I'm about to do my first outdoor kitchen and am wondering what material to use. The homeowner is not particular about the style. I have heard about Starboard but know it is crazy expensive. How about Extira MDF painted? What about fasteners - I'm guessing they'd have to be galvanized confirmats? Stainless hardware? Then comes the issue of free standing cabinetry. Should I build and level a platform (ladder), then attach to floor, then screw through cabs into base? Is there a better way? Should I suggest building a wall (stucco or wrapped in wood to match house siding) to attach cabs to and hide back of cooktop and BBQ? Are there ovens/ranges/cooktops meant for outside?
From contributor S:
Starboard is worth the expense. It will last nearly forever. The color is all the way through the product. No finishing is required. It machines like wood and does not require exotic tools to fabricate. Extira is difficult to finish correctly and will require future maintenance. A few years ago I paid $200.00 for 4x8 sheets. I think Extira is around $100.00/ sheet. Factor in finishing and I think there is a savings using Starboard. Stainless steel fasteners, hinges, side mount ball bearing slides and pull hardware would be my choice. You could build a metal stud frame work and skin the outside with 1/2" starboard. The drawer boxes could be constructed using a sliding dovetail and blind dado for the bottom. Check the codes in your area for proper clearances regarding a gas grill.
This is located in Ohio. We removed the doors and drawers. Skinned the wood framework, installed new drawer and door fronts in 1/2" starboard.
The ones that are painted are done with a BM outdoor semi-gloss latex. If the cabinets are to be left natural, we put nothing on them and let them age gracefully to the grey color. We also turn the knobs out of cypress in several different styles.
This is an extremely high end resort area for homes and cabinetry. I think sometimes it's a social thing and who has bragging rights, especially on their outdoor kitchens. We put either Gibraltar or cypress countertops on them. One did go with granite a few years ago.
Two things that don't like cypress are water and bugs. Our home is built from cypress and is now a beautiful grey color. We've never had an exterminator in the house and never had to replace a board on it. Built in 1974.