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Tampa Outdoor Kitchen: Tips for Purchasing & Top 8 Installation Options

By James King

October 19, 2022

When you live in Tampa… You’re surrounded by natural beauty.

There are beautiful gardens and a gorgeous bay…

Not to mention the stunning museums, aquariums, and vibrant downtown.

When you live in such a gorgeous area… You want your backyard to look great, too!

Of course, there’s no better way to make that happen than with an outdoor kitchen.

You’re raising your home’s equity, adding more functionality to your yard, and bringing beauty to your outdoor living space!

But how should you go about getting a Tampa outdoor kitchen?

Let’s dive in!

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greetings from tampa postcard

Tips for Buying a Tampa Outdoor Kitchen

When you’re looking for an outdoor kitchen… You have to keep in mind the fact that it’s going to become a fixture in your backyard.

It will be constantly exposed to the elements. From rain, salty ocean air, to humidity, and maybe even hurricanes!

If you want your outdoor kitchen to last… It needs to be made of solid, weather-resistant materials.

Of course, better quality materials will drive up the pricing of your project! But it will be worth it to know that your investment will hold up.

Now, there are a lot of outdoor kitchen materials to choose from… How do you know which ones to pick?

linear grill island with refrigerator by pool in stacked stone terra

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Outdoor Kitchen Materials to Avoid in Tampa

When sourcing materials for your Tampa outdoor kitchen… It’s important to know the good, bad, and the ugly!

So let’s begin with which materials it’s best to steer clear from.

Wood Frames

wood outdoor kitchen structure in the midst of construciton

No matter what… Wood is at the top of the list of materials to avoid in an outdoor kitchen. 

While it’s relatively inexpensive and provides a nice aesthetic… Wood outdoor kitchens are simply too problematic

Wood is susceptible to warping, rotting, swelling, insect damage, and not to mention… It’s a fire hazard when a hot grill is resting on it!

Of course, the big red flag is how much of a safety hazard using wood is. 

But even if that gamble works out for you… Wood literally withers in the southern Florida climate. 

High humidity is the perfect recipe for warping, swelling, and rot.

And in as little as a few months… You can see the signs of significant damage. (Especially if you used wood for the finish!)

And considering you likely want your BBQ island to last a lifetime… Wood is the first material to scratch off your list. 

Metal Frames

a metal frame outdoor kitchen falling apart after a few winters

Metal frames get into a bit of a gray area.

If you’re looking to hire a professional in the Tampa area… More than likely, they will be using metal frames for your outdoor kitchen. 

This can limit your options! However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea entirely… Just recognize that there are some disadvantages to this material. 

So what are these issues, anyway? 

Just like wood, metal frames are not a fan of the Florida humidity.

Particularly when it comes to salty, coastal air. 

As you know… When metal comes into contact with salt, it corrodes. And this is exactly what happens with metal outdoor kitchen frames!

Of course, this means moisture has to penetrate into the interior of your island. And over time, this is inevitable. 

So if you choose to have metal frames form the base of your island… Recognize that this is a real risk!

Also use this knowledge to use metal that is more resistant to rust and corrosion. Marine grade stainless steel and aluminum will be your best options.

Now that we’ve covered the base materials to avoid… There are some finishes to steer clear from as well.

Stucco Finishes

a worn and cracking stucco finish on an outdoor kitchen with tile accent

Although this aesthetic is a smash-hit in many areas of the country… Stucco is a no-go in Florida. 

Why? 

As you know… The Tampa area is extremely humid. 

Unfortunately, humidity and stucco simply don’t mix. 

Your stucco will look pristine at first… But it won’t take long for cracks and pieces to flake off of your island.

Not only is this unsightly… It spells danger for the interior of your island!

If there’s metal on the inside of your island… That salty, coastal air will begin to corrode the structure. 

And when that happens… You’re in serious trouble!

Point is, it’s best to forgo the stucco.

Tile Finishes & Countertops

outdoor kitchen with a blue tile material finish

Another material to avoid when building your outdoor kitchen is tile.

Again, the high-moisture climate of Florida is just not good for this delicate material.

