Use cement board without plywood for outdoor kitchen


This is the most traditional way to build an outdoor kitchen. In a nutshell: first a frame is welded from 304 stainless steel or aluminium studs. You can also join them by screws. Afterwards cement board with matching cutouts is applied onto the frame. The top is covered with counters (usually granite, though i did see another instructable here on the cement ones - they must be very heavy though...). All hardware is installed - grills, doors etc. And afterwards the cement board is covered with the veneer of your choice - stucco, stones, tiles, or a combination of all.

Of course of all this you will need a 4" cement footing or an otherwise solid non-sinking surface. Do not build on soft ground or even pavers - the kitchen will sink overtime and most likely break.

The board used is basically any decent cement board - Hardibacker or Durock or similar. It will be easy to cut and will readily accept any veneer.

This is a great and undisputed way to build a kitchen....

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A fiber cement board’s qualities as an exterior siding make it good for interior applications, too. Here are 10 ideas to try yourself.


Fiber cement board is almost the perfect exterior siding. Made of wood pulp and cement, it is durable, low maintenance, and resistant to fire, bugs, rodents, mold, and moisture. It can be made to look like wood clapboards or shingles, stucco, stone, and brick. It can even be painted or stained. Can you say versatile?

You save more than once with fiber cement. It has energy efficient properties, adding insulation to your home to help cut heating and cooling bills. It is also less expensive than the sidings it can imitate, which gives you a good return on your investment.

Why inside?

The same qualities that make it so attractive for exteriors make it a good material for indoors, too. Plus it has acoustic properties, so your house won’t sound like an empty cave. Because fiber cement is so versatile, it can be...

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Video Transcript

You know, after finishing a job like patching that hole in the wall, I like to relax a little bit and nothing is more relaxing for me than grilling outside. Well, Tom Bourbon and Rebecca Sweet, they live out in Los Altos, California love to cook outside too.

They asked me to come out and give them a hand with a very interesting project.
So this is where you were thinking, right here, huh?
Right in this corner.
Now, you cook outside. Who's the outdoor cook?
I do the outdoor cooking.
Tom yeah, indoor.
And Rebecca, you're the indoor.
Indoor, indoor cooking.
You have a nice division of labor there.
So, how are you doing it now?
Well I have a barbecue that I have to...

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With the old countertop stripped completely off, and the wall behind in good condition, measure your cabinets from the back wall to the front edge of your face frame. If you have frameless cabinets, measure to the front just behind the doors or drawer fronts. Subtract 1/8 in. from the measurement to allow for slight deviations in the wall and then measure the length. Transfer the measurements to the plywood and cut it with a circular saw and a straightedge guide for a clean, even cut.

Before you screw the plywood to the top of the cabinets, attach 2x2 wall cleats to the studs where there isn't any cabinet support (Photo 1). If you have a dishwasher opening, cut thinner 1x3 pine to length and screw it to the studs to make sure you've got plenty of room for the backside of the dishwasher.

Choose screws that will penetrate the drywall and go into the studs about 1 in. Longer screws could hit water pipes or electrical wires behind the wall. Screw the plywood (drill a...

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DEAR TIM: I need a recommendation for the finished surface of a small 42 inch long and 20 inch deep exterior potting bench and a somewhat larger outdoor kitchen top. I am on a limited budget and need a surface that is smooth and is more decorative than wood. My daughter would prefer pink if possible. The winters here can be bitterly cold so I want these tops to be maintenance free if possible. John C., Hartland, WI

DEAR JOHN: You can possibly get what you want and still be within budget with at least one of the tops. The potting bench top might be resting in the boneyard scrap pile of a local solid surface countertop fabricator. I have seen more than one pinkish-cast solid plastic countertop material that would be an ideal outdoor countertop surface. The craftspeople that make solid-surface countertops frequently end up with a variety of leftover scraps they sometimes sell for a song.

All of these materials will last outdoors. The smaller pieces of material are...

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I do in fact have a concrete base (cinder block). What is thermal excursion? I also have a problem with using ply because I can't have any combustible materials within 12" of each side of the grill. If I did use two layers of cement board I would have steel reinforcement every 12" across the 30" opening over the concrete base. I would also have overhang approx 12" in the bar area. Again, steel reinforcement. I am confident I could get two layers of cement board study. I am mostly concerned about tiles letting loose. The waterproofing material mentioned, do you thinset right on the proofing and then tile?

