- Reflects heat to minimize decking damage
- Not made of rubber which will damage composite decking
May not be the right one for your fire table but this DocSafe is an excellent option for a composite deck.
- Fireproof and waterproof: Fireproof mat is made of four layered non-itchy silicone coated fiberglass which stands up the temperature up to 2000℉.It has been passed by SGS TEST(UL94 VTM-0 Certified) and CE certification.Fire pit mat is not only fireproof but also waterproof, grease does not stick to them and they are easy to clean.The four layers of material make it last longer. It can perfectly protect your deck and lawn, allowing you to easily enjoy barbecue.
- Protects your deck and lawn: Charcoal fires can cause irreparable damage to deck and lawn, a fireproof, heat-resistant fire pit mat is perfect for protecting your patio,lawn,composite decking,grass,yard,wood, cement, brick, and decorative stone.It keeps your outdoor floor patio or deck safe from bursting embers and dripping grease.Compared to traditional mats, DocSafe's grill mats are not only more portable and durable but will not tear, curl at the edges or crack due to heat.
- 48" diameter circle: perfect for fire pits, flat top gas, propane burners and charcoal grills of all shapes from 22" - 48". To ensure the best fit for your grill, please measure the width and depth of your grill before placing your order. Please do not place the heat source directly on the fire mat and keep at least 4 inches of space between the fire pit and the mat.Its black design makes it a perfect match for any barbecue/deck combination.
- Durable & Portable:The black silicone coated fireproof material not only makes it easy to remove grease stains from your mats, but it can be used multiple times.The collapsible design of the fire mat makes it easy to store and transport, so you can easily take it to parties, picnics, camping trips, barbecues or anywhere else.
- Trusted after sales service:Every BBQ enthusiast should have a fire mat to keep your floor pristine and protected,allowing you to enjoy your BBQ with greater peace of mind.How do we protect lawns and deck from damage when we use the fire pit? DocSafe keep researching and developing on fireproof materials.We only wish to present the best to customers,to protect your deck.If there any quality problem, please feel free to let us know.We promise to arrange a replacement or 100% refund immediately.
To learn more about protecting your composite decking from a fire pit. Click the link.
Without further ado, here are our top picks for fire tables for composite decks.
Our Fire Table Picks
Now that you know a little bit about why the time has come for you to purchase your own.
However, with the amount of choice available on the market today, the decision-making process can prove challenging. A little overwhelming with choice.
This is why we have collated what we consider to be the 6 best propane fire tables on the market, all of them suitable for composite decking.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
In no particular order, the first product on our list is the gas fire pit from Outlandliving.
This Outland Living fire table brings 50,000 BTU output (British thermal unit) of warmth to your deck. The fire is fueled from a standard 20 lb propane tank (not included stored under the fire table.
The fire is easily started with a push button spark ignition and easily adjusted by the turn of a knob. All while maintaining a smoke-free fire.
A larger fire table measuring 44” L x 32” W x 24” H is designed to complement your deck wicker furniture with UV HDPE (Ultraviolet Light High-Density Polyethylene) coffee-coloured wicker. Supported by a powder-coated aluminum frame which is both durable, lighter and weather resistant.
The surrounding table top is a black 8mm tempered glass. Adding the attractive look of glass that is still easily cleaned after your deck parties.
The beauty of the fire is further enhanced with Artic ice decorative glass rocks. A truly unique look, as the flames, seem to appear out of no where.
- Weather residence Wicker
- Large area for food and drinks.
- Black glass table
- Durable design.
- Runs off 20 lb propane tanks.
- Hours of warmth and entertainment on a single tank.