Sadly, tile is likely to pop off the sides of your island!

So again… Tile will cause the same problems as stucco. It’s not pretty, and will cause problems for the interior of your island.

Additionally… You might be considering using tile for the countertops. 

Countertop tiles are just as likely to pop off… And they’re actually not the most hygienic option. 

The problem isn’t the tile itself. It’s actually the grout in between your tiles… Which is difficult to clean and prone to harboring bacteria.

Yuck!

It’s best to leave tile to the interior of your home. 

Now, let’s review the recommended outdoor kitchen materials.

Outdoor Kitchen Materials to Use in Tampa

You want an outdoor kitchen that’s both durable and beautiful. One that can hold up in the face of high humidity, salty air, and maybe even hurricanes.

Here are a few of our top recommendations!

Stone Islands

two contractors finishing an outdoor kitchen with natural stone veneer

There’s nothing more classic than using stone for an outdoor kitchen. Used as a building material for thousands of years… It’s clear stone has some staying power. 

There is a caveat here, however. 

Most stone outdoor kitchens actually are not constructed with real stone. They are metal frame islands covered with cement board. 

Then, manufactured stone veneer is applied to this cement board. 

It often creates an authentic stone look… But it has the same problems as an outdoor kitchen finished with tile. 

Stones are prone to popping off… And this exposes the interior of your island. 

So, what are we really talking about here? 

Hand laid stone, or stone mortared to a concrete block substrate. 

Both of these options will be durable to all weather-related challenges in Tampa… And will last a lifetime when constructed properly!

The problem is, these options are extremely expensive. They require high-level masonry work… And the stones themselves are pricey. 

If your budget is unlimited, this may be an option for you. 

Otherwise… You’ll want to seek alternatives!

HDPE Islands

hdpe plastic sheets used for outdoor kitchen panels

If you’re looking to install your own outdoor kitchen cabinets… HDPE can be a great option in Tampa.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is a type of plastic that is highly resilient to the outdoor environment.

Unlike metal or wood… It’s completely immune to the challenges from Tampa’s salty, humid atmosphere. 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about pieces of the finish falling off. It’s solid plastic!

HDPE is durable and easy to clean… But there is a chance of the color fading over time in the sunlight. 

You can prevent this if you have a roof over your island, though! 

Concrete Islands

l shaped outdoor kitchen with refrigerator and double burner under pergola

Ultimately, concrete is always going to be our top recommendation.

It’s just as durable as real stone… Without any of the pitfalls. 

Living in Florida… You’ll likely be more than familiar with the benefits of concrete! Many Floridians choose to build their homes with concrete for its hurricane-resistance.

Same goes for an outdoor kitchen made from concrete!

Concrete is made to last a lifetime and is immune to corrosion, rust, rotting, warping, and swelling.

Not to mention… It can be made to match nearly any finish you desire!

Whether it be stone, brick, wood, plank, or a sleek modern finish… The outdoor kitchen world is your oyster with concrete.

And in the case of concrete outdoor kitchen panels(We’ll circle back to this!) The finish is fully incorporated into the structure. 

That means you won’t have to worry about anything popping off your island! 

If there’s one outdoor kitchen material that can do it all… It would have to be concrete. 

Alright, that was a ton of information about grill island materials!

Now that you know what to look out for… You might be curious about outdoor kitchen building and installation options in the Tampa area. 

Let’s take a look at what’s out there!

Durable Outdoor Kitchens

Our kitchens are built to withstand anything from extreme heat to ice and snow. Use our free 3D design tool to design your outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor Kitchen Tampa Builders

When you’re purchasing an outdoor kitchen… You want the highest quality, so the outdoor kitchen of your dreams will last for a long time!

To get the best results… It’s important to choose a Tampa outdoor kitchen contractor or company that cares about good craftsmanship.

Let’s discuss some of the top-rated outdoor kitchen options in the Tampa area.

Premier Outdoor Living and Design

Premier Outdoor Living and Design is an outdoor kitchen building company that has been around for 8 years.

Their outdoor kitchens are completely custom… And they use Blaze, Lynx, and more for their outdoor appliances. (They can likely work with whatever your preference is!)

