At the very least, a well-crafted outdoor kitchen should do two things:
- Hold up to the elements.
- Look beautiful while doing so.
Unfortunately, this throws wooden outdoor kitchens out of the running.
Sure, they have the visual appeal… But maintenance is a nightmare, and they’ll decay faster than you can say “BBQ.”
So, you’re left wondering if there’s a way to get the charm of real wood, without all the downsides…
And you may be in luck.
NatureKast crafts their plastic weatherproof cabinetry with a flawless wood finish… For a beautiful wooden aesthetic, minus the drawbacks of real wood.
And in this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at NatureKast products to see if they’re really a solid choice for your outdoor kitchen.
But before we get going… Why trust our take on the topic?
Well, like NatureKast, we’ve got our own line of Marine Grade Composite kitchen islands (which is our fancy way of saying weatherproof plastic).
So with our insider insights on our side… Let’s find out if NatureKast cabinets truly measure up.
About The NatureKast Brand
Though NatureKast was officially founded in 2009… The company was in the making as early as 2005.
Company founder Michael Moras found himself increasingly frustrated by the lack of options for wooden outdoor kitchen cabinetry…
And since real wood cabinets swell, warp, rot, and crack when exposed to the elements… He needed a solid, weatherproof alternative.
Drawing on his experience as a woodworker… Moras set out to craft his first cabinet door.
Using high-density resin and a mold… His aim was to craft a product made of durable plastic, with the visual appeal of real cypress.
Finally, four years of trial and error later… Moras perfected his technique.
Thus, the official launch of NatureKast in July 2009!
Originally founded in Florida… NatureKast’s rapid growth required a major scale in operations by 2015. Hence, their move to a larger warehouse in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Many (including NatureKast themselves), boldly claim that the brand has been a major trailblazer in the outdoor living industry, thanks to their one-of-a-kind, wood-inspired, weather-resistant cabinetry.
But before you can form any judgments on the brand yourself… It’s worthwhile to discuss exactly how NatureKast crafts their cabinets.
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NatureKast Outdoor Cabinets: How Are They Made (And Are They Really That Durable?)
It’s time to get a bit more granular.
Just how durable are NatureKast outdoor cabinets?
According to NatureKast… Their kitchen cabinetry is 100% weatherproof, low maintenance, and stands strong against wind, rain, sun, salt, moisture, snow, and practically every other adverse element.
These claims are further backed by the NatureKast warranty… Which boasts a limited lifetime of coverage.
While this sounds great and all… It’s no secret that plastic often gets a bad rap.
So at this point, you may still foster feelings of skepticism.
To reach a more thorough understanding… Let’s dig a little deeper.
NatureKast Outdoor Kitchen Cabinet Materials
NatureKast products are crafted with four different types of weatherproof plastics… But how do these really hold up?
Without turning this into an exhaustive chemistry lesson… Let’s take a closer look at each.
Polyurethane Resin is a strong substance, typically used for coatings, adhesives, foams, and — of course — durable plastics.
The majority of NatureKast’s cabinets are molded in high-density polyurethane resin, before being hand-finished to look like real wood.
This high density resin system allows for remarkable toughness and durability. It isn’t vulnerable to abrasion, UV-damage or fading, and perhaps most importantly… It’s incredibly water- and moisture-resistant.
High-Pressure Laminate (also known as HPL or phenolic resin) is a smooth material made by bonding layers of fabric, paper, metal, or mesh together with resin.
NatureKast only uses this material for one of their outdoor cabinet styles… The “Euro.”
And perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.
High-Pressure Laminate may be of a higher caliber than your average plastic, thanks to its decent durability and good UV-resistance… But there are more downsides than ups.
Compared to the other options, it has a much lower resistance to water, moisture, and scratching.
Based on our research for our own Marine Grade Composite outdoor kitchens… We can safely say that this material is not recommended for outdoor use.
Marine-Grade High Density Polyethylene
Marine-Grade High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a tough plastic with superior water-resistance. Hence, it’s frequent use in wet environments… For things such as boats, docks, or other marine applications.
As with the high-pressure laminate… NatureKast only uses HDPE for one style of cabinet, the “Metro.”
But honestly… We’d like to see it used more often!
As we already pointed out, it has remarkable water-resistance.
