Fire bowls make a beautiful addition to any outdoor setup or decorative patio arrangement. With many different sizes, types and styles of fire bowls to choose from, you can easily complement any existing outdoor style and design by installing one of these fire features around your outdoor space.
Gas fire bowls are also a growing trend in outdoor design. A fire bowl can be designed in conjunction with water features to create a truly spectacular, one-of-a-kind fire feature for your outdoor patio, deck or pool.
Fire bowls are a perfect marriage of form and function that fire lovers and outdoor decorative designers or enthusiasts simply can’t get enough of.
So why wouldn’t you want to add a fire bowl to your outdoor area? Perhaps you’re not sure what to look for when buying a fire bowl or you just aren’t certain that a fire bowl is right for you.
If you’re new to the world of fire bowls or are thinking about installing a fire bowl or fire and water bowl for your outdoor space but aren’t quite sure what to look for, we’ve put together this comprehensive fire bowl buying guide to help you get started.
Today, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to start confidently shopping for your new fire bowl or fire and water bowl. You'll learn all about fire bowls, fire and water bowls and their various features across the following sections:
And in the end, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to know to make an informed buying decision for your new outdoor fire bowl or fire and water bowl. Get ready to transform the outdoor areas around your property into a luxurious space that you can’t wait to enjoy.
A fire bowl is an outdoor fire feature designed for comfort, convenience and decoration. Fire bowls can be made of stainless steel, copper or concrete and they burn gas such as natural gas or liquid propane gas (LPG) as a fuel source.
But it’s also important to understand that a fire bowl is not a fire pit and there are distinct differences between the two.
Fire bowls have been around for only about 20 years, or so, whereas fire pits have existed for thousands of years. Fire bowls first started to become a popular outdoor luxury fire accessory for areas such as hotels and corporate campuses in the early 2000s.
Today, you can find fire bowls situated around private residences all over the world, but fire bowls also continue to be a preferred decorative outdoor fire accessory for luxury hotels, corporate complexes and even theme parks.
Fire bowls come in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet your outdoor needs and neatly fit in your outdoor areas. A fire bowl has a flattened bottom so it’s not at risk of tipping over or easily being carried off and moved around.
Fire bowls can be smaller, more discrete complimentary patio fire features or larger, more prominent fire displays that serve as the main focal point of a space. These outdoor fire features work well with different types of fire media such as lava rock and fire glass.
Fire bowls are standalone fire features that you can install nearly anywhere around your property as long as you can connect it to a gas line and a fuel source, so it’s certainly possible to have more than one fire bowl situated around your outdoor space.
Some bowls are even designed to incorporate water to create amazing and unique decorative fire features that leave spectators in awe.
Combined, the elegance, visual appeal and minimalistic design and style of fire bowls work to create an attractive option for nearly any outdoor setting or gathering space you need to enhance.
Regardless of the size of your outdoor space or patio area, there's an excellent chance you'll be able to find a fire bowl or fire and water feature to fit.
There are many different types of fire bowls and nearly all of them are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Fire bowls are not designed to burn wood, so most all fire bowls you’ll find available today are gas-burning features that require either a natural gas or propane fuel source to operate.
The most common types of fire bowls for sale today are:
Standard Fire Bowls: the most basic type of fire bowl is a gas fire bowl that uses natural gas or LPG as a fuel source plus decorative fire media such as lava rock or fire glass to fill the inside of the bowl and hide or conceal the burner and ignition system. These gas fire bowls are available in concrete, copper or stainless steel options.
Fire and Water Bowls: a fire and water bowl combines the two elements, fire and water, to create a visually spectacular, one-of-a-kind fire experience for your yard, courtyard, patio, deck or pool area. Almost every type of standard fire bowl you’ll find is also available as a fire and water bowl.
Electronic Ignition Fire Bowls: these take fire bowls and fire and water bowls a step further to create a user-friendly fire lighting experience that’s safe, reliable and easy for all homeowners regardless of their level of experience working with gas-burning fire features. Electronic ignition fire bowl features work great in windy weather conditions, are reliable during any time of year and offer a way to light your fire bowl safely from a distance with the push of a button or flip of a switch!
