DIY Network

How to Anchor an Outdoor Kitchen Counter

Anchor the cabinet to the patio and complete the framing.

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Step 1: Use a Composite Material for the Base

The base is where the stone of the patio meets the lumber of the cabinet. The material we used as the base and support for the outdoor-kitchen wall is a composite material that holds up well to moisture and weather over long periods. It's more expensive than lumber, it's worth the extra cost to avoid problems that could arise later, such as rot and premature wear. The composite is only used in the base structure where it serves as a weather barrier.

Step 2: Leave an Overhang

When the base is installed, a 3/4" overhang is left to allow for the plywood backing to be installed later. Use a 3/4" piece of scrap as a template to ensure the proper offset for the overhang.

overhang is left to allow for the plywood backing

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 3: Cut, Fasten Composite Material

Cut the composite material to length using the miter saw. Fasten to the bottom of the wall using deck screws. Tip: Screwing into composite material may leave a raised area or divot. Leaving the raised areas could make leveling difficult. Remove any excess raised material with a sharp chisel.

remove raised divots with sharp chisel

Step 4: Level and Shim

The patio surface may be sloped or uneven. Use leftover blocks of the composite material to make the wall level. Use a hammer-drill and masonry bit to pre-drill the holes. Secure the composite blocks with concrete screws. Check to make sure that the top of the wall is level, then brace any remaining gaps between the patio and bottom of the wall. Using thin cedar shims, make small adjustments to the cabinet wall and then level it.

use shims to make small adjustments and level wall

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 5: Screw the Wall Down

Once it's level, anchor the entire bottom of the wall to the patio using concrete screws. Break off any excess shims.

anchor base of wall to patio with concrete screws

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 6: Build Support-Wall Dividers

Next, begin building the smaller support-wall dividers for the cabinets. These are built using the same techniques as those used for making the larger back wall. Once the first of the cabinet walls is built, refer to your plan for dimensions and place the first wall into position to check the fit. Build the remaining cabinet walls.

place first wall into position and check fit

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 7: Attach Bottom Shelf

After the first two cabinet walls are built, attach the bottom shelf. Screw one 2x2 to the bottom edge of each cabinet wall. Insert the plywood shelf and brace the top of the cabinet with two 2x4s.

insert plywood shelf and brace top of cabinet

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

Step 8: Attach the Composite

Flip the cabinet upside down and anchor a piece of composite to the front edge (Image 1). Then set the cabinet in place and shim up the bottom until it is level. Once level, drive concrete screws into the bottom as well as into the patio to secure the cabinet (Image 2).

Step 9: Attach to Wall

Attach the unit to the back wall using 3 1/2" decking screws.

Step 10: Build Other Units

After building the first two components to house the stainless-steel cabinets and sink, follow the same procedure to build the cabinet units that will support the refrigerator, built-in grill and side burner.

Step 11: Allow for Utilities

When building the cabinet units, remember where the utilities will be. Using a hole saw and a spade drill-bit, cut the holes for the plumbing.

Step 12: Attach Cabinet Face

Be sure to cut out any openings for cabinet doors and appliances on the faceplate before installing. Using deck screws, attach the face of the cabinet.

cut out any openings on faceplate for appliances

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe