DIY Network

How To Install an Outdoor Kitchen Island

Learn how to assemble a modular kitchen island, which comes complete with a three-burner gas grill and a refrigerator. The exterior stucco finish matches the house.

More in Outdoors

assemble modular kitchen island
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Measure the Space

To align the island hook-up with the existing gas line, measure the location of the gas line both vertically and horizontally (Image 1). Transfer these measurements, 24-1/2" high and 6-1/2" from the outside corner of the house, to the side wall of the island (Image 2).

Step 2: Cut the Opening

Drill out the space to create a small square opening, sized to accommodate both the gas line and the electrical cord for the refrigerator. Drill holes in each of the four corners of the square, then use a jigsaw to finish cutting out the rest of the square. With the opening finished, carefully move the island unit into place over the gas line, making sure not to bend or stress the gas pipe.

drill holes in each of four corners of square

Step 3: Begin Laying Tiles

Use tiles measuring 12"x12" on the prep surface. After laying them out on the island top to determine the pattern and where cuts will need to be made, begin the tiling at the counter face edge, working around and across the countertop. Make the tile cuts with a wet saw. These saws work by dropping water over the blade, keeping it cool as it cuts through the dense tile; they can be rented for approximately $30 a day.

make tile cuts with a wet saw

Step 4: Mortar the Tiles

Apply the tiling mortar to the island surface with a trowel, then use the notched side of the trowel to score lines in the mortar (Image 1). Place freshly cut tiles along the side edges with the finished edge down; the top counter tiles will cover the unfinished edges of the side tiles. Tape holds the side tiles in place while the mortar dries (Image 2). Tile the top using the same process of mortar first followed by tiles, but use plastic spacers between the tiles to keep the grout lines uniform.

Step 5: Grout the Tiles

Once the tiles are in place, mix a dark grout to the consistency of cake frosting. Dark grout is used because it won't stain easily. Apply the mixture with a grout float and allow to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove excess grout with a damp sponge.

apply grout with grout float




  • Tools from Black and Decker
  • Tools from Delta Tools
  • Tools from Porter-Cable Corporation