- Available UV & Weather-Resistant cover for easy storage
- Heavy weighing 96 lbs
- Complaints about the ignitor failing
- Perfect addition of functionality and style for your backyard patio fire pits. This stunning rectangular fire Table creates a truly unique fire feature that perfectly compliments any outdoor space that will draw the attention of your family and guests
- Product dimensions – 44” L x 32” W x 24” H | Max heat – 50,000 BTU/HR | Tank (not included) size – Standard 20 lb | Clearance – (Top) 80” / (Sides) 36” | Install on (or over) non-combustible floors only, in a well ventilated space and not in any enclosed area
- The push button spark ignition system provides simple and convenient control when lighting | Chrome manual control valve allows 100% smoke free variable flame height
- Includes pre-attached 3-ft hose with regulator, 8 mm black tempered glass tabletop and 15.5 lb. Arctic ice decorative glass rock set | Sit back and admire the reflection of the dancing flames while keeping warm and cozy
- The coffee colored UV HDPE (Ultraviolet Light High Density Polyethylene) wicker is a reliable all weather resistant material that will last | Meanwhile our powder-coated aluminum frame construction offers a strong and sturdy base
With a 50,000 BTU output, this fire table runs on 20-pound tanks of propane, which are housed under the fire pit in a sturdy yet attractive wicker surround.
Thanks to the size of the propane tanks the pit can take, you can enjoy hours of heat and warmth on one tank.
Also, when the night is over and you have turned off the gas, the pit comes with a handy waterproof cover that will protect your pit from the elements.
Not only is this a fire pit, but it also comes with table space all around to enjoy yourself and your family and friends to enjoy light food and snacks while keeping warm in the cozy glow of the fire.
Beneath the flame is a removable bed of heat-resistant glass beads, which provide an attractive shimmer and add further magic to an already pleasant evening.
- Affordable price tag.
- Attractive wicker surround.
- Table space for food and drinks.
- Heat-resistant glass fire tray.
- Sturdy design.
- Holds up to 20 lb propane tanks.
- Hours of heat and light on a single tank.
- Reported issues with included igniter (could require manual lighting).
- 50,000 BTU OUTPUT: Use a 20-pound propane tank to fill your patio or sitting space with fully adjustable, radiant heat for hours of outdoor enjoyment
- HIDEAWAY TANK HOLDER: Convenient gas tank holder is attached to the magnetic side door, so you can quickly change and conceal your propane tank
- DURABLE WICKER, WITH INCLUDED COVER: High-quality, weather-resistant wicker is woven over a sturdy, steel frame, with a durable fabric cover to ensure this fire pit table will withstand the elements
- ENJOY MORE TABLESPACE: Take the lid off the built-in side hooks and cover the pit to add more space for family and friends to enjoy a light meal
- GLASS BEADS & STEEL BOWL: Ignite an inviting flame over a removable bed of glass beads that trap and disperse heat while resisting corrosion; OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 28"(L) x 28"(W) x 24.75"(H); Weight Capacity: 150 lbs.
Next on our list is the fire pit by Ciays. Available in two sizes (28 and 32 inches), this fire table is made of sturdy alloy steel, and has a 28-inch rattan shelf all the way around, perfect for resting food and drinks.
Available for self-assembly, or assisted fitting from a trained technician (at an extra cost), the Ciays boasts up to 50,000 BTU on a full 20 lb tank of propane, meaning you can enjoy hours and hours of ambience, warmth, and light while you eat, drink, and be merry with your family and friends.
The center of the fire table has a removable layer of lava rocks to provide an extra twinkle when the fire gets going. In fact it almost feels like an actual coal fire, adding an extra feel of coziness to the whole affair.
Featuring a lid and an external fire level control, you are in charge of how high and how hot the flames get, and then when it’s time to settle down and go to bed, the lid will keep your pit safe from the elements.
Safety tested and easy to install, each pit has been given a guarantee by the company and offers one of the quickest box to patio installations of all the fire pits on this list.
- Reasonable price tag.
- Sturdy steel alloy.
- Rattan countertop.
- 50,000 BTU on a single tank.
- Compatible with 20lb propane tanks.
- Attractive, simplistic design.
- Inconsistent delivery quality.
- Wanting a Great Patio Party?: Having a patio party is different from an indoor party. Outdoors you need to consider the coldness and a center of attention to gather everyone. A propane fire pit table can provide the atmosphere needed for a great time!
- Feel the Heat(50,000 BTU): Ciays gas fire pit can reach up to 50,000 BTU to provide heat to whoever is around your fire table. We won’t leave you or your friends out in the cold! Keeping your food warm for the whole get-together, there’s nothing worse than eating cold food.
- Safe & Easy to Use!: Safety first! Each fire pit table for outside has been tested before reaching our users, just because it's the right thing to do! Our outdoor propane fire pit table is easy to use, all you need to do is connect a propane tank to the table. The whole process is so simple you can do it in under 1 min!
- 28-Inch Fire Table: A 28-inch fire table is well-spaced enough for holding drinks, food, and snacks for your party or romantic meat outdoors. So don’t let your guests hold drinks in their hands all night, provide a patio party where guests can sit, chillax and chat!
- Extra Benefits: To spice up the party atmosphere, our outdoor propane fire pit has lava rocks in the center of the pit, imagining taking a glance into a volcano. The fire pit table has an external fire level control to easily maintain the atmosphere and heat level, furthermore, a pit lid for when the party is over.
At the pricier end of the market, the gas fire pit from Grand Patio is a prime example of a premium product that looks great and delivers a high-quality performance.
When using the propane, the ignition start button makes lighting the fire simple, and a single 20 lb propane tank will give you up to 50,000 BTU of heat while lasting for many hours on a single tank.
What’s more, when you don’t require a fire, the handy lid means that the Grand Patio turns into a useful and attractive table where you and your family can sit and have dinner al fresco.
With CSA approval, you can rest easy knowing your product is gas tested and safe, and with weather-resistant, resin-coated wicker surroundings, you are guaranteed safety from weather damage, debris, and environmental damages.
What’s more, the powder-coated steel frame is rust-resistant, making it perfect for leaving outdoors, and the durable ceramic tabletop tiles give the impression of high-quality stone without incurring the same costs.
- Sturdy design.
- Rust-proof steel frame.
- Weather resistant, resin-coated wicker.
- Quality ceramic table top.
- Attractive, subtle design.
- Easy transformation from fire table to dining table
- 50,000 BTU from standard tank.
- Higher price tag.
- Small dimensions.
- Features: Integrated push-button ignition starts and adjusts flame height easily (AA Battery required), up to 50,000 BTU heat, easy access to interior storage of standard 20 lbs propane tank (not included). Can be used as an outdoor dining table or coffee table by simply covering the burner with the included cover when flames are off.
- CSA Approved: The patio gas fire table is CSA Certified, which meets all electrical and mechanical requirements to ensure reliability and safety.
- Ambience: 18" stainless linear burner of this gas fire table provides the perfect atmosphere without the smoke and ash of real wood fires. Pumice stones included.
- Materials: The propane fire pits table with all-weather resin wicker rated at 2000 UV hours resists fading for up to 3 years. Durable, powder-coated steel frame is rust-resistant.
- Table Top: 4 PCS durable ceramic tiles provide the look of real stone without the cost, and can be removed for easy cleaning.
Next on our list, the fire bowl column from Bond Manufacturing is something a little different, offering a decorative addition to any yard or deck.
Made with steel and lightweight Envirostone. The entire unit only weighs 44lbs. The look of stone without the weight
Protected with a procoat system designed to prevent heat cracking, salt damage, or environmental wear and tear, this really does offer bang for your buck, offering you long-lasting relaxation and effectiveness at affordable consumer prices.
Although this doesn’t come as a table, the fire bowl column is attractive, effective, and warm, allowing for ambient, cozy nights on the deck with your family or significant other.
Available in two colours and designs (Newcastle or Morgan Hill), as well as a series of accessory packs which included the signature blue beaded, fireproof glass, and a waterproof weather cover, the fire bowl really does deliver high quality for such a mid-range price tag.
With no assembly required, and with 40,000 BTU from a tank (not included) hidden under the table. Promoting simplicity, relaxation, and ambience, without the need for tiresome installation or difficult instructions.