Self-Contained Fire Bowl and Water Features: a self-contained fire and water feature offer owners a 360⁰ viewing experience that looks beautiful from any viewing angle. A self-contained feature can essentially be thought of as a water fountain with a fire bowl in the center instead of a spout or scupper. You’ll have the best of both worlds with a self-contained fire bowl and water feature – it’s a fountain and a fire bowl!
The variety of shapes, sizes and materials available for fire bowls allows homeowners, property managers and outdoor decorators the opportunity to customize the look of their features to match their outdoor space.
When you consider the different types of fire media such as fire glass, lava rocks and glass log sets, you’ll have endless options for designing your custom fire bowl.
Probably the most pressing decision that you’ll make for your fire bowl is choosing one of the different types of bowls listed above. Once you’ve settled on the type of fire bowl you’d like to install on your patio, around your yard or next to your swimming pool, your buying journey becomes quite a bit easier.
From there, your next step is choosing a material for your fire bowl. Fire bowls are made from the following types of materials:
Concrete is a sturdy non-combustible material that works well for nearly any type of outdoor decorative accessory including fire features. Concrete fire bowls are by far the most popular type of fire bowls for homeowners, but not all of them are made of 100% precast concrete.
Most concrete fire bowls are made of glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC), which is a special type of concrete composite that makes a great alternative to traditional precast concrete. GFRC has a high tolerance to heat and weather elements, so it’s an ideal material for building a range of items, materials and outdoor features -- including gas-burning fire bowls.
Concrete fire bowls are available in several types of finishes and colors, so you’ll have plenty of design options when you choose a concrete fire bowl for your outdoor feature.
Copper is an excellent material for fire bowls and other outdoor accessories or features. As copper is exposed to the weather elements, it develops a greenish-blue and gray patina – picture the Statue of Liberty.
If you live in a particularly damp or salty climate such as certain coastal regions, the patina process is sped up and intensified. The salt and moisture combined take a toll on your copper decorations, so you’ll need to factor in extra time to clean and maintain the look of your copper fire bowl.
Some copper fire bowl owners appreciate the look of copper after it has begun to patina while others prefer the original look of fresh copper. It all comes down to personal preference and style choices, but either way copper is a solid, reliable and sturdy choice for your fire bowl or outdoor features.
Stainless steel is another great material for fire bowls and most of your outdoor fire accessories, for that matter. Although stainless steel fire bowls are only available in a brushed stainless finish, they are extremely durable and weather resistant.
You may have to clean up a stainless steel fire bowl to restore its original finish but only from time to time, and the clean-up process for a stainless steel feature is quick and easy. Stainless steel is a preferred material for your outdoor fire bowl’s ignition and lighting components as well.
Again, this is because stainless steel products work extremely well in harsh weather conditions, resisting rust and corrosion to preserve the integrity and maintain the original look of your fire bowl.
Speaking of ignitions and lighting components, the next phase of your buying journey is to consider the type of ignition system you’d like for your fire bowl.
This may sound like a meaningless decision, but for an outdoor feature like a fire bowl, choosing the right type of ignition can be the difference between enjoying a relaxing night by the fire or spending your evenings fighting and struggling with the weather, wind and outside temperatures to get your fire bowl started.
There are three main types of fire bowl ignition systems:
Manual or Match-Lit
To not bore you with the intricate workings of fire bowl ignitions, we’ll refrain from a full breakdown of how each ignition type works. But it's important to choose an ignition type that not only meets your needs but one you're comfortable with lighting and operating regularly. To help you decide which fire lighting type is right for you, here's a short breakdown of each ignition system.
A manual or match-lit ignition system is the standard ignition type for most fire bowls. A match-lit system is an efficient and fail-safe way to light your fire bowl. A match-lit system uses a natural gas or propane fuel supply to power the flames of your feature.
To light a match-lit system, simply turn on the gas and use a match, long-stemmed match or a long-stemmed lighter to ignite the flames and start your fire bowl. From there, you can adjust the gas to either increase or decrease the height of your flames to their desired size.
