Stainless Steel Is The Perfect Outdoor Countertop

Stainless is often snubbed for an outdoor kitchen because it can be an expensive option. But when you consider just how impervious it is to damage, the extra investment is well worth it.

Here’s how to get those quotes under control, so you can get the best work surface for your outdoor space.

While it can be quite easy to estimate the cost of most countertops like quartz, marble and granite, it’s not quite as easy to calculate the final price on these counters. With a granite countertop, for example, a giant slab of stone will be installed through a professional team that has the tools and the know-how to do it properly.

With stainless steel counters, however, you have the following 3 options to choose from and each one of them will cost quite a different amount.

Stainless countertops through a retail outlet

If you aren’t worried about the cost factor or don’t have the time to create a do-it-yourself outdoor countertop, the easiest way to get a stainless steel counter is through a retail outlet. You can get one made for you that is customized according to your preferences through Home Depot and many other renovation outlets. The company will come into your home, show you your options, take measurements and then return later with a finished product that is ready to install. From start to finish you won’t have to worry about a thing except for paying the high bill.

The cost: There is going to be a big price tag attached to this countertop. You can expect to pay anywhere from $3000 up to $6000 depending on the size of your patio and any other special features that you want added to your order. In many cases you’ll end up paying more than you would for granite!

Do-it-yourself stainless countertops

For anyone on a budget that needs a new countertop, it may just be your answer as long as you’re willing to take on a do-it-yourself project. You’ll have to line up a fabricator in your area to bend and shape the metal to your exact specifications and you’ll need to provide specific measurements. This isn’t really a difficult task to take on as long as you are willing to put a bit of time into finding a professional that can help you out and that is willing to do an outside installation.

The cost: With everything included you can have a shiny new outdoor countertop for $400 - $800. For a high-end countertop, this is an amazing price and is something that should be considered seriously -especially if you are following a strict budget.

A mix of do-it-yourself options and professional help

If you walk into a retail outlet and order a stainless steel counter you’re not only going to be paying for the professionals that do the fabrication and the installation. There will also be money flowing to the store since it is acting as a middleman in the process. These costs can run extremely high and there really isn’t any need to pay them at all.

You can find your own metal worker and then locate a handyman that can help you with the installation and even track down the source of the steel yourself. There are used furniture stores that have long stainless steel tables or workbenches that they are selling fairly cheap. Finding a fabricator is just a matter of doing a search on the Internet and then making a few calls. If you already have a handyman, he can help with the installation. It really isn’t that difficult.

The cost: This can vary according to the amount you have to pay to the steel shop and the person you hire to help with the installation. In most cases you can expect to get the job done for under $1000.

Price per foot

In general, you’re going to have to pay approximately $150 per sq. foot for your outdoor cooking area that comes from a retail store or outlet. This can go as low as $100 or as high as $200, depending on whether you add on any extra features such as special edge work, marine detailing or integrated sinks. Of course, if you decide to add a backsplash on as well, you’re going to have to do dig deeper into your pockets.

The do-it-yourself route will generally cost $15 - $20 per sq. foot if you shop around for deals on the stainless steel and hire a reasonably priced fabricator. If you do it on your own with the help of a professional installer or a handyman your cost will average about $30-$40 per square foot. As with the pricing for a retail store counter, the pricing can vary significantly for do-it-yourself projects.

When you buy a countertop for your deck or patio it’s a lot different than purchasing a granite or quartz counter. With quartz, granite, marble and other natural stones, you are paying for the slab of stone along with a professional installation. There aren’t too many ways to save money with these types of counters since the slab of stone costs a certain amount and you do need to have it professionally installed.

With stainless steel countertops, however, things are a lot different. You can go out and compare prices in your area. You can look for ads on craigslist for restaurants that may be almost giving away their old work surfaces. With an outdoor counter that’s made of steel, your biggest cost will be paying a fabricator to custom design it for you. If you find a steelwork shop on your own and talk to the owner, you may just find that these costs can be greatly reduced by avoiding any middleman.

You have a lot more control over your pricing when you choose a stainless steel countertop. It can be done as a do-it-yourself project and when you do it this way you can save thousands of dollars - literally!

Updated: September 22, 2016