The flooring of an outdoor kitchen ties the entire space together in design, presentation, and function. Proper patio flooring will complete the overall look and improve the durability and value of the end product. The Summerset Outdoor Kitchen Planning Series continues with tips on choosing the flooring for your outdoor space.
Designing the outdoor kitchen is more than just selecting the equipment; the appearance and function of the entire outdoor space need to be considered. Since the right flooring can make the difference between an ordinary or high-end outdoor kitchen, choose the flooring that will reflect one's style and taste and complements the home's exterior décor.
When deciding on the best flooring material, safety needs to be considered first before design trends. Since this is still a kitchen, make sure the space is safe, especially if the area is uncovered or next to a pool or hot tub. A slippery kitchen floor can be hazardous, making it wise to avoid tiles and stone that are porous or glazed since they get very tricky when wet. Some popular choices for outdoor kitchen flooring are natural stone, concrete, brick, tile, hardwood decking, and composite decking.
Types of Flooring and Decking
Natural stone paving looks elegant and natural, is highly durable, and almost maintenance-free, but it can absorb oily stains and is expensive. The best budget stone choices are sandstone, limestone, slate, and marble; however, choosing a more local stone from the region is more affordable and eco-friendly.
From a price and safety standpoint, concrete remains the most popular outdoor flooring option. To enhance the look of concrete, it can be colored, stamped, or finished with rock salt. With an additional cost, concrete tiles or flagstones can be considered, which are available in various colors and textures.
Brick gives off a beautiful old-world look, is low-maintenance, and relatively slip-resistant. Still, ground shifts over time can make a brick pathway or patio complex shovel snow because of the irregular surface.
Affordable and available in many different styles, tile can be an attractive choice. Choose between ceramic and porcelain tile, pick a frost-proof and unglazed product, and have the installer coat it with a penetrating sealer. For porcelain, a "full-body" tile shows chips and scratches less because the color runs throughout the tile. Unfortunately, the freeze-thaw cycle in cold climates can damage grout and tiles unless the installer has taken particular care.
Highly resistant to ice and snow damage, hardwood decking is a popular choice for outdoor living spaces. The finished result can look like "real" wood and be relatively maintenance-free, but it's costly, and the installation process is labor-intensive.
A significantly less expensive option than hardwood decking, composite decking is made of recycled materials. Since screws and fasteners are not recommended for outdoor applications, make sure to use connectors or hidden brackets to ensure the flooring won't come apart during expansion and contraction cycles.
How to Find Your Flooring
When searching for flooring options, take time to consider the expense and safety of the materials. Once these are addressed, it will be easy to decide on the perfect surface that suits one's outdoor kitchen design.
You can view various flooring samples and designs at one of the Summerset Superstore showrooms in Southern California. Contact the design team to get started on your outdoor kitchen!