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  • These precast wok-style fire bowls are the perfect finishing touch for the tops of these poolside pillars. The homeowner liked the idea of having both water and fire elements on the same wall, with the fire adding dramatic contrast to the serenity of the pool.
  • A close-up of the pillar-mounted fire bowls, which are 32 inches in diameter and stained English Red.
  • Another fire bowl, in a 26-inch square wok style and stained a black coffee shade.
  • Another 32-inch Zen-style fire bowl stained black coffee.

Concrete fire bowls are the latest rage in outdoor living, igniting interest among homeowners and landscapers alike. Being more versatile than fire pits, these bowls can be freestanding or mounted on concrete pillars, tabletops or seat walls to create hypnotic torch-like flames.

Contractors are beginning to embrace this niche market for decorative concrete, and some are now offering precast concrete fire bowls that can be customized to suit the homeowner’s design tastes. One such contractor is C.S.W. Creations, which specializes in handcrafted countertops, tabletops, fireplace mantles and other custom concrete elements.

“We have done a lot of work fabricating concrete countertops for outdoor kitchens with several pool companies in our area. We noticed fire bowls and pits being installed at various jobsites. We thought adding a fire feature to an outdoor living space was a nice touch, so we started researching the idea of making bowls in a similar fashion to the quality of our countertops,” says Andrea Haley of C.S.W. Creations.

The company now offers precast concrete fire bowls in four standard shapes -- Wok, Zen, Square Wok, and Granada (a trumpet shape) -- and in sizes ranging in diameter from 26 to 62 inches. All the bowls are made of lightweight glass-fiber-reinforced concrete and can be stained or integrally colored. “All stained bowls are gray bowls that we have in inventory and are stained per the client's color selection. Integral colored bowls are poured per order,” says Haley.

The advantage of offering standard precast concrete bowl shapes that can be semi-customized is a faster turn-around time -- about 1 to 2 weeks for the stained fire bowls and 2 to 3 weeks for integrally colored bowls. “Plus, because our bowls are made with lightweight concrete, it makes them more economical to ship. We have the ability to ship anywhere in the country (with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii),” says Haley.

One of the most popular uses for the fire bowls is to place them on pillars around a pool (as shown here). “The fire adds drama to the outdoor setting, especially at night. Plus it is a nice finish to a pillar that otherwise may look out of place with nothing on top of it. Another popular application is placing a larger-sized fire bowl (38 inches or bigger) on the ground in a seating area and using it like a fire pit,” says Haley.

ContractorC.S.W. Creations, Katy, Texas

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