How to make the right choice for your outdoor kitchen flooring

How to make the right choice for your outdoor kitchen flooring
Photo: Oocoskun, Bigstock

If you’re looking to properly arrange your outdoor kitchen, the best place to start is its bottom. Here are some useful tips on choosing and maintaining the floor of your outdoor cooking space that will make this space safe, functional and, last but not least, visually appealing.

Safety first

As with many backyard construction projects and adaptations, your first concern should be safety. Avoid glazed or porous stone and tiles since they easily become slippery when wet. Materials that deliver safety requirements any time include concrete, brick and natural stone. Another option that is vastly popular as well is ceramics, as it offers a variety of colours and finishes to choose from, while its slip-resistance is adequate.

The elegance of natural stone

With no winners in between, slate, marble, limestone, and travertine are some of the most popular choices for outdoor spaces. Due to its huge variety of styles, colours and installation patterns, natural stone can give your kitchen an elegant foundation that is hard to achieve with other materials.

What is more, the choice of options available today makes it easy to match the stone with the style of your outdoor cooking space. As a final touch, you can choose a stone that is only found in your locality, creating a unique, natural chic effect.

Authentic-looking pavers

Closely matching the popularity of poured concrete, wet-cast concrete pavers can be moulded into shapes and patterns that resemble hundreds of varieties of tile pavers. Readily available through tile and building materials wholesale dealers, surface styles of concrete tiles include variations of ever-popular traditional mission and chateau pavers, as well as very authentic looking antique paver replicas.

As the colour palette is concerned, there are rich, saturated colours that can be used for recreating Spanish, Mexican, Italian or French rustic styles, or the Pacific or Caribbean island look.

Budget-friendly concrete

Its affordability and durability have made concrete a prime outdoor flooring option. Its appearance improves every season to meet today’s design trends, while more and more homeowners are opting for stamping, colouring or rock-salt finishes.  Stamped concrete can be expertly coloured or stained to mimic the features of real stone.

But, just as natural stone, concrete is susceptible to moisture and oil stains unless cured and sealed. The new generation of concrete floor paint and coatings is designed to withstand any kind of slips or other kitchen-related accident.

Style considerations

If you’ve already used stone or brick for some other outdoor construction or landscaping, it’s important to choose an outdoor kitchen floor that matches or complements the style of those features. Contemporary style is all about cast concrete and tile that provide a clean, washed concrete look in integral colours.

Tuscan-style relies on tumbled pavers un-honed travertine or deep-washed exposed aggregate. If English Traditional is what you’re looking for, go brick or darker flagstones, washed concrete or stamped cobblestone.

Installation tricks

It’s one thing to choose the right flooring material, colour and pattern, and another to place it expertly to great effect. An excellent trick is to divide the outdoor living space by creating an illusion of different rooms.

This way the kitchen area stands out as a separate space, often with another type of flooring or even a step up or down. Alternatively, experts recommend framing the outdoor kitchen space with stamps featuring vintage grapevine details or fleur-de-lis pattern. This border helps define the space the same ways an area rug would do indoors.

Layering effect

If your outdoor kitchen budget allows it, you can add more character to the flooring by layering tumbled pavers or authentic flagstone over concrete applications. Both options come in a variety of colours and textures. In turn, you can match these details with the counter and kitchen accessories. On the other hand, you may want to consider one of many kinds of area rugs designed specifically for outdoor use.

The choice of materials and the way you install them can make or break your outdoor kitchen space. Go with materials and finishes that aren’t slippery when wet. Style-wise, choose a material that accents or complements other materials used on the site or indoors, but make sure you outline the cooking area with steps or pavers with a different stamp.

On the maintenance side, make sure you choose an option that will last a long time. Select a stamp patterns that’s not too deep to drain or let you set outdoor furniture level on top of it.