The igniter switch and adjustable temperature control also mean that getting it up and running couldn’t be simpler.
- Lightweight yet sturdy design.
- Heat proof bowl.
- “Enviro-stone” body.
- 40,000 BTU on a single propane tank.
- Higher price tag.
- Poor customer service.
- Product 1: Throw the ultimate s’mores party, host an outdoor date-night, tell spooky stories around the flame, or just enjoy a good book beside the inviting Newcastle Firebowl!
- Product 1: 40,000 BTU heat output provides warmth and light
- Product 1: Natural lava rock included to cover the stainless steel burner.
- Product 1: Protective cover included to preserve the fire pit's integrity.
- Product 2: Lava glass for gas fire pit: Bond lava glass adds a unique veneer of brilliance to any Common fire pit. One container is designed to cover two Square feet
Last on our list, but by no means least, the propane fire pit from Hiland offers an attractive design, and high-quality components, and is a great addition to any deck or patio set up.
Made with alloy steel and a patterned slate top, the Hiland is great to look at, as well as being waterproof and rustproof, promoting longevity as well as stylishness.
Offering 40,000 BTU from a single 20 lb propane gas, you can enjoy hours of use without having to refuel, and the clear fireproof glass gives a classy feel to your otherwise cozy experience.
Putting safety above all else, this product comes with an included thermocouple flame failure device to cut off the gas as soon as a problem occurs.
What’s more, the Hiland is easy to assemble, easy to use, and has the option for an additional, orderable cover to protect from the elements when not in use.
- Quality materials.
- Attractive design.
- Waterproof and rustproof.
- 40,000 BTU
- Sturdy and long-lasting.
- More expensive than similar models.
- Quality control issues.
- Enjoy flickering fire in your backyard or on your patio with this 30-inch square fire pit
- Includes white fire glass and burner cover
- Propane-powered fire pit ignites quickly with pulse ignition switch and produces up to 40,000 BTUs of heat; Easily access propane tank space from door on base; Operates on a 20-pound propane tank (not included)
- Thermocouple flame failure device keeps you safe as the fire burns; CSA approved
- Stands 25 inches tall with a 30- by 30-inch table top and a 16- by 16-inch burner pit; Weight: 66 pounds
However, before you go out and purchase the first fire pit you come across, it is important to consider several factors.
With a fire pit, you are essentially purchasing something that you are going to be leaving outside 24/7.
As such it is exposed to any and all weather conditions and environmental factors that may be present in your area.
Now, most fire pits are made of some form of iron or steel, usually painted in black, heat-resistant paint to trap in heat and reduce damage from the rain.
However, you should look for models that come with some form of cover or lid, as this will help to avoid things like rust, as well as avoiding the irritation of having a fire pit full of rainwater and garden debris.
Depending on the style of fire pit you buy, there are several different types of covers and lids that are available.
Many bricked-in, fixed models come with a topper, or some kind of metal cover to keep out the weather.
Similarly, free-standing models often come with some form of waterproof material cover to achieve the same end.
You might be thinking that a fire pit is an expensive undertaking, and it’s true that there can be some packages that are pricier than others.
However, installing a fire pit, whether wood burning or propane, has never been more affordable. All you need to know is where to look.
While wood-burning fire pits are fairly simplistic in design, usually consisting of a coated steel “bowl” within which to burn your wooden logs or chips, propane models are slightly more complex, and it is recommended to purchase from trusted suppliers and brands to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Usually, I would say that the price is not always a good indicator of quality, especially where brands are concerned, but in the case of propane gas and the associated connecting pipes and valves, it is always best to pay that little bit more if it means you will be safe during use.
Spending that little bit more on a trusted brand also means that you get the benefit of trusted warranties, better customer service, and better cover all around for the possibility of malfunction.
Many propane fire tables include a drink ledge around the fire bowl. Some even allow for the entire table to be transformed with a lid over the bowl. Giving you a table to gather around for a meal or games which can be transformed into a glowing fire after. While still having a place for your drink while you slouch down into your patio chair.
