Today, fully functioning outdoor kitchens are highly sort after. Not only do they enhance your lifestyle by increasing the amount of time you spend outside, when designed correctly, they can also add value to your property.
Beyond the wear and tear of regular use, outdoor kitchens need to be built to withstand all the elements even if installed within an undercover alfresco area. The materials used to make the outdoor kitchen will not only make a big difference to the aesthetics of your entertaining area but also its longevity. Here we look at the key considerations when creating an outdoor kitchen and the best materials to use.
Key things to consider when choosing materials for your outdoor kitchen
- Is it rated for external use?
- How will it perform when exposed to high heat?
- Is it easy to clean?
- What is the maintenance?
- Will it require refinishing?
Outdoor kitchen countertops
The material chosen for your outdoor kitchen countertops needs to endure grease and food spills, high temperatures from the grill and exposure to environmental elements such as rain and dirt.
If you’re opting for stone, it’s best to choose a non-porous material such as granite or bluestone. Sealing the stone is a good way to minimise stains and help retain the natural patina of the stone. Another common countertop material for outdoor kitchens is stainless steel. This is often more affordable and still very durable for outside use but keep in mind fingerprints and streaks are highly noticeable.
Cast concrete bench tops are also commonly used as they can be made to measure and coloured or textured in a variety of ways. If you’re choosing timber for bench tops, ensure the material is a hardwood and rated for outdoor use. It should also be sealed with a water-resistant sealant.
Outdoor kitchen cabinets
Kitchen cabinets will need to be able to stand up to moisture, mould, heat, rust and dirt. The main options for cabinetry are stainless steel, marine-grade polymer or timber.
If you’re looking at stainless steel, quality cabinetry will be rigid and have welded corners. This will ensure structural stability and longevity. A low maintenance option is a marine-grade polymer which is watertight allowing you to simply wash or hose down the outdoor space when required. Sealed timber is another popular material for outdoor kitchen cabinets. Best to choose an exterior timber such as Teak that will be able to withstand rot.
It’s also important to ensure the componentry, including hinges, handles and draw rollers are made of quality materials designed for external use.
Outdoor kitchen flooring
Just as it is important in an interior kitchen, your outdoor flooring should be durable and easy to maintain. This area is likely to receive plenty of food traffic as well as be exposed to food spills, grease and general dirt and dust.
This is why natural stone is a popular flooring material for outdoor kitchens. It’s durable nature and aesthetics is unrivalled. There are also plenty of options to suit a variety of design styles. We recommend you consider a high quality penetrating sealer to protect the natural patina of the stone and minimise the risk of permanent stains.