A push-button system takes standard match-lit systems to the next level by using a spark or glow ignition to start your fire bowl. Many homeowners prefer this type of ignition system for their fire bowl given its extra safety features.
A push-button system typically uses a safety pilot valve to help ignite your fire bowl. Simply turn on the gas, push the button to create a spark and light your fire bowl and adjust the height of your flames from there.
We touched on the popularity of electronic systems for anyone new to operating a gas fire feature already, but it’s important to elaborate further. The electronic ignition systems for your fire bowl are All Weather Electronic Ignition Systems (AWEIS), which as their name implies, are designed to be used in all types of weather conditions.
An AWEIS offers a step up from a match-lit or push-button system using electricity and a battery system to light the flames in your fire bowl.
Electronic ignitions are a great way to get the fire started in your fire bowl at any time of year, regardless of wind and weather conditions, but they’re also an incredibly safe option that offers homeowners a way to start the flames in their feature from a distance.
Some of the modern AWEIS have options for Bluetooth, which allows you to use a smart device to start your fire bowl. With an electronic ignition, all you need to do is flip a switch on the wall or push a button on your smartphone or tablet and your fire bowl is up and running in seconds. But don't just take our word for it, check out this video that shows the level of craftsmanship that goes into manufacturing one of these systems.
As you can see, these systems are easily started from a distance. This capability appeals to most fire bowl owners with kids or small pets playing in the yard or anyone who simply isn’t comfortable striking a match and lighting the pilot on their fire bowl manually.
It’s also important to know that not all fire bowls are capable of having an electronic ignition installed. This is because some fire bowls are not big enough to safely house and contain all of the hardware and accessories needed for an electronic ignition system. So, on occasion, an AWEIS is not a viable option for your fire bowl’s ignition system.
If you’re unsure about operating a match-lit system or aren’t comfortable working hands-on with gas-burning features and handheld fire starters such as cigarette lighters or matches, then you’ll want to air on the side of caution and go with an electronic ignition system for your fire bowl.
Now that you know more about the different types of fire bowls and your options for various aspects such as materials and ignition systems, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test and begin your search for the perfect outdoor fire bowl.
You want a fire bowl to meet your outdoor leisure time and decorative needs, but you also want a fire bowl that you and your guests can enjoy for years to come. In that case, you’ve come to the right place.
Fireplace Doors Online (FDO) carries a range of custom-made and made-to-order fire bowls and fire and water bowls, so we’re confident you’ll find the right type of feature for your space.
Let’s go over some of the most popular types of fire bowls for sale on our site and give you some ideas for the perfect outdoor fire bowl setup.
With a little help from the pros at FDO, you’ll be designing the outdoor space of your dreams and transforming your outdoor area into a comfortable, relaxing oasis that’s the envy of the neighborhood in no time.
Remember, if you’re unsure or need help finding a fire bowl, or any item for that matter, feel free to contact us online or call us at 888-986-1535 and a dedicated member of our team will be happy to assist you.
Our most popular fire bowls are smaller features that work great for most any sized outdoor space or patio area. Of course, this depends on individual preferences and you’ll want to make a few considerations before you get started shopping for your new fire bowl.
For potential fire bowl buyers, it’s smart to stop and ask yourself a few questions such as:
Where on your property you’re planning to install your fire bowl?
What do you plan to use your fire bowl for and whether you want it to be a focal point or an accent for your space?
How many other fire features do you plan to install along with your fire bowl, if any? Maybe in the future?
Is your property already set up to use natural gas or propane, if so are you able to safely and efficiently run gas lines to your fire bowl’s desired location?
Do you plan on moving or relocating your fire bowl around your property at some point or have you settled on a permanent location for your feature?
Do you want to install your fire bowl near a pool, on a patio, on top of a pedestal or another area of your property?
These are just a few of the things to consider before moving forward with the buying process. Asking yourself these questions will help you determine the size, shape and type of fire bowl that’s right for you.
Understanding things like where you plan to install your feature, whether or not you have a readily available fuel source and if you plan to install multiple fire features all help you find the fire bowl that’s best for your outdoor space.
Now that you’ve made the necessary considerations and understand more about what a fire bowl is and how it works, let’s take a look at some of the possibilities you’ll have for designing the perfect feature for your space.
At FDO, we carry a range of fire bowls to choose from but as with most things, we have a few best-selling products that seemingly work for almost every homeowner we speak with. But, we also understand that everyone has unique tastes, design preferences and needs, so a fire bowl that works for one person may not always work for another and vice versa.
However, to give you a better idea of where to begin your buying journey, let’s go over some of the most popular types of fire bowls available in the FDO store.
These fire bowls are proven favorites amongst our clients:
Concrete Fire Bowls
Concrete Fire and Water Bowls
Electronic Ignition (AWEIS) Fire Bowls
360 Fire and Water Bowls (Self-Contained Fire and Water Features)
To help give you a little inspiration for your upcoming outdoor design, as well as a better idea of what to expect after your feature is installed, let's break down some of your options for each of these outdoor fire bowls or fire and water features.
As we discussed earlier, concrete fire bowls are by far the most popular type of fire bowls for homeowners and outdoor designers everywhere. Both standard concrete and GFRC are great materials for fire bowls given that they stand up well against the elements and are not impacted by the heat produced from gas-burning fires in your features.
Our concrete fire bowls are available in a range of sizes, shapes and finish options, so you’re free to design the perfect outdoor space with some extra style and flair.
Concrete fire bowls come in a variety of sizes and shapes that allow you to create a unique outdoor fire feature for your home or business. Concrete bowls are available in a range of sizes 21”-76” in diameter. However, our most popular concrete fire bowls are smaller features that don’t take up too much space but are still undeniably central to the all-around design and style of their space.
The size of your fire bowl is determined by measuring the diameter of the top of the bowl. Of course, many of the fire bowls you’ll come across have a more tapered look to them, so the size of the top of the bowl is going to be your widest and most prominent aspect as it relates to measuring and fitting your feature in your desired area.
If you’re fitting your new feature into a tight space on your patio or backyard setup, then you’ll want to be sure you have plenty of room to run and connect gas lines.
It’s also smart to consider reaching the sides and back of your fire bowl so you’re able to clean and inspect the exterior of your feature without any issues.
Concrete fire bowls also come in a variety of shapes. You’ll see your options for different shapes of fire bowls from the sidebar on the fire bowl products page. From here, you can filter results to display available fire bowls in your desired shape, size and material.
Here are some of the shapes of our concrete fire bowls in the FDO store:
Once you find the right size, shape and material for your fire bowl, it’s time to start thinking about a finish type and a color for your feature.
Common finish choices across our products include:
Standard: these are standard finishes that include colors such as gray, black and ash just to name a few.
Metallic: these are shinier types of finishes that give your fire bowl a nice gleam and include colors such as silver, copper and pearl to name a few.
Rustic: these are designed to give your fire bowl an older, more antique type feel to them and include colors such as gray, moss and coffee.
Some concrete fire bowls have slightly different options, but these finishes are fairly standard across our fire bowl products.
As you can see, you’ll also have different color options associated with each type of finish. This is where you can start to create a unique fire bowl design and style for your home and outdoor space.
You’ll have hundreds of possible combinations for your finish and color, so it’s safe to say that your fire bowl is likely to be a one-of-a-kind feature, at least around the neighborhood, city or town in which you live.
Perhaps you’re looking for something with a little more ambiance and attraction for your outdoor space? If this is the case, then you may want to consider a concrete fire and water bowl.
Concrete fire and water bowls are extremely popular items in the FDO store and they’re also a trending outdoor design option for homes and businesses. Fire and water bowls build upon the technology used to create standard bowls and add the extra element of water to your outdoor features.
Nearly every type of standard fire and water bowl is available in a fire and water design or format. So, if you found a standard fire bowl feature you liked while browsing, it's likely available in a fire and water bowl.
Just like standard concrete fire bowls, concrete fire and water bowls come in a range of sizes, shapes and finishes that allow you to create your one-of-a-kind outdoor feature.
Concrete fire and water bowls are a little different from standard precast concrete bowls in that they are only available in sizes ranging from 21”-48” in diameter. Again, fire bowl sizes are determined by measuring the top diameter of the bowl, so a 48” fire and water bowl is roughly 4’ across.
That might not sound like a lot on the page, but when you visualize or witness a fire bowl with a 4’ diameter, you’ll quickly realize it's capable of filling a large space.
You’ll also notice that concrete fire and water bowls come in only a few different shapes including:
What you sacrifice in shapes and sizes for a fire and water bowl, you undoubtedly make up for in function, style and beauty. It's simply spectacular to watch the flowing water and dancing flames working together.
We've already outlined some of the characteristics that make electronic ignition systems popular for homeowners, so we won’t waste any time explaining how these types of fire bowls work.
But, electronic ignition fire bowls are an incredibly attractive option for homeowners with kids, pets or other fire lighting and outdoor safety concerns.
All of our fire bowls come with the option to replace the stock match-lit ignition system with a modern electronic ignition system. Although this alternative adds a substantial amount to the overall cost of your fire bowl, you’ll appreciate the easy lighting capabilities and safety features of an All Weather Electronic Ignition System (AWEIS).
Electronic ignition fire bowls are easy to get started and offer some of the following safety features and added benefits:
The ability to light your fire bowl from a safe distance using a wall switch, connecting to a Bluetooth compatible device (available on newer systems) and using your smart devices to turn on the system.
Built-in technology that detects when your flame has gone out and automatically relights your fire bowl when that is needed. This way, you won’t have to worry about the flames going out, wasting gas or not having a lit fire bowl when you go outside to relax after a long day.
A covered contained ignition box that is mounted inside the bowl of your feature and sealed with a stainless steel cover for some added protection from harsh outdoor elements. Again, an AWEIS is designed to withstand the challenges associated with harsh weather, but no one ever argued with added protection.
Of course, there are other benefits to owning an electronic ignition fire bowl, but the safety features outlined above tend to be the reasons many homeowners choose an AWEIS over manual match-lit or push-button systems for their features.
The electronic options are recommended for anyone looking to install a fire feature while avoiding the hassles and struggles that come with lighting pilots on windy, blustery days.
Luckily, we make finding an electronic ignition fire bowl easy for our visitors. When looking for an electronic ignition fire bowl on the FDO site, simply choose the Electronic Ignition option (you’ll see the lightning bolt in the top right corner) from the fire bowl or fire and water bowl product category pages. This will instantly display all of your buying options for AWEIS features, regardless of material, style or shape.
The last product we’re going over is a self-contained fire and water feature. Anyone interested in adding one of these diverse outdoor features will be instantly hooked when they first lay eyes on a 360⁰ self-contained fire and water feature.
These features combine the serenity and soothing sounds of a water fountain with the elegance and stunning visuals of a fire bowl. When combined, these two elements work in unison to create a spectacular, distinguished 360⁰ fire feature to display for your home or business.
A self-contained fire and water feature is different from a fire and water bowl in that water is continuously flowing in various directions, not just from one area of your feature. The flowing water combined with the dancing flames creates a feature that’s visually and audibly appealing regardless of where you’re positioned or standing relative to the fire and water fountain.
You’ll be amazed at the different options you have for a self-contained feature. Some of our 360⁰ fire and water bowls can even be equipped with a low voltage electronic ignition system to offer you the same easy lighting options that you have with other types of fire bowls.
Although these are not as customizable as our other types of fire bowls, some self-contained features have options for different finishes and colors while some have choices for both your fire bowl and the base of the fountain.
You’ll also have plenty of options for the materials you want to use. Our 360⁰ fire and water bowls are available in the same types of materials as our other fire bowls such as copper, stainless steel and concrete or GFRC. Similar to other types of fire bowls, you can match your self-contained feature with your other outdoor fire features, accessories and decorations to create a unified look for your space and achieve your goal of putting together a professional-looking outdoor design.
As you can see from the examples we’ve included for you, you’ll seemingly have an endless number of options for the design and style you want to achieve. Adding an outdoor fire bowl to your space is only the beginning, though.
As is the case with most quality decorative household or outdoor accessories, you’re likely going to need a few extras before you’re ready to install your fire bowl and enjoy your newly upgraded outdoor space.