Additionally, it has incredible strength, doesn’t scratch easily, won’t readily show dirt or stains, hold up well to temperature fluctuations, and is highly UV-resistant.
Expanded PVC Sheets
Bear with us… There’s just one material left to discuss.
Expanded PVC sheets are lightweight, puffy plastic boards. They’re easy to work with… And are used far and wide, for a variety of different applications (from plumbing to crafts).
NatureKast uses waterproof PVC for their cabinet and drawer boxes (which comprise the sides, top, and floor of their cabinets or drawers).
Now, PVC can sustain damage from knocks… And it’s not entirely scratch-resistant.
But that said, it does have a high immunity to water damages… Making it a generally decent choice for NatureKast cabinet boxes.
At this point, we’ve focused primarily on the positives of these materials…
But there is one major disadvantage of each that you definitely don’t want to overlook:
An Important Safety Takeaway
With the exception of HPL… It’s clear that NatureKast products will endure exceptionally well in outdoor environments. (Particularly their HDPE cabinets!)
However, there’s a huge caveat here that we’ve yet to discuss.
As with real wooden outdoor kitchens… All of the materials above are combustible.
So not only may they warp or melt… But exposure to high heats may actually cause your outdoor kitchen to catch fire.
Fortunately, there is a workaround: Insulated grill jackets.
Now, we’d like to point out that NatureKast outdoor cabinets do not come with these grill jackets.
So, it’ll be up to you to make sure this component is not overlooked!
But with materials and safety in mind… Let’s move onto our next point.
Customizing A NatureKast Outdoor Kitchen
Your dream outdoor kitchen should perfectly mirror your personal tastes… A feat which often calls for customization.
So… Can a NatureKast outdoor kitchen be customized?
NatureKast claims that their outdoor kitchens are “Semi-Custom…” But what does this truly entail?
Well, simply put… You won’t just be ordering a premade outdoor kitchen kit off-the-shelf.
Rather, you’ll work with a verified NatureKast dealer to draft your design aesthetics and layout (more on this later!)… And then the necessary cabinets will be custom-crafted at the time of order.
Though NatureKast kitchens are customizable… There will be some limitations in place.
So, let’s break down your creative possibilities.
An Outdoor Kitchen Solution
The Slab cabinet style is suited for contemporary spaces, but with a soft spin.
It’s available in over 20 finish colors… All of which feature a cypress inspired woodwork.
This style of door is made with polyurethane resin.
The Shaker style is another polyurethane resin option.
This door design is all about simplicity, coupled with a timeless elegance.
Again, 20 finish options are available… All of which are Cypress-inspired.
The Rustique cabinets feature a distinguished style with intricate molding… Plus a bit of intentional distressing.
Only 12 color options are available for this style, and all of the finishes feature teak wood grains.
Again, the Rustique cabinet doors are made with polyurethane resin.
The polyurethane resin Louver doors are perfect for coastal, cottage, rustic, farmhouse, or shabby chic styles… With a distressed, aged look.
Cypress wood finishes are available in 20 different hues.
This door’s a bit different… It’s a hybrid-style with metal trim (either stainless steel or matte black aluminum framing) with a simplistic flat door panel.
Over 30 available finishes are at your disposal… In either cypress or teak.
This style of door is NatureKast’s final polyurethane resin offering.
The Euro door is inspired by European design. It has a sleeker look for contemporary or modern spaces.
It’s available in a variety of solid colors, as well as various horizontal or vertical wood grain finishes.
We mentioned it earlier… The Euro door is the only NatureKast product made with high-pressure laminate.
As a reminder, this isn’t something we’d recommend for outdoor use.
Finally, we have the Metro.
This is the door style made with high density polyethylene.
As the name implies, this style has been designed “around the no-fuss life of cities.” It’ll fit suburbia, cottage country, beach, or marina inspired backyard designs.
With this final option, you’ll have 12 wood inspired finishes to choose from for your new outdoor kitchen build.
Cabinet Configurations & Appliance Options
With styles and finishes squared away… Let’s talk about customizing the layout of your NatureKast outdoor kitchen.
Of course, the surround of your kitchen will be composed of interconnected cabinets, drawers, or a combination of the two… The layout and dimensions of which will be at your discretion.
NatureKast’s base cabinets include everything from simple storage units, to trash and recycling receptacles, to slide out cutlery drawers, and more. (If your outdoor kitchen is built against a wall… They even offer wall and tall cabinets!)
