How to Install a Fire Bowl

Written by jennifer williams Google
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How to Install a Fire Bowl
Enjoy the beauty of fire indoors and outdoors. (flame image by javarman from

Installing a fire bowl inside the home or out on the patio is an excellent do-it-yourself project for any homeowner who wants to add a stunning focal point to the interior or exterior landscape. Ethanol gel fuel provides a smokeless, odourless and fume-free fire that needs no venting and is thus perfect for bringing the element of fire indoors. Larger fire bowls using standard kindling and log bundles provide a longer-burning fire for outdoor enjoyment, which includes the added bonus of the aroma of wood smoke.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bowl (glazed ceramic or metal)
  • Builder's sand
  • Ethanol gel fuel canisters
  • Lava rock
  • Flagstone
  • Long-handled lighter
  • Steel sheeting
  • Metal clippers
  • Kindling
  • Log bundles

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    Indoor Fire Bowl

  1. 1

    Decide where inside to install the fire bowl, then select a bowl of a material and size suitable for the location. Both metal and ceramic are popular choices for indoor fire features.

  2. 2

    Lay a 3-inch layer of builder's sand in the bottom of the bowl.

  3. 3

    Stand enough ethanol gel fuel canisters in the bowl, directly on the sand, to provide a full-bodied flame. The number of canisters used is limited only by the size of the bowl. Use lava rock to fill in the bowl around the canisters. Fill up to the top of the canisters, but do not cover them.

  4. 4

    Place a metal fire bowl on a fireproof surface, such as a piece of flagstone or decorative tile, to protect surfaces against any heat the metal of the bowl may absorb from the fire.

  5. 5

    Light the installed fire bowl by removing the tops of the ethanol gel fuel canisters and lightly touching the flame of a long-handled lighter to the gel inside.

    Outdoor Fire Bowl

  1. 1

    Decide where to place the fire bowl, taking into consideration aesthetics, ease of access and safety. Make sure the fire bowl is a safe distance from structures, trees and overhanging branches. Metal, concrete and ceramic bowls are popular and suitable for outdoor installation.

  2. 2

    Lay a 3-inch layer of builder's sand in the bottom of a metal fire bowl, or, if using a glass or ceramic bowl, cut a piece of steel sheeting and set it in the bottom of the bowl before adding the 3 inches of sand.

  3. 3

    Fill the rest of the bowl to the top with lava rock.

  4. 4

    Arrange kindling and log bundles on top of the lava rock.

  5. 5

    Light the installed fire bowl by touching the flame of a long-handled lighter to the kindling.

Tips and warnings

  • If using a ceramic fire bowl, make sure it is entirely glazed, as any moisture left in the ceramic clay can boil when too close to a heat source and cause the bowl to explode.

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