What better way to enjoy Austin’s sunny climate than with a backyard patio and outdoor kitchen? Family barbeques will never be the same when you have a space that’s convenient, comfortable and relaxing.
While outdoor kitchens have been popular for quite a while, the demand keeps growing. Gas grills, refrigerators and even pizza ovens are showing up in these custom-made spaces.
If you’re planning to create your own, there are many options. But before you even think about the fun stuff, consider the foundation. Because it all starts with choosing the right flooring for an outdoor kitchen. And deciding which materials to use will depend on a few things.
Look for Durability
One of the most important factors when choosing flooring for any outdoor space is durability. You want a surface that is durable and resistant to damage.
Regular patio flooring should hold up to weather and temperature changes. When adding an outdoor kitchen, you’re also adding the need to withstand heavier foot traffic and supporting appliances and furniture.
No one wants flooring that is easily chipped or cracked from the elements or the movement of dining chairs.
Exposure to rain and moisture is a given in an outdoor space, so the surface of your flooring is especially important. You want enough surface texture to keep people from slipping when the floor is wet, while being level enough for safety and to support furniture evenly.
It Should be Easy to Maintain
Outdoor spaces are meant to be convenient and comfortable, so of course your flooring should be easy to maintain and clean. Don’t forget you’ll be dealing with the elements as well as cleaning up food and spills.
Speaking of spills, some flooring materials are more porous, like stone, and will need more care to avoid stains. Just like indoor flooring, your outdoor kitchen flooring should be swept and mopped (or sprayed) when needed.
What About Comfort?
Flooring outdoors tends to be made of hard surfaces, which makes comfort a challenge. Cooking while standing on stone, tile or concrete, for example, can be hard on your legs or back. Make use of rubber pads or outdoor area rugs that can help with comfort.
Our Suggestions for Outdoor Kitchen Floors
Keeping durability, maintenance and appearance in mind, you have a few choices that will make great flooring for outdoor kitchen and dining areas. Read on for a few we recommend using in Austin’s subtropical climate.
Natural stone is our top choice as it’s hardy and one of the best-looking flooring surfaces for a patio or outdoor kitchen. Travertine or slate are good examples.
One advantage is that stone works well in almost any type of design, but it’s also one of the more expensive options.
Another issue to consider is that most types of stone are porous. This means oil or grease from grilling can cause stains or discoloration if not treated well. If you choose stone, we recommend using a sealant to make it more stain resistant.
Porcelain tile is a great choice that gives you many more design options for your outdoor space. It’s also less expensive than stone.
A dense and strong tile, porcelain has a very low water absorption rate. This makes it work well for backyard spaces, as long as you choose a tile that’s rated for outdoor use.
If you’re considering porcelain tile, it’s best to use one that’s textured with a matte surface. This helps with safety and keeps it less slippery when wet.
While we don’t offer concrete flooring at FLOHR, we’d be remiss not to mention it as an option.
Concrete is one of the most durable materials you can use for outdoor flooring. And while the material is less expensive, don’t forget you’ll have to hire a contractor to pour and lay out a concrete slab.
The main drawback is that concrete doesn’t have quite the same appeal and needs some dressing up to look attractive. You can dye it or stamp it to help it look better. You would also have to seal it for stain resistance.
The Bottom Line
No matter your needs or your budget, we can help. Reach out if you’d like help narrowing your options.