It appears their islands are made from a metal frame system… But you’ll have to reach out to confirm!

Don’t want to stop at an outdoor kitchen?

They can also take care of your landscape lighting, water features, fire features, pizza ovens, and patio!

Premier Outdoor Living and Design has earned 4.2 stars from 5 reviews on Google.

premier outdoor living and design logo
premier outdoor living and design l shaped outdoor kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets and More

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets and More is a family-owned and operated business for three generations.

They’ve been in residential construction since 1964… And have been working with outdoor kitchens specifically for 17 years!

This company installs Werever cabinets.

These outdoor kitchen cabinets are made of HDPE and come in 14 different colors.

You can also choose from eight different door styles.

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets and More uses Lynx, Twin Eagles, Delta Heat, and more for their appliances.

You have a choice between granite or marble for countertops.

This company has 5 stars from 125 Google reviews.

Outdoor kitchen cabinets and more outdoor kitchen with open pull out trash

Soleic Outdoor Kitchens

Soleic Outdoor Kitchens is another outdoor kitchen company that sells HDPE cabinets. 

Their BBB profile opened in 2016… But they may have been in business before this!

Their cabinets come in 11 color options and have 9 door style options.

You can even get matching upper cabinets if you’re going to put your outdoor kitchen near a wall.

Their outdoor kitchen countertops are made of granite… And their appliance selections range from Delta Heat, Lynx, Primo, Perlick, Fire Magic, Twin Eagles, and Blaze.

Soleic has a showroom so you can see the islands in person! Showroom visits are by appointment only, so be sure to reach out ahead of time.

Soleic Outdoor Kitchens has a 4.9 rating from 45 Google reviews.

Soleic Outdoor Kitchens linear outdoor kitchen

Stone Outdoor Kitchen Tampa FL

Stone Outdoor Kitchens is another custom builder in Tampa.

While we don’t know how long they’ve been in business… Stone Outdoor Kitchen won the Houzz best of service award in 2018! So they’ve at least been in the game for a few years.

We also can’t 100% confirm the build method. While they offer a wide selection of manufactured veneer stone finishes… We don’t know if they use a metal frame system or not. 

They use Blaze, Memphis and Fire Magic Grill brands for appliances… And offer granite for the countertops.

They also sell pavers to help with outdoor kitchen patio construction!

If you decide to go with Stone Outdoor Kitchens… They’ll request that you book a showroom appointment to get started.

They’re rated 4.9 stars from 45 Google reviews.

stone outdoor kitchens logo
Stone Outdoor Kitchens linear outdoor kitchen with access doors and refrigerator

Cookin' Outdoors

Cookin’ Outdoors builds custom outdoor kitchens, fire and water features, pergolas, other shade structures, and more.

Owner Scott Taylor has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry… So you’ll be in good hands!

Cookin’ Outdoors’ outdoor kitchen islands are constructed out of 100% non-combustible concrete… And the countertops are made of granite.

They use Blaze grills and more for their appliances.

Their selection of granite comes from the oldest and biggest distributor of granite in the Tampa Bay area.

Cookin’ Outdoors is rated 4.7 stars with 23 Google reviews.

cookin outdoors logo
cookin outdoors l shaped outdoor kitchen

Just Grillin Outdoor Living

Just Grillin Outdoor Living is a one-stop source for custom outdoor kitchen designs, fire features, outdoor cabinetry, pizza ovens, pergolas & cabanas, outdoor furniture, grill replacements, grill detailing… And they even sell materials for your own DIY outdoor kitchen project!

They’ve been around for over 17 years… And have a showroom that is open 7 days a week (no appointment needed).

Just Grillin offers both custom islands and weatherproof outdoor cabinetry. Unfortunately, we were unable to confirm the construction method of their custom islands.

They use Blaze, Coyote, Alfresco, and more for their built-in grills.

Just Grillin has a rating of 4.5 stars from 154 Google reviews.

just grillin logo

Creative Outdoor Kitchens of Florida

Creative Outdoor Kitchens of Florida uses a variety of materials to create the custom outdoor kitchen you want. 