As a plan B I have thought of pouring a 1-1/2 counter top out of concrete or lightweight concrete with of course lots of steel and then dropping place. The reason why I wouldn't pour in place is because of the amount of linear feet of overhang. I don't care to shore up 20' of forms. Any thoughts on all of these questions and...

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By Lee Wallender

Updated July 26, 2016.

Can you install ceramic tile directly onto plywood? What about a plywood subfloor? Even if you can, should you?

The short answer to the first question: Yes. Before you go too far, ask the opposing question: Why not use cement board over the plywood?

Veteran Tile Man Tells the Best Way To Do It--If You Do It

Plenty of professional tile installers do install tile directly onto plywood.

Bill Vincent of Creative Ceramic and Marble, based in Bridgton, Maine, set his first tile in 1967 and has been in the tile trade since 1980

A member of the influential John Bridge tile forum, Vincent affirms to us that you can indeed tile over plywood. He does this frequently.

Several conditions must be met in order to do this:

1. Proper Thinset: Higher Latex Content

The first condition is to have the right type of thinset.

Thinset is the wet base that you first trowel on the...

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Layout your marble tiles on the countertop. Without using any mortar or adhesive, determine the placement of each tile, including borders and designs. Stack the tiles by row so you'll know where to install them.

Cut marble tiles as needed using a tile cutter. Rent or buy this tool from your local home improvement store. Wear safety glasses when cutting tile.

Mix thin-set mortar with water according to the instructions on the package. Only mix about 1 quart of mortar at a time, or it will get too dry before you can use it. Spread the mortar over a 6- to 8-foot-square area using a notched trowel.

Place your tiles firmly into the mortar bed without sliding them around. Add plastic spacers to maintain the desired grout lines.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to complete the rest of the countertop.

Use clamps and a 2-by-4 to build a ledge along the front edge of your countertop. Spread mortar over the edges and add marble tiles to fit this edge. Leave...

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I'm replacing my flooring in my house. 704 square feet of old ceramic tile in the foyer, hallway, dining room, powder room, kitchen, utility room, kitchen eating area. We're removing the old ceramic floor and plywood underlayment. We're replacing with new underlayment and Belmondo Porcelain tile...mostly 20x20 with some deco's in the dining room.

2 different tile guys want to do 2 different things:

Underlayment: plywood or cement board? which is better? The old ceramic tile floor is has plywood underlayment. There are some areas with cracked/missing grout, but not bad for 20 years or so.

Grout: cementacious or epoxy? We don't like cleaning grout (who does?) and have selected a dark grout color for that reason. Expoxy grout is thousands of dollars more for the job. Is it worth...

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I am installing a Stoney Creek Granite countertop on my outdoor kitchen (in New England).

What is the best surface finish type: polished, honed, or flamed?


For the most part the choice of surface finish on granite outdoor kitchen countertops is a matter of personal preference, but here's a few considerations:

A flamed surface is not a great choice for a countertop simply because it is a rough surface that will be much harder to keep clean. A great look for walls and good traction for floors though.

A honed granite finish is fine, but the color won't be as intense. However, it can still look stunning and many like a honed surface finish.

Other than that, there's not a significant difference in performance or countertop care & maintenance. Although, darker colors (particularly black) will show fingerprints and smudges more distinctly on a honed finish.

A polished surface is most popular...

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Last modified: February 01, 2016

Magnesiacore Inc.

... the economically viable alternative to drywall and plasterboard ©

Magnesiacore™ Technology uses proprietary processes with magnesium oxide compounds to deliver a versatile, non-combustible, and unique board material. This hard,...

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Hardiebacker: this stuff is the single most useful material for applications where ceramic tile is involved; it can be used as a sub-floor, a base for counter-tops and all over the bathroom as a more durable, waterproof alternative to greenboard. It’s water resistant, non-flammable and mold resistant, making it a DIY home owner’s dream material. I know this for a fact. I put a piece of Hardiebacker to the test.

First I left it outside in the rain for a week, then let it dry out and started piling trash on it. Then I set the trash on fire (don’t ask, it’s just another typical day on my driveway). After the ashes cooled, I pulled the HardieBacker out – and aside from some black soot, it was still as good as ever. At our local Home Depot they had a little display – a small square of Hardiebacker in a plastic box full of water, hanging on a chain from the rack where the boards were displayed. According to the date on the container, it had been there since 2001. That means that...

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