Hardware Retailing

FEB 2019

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://www.hardwareretailingarchive.com/i/1074585

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Page 73 of 102

February 2019 | HARDWARE RETAILING 67 Cabinetry, Countertops and Storage In order to prep and cook a meal conveniently, every kitchen needs countertops. When selecting a countertop for the outdoors, homeowners must take into account the different materials. Porous stones like marble, limestone and bluestone stain easily and would be better to avoid, according to an article by HGTV. One of the most durable options to choose is granite, as it doesn't absorb stains or odors and shouldn't fade in the sun. Soapstone is another option, and while the colors are limited compared to granite, it is resistant to heat, stains and bacteria. A design style that Erickson prefers when designing outdoor kitchens for his clients is concrete countertops. "To ensure that concrete countertops remain durable outside, professionals can add steel rods to reinforce it, providing tension," he says. "Concrete is less likely to crack if a homeowner takes these precautions. They can also add different colors or glass to concrete and then add a polish on top. It's a very versatile style." As outdoor kitchens become a more common project, there are more manufacturers that create cabinetry designed specifically for the outdoors. Popular types include weatherproof cabinets made of a specialty resin material that looks and feels like wood. These can come in a variety of finishes and styles. Plus, many are constructed to allow homeowners to select cabinets for appliances and provide storage spaces. Metal cabinets are also popular as they can withstand changing weather, rot and insects. These cabinets come in a variety of styles, providing the opportunity to customize a kitchen's finished look. Some cabinet manufacturers create systems that fit specific grills and cooking units, while others make customized cabinetry. According to Erickson, modular kitchens can allow a homeowner to do it themselves. "Many modular kitchens are stainless steel setups that can be mixed and matched," he says. Storage keeps outdoor kitchens organized, so homeowners don't have to run inside for tools. These may include hidden drawers for trash bins, pull-out cutting boards and drawers to store cooking tools. In Your Store If your business offers more extensive cabinet and countertop offerings, you should consider cross-merchandising items that are designated for outdoor spaces. • If cabinets and countertops are not your specialty, consider offering standalone, modular equipment. This might be easier to stock or special order, so make sure their employees are able to show customers those options. Michael Erickson's Florida-based construction business Inside Out Kitchen and Bath specializes in helping its customers get the outdoor kitchen of their dreams. Erickson says stainless steel cabinetry is a trend he prefers in outdoor kitchens. Photo courtesy of Inside Out Kitchen and Bath

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