Preparing a patio for your Grillo Outdoor Kitchen

Here at Grillo, we find that quite a number of our customers are buying their Grillo outdoor kitchen at the same time as doing other landscaping works in their garden.

We’ve put together this article to give our recommendations on a number of frequently asked questions specifically around the preparation of patios. Here’s what we’ll be covering:

Which material is best for my patio?

Our strong recommendation is that you choose a smooth material for your outdoor kitchen area. Just ensure that it has non-slip properties so it won’t get slippery when wet!

Having smooth porcelain or smooth natural stone ensures that the gap beneath the outdoor kitchen units will be even and consistent. Rough surfaces such as York stone or really riven sandstones mean that the whole kitchen has to be raised up to clear the highest points.

Another benefit of smooth surface finishes is that they require a lot less fall/gradient than say a rustic York stone finish. See our next subheading for more information about falls/gradients.

which material for my patio

Many of our clients choose porcelain paving for their patio areas where the outdoor kitchen is going to be. Porcelain is a synthetic product and is both hard-wearing and non-porous. This means it won’t absorb moisture or any oil or fat splashes, making it an extremely practical and sensible choice for outdoor kitchen areas. Porcelain paving is extremely low maintenance and will look good for years.

If you already have a patio with paving such as granite, sandstone, or natural stone, one way to alleviate the risk of marking the floor is to use a paving sealant that can protect your paving against oil, grease and stains. Typically though, the general weathering seems to wear out most stains caused by cooking, so there is no need to panic!

Other flooring materials:

  • Soft surfaces like grass, artificial grass or astroturf simply aren’t suitable for any outdoor kitchen to be placed upon.
  • Loose or compacted stone usually doesn’t work – unless done right! See our recommendations further down the page.
  • Timber or composite decking is an option – again, see our important recommendations further down the page.

What fall (gradient) should I have on my patio?

If you are laying a new patio, it is important to note this point: Whilst Grillo kitchens do have some adjustment with the screw-in feet, the kitchen units are predominantly designed to run with the fall of the patio.

Therefore, you will want to keep the gradient to an absolute minimum to ensure the kitchen is as level as possible.

Our recommendation is that you only need a minimal fall on your patio, such as 1:150

Some contractors recommend a much steeper fall, such as a 1:80 gradient. In our experience though, this is far too steep for outdoor kitchen areas. Here’s why:

  • A typical outdoor kitchen length is 3.6m
  • If the kitchen is installed totally level, you will end up with a wedge-shaped gap where the kitchen would be touching the ground at one end, and 45mm off the ground at the other end
  • Wedge-shaped gaps like this can potentially look unsightly and draw your eye to it

If your patio has got a steep fall on it, we would strongly recommend your outdoor kitchen is installed to simply run with the fall. This is typically what looks right for 99% of scenarios.

The only time that you may want to consider not going with the fall of the patio is if you have any horizontal design features directly behind your outdoor kitchen that you would like the kitchen to line up with (fencing, cedar slatted screening etc).

Will water still run off my patio if it only has a minimal fall?

The simple answer to this is yes. Water only needs a tiny bit of gravity to help it move and prevent pooling. Also, the fall required is somewhat determined by the type of paving you choose. Smooth surface finishes require a lot less fall than say a rustic York stone finish, hence our recommendations for materials such as smooth porcelain.

Can I put my outdoor kitchen on loose (or compacted) stones?

The answer here is no, unless done properly! It’s important to be aware that all Grillo kitchen cabinets have screw-in feet, that are used for small height adjustments. Due to the weight of the cabinets, putting these feet straight onto stones is not an option. Even if the stone is ‘compacted’, it still doesn’t work – the feet press into the stone, and there is insufficient support, causing the cabinets to be unstable, and potentially move over time.

If you do want the ‘stone/gravel look’, we strongly recommend casting a firm base (concrete or paving) underneath the kitchen. Then once the kitchen is installed straight onto the firm level surface, place your loose stones over the whole area to hide the concrete. The image here shows a work in progress project that will have stones added all around the kitchen.

Can I put my outdoor kitchen on timber or composite decking?

Yes, placing your outdoor kitchen on a timber or composite deck is normally fine. There are two main considerations to bear in mind:

  1. Firstly, due to the additional weight of the kitchen units, ensure you have sufficient joist support – especially below where the kitchen will be located. Composite decking such as Millboard has quite a bit of ‘flex’ in the product, and what you do not want is that the kitchen moves around as you walk past it! Better to be safe than sorry, and ensure there is plenty of joist support beneath the Grillo kitchen.
  2. The only item we do not recommend placing on decking is firepits such as the Chef’s Anvil, due to the potential damage and fire risk in the unlikely event of a hot ember falling onto the decking.

Do I need to put services (gas, water, electrics) in position before the kitchen arrives?

If you are ordering a fridge, sink, or a plumbed-in (NG) gas BBQ, then you will need to consider getting services in position. The stage at which you lay the patio is an ideal time to plan for this.

We like to make things as simple as possible, so check out our full page with video guides on how to get your services in position: https://dev.grilloliving.com/services/

Do I need foundations or footings for my Grillo kitchen?

The simple answer to this is no. The only requirement for the installation of the Grillo Vantage is a flat and level surface. The kitchen is free-standing, so no groundworks or footings are required unless you want any utilities plumbed in (see above).

We manufacture our outdoor kitchens offsite, so final assembly on-site is quick and simple.

Final words:

We trust you have found this guide helpful! If you have any further questions, please reach out to our friendly design team. You can contact them here, or send an email to design@grilloliving.com

Here are some other links and resources that you may find helpful:

Ready to start building?

Head to our online shop to browse the pre-designed Vantage layouts, or to build your own!

Other helpful tips from our blog

Does My Outdoor Kitchen Need a Roof?
Caring for Your Grillo Kitchen
Can I Move My Grillo Kitchen?