As for the built-in appliance and accessory cabinets… Well, this is where things get a bit in the weeds.
In one breath, NatureKast claims that their custom outdoor kitchens are “completely adaptable to your needs,” and can accommodate nearly any built-in appliances of your choosing… From any brand.
But on their site, there do appear to be some limitations in place.
Aside from these limitations, however… It appears that you’ll have free reign over the other built-in appliances and accessories you choose.
Just factor them into your design plans… And NatureKast should be able to account for the appropriate cutouts when crafting your custom cabinets.
It’s worth noting that you will have to buy your desired appliances from a different source… As NatureKast solely offers custom kitchen cabinets, and doesn’t appear to partner with a specific appliance brand.
To pin down further information regarding your custom outdoor kitchen layout… NatureKast suggests consulting with your local dealer.
And since NatureKast themselves admittedly don’t provide a wealth of clarity on this matter… We’d say that’s definitely your best course of action!
Which conveniently enough, brings us to our final points of discussion…
NatureKast Outdoor Cabinetry Challenges & Must-Know Facts
Before you commit to NatureKast cabinetry… There are a few must-know facts that are well worth bearing in mind.
Let’s talk about what to expect when working with NatureKast… And any potential challenges that lie ahead.
You’ll Need To Find A Dealer Near You
We’ve hinted at this a few times already… But when you work with NatureKast, you won’t really be working with NatureKast.
Rather, their outdoor kitchen cabinetry is sold through a network of third party dealers.
NatureKast does offer a dealer locator on their site, which makes it easier to find an authorized showroom near you…
But all in all, this outsourcing may ultimately end up causing more harm than good… And here’s why.
For starters, bringing a middle party into the fray often gives way to information gaps.
A dealer may not have as in-depth knowledge about NatureKast as NatureKast themselves would… Potentially leading to miscommunications or missteps.
What’s more… As previously noted, all NatureKast outdoor kitchens are built to order… And will require a custom design.
And before you can come up with that custom design… You’ll need to connect with a dealer.
This means you’ll need to spend time searching for a dealer, potentially vetting said dealer, and then coordinating an initial meeting… All before you can start designing your outdoor kitchen.
And even when you do get in touch with a dealer and start drafting your design… You’ll be forced to work around their schedule (which may already be booked up!).
Unfortunately, all of these necessary steps may draw out the process significantly longer than you had anticipated… Leaving you without an outdoor kitchen for additional weeks or months.
NatureKast Installation Isn’t DIY-Friendly
So, you’ll need to rely on a dealer to design and order your NatureKast outdoor kitchen cabinets…
And on top of that, you’ll also need to rely on that same dealer to actually install your outdoor kitchen once it arrives.
This is because NatureKast claims that their cabinetry “requires a skilled installer.”
Indeed, the installation process does not appear to be beginner-friendly (not by a long shot!).
And even with the help of your dealer… It may take multiple weeks to actually get your island up and running.
Depending on the size and scope of your custom design… The cabinets may need to be bolted together… Cabinet and drawer boxes will need to be properly installed… Handles or pulls will need to be inserted… Countertops need to be cut and placed… And built-in appliances need to be fitted.
And not to scare you off… But that super-simplified summary barely scratches the surface.
Needless to say, this definitely isn’t a DIY outdoor kitchen solution.
But, working with a dealer for design and installation isn’t the only challenge to be aware of…
Countertops & Hardware Are Sold Separately
When you order NatureKast kitchen cabinets… That’s all you’ll get.
As we pointed out earlier, you will have to buy appliances and accessories separately… But these components aren’t the only essentials that don’t come in the box.
Countertops and must-have cabinet hardware (knobs, pulls, or handles) are also missing!
NatureKast does offer a full line of durable pulls and knobs… But this is yet another component that you’ll have to coordinate with your dealer to actually get.
As for the countertop, you’ll need to have one custom cut to top off your kitchen design… Which means you’ll need to hire yet another professional to get your kitchen up and running. (If you’re ambitious, you could also attempt a DIY concrete countertop!)
But all in all, things just keep getting more and more complex.
NatureKast Reviews Are Hard To Find
Let’s shift our focus to another key consideration:
If you’re still on the fence about NatureKast… Looking through other homeowners’ experiences may ultimately sway your opinion one way or another.
