yards improved is a website devoted to advice on how to get the most out of your yard and outdoor areas
This article may contain links which lead to us earning commissions at no extra cost to you.

What Materials Are Best For Outdoor Cabinets

Ready to add storage for your outdoor kitchen? Cabinets and closets are a must to help you keep things handy and organized. But you’ll need to choose the material carefully to make sure they stand up to the elements!

There are a variety of suitable materials for this furniture. You’ll be able to find something that suits your style but also will hold up over time. Sure, there’s still maintenance you’ll have to do to keep them in tip-top shape. But if you choose well and treat them right, they’ll hold up for the long haul!

Common Concerns

Durability will be the first concern when you’re choosing outdoor storage. You have to be sure to choose materials that won’t fall apart from the heat or the cold, the dampness or the dryness. Most regular kitchen cabinets and closets are only suitable for the climate-controlled indoors.

You also should look for units that have doors and drawers that close tightly. This is to help keep dust from getting in and covering your plates, utensils, and everything else!

Of course, you’ll also want to think about the overall design. How will the pieces blend with the rest of your outdoor kitchen and the overall style of your yard? This is mainly a matter of taste, so we don’t have a lot to say here!

Finally, don’t forget to take into account the weather in your area – all year long. We know you don’t want to move all these pieces inside every winter, so you can’t forget to consider the materials. 

And while you’re making your choice, don’t forget to match things up with your countertops!

Don’t Forget The Hardware

It’s only natural to think of the sides and shelves of your storage, but the hinges, handles, and other hardware are just as important. They can be especially vulnerable to the weather, so choose wisely!

Stainless steel is always your best bet here, even if the main body of your piece is another material.  It can still rust, but with proper care and maintenance, it’s less prone to negative effects than most other materials.

Taking the Climate Into Account

Your location has a lot to say about what kind of outdoor cabinets you should choose. Your needs are vastly different in Toronto than in Phoenix. Consider temperature, rainfall, humidity, and other conditions before deciding. 

Here are a couple of suggested materials for the two general climates.

Humid Climates

If at least part of the year is humid or has a lot of precipitation, you have to be more careful about your choices of outdoor cabinets.

Wood is not generally the best idea for you. It can absorb moisture, which will warp the doors and sides over time. Not only will that look bad, but it can also mean that cabinets and drawers won’t close correctly. Even worse, if the wood wasn’t treated correctly, mold may grow on it.

Instead, opt for marine-grade aluminum or stainless steel. This type of aluminum is often used for nautical applications, so it will stand up to the weather. It doesn’t corrode as other metals do.

Stainless steel can corrode but it does hold up better than most other materials. 

Polymer plastics – aka PVC – may be the most durable options, although they often don’t look as stylish as other types.

Stone and concrete are also great choices. They’re the most durable options and weather well. 

Dry, Warm Climates

A drier climate lets you have a few more options. Woods like bamboo and teak are great choices (bamboo is also sustainable; teak is as well, although to a lesser extent).

All of the materials suitable for humid areas also work well in dry climates. But don’t forget that stainless steel can get very hot to the touch – even when the weather doesn’t seem oppressive. 

Other than that, you can confidently choose from any material suitable for outdoor use.

Don’t Forget The Maintenance

No matter which material you choose, however, be sure to properly maintain your closets and cabinets. Even the best need special care, rain or shine.

Keeping them clean and dry is key to their integrity. If you are expecting rain, snow, or heavy winds, it’s a good idea to cover the cabinets with a tarp. Also, wipe them down frequently to keep dust, dirt, grass clippings, and dead bugs (yuck!) from sticking to them. 

Bamboo should be sealed, but it’s tough to get it right if you’re not experienced. Teak does not need to be sealed.

Conclusion 

Cabinets and closets can be a great addition to your outdoor kitchen. But choosing the right materials and taking good care of them is necessary so they can hold up over the years. Don’t forget to consider the hardware, too, so that doors and drawers will always open smoothly!