Some of the most common options for outdoor kitchen cabinetry materials include brick, stone, aluminum, plastic, and stainless steel. While each material has pros and cons, the value of your outdoor kitchen is largely predicted by its durability. To that end, longevity in the outdoors should be the top priority when deciding on your cabinetry material.
In this article, we discuss the specific considerations of both brick and stainless steel for outdoor kitchens. At Trex® Outdoor Kitchens™, we use 304 or 316 (marine) stainless steel for the highest quality finish. As a result, our outdoor stainless steel cabinets will provide you with an enjoyable space for years to come.
Brick Outdoor Kitchens
Due to factors like durability and resistance to heat, brick quickly became an inexpensive choice for built-in outdoor kitchens. Brick creates a solid, durable structure for a relatively inexpensive backyard outdoor kitchen solution. Brick is typically used in conjunction with appliances and stainless steel inserts for cabinetry boxes.
Although a brick structure is strong and stable, this material does have some drawbacks when used outdoors. For example, it is highly porous, so moisture and other liquids are easily absorbed. The result is a stained and degraded finish over time. While it can be painted to customize the finish, it will require upkeep to maintain its appearance.
Repeated exposure to moisture and weather will eventually cause bricks to crack and break, meaning additional expense for maintenance. Brick also requires a contractor for installation, especially when the project requires the bricks to be cut and sized. This process will involve hiring a professional who may remain on the jobsite for weeks. The professional may need to return for any repairs as well.
Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchens
Stainless steel is the highest quality material that can be used for outdoor applications. Since it is nonporous, it will not crack or degrade, and the cabinet boxes will not warp or lose structural integrity. It can withstand high temperatures, which is why it is commonly used for outdoor cooking appliances like grills. While stainless steel can ultimately rust, proper maintenance and a powder coat finish will reduce or even eliminate this risk.
Apart from the differences in material quality and longevity, stainless steel offers more design freedom. Consumers tend to opt for stainless steel due to the styles and colors that are not available for other materials. In addition, stainless steel cabinet boxes allow for greater flexibility in layout shape.
Trex Outdoor Kitchens offers a varied range of powder coat finishes to reduce maintenance and add beauty to your outdoor kitchen. We also have a selection of door styles and handles to further enhance your design.
For ease of installation, our cabinet boxes arrive at the jobsite already assembled. While a professional installer is recommended to install them, some jobs can be finished in a day’s worth of work. This attention to detail leads to a much higher value and return on investment.
Stainless Steel is the Best Material for Outdoor Kitchens
Stainless steel is a better option than brick for outdoor kitchen cabinetry because its qualities far outweigh those found in brick. Point for point, stainless steel is a step above brick if your goal is a durable and beautiful outdoor kitchen.
- Stainless steel does not warp or crack, it is nonporous, and it will maintain structural integrity.
- Brick is porous and can crack, which means costly maintenance and repairs.
- Stainless steel cabinetry can be customized with a selection of door styles and UV-resistant powder coat finishes. Trex Outdoor Kitchens offers multiple door styles and over 50 colors.
- Brick is typically paired with stainless steel inserts that do not have door style selections. Brick can be painted, but unlike powder coat, the paint will become worn over time.
- Our stainless steel cabinetry is available in hundreds of sizes in 3” increments.
- Bricks are available in standard dimensions. While they can be cut to size, it is a messy and lengthy process.
- We offer a variety of cabinetry types for a multitude of functions, like base, wall, sink, trash, and grill cabinets.
- A brick outdoor kitchen is limited to the styles available with cabinetry inserts, meaning a less functional and versatile kitchen.
- Our cabinet boxes are shipped preassembled, meaning a quick and professional installation.
- A brick structure may take weeks to complete and requires hiring a professional contractor.
You can choose from a variety of outdoor cabinetry materials, but not all of them are suitable for longevity. In discussing brick vs. stainless steel, stainless steel emerges as a superior material for longevity, durability, integrity, and design flexibility. Trex Outdoor Kitchens offers seemingly endless layout options, colors, and styles to bring both value and enjoyment to your outdoor space.
Get started designing your durable stainless steel outdoor kitchen!