But for a company that’s been around since 2009… We couldn’t pin down nearly as many reviews as you’d expect.
The reviews we could identify did skew towards the positive side… And customers generally seemed happy with the finished product.
But honestly, the lack of reviews is a bit disconcerting… And makes it even more difficult to get a feel for the overall customer experience.
Your best course of action here may be combing through reviews of your local NatureKast dealers, specifically… And filtering the results to show only relevant ratings. (Any reviews not related to NatureKast obviously won’t be super useful to you!)
NatureKast Cost (It Isn’t The Cheapest Option!)
There’s just one key question left to consider…
How much do NatureKast cabinets cost?
Unfortunately, NatureKast offers no clarity on this matter.
Of course, it really depends on the size and scope of your custom kitchen island…
And presumably, pricing will vary depending on the dealer you work with, where you’re located, and the scope of services they provide you.
So, defining an average cost of NatureKast cabinets would certainly be a challenge. We’ll give them that.
But if you’re just after a ballpark figure of NatureKast cost… The video above may give you a basic idea.
In this video, the homeowner reveals that he spent $14,000 on the cabinets alone for his L-shape kitchen structure… Excluding the cost of appliances, insulated jackets, countertops, or hardware.
At least in this instance, this puts the final price of a NatureKast outdoor kitchen above the nationwide average of $13,000.
And once you account for all additional components, plus your dealer’s labor and design efforts… The total cost will only continue to rise.
For some, the stylish, high quality faux wood cabinetry may make it easy to justify that elevated price tag.
For others, however… This simply won’t be feasible.
So, where does that leave you?
Not Sold On NatureKast?
There’s no denying that NatureKast cabinets (for the most part) are ultra-durable, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind.
But regardless, the road to getting a Naturekast kitchen may just be too darn complicated.
We get it!
You’ll have to work through a third party dealer to craft, order, and install your design… Crucial details are a bit hazy… And not every necessary component comes in the box, which certainly could be frustrating.
So, if you’re after a convenient outdoor kitchen, that doesn’t require you to dig deeper for all the details…
A custom outdoor kitchen kit that comes with everything you need, right out of the box…
Or even a DIY outdoor kitchen that lets you take control of your own timeline, from the start…
We have a solution for you.
Of course, we’re talking about our own RTA outdoor kitchens.
Make Your Life Easier With RTA
When you work with RTA for your custom outdoor kitchen design… You’ll reap the benefits of Naturekast, while leaving all the complications and uncertainties behind.
Our fully custom outdoor kitchen islands are made with durable composite concrete panels… Which are ultra-resistant to even the most adverse weather. (Plus, they’re covered under a limited lifetime warranty).
If you’re all about the real wood look… These are available in weathered wood ash or umber finishes.
But if you’re keener on the durable weatherproof plastic side of the equation, we’ve got you covered on that front, too.
RTA offers pre-designed modular kitchen islands, constructed with durable marine-grade composite panels… For a lightweight, long-lasting outdoor kitchen that comes with everything you need, right out of the box.
Now, let’s circle back to the point.
How exactly will RTA make your life easier?
Well, for starters… When you work with us, you’re only working with us.
You don’t have to go through or pay for third party dealers, and submitting a custom design can be done at your convenience with our free online design tool.
Then, you’ll connect one-on-one with a Design Expert…. So we can custom craft your kitchen to perfectly match your specifications.
From there, every component will ship straight to your door (this includes the kitchen structure, appliances, countertops, and all necessary hardware).
And when it comes to installation… We’ll give you all the resources to DIY, or connect you with one of our Pro Installers to get the job done. In either case, your entire kitchen island can come together in less than a day!
We’re firm believers that crafting an outdoor kitchen shouldn’t be complicated… And to further help you, we provide all sorts of helpful details via our Learning Hub.
So check out our available resources… Get in touch… And in no time, you’ll be cooking outdoors, in style.
Need Help With Your Plans?
NatureKast uses a variety of materials to craft their weatherproof outdoor kitchen cabinets… Including polyurethane resin, high pressure laminate, and marine-grade high density polyethylene for the cabinet doors, and expanded PVC sheets for the cabinet drawers and boxes.
Aside from high pressure laminate, all of these materials are well-suited to endure the outdoor elements… And should last for years to come.