What materials are used for the outdoor kitchen cabinets?
May 3, 2012 in Photo Questions
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COASTROAD Hearth & Patio
I'm going to apologize in advance for jumping in ahead of Chicago Green Design. Great looking project!

It appears that the installation above is clad in some sort of stucco. To minimize the weight, we would normally build a framework of welded light gauge sheet-metal, clad it in cement board, and then stucco it.

Generally speaking, the same materials that you would use to clad the exterior of a building can be used to build an outdoor kitchen island, with the one proviso that all of the materials near cooking equipment should be non-combustible.

Depending on the style of the installation, you may be able to use exterior cabinetry, especially if the installation has some protection from the weather (outdoor drawers tend to collect rainwater).

We prefer to use granite countertops, as it appears they are using above. Be careful to use a granite that does not contain a lot of plastic fillers (you'd be surprised what has to be done to make some granites smooth), which do not do well out in the sunlight.
1 Like   May 3, 2012 at 7:01AM
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Chicago Green Design Inc.
Hello Fellow Houzzers,

My Name is Donald Maldonado and I am the lead designer for CGD inc.

We use many different materials for our cabinets/planters...IPE, Cumaru,Massaranduba in woods...Copper, zinc, glavalum in metals...and various stones that are light or faux...
But in this particular picture I am using a resin... We make molds of our resin planters to custom sizes and then bake the color on to it which can be any color under the sun. This is very light and very strong. We can customize these to any shape so it gives us great flexability. Simular to a boat material. Plus we can put several textures on these as well.

When dealing with heat say by a grill.... Most grill companies will have a insulation boxes which will surround the grill. This doesnt allow heat transfer to the planter thus protecting it over time.

As far as Stucco we tend not to use this material. Being based in Chicago we like our resin planters and others because this allows the planter to be Modular. This allows the client if there is a problem to gain access to the roof. Important when designing such an area. Plus because they are not on a fixed substructure stucco does not like movement. (crackage). We also experience extreme heat to frost weather. So movement is more the problem when dealing with such a material.

All of our planters/cabinets are engineered. Weather we are cladding the exterior of a planter in resin or any other material... it has to perform over the long term. Most designers dont think about this and the project looks amazing the first year after installation, but at CGD we are looking for long term solutions. So we engineer every planter/cabinet so it looks just as good 10 years from now.

Hope this answers your question and feel free to colaborate whenever you want. Thanks for the compliments....

Donald Maldonado
Lead Designer
Chicago Green Design inc.
3 Likes   May 3, 2012 at 12:45PM
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COASTROAD Hearth & Patio
Very nice project, Donald.

Other than HDPE, we haven't had much success with polymers outside. I noticed you also have some cast countertops on your website . . . very interesting.

A good number of our installations are subject to marine exposure, so we're used to dealing with the elements, but movement from high winds are more of an issue for us than freezing weather. I'd love to collaborate on an installation, if we can figure out a way . . .

Of course, you are correct, better grill manufacturers - like Fire Magic and Lynx - have insulating liners to protect combustible materials. most others require 24" to combustibles.
1 Like   May 3, 2012 at 1:29PM
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Thanks for all the help. We are building an outdoor kitchen in Vancouver Canada and it will be subjected to lots of rain as well as possible freezing and marine air as well so we want to do this right.
0 Likes   May 3, 2012 at 6:37PM
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Chicago Green Design Inc.
If its on the ground... Skys the limit in clading. If you have any questions please let me know.
0 Likes   May 4, 2012 at 4:39AM
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you could fab exterior cabinets with Trespa panel or equivelant. very stable and good color range. reasonable to work with but costly to the extent that you would want to be clear on your production plan. we have used it on elivator cab interiors with good success in terms of machining.
0 Likes   May 4, 2012 at 4:47AM
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