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Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

The cabinets you install in your outside kitchen must be as weatherproof as the special appliances that are made for these outdoor cooking and entertaining areas. Cabinets made for interior kitchens are not suitable, as they are generally made from plywood and other veneered sheet goods that will delaminate quickly once they are exposed to the rigors of moisture from the rain, ultraviolet light from the sun, and seasonal temperature changes. Good exterior cabinets can stand up to all these adverse conditions. They should have sturdy latches to keep animals out of them and heavy duty rubber gaskets or weather stripping around the doors and drawers to prevent water, dust, and bugs from getting in. A drain should be installed in the bottom of the cabinet floor will prevent remove rain and condensation.

Consider the following choices if you are buying exterior cabinets:
  • Stainless steel is probably the most durable material for exterior cabinets as it will not rot or rust. It is easy to clean; and as it matches the stainless steel fronts of many outdoor appliances, will give the kitchen a fully integrated look.
  • If you are striving for a warmer, more natural look for your kitchen, you can use special wooden cabinets. These should be made from rot resistant woods such as teak, cedar, or mahogany. Exterior wooden cabinets should be constructed with marine grade adhesives and have stainless steel (not aluminum) hardware.
  • Exterior cabinets can also be built from rot and ultraviolet light resistant polymer board. These can be stained or painted any color.
  • Another option is to build the casings of the cabinets with pressure treated lumber and face them with brick, stucco or stone that matches or complements the exterior siding of the house. The cabinet doors can be stainless steel or rot resistant wood.
Lastly, be sure to plan for ample room and then fully equip the kitchen. Nothing defeats the advantages of outdoor cabinets more than still having to run back inside for utensils you need.

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