Should an outdoor kitchen be covered?
Outdoor kitchens are becoming an increasingly popular addition to many homes across the UK. Not only do they have the wow factor when you are entertaining your guests, outdoor kitchens also add value to your property! This is even more attractive to homeowners since the Covid-19 pandemic as people are valuing their outdoor space more highly.
Whoever you choose to design and build your outdoor kitchen, you will want to be sure that they’re selecting materials which will stand the test of time. This means being able to survive the long-term effects of everything from rain, to frost and sunshine. We see a wide variety of weather conditions in the UK, so selecting the right materials from the off-set is crucial.
Outdoor kitchen worktops
Because your outdoor kitchen worktop will be situated outdoors, it needs to be non-porous and also water and frost resistant for the colder, wetter winter months. As it’s a practical worktop space, heat resistant materials should also be used so you can confidently rest on top of them pots and pans when preparing your feast.
Granite is an excellent choice for those wanting to utilise natural stone and choosing a lighter shade will ensure the countertops do not absorb too much heat in the summer. Quartz and concrete make an excellent man-made worktop choice too, as does the ultra-functional and low-maintenance stainless steel options. As well as being weather-proof, these types of materials can reflect your personal style as well as being easy to clean which is always a plus. If the correct materials are chosen, most people won’t need to worry too much about covering the worktops.
Outdoor kitchens taps
Frost is also a big consideration when considering which mixer taps you add to your outdoor kitchen, as the last thing you want is a frozen tap. Ensure that your taps are covered during the winter with appropriate insulation or purchase specific frost resistant taps which can handle the undesirable sub-freezing temperatures. Some brands that we work with specifically make hardier outdoor taps that do not compromise on style. Outside tap covers are also a great low-cost idea that can protect your taps when it starts getting very cold.
Outdoor kitchen cabinetry
Your outdoor kitchen cabinetry (both the carcasses and the doors) need to be 100% waterproof, for obvious reasons. UV resistance is another factor to consider when selecting door finishes and furniture too, as they will also face direct sunlight for many weeks throughout the year and so can be susceptible to fade over time. Stainless steel is a great option for a sleek look as well as being easy to maintain. A further consideration should be made regarding heat treated areas. Barbeques typically generate up to 5 times more heat than their interior counterparts, so it is vitally important to ensure certain areas are heat treated or shielded. A good option is to get some fitted coverings that will protect all of these elements. If the right choices are made in the beginning of your outdoor kitchen design journey, you will be delighted with the results for years to come.
In summary, it’s not a mandatory requirement to cover an outdoor kitchen if all the above criteria are met. However, we always recommend even partial cover if possible, which can also be achieved with a pergola. This will create a well looked after, more versatile space and will naturally increase your overall enjoyment of the kitchen whilst extending the time it will last too! A pergola or awning can give you and your family the option of enjoying your outdoor kitchen throughout the year.