When planning an outdoor kitchen area, homeowners have to decide between a number of possible building materials. But stone kitchens are an exceedingly popular choice -– and with good reason. Beauty and durability head the list of features that account so readily for their popularity. In order to share information on this topic with readers, I conducted an interview with Joe Raboine, President, Harmony Outdoor Living, Inc. The contents of my interview follow.
Q. For those who are just beginning to weigh the pros and cons of the various options for outdoor kitchen building materials, briefly make the case for stone kitchens, based on their durability.
A. Stone requires zero maintenance and stands the test of time. Its strength makes it suitable for islands, outdoor bars, storage, built-in appliances, fire pits, etc. In fact, whole kitchens can be created out of stone to offer life-long existence.
Stone kitchens can be used in any climate, even the harsh extremes of northern climates -– something other types of outdoor kitchens cannot withstand. Make sure that you don’t skimp on the countertop; this is the one feature of the kitchen that is used the most, and it is also the barrier to the elements. Granite countertops and poured concrete countertops are the best if your budget will allow.
Q. OK, with the practical consideration of durability aside now, let’s consider just the aesthetics. Can you put your finger on what people find so visually appealing about stone kitchens?
A. The appearance of rustic stone kitchens is popular, an appearance that marries the utilitarian aspect of functional kitchen, outdoorsy look of nature, and obvious appeal of design. Stone as a building material facilitates the variance of colors and textures. It is common to incorporate brick inlays / accents / medallions to provide visual appeal. Stone kitchens suggest permanence and longevity, as well as the romance of days gone by.