I am working on a outdoor kitchen / prep center which includes a 2x8
counter top. The countertop is covered, but in here in the pacific
northwest it still tends to get damp, so I'm not even going to bother
with the pre-made laminated counter tops (can you say particle board
swells like a blow fish in heat).
So I'm looking for some advice on a reasonable priced countertop (can
you say no stainless, no corian, no teak). I was thinking about
tile... but would prefer to avoid it.. but may go back to it yet. I
was also thinking about a laminate using a plywood base.
Has anyone had any experience with these for outdoor use, or can you
suggest any other alternatives.
Have you considered concrete?
I have seen a couple concrete counter tops in kitchens and they were really
nice. Definitely time and labor intensive in terms of creating the forms
and doing the work. But the cost is fairly low and you end up with a surface
that is basically bulletproof. Additives will help to make it any color you
desire. The ones I saw were finished in black and almost looked like stone.
I see no reason why you couldn't come up with a concrete countertop for
There seems to be a fair amount of educational material on this too.
This http://mortex.com/products/fs.html will make the form work easier.
Concrete countertops are the wave of the future. For a real nice
finished product, acid etch it.
Use just any reasonable wood. Outside the countertop will get dirty,
so no-one will lay food directly onto it, and with no direct rain
hitting it it should last long enough to satisfy any reasonable wishes.
Rather than a plywood base, use MDO as it is made for outdoor use. I just
completed a grill cart for prep/serving and the plans called for MDO and
ceramic tile. Since it is only completed about a week ago, I have no
practical experience with it but it was not difficult to do and looks pretty
good. As for durability, I'll get back to you in September, 2011.
Have you considered soap stone? It is affordable, it can be cut and
workerd with common power tools (skill saw, router etc), and should
provide the durability you want in an outdoor setting. The only
downside I can see is that it is only available in dark colors.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
Try some of your local cabinet shops for flawed or second counter tops.
Might get a steal on a Corian or soapstone or something. Otherwise,
if I was doing it I would go with the concrete.
I'm not the type who pays a lot of attention to people who tell me to
say no to certain things, so.......
You'll find simple stainless to be a lot less money than you might
think. That stuff gets expensive when you're dealing with fancy edges
and sinks etc. but a straight run like that won't be much. I recently
did an island 24 x 60. Slab-edge fold all around, 4 welded corners and
ground and polished. $200.00 Canadian money. The material was 18 ga..
$110.00 dollars.. the rest labour. Find a small sheet metal shop. Try
Some Staron distributors will sell 8-foot pieces of solid surface.
Again, fancy treatments will cost more.
Concrete will do, if you seal it properly and cast it on a form which is
supported in all the right places...that is if your time isn't worth
anything. VERY labour intensive.
Laminated anything on anything in an out-door environment simply
wouldn't be an option to me. BTDT.
Like my granma used to say: "I'm too poor to buy cheap stuff."
Mind you, she also used to say: "It doesn't matter if you're rich or
poor, it's always nice to have a little money."
I used to be a concrete finisher until I gave that up for a wood shop.
I did a number of concrete counter tops. They work nicely BUT... You
can do it yourself, but you have to know how to do concrete work, or
you will be stuck with an ugly chunk of mud, unless you don't really
care about how it looks. If you hire someone who really knows how to do
the work, your prices will be comparable to granite and marble. If you
dye the concrete, you get a solid even color. If you acid etch it, you
get a mottled appearance. Then it needs to be sealed. Usually the slab
or counter needs to cure for 30 days before etching and sealing. It can
be textured to look like slate, brick, even wood.
Where in the Northwet are you, I anm in Eugene.
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