Outdoor kitchens were one of the dominant trends for backyards in San Clemente, CA, this year. A well-designed outdoor kitchen can really help transform a backyard into an enjoyable outdoor living space and a focal point for socializing. What really sets a kitchen apart from all the rest is the masonry materials that you choose. They affect both the functionality and aesthetics of the final product.
The Right Paving Stones
A smartly crafted kitchen starts off with segregating a section of the landscape. One of the best ways to achieve this effect is to use a different paving stone than what’s already in place to really help make the whole area more distinct. The right paver has to meld in with the existing landscape design while still holding its own to make the kitchen stand out. A great way of doing this is to use different laying patterns or textures while staying true to the overall color theme of any existing masonry. Installing distinct and contrasting borders and accents is also an effective way of separating the dining and kitchen areas from existing masonry hardscape features such as patios.
Installing the pavers is a more involved process when it comes to outdoor kitchens for more practical reasons, too. The combined weight of kitchen appliances, counters, cabinets, and a grill needs to be well-supported and requires a solid foundation. This means excavating and applying the aggregate layers to the right depth as well as using a geogrid to spread out the weight evenly. Ideally, the pavers should also be stain resistant and provide good traction even when wet. Lastly, utility lines have to be accounted for and installed during the construction process to give the final result a clean, streamlined look.
Next, it’s time to consider the choice of materials for the kitchen island. Concrete blocks are a popular material in this application, Concrete blocks are highly cost-effective as well as quite durable, as they stand up well to the elements. They are also fire resistant, which is always an important safety concern. However, despite these advantages, concrete blocks tend to be more restrictive when it comes to aesthetics, requiring a facing material such as tiles or stone veneer to hide the rough facade of the bare blocks.
Stone veneer is one of the best facing materials for a kitchen. With faux stone veneer, in particular, you have a wide range of options in terms of colors and textures. This makes it very easy to match the design of the kitchen to your existing masonry. The complexity of installing the veneer depends on the complexity of the underlying design, and may require cutting and reshaping the individual components to make them fit seamlessly and to provide a quality finish.
Much like concrete blocks, bricks are a great material for constructing a kitchen. They are modular with generally small component sizes, making it relatively easy to create complex designs. Unlike concrete blocks, they are quite aesthetically pleasing and do not require facing materials. As with all masonry, the quality and application of a binding material, usually mortar, is vitally important to ensure the longevity of the final product.