There are probably many different variations in design and construction that could be taken for the base cabinets for our outdoor kitchen (a kitchenette installed to the porch, or ‘lanai’). Both cabinets need to be designed to support the fixture that will eventually be installed in the cutout – one will accommodate a cooktop, the other a sink. Despite similarities in terms of fully supporting a permanently installed appliance, such as framing the cabinet top to accommodate a cutout, along with proper layout for doors and drawers, there are some big differences. One of the cabinets has to support a sink and the other has to support a cooktop. For our installation, which will be traditional, face frame cabinets homebuilt with a Kreg jig, here is the design/build approach
- Sinks can be top mounted, or bottom mounted, but there is also a hybrid option when using a solid surface top and a stainless steel sink. Typically our granite installer simply prefers to drop the sink into the cutout and have the framing support the sink rim, essentially sandwiching the sink rim between the sub-top and the bottom of the finished granite top. Since that is the installation we’ll be using for the lanai kitchen, the sink base has been framed to allow the sub-top to be cut out, and at the same time provide max support to the sink rim while allowing firm attachment of the sub-top at the perimeter of the sink.
- For the sink base cabinet, there will be a face frame and drawer blank on the front. In this case, the a small stretcher is installed horizontally across the top, and larger one below the drawer space. There is a tilt-out kit that can be installed in front of a sink base, so this base cabinet has been designed and built with that option in mind. The rear stretcher pieces are wider, with the vertical stretcher also designed to accept cabinet mounting screws. All pieces are screwed and glued with water proof glue.
- Cooktops take a lot more of the cabinet top area than a sink, and are supported typically by being top-mounted on the finished counter top. In this case, The Bosch cooktop will be supported at the finished top, and the granite will be protected by an insulated, cushioned tape. There are also required safety set backs to each side of the base cabinet due to the heat produced by the burners, and those have been considered in design of this cabinet.
- Because the opening is so much larger, and the set back from the front to the counter top is only 2 1/2 inches, the front stretcher here is installed vertically, with a cross-brace stretcher below it, with the two pieces glued and screwed together. A face frame and false drawer front will cover this stretcher hiding the pocket screws.