When designing an outdoor living space and kitchen, you have several options for cabinet materials. For investment purposes, as well as ongoing maintenance, the cabinet and the rest of your outdoor kitchen materials should last for many years with minimal upkeep in your region. Trex® Outdoor Kitchens™ is 100% stainless steel – often powder coated – and manufactured in the USA. This blog compares some of the most common materials for outdoor kitchens with Trex Outdoor Kitchens.
Before anything else, here are questions you should ask yourself.
- Is the material easy to clean?
- How does the material respond to extreme cold weather?
- How does it change when exposed to extreme heat?
- Is the material able to withstand the outdoor elements?
- What type of maintenance does the material require and how often?
Wood vs Trex Outdoor Kitchens
Wood is the most popular material for indoor kitchen cabinets, which makes it an appealing material for outdoor cabinetry as well. Wooden cabinets offer an attractive and natural look and feel for outdoor kitchens. One thing to keep in mind is that when wood is placed outdoors, it requires regular maintenance and upkeep. Using stained or painted, pressure treated wood makes for the most durable wooden cabinets, as these options offer the most protection from rotting.
The Trex Outdoor Kitchens line of stainless steel cabinetry can provide the look of real wood without the maintenance. Our extensive palette of wood grain powder coat finishes mimics the look and grain pattern of natural wood. Yet unlike real wood, our powder coated stainless steel cabinet does not require the same level of maintenance and will not rot when exposed to the outdoor elements. In fact, powder coated stainless steel is virtually maintenance-free, only requiring regular cleaning with a mild solution and water.
Concrete, Brick, and Stone vs Trex Outdoor Kitchens
Concrete, brick, or stone are natural, durable materials that can withstand high heat, making them suitable for surrounding grills or other high-heat outdoor appliances. The materials can be customized to make them more attractive for your outdoor space by using color or materials such as decorative stones, tiles, or paint. However, they are difficult to clean after food prep and cooking, such as when the natural juices from a barbecue drip onto them, and installation requires a contractor or mason to be onsite for weeks at a time – not to mention the mess!
Like concrete, brick, and stone, Trex Outdoor Kitchen cabinets offer durability and strength. Stainless steel is similarly heavy-duty, which makes it a great option for manufacturing very durable doors, drawers, cabinet boxes, and even pulls that can withstand regular wear-and-tear, as well as all types of weather conditions. Unlike concrete or brick, cleaning is easy, and our made to order outdoor cabinetry is shipped pre-assembled, making professional installation quick.
Aluminum vs Trex Outdoor Kitchens
Aluminum is a sleek and attractive metal for outdoor kitchen cabinets, and it can be powder coated to reduce maintenance and add to the aesthetics of your dining area and backyard kitchen. Due to its makeup, aluminum does not rust; however, it is very susceptible to corrosion in the outdoors. Aluminum is also very soft and lightweight, a good conductor for heat, and it has a much lower melting point than iron-containing metals.
Stainless steel differs from aluminum in that it contains iron, which can rust under certain conditions. The addition of the element chromium, which has different concentrations based on the grade, is key for rust prevention. Although bare stainless steel offers the same attractive finish as aluminum, powder-coat will protect against rust and corrosion as well. Since stainless steel is heavier and denser than aluminum, it has a much more durable quality and is much less likely to dent than aluminum. Aluminum’s high conductivity for heat and lower melting point also make stainless steel a better option for grill cabinets and other outdoor cooking amenities.
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Other Plastics vs Trex Outdoor Kitchens
Plastic is a common material for outdoor furniture, including kitchens. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a plastic polymer that is used in a variety of applications, like drinking bottles and shampoo bottles, piping, and cutting boards. Plastic is appealing for the outdoors, as there is no concern for rusting, corrosion, or rot. It is also available in a multitude of colors, and it does not need to be painted to maintain its color appearance. The color can fade due to continuous exposure to sunlight unless there are UV protections. HDPE is known to swell and contract with environmental changes as well. These changes can cause doors to warp, making them difficult to close or hang straight. As a material that melts, HDPE cabinets require a stainless steel firebox for grill cabinets.
Trex Outdoor Kitchens cabinets offer the resilience and color options of plastic without concern for breaking, cracking, melting, fading, or other forms of degradation. Stainless steel cabinets are more stable than plastic and will maintain their exact structure, and the powder coated finish contains UV protection so it will not fade in the sun. Our stainless steel doors, drawers, and cabinet boxes have a substantial amount of weight and density to maintain structural integrity, and along with rain gaskets and magnets, will ensure proper closing and seals to keep out moisture.
The Best Material for Outdoor Kitchens: Powder Coated Stainless Steel
- Virtually Maintenance-Free
- Color, Style, and Design
- Fast Installation
- Easy Cleaning
- Environmentally Friendly
- Heat Resistant
- UV Resistant Powder Coat Finish
There are several material options to consider when building an outdoor kitchen. When comparing each type of outdoor cabinet material, powder coated stainless steel is the best solution for durability, easy cleaning, heat and UV resistance, and limited maintenance. As such, the Trex Outdoor Kitchens line of cabinets is well worth the investment for that outdoor kitchen idea you have in mind.