Glass wind guards are a great addition, protecting the flames from the wind. Enhancing the appearance of the flame as the wind doesn’t drive them down. They can also help to prevent times on the drink ledge from getting too close to the fire.
Not for everyone, but glass rocks can dramatically change the look of the bed of the fire. With the fires leaping out of what looks like a bed of diamonds. Not your classic look, but pretty cool.
Many fire pits come with the associated accessories – usually a fire poker, various forms of gridding for cooking etc, and occasionally even a free bag of fuel or can of propane included.
Under table propane storage. This has almost become standard and rightfully so. You spent a lot of time and money making your outdoor oasis appealing to the eye. Hate to add an eye sour with some industrial propane tank sitting on the deck. But hiding the propane tank under the table keeps the beauty of your deck while providing a convenient fuel source.
With anything home or on your deck, size is always going to be an important factor for most people.
There is limited room on a deck for accessories and furniture etc, and as such, it is important to take note of the specific dimensions you are working with before making a purchase.
Ensuring that you can still fully enjoy your deck.
Don’t forget to allow plenty of room for chairs to go around the pit, as well as make sure you and your guests have enough room to move around and sit comfortably without being trapped too close to the fire, or the hot metal of the fire pit bowl.
A small but important consideration. Square versus rectangle fire table. The fire table shape should reflect the sitting area. Square sitting area, a square fire table, and vice versa.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does BTU Mean?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and is a unit of measurement used throughout the United States and the United Kingdom to measure energy output.
“BTU: the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at a specified temperature.”
Now that is very scientific. A little easier definition to understand is.
“We find that around 1 BTU has the heat of a single candle.”
So how many candles of heat is one fire Table?
Is 50,000 BTU A Lot?
Commonly a 20 lb tank propane fire table will produce 50 000 BTUs. Being the ideal level to add a little warmth to your deck while not overwhelming those seated around the table.
At the same time not burning through the propane so quickly that it does not last through the evening.
It is interesting how much heat a 50 000 BTU propane fire can produce.
“Because home heating needs vary widely, furnaces are available with BTU ratings ranging from 40,000 to more than 200,000 BTU. Most furnaces fall somewhere in the 80,000 to 100,000 range.“
So essential the furnace which heats your entire house does not produce much more heat than a common propane fire table on your deck. The biggest difference is location.
Your fire table is outside where the heat is escaping away from your deck. Where your furnace is heating a contained space your insulated house.
What Is Composite Decking?
Composite as the name suggests is a composite of plastic with filler material designed to give you many years of deck enjoyment with little maintenance.
There are three common types of plastic used in manufacturing composite decking. Commonly wood fibres are the main additive to the plastic composing around 50% of the decking material.
But wood is not the only option, Bamboo, MIneral and Rice Hulls are three alternatives which are growing in popularity with composite decking.
Technically not a composite but often included when talking about composite decking is PVC, which has no added filler but is entirely made from PVC decking.
There is much more to say about composite decking and the material it is made of. Click the like to go much deeper into the conversation about what is composite decking and what each material has to offer for your deck.
Can a Fire Table Melt Composite Decking?
This is what originally drew me to fire tables. I love the beauty of fire and composite decking. But I was worried that a fire on a composite deck would melt or damage the decking.
Trex decking will soften as low as 176 degrees Fahrenheit. (80°C)Deck Protect
Trex is not unique. All composite decking will soften with heat. With enough heat, it will melt.
Once melted it will not return to its original shape. Leaving your decking looking ugly and potentially open to structural failure.
This is why buying the right fire table is so important with a composite deck. A fire table that will not melt or damage the decking even after years of enjoying the dancing flames on your deck.
A table with sufficient height to allow cooling air below the fire bowl. Along with a heat shield or insulating layer minimizing heat from transfer below the table. Heating the decking.
And there we have it, everything you need to know to find the best propane fire pit for you and your composite deck!
Remember, always purchase from officially recognized sellers, and take care when using propane fuel!