When shopping for a fire bowl, and most outdoor fire features for that matter, you’ll want to consider adding some accessories. Accessories can be designed for several aspects such as safety, style, maintenance or sometimes all of the above. Regardless of their intended use, fire bowl accessories make your life easier.
Many first-time fire bowl buyers tend to overlook accessories for their features for reasons such as budget concerns or just not understanding they need certain accessories before fully utilizing every aspect of their feature.
Some of the accessories and add-ons we recommend you pair with your fire bowl include:
Fire Bowl Covers: made of vinyl or canvas designed to go over your fire bowl when it’s not in use and shield it from the elements.
Wind Guards: small walls that act as shields are used to protect your fire bowl’s flames while it’s in use and keep it from being impacted by gusting winds.
Fire Media: non-combustible materials such as lava rock or reflective fire glass are needed to conceal the parts of your ignition system and add a decorative flair to your fire bowl. Otherwise, your burner is fully exposed and visible to viewers. Although this isn’t necessarily bad, it isn’t very appealing and your fire bowl looks boring and plain.
Key Valve Installations: this is an upgrade for most fire bowls where you pay a little extra to have the key valve installed on the backside of your feature before your item is shipped to you. Although you don’t have to take advantage of this extra service, you’ll be glad when you don't have to worry about installing this yourself or paying to hire a certified professional to come out and do it for you.
These are optional add-ons that we offer for your shopping convenience in the FDO store, but we do recommend that you take advantage of adding these accessories to your order. A fire bowl or fire pit cover is highly recommended for all outdoor features as it will protect your fire bowl’s internal mechanisms and burner from the elements such as rain, sleet and snow.
The last thing you want is to wake up and find that an overnight rainstorm has ruined your brand new fire bowl and you’ll need to start shopping for costly replacement parts before it'll work again.
In the long run, you will save yourself time and money by adding accessories designed to prolong the life of your feature, make your feature more user-friendly and enhance your feature’s style and design.
At Fireplace Doors Online, we offer free shipping on all orders within the continental United States! This means you won’t have to worry about paying increasingly high shipping fees or arranging a mode of transport after already ordering and paying for your fire bowl or new fire and water feature.
Fire bowls weigh anywhere from 80-250 lbs and in some cases, extra-large features can weigh even more than that. Need least to say, these items aren’t easily delivered by the postal service or another one of the national package delivery services. Instead, all of our outdoor fire bowls are shipped using a freight shipping company to transport and deliver your new fire bowl.
Even though the video shows a fire pit being packaged up, the process is the same for a fire bowl. Your fire bowl is carefully packaged using a wood pallet to secure your item and extra padding on all sides to protect your new feature and prevent any damages from occurring during transportation and delivery.
When the truck driver arrives at your home or business with your fire bowl delivery, you’ll want to inspect the contents before signing off and accepting the item. If you don’t notice any damage or issues with your new feature, sign off on your delivery and feel free to start installing your fire bowl as soon as you can
Fire bowls are one of the hottest growing trends in outdoor decor, fire features and decorative outdoor design. A fire bowl can be a small discrete feature that complements the existing items and furniture around your outdoor space, or it can be the main focal point and central piece of your outdoor collection – the choice is yours!
Thank you for allowing us to take you into the world of fire bowls, self-contained fire and water features and fire and water bowls. These are one-of-a-kind fire features that will undoubtedly enhance your outdoor quality of life plus help you create a personalized outdoor space that you’re proud to call home.
Fireplace Doors Online has created a personalized shopping experience for anyone looking to add a fire bowl, or more, to their outdoor space, swimming pool or patio areas.
Now, all you need to do is browse, shop, purchase and kick back while your made-to-order fire bowl is processed, fabricated and shipped right to your home or business.
Now that you have the information you need to confidently shop for a new fire bowl or fire and water feature for your outdoor area, it’s time to consider adding some additional garden accessories that will compliment your new feature and complete your outdoor design.
We carry a huge selection of items designed to decorate your patio, garden, pool and other outdoor spaces. Pair your new fire bowl with other items such as tiki torches, a gas grill or landscape lights and patio heaters to create a backyard oasis that you can’t wait to escape into every night of the week.