Facing an outdoor kitchen with stucco
Stucco is a cement based mortar that is spread thinly over a solid backing. Stucco can be used on and type of outdoor kitchen base structure: concrete block, wood-framed with backer board, or steel-framed with backer board. It is lightweight and easy to apply.
Out west, stucco is one of the most common materials for home facades due to the predominance of Mediterranean style architecture. Homes inspired by this European sun drenched style almost always integrate stucco and red tile together. It is also a key element in Santa Fe style homes where Arizona flagstone's light sandy color tones are a perfect fit with stucco in a more rustic, natural look.
The ability to extend stucco into the outdoor kitchen helps save money and blend with the architecture more effectively. Stucco is also the least expensive surface material, particularly when used on a larger scale. The beauty of stucco is the rainbow of colors possible, which brings a wider range of aesthetic options for unique homes, sleek modern looks and artistic flares.
There are a variety of decorative options with stucco. It can be toweled on in ways that create unique patterns and textures. Additionally, stucco can be colored using pigments or stains. Pigmented stucco has color throughout the mix, so that it won't flake off. Stained stucco is colored after curing and is only on the top finish coat. Synthetic stucco (EIFS) is also available in many colors and textures. Synthetic stucco is easier to apply than cement stucco and has some flexibility, which helps prevent cracks. However, in some cases it has trapped water and led to rot.
Maureen Gilmer, contributing writer for Landscaping Network, author and syndicated columnist
Sarah Hutchinson, contributing writer for Landscaping Network