Soapstone Outdoor Kitchen vs. Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchen

Published Categorized as outdoor kitchens

soapstone outdoor kitchen vs stainless steel

Outdoor kitchens can be manufactured out of a variety of materials – such as brick, soapstone, wood, and stainless steel – that provide a variety of uses and benefits in the outdoors. While stainless steel is used to construct cabinet boxes and doors, a material like soapstone is used as cladding to surround features of an outdoor kitchen design, such as stainless steel appliances or other inserts. Even more frequently, it is used as an outdoor countertop material. When comparing the two materials, the stainless steel outdoor kitchens from Trex® Outdoor Kitchens™ offer more benefits than soapstone in qualities like beauty, maintenance, structural integrity, and ease of installation.

Soapstone Outdoor Kitchens

One of the main benefits of a soapstone countertop or outdoor kitchen, especially for an outdoor bar, is that it is non-porous, meaning any spilled drinks will not soak into it. However, liquids and fingerprints can darken the surface over time. As such, regular oiling is recommended. While it can technically be painted, the process is tricky due to variations in the surface. Soapstone countertops and outdoor kitchens are is a great option for cooking with hot appliances, as it can withstand extreme fluctuations in temperature. It is durable, long-lasting, easy to clean, and has a natural look that blends well with the outdoors. It is a very soft material, so it will scratch easily. The scratches are easy to remove, but it does require maintenance to keep its appearance.

Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchens

The cabinetry manufactured by Trex Outdoor Kitchens is constructed of 304 or 316 (marine) grade stainless steel. Stainless steel is an iron alloy with at least 10.5% of the element chromium to deter rust. If bare stainless steel is not maintained, it can stain, scratch, and rust in the outdoors elements. The addition of a powder coat finish reduces maintenance to a minimum and adds a beautiful finish to the cabinets that will remain vibrant through all types of weather. Stainless steel is durable in outdoor elements, can withstand heat and cold, will not warp or crack, and it is non-porous. Due to these properties, stainless steel cabinet boxes will maintain their structural integrity in the outdoors, making this material ideal for outdoor kitchen cabinets.

Powder Coated Stainless Steel is the Best Option for Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

The main difference between using stainless steel and soapstone for outdoor kitchen cabinets is that stainless steel is used to construct cabinet boxes, while soapstone is used as cladding for outdoor kitchen cabinets. When cladding is used, a core material is required for appliances and inserts – usually stainless steel. Cladding is an extensive process that requires skill, it is messy, and it is time consuming. By contrast, installing Trex Outdoor Kitchens stainless steel outdoor cabinetry is very simple, as most jobs can be completed in a day or two on-site with pre-assembled cabinets and professional resources available.

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While both materials are non-porous, a soapstone countertop or cabinet can darken unevenly over time. Regular oiling does help with this process. However, stainless steel cabinets can be finished in virtually any color to highlight your personal style, including metallic finishes and realistic wood grain finishes. If properly maintained, our powder coated stainless steel cabinets will not change in appearance in the outdoors – remaining vibrant and rich in color through all seasons.

Stainless steel is non-porous and durable, which means stainless steel cabinet boxes will maintain structural integrity in the outdoors. The soft nature of soapstone means it is easier to compromise the structure of the material and it is easy to scratch. Although soapstone is durable as well, it requires more frequent upkeep than powder coated stainless steel to maintain its appearance in an outdoor space.

For outdoor kitchen cabinets, stainless steel is a better choice than soapstone for features like ease of maintenance, appearance, and structural integrity. While soapstone clearly has benefits in the outdoors, it is best suited as an outdoor countertop material rather than for outdoor cabinets. To achieve the best results, the powder coated stainless steel cabinets manufactured by Trex Outdoor Kitchens will guarantee a beautiful and long-lasting kitchen for your outdoor living space.

Choose stainless steel for your next outdoor kitchen design project and call the experts at Trex Outdoor Kitchens today!

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