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Building Your Outdoor Kitchen

Building Your Outdoor Kitchen Equally important as weatherproof appliances are the materials used to build your outdoor kitchen — floors, backsplash, fireplaces, countertops and much more. All of these can be designed using an endless variety of tiles. You can also use glass, ceramic, and natural stone to create a unique and functional design.

Don't forget to look down. You'll want to create a stylish and durable floor that is made of tile, concrete, brick or natural stone. All four materials provide high durability and are relatively slip resistant. Concrete remains the most popular material because it is affordable and durable. By stamping, coloring or adding a rock-salt finish to concrete you can get the trendy look without the hefty price tag.

When it comes to countertops, make sure the material you choose can withstand the changes in weather and is easy to clean. Homeowners still favor natural stones like granite and soapstone, as well as tile and stainless steel.

Other extravagant components in outdoor kitchens may include wood fired pizza ovens, fireplaces, wet bars, deck heaters, lobster boiler, a microwave drawer, or commercial style sink sprayers.

For the serious gourmet, you'll want to check out a Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Dual-Fuel hybrid stainless steel grill, which allows you to cook with hardwood, charcoal or gas on one grill. Even if your budget (this grill runs around $10,000) doesn't allow it, it's certainly worth checking out the designs and products offered by Kalamazoo to help create your dream outdoor kitchen.

No matter what you spend to create your outdoor kitchen, you want to make the most use of it, which is why you don't want to forget about such elements as heat, sound and lighting.

Homeowners can extend their summer simply by turning up the heat with the addition of a fireplace, fire pit or heater. The big trend is towards fireplaces because they not only add warmth, but style and value.

See-through and double-sided fireplace styles are popular. Vermont Castings, Hearth & Home Technologies and Cal Spa are among the makers of these styles of indoor-outdoor or outdoor-only fireplaces. You can complement any style home with an outdoor fireplace, which are available in a variety finishes, including stucco, rock, brick, stone and even porcelain. To be sure, today's outdoor hearths offer style and convenience with boundless entertainment options to create the perfect outdoor kitchen/living space.

As people continue to spend more and more time at home with their friends and family, outdoor kitchens offer an entirely new way to cook, eat and entertain. The possibilities are endless.

As for architects and designers - it offers a new challenge to provide another place to bring the family together in a relaxed but functional atmosphere.