The BBB states that they’ve been in business for 16 years. 

According to their website, islands can be finished with stucco, stone, or NatureKast weatherproof cabinetry. We can’t confirm if they use a frame system for their custom islands or not.

They provide appliances from manufacturers like R.H. Peterson (creators of Fire Magic and American Outdoor Grill), DCS, Lynx, Blaze, Napoleon and many others.

They’ll also take care of your fire features, such as fire pits… As well as covered areas like a Florida room.

Creative Outdoor Kitchens of Florida have 4.9 stars from 118 Google reviews.

creative florida outdoor kitchens logo
creative outdoor kitchens u shaped outdoor kitchen

Outdoor Florida Kitchens

Outdoor Florida Kitchens is another custom builder in the area!

They’ve been around since 2007… And create their custom grill islands from a welded aluminum frame system.

And if you want to support American-made products… Outdoor Florida Kitchens prioritizes products made and assembled in the US.

Outdoor Florida Kitchens has 51 Google reviews with a 5 star rating.

All of these companies are well-reviewed options in the Tampa area…

So in the end, it’s just a matter of finding the one that best suits your needs!

But what if you’re looking for something a bit different? 

The Easiest Outdoor Kitchen Installation in Tampa

florida room furniture next to a pool and l shaped outdoor kitchen

If you like the idea of a custom outdoor kitchen, but you don’t want to turn your outdoor space into a construction zone

Then RTA is the option for you!

Our ready-to-assemble islands offer a completely non-invasive installation process… And it only takes a few hours!

How is this possible? 

With our high-performance concrete panels. Not only is the finish completely integrated into the panel… The assembly couldn’t be easier. 

You bolt the panels together, drop in the countertop, slide in the appliances… And that’s it!

And if you don’t feel like installing these grill island kits yourself… We have a network of RTA installers in Florida that can help you out! 

Even if we don’t have someone nearby… We’ll help find someone for you, right in Tampa.

Oh, and did we mention RTA islands can be customized? 

It’s just a few clicks away with our free online design tool. And from there… You’ll be connected with one of our design experts to bring your custom design to perfection.

You won’t even have to worry about sourcing your appliances, either. 

Every RTA outdoor kitchen comes with premium gas grills and appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living. 

Coyote’s appliances feature full 304 stainless steel construction and come with a lifetime warranty! (Your island will come with a lifetime structural warranty, too!)

We’ve got glowing reviews pouring in everyday, as well! We currently have 188 Google reviews at a solid 5 star rating.

So if you’re ready to get your custom outdoor kitchen sent to Tampa… 

We look forward to working with you on your new outdoor kitchen!

Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

Q&A

There’s no better spot for an outdoor kitchen than in Tampa! You can enjoy the great weather as you cook outside. Outdoor cooking also keeps the heat from the kitchen outside, saving you on your AC bill. Of course, it will raise your home’s equity as well. The one con of an outdoor kitchen in Tampa is the fact that the salty, humid air can cause rusting and corrosion faster than in other parts of the country. To combat this, you’ll want to invest in 304 or 316 stainless steel appliances.

How much your outdoor kitchen costs will depend on the contractors or company you use to make it! The US average for an outdoor kitchen is around $12,000, but it can range from only a few thousand dollars to as high as $30,000 or more for an extravagant layout.

An outdoor kitchen is actually very similar to an indoor kitchen… Except that it is outdoors! Your primary cooking appliances will be slightly different. An indoor kitchen will generally include a stovetop, while an outdoor kitchen relies on a grill. Otherwise, an outdoor kitchen can mirror the amenities of your indoor kitchen! Consider a refrigerator, sink, trash bin, and even a side burner.

There are a number of good outdoor kitchen companies that service Tampa and the surrounding areas like Clearwater and St Petersburg. Premier Outdoor Living and Design, Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets and More, Soleic Outdoor Kitchens, Stone Outdoor Kitchens, Cookin’ Outdoors, Just Grillin Outdoor Living, and Creative Outdoor Kitchens of Florida are a few of your options.

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