i have a customer ask about finishing an outdoor kitchen consisting of a 20 gauge steel frame. They were initially going with hardi backer and a tile/ veneer stone. That is until their "minds were blown" by the possibilities of vert carving.
My question is.....what is the best way to go about applying the vert to the steel frame? Dura rock? Hardi backer? Metal lathe? Spider lathe? It has to be structurally sound for the cold New England weather. I want make sure the only thing that will have to be replaced will be the grill!!
Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks
Ryan

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I would go with the durarock. Screw it to the metal frame, then use a notched trowel and apply a modified thinset to give your texture mud something to hold on to. If you use the wood, be sure to seal the edges where you had to make any cuts. 

Thanks Warren.  All feedback is welcome 

Warren Ness said:

Im interested in feedback as well as I will be bidding one as well. I have done some brainstorming and planned to use MDO board as sheathing as it is designed to handle the elements a little better. Metal lath or spider lathe stapled to the sheathing  and scratch coated. I will be interested to see what other contractors have used.

Thanks mike (mikey)
Thinking of just using durarock with a scratch coat in my bid.  Do you have any experience with metal studs for exterior?

Mikey Da Rat said:

Never us wood if you can avoid it unless you have a vapor barrier between the wood and plaster your carving.

Thanks jeff,  I asked "mikey" as well, any experience with metal studs as an exterior frame?  Ive done a lot of interior framing, but I curious about rust eventhough it's galvanized 

Jeff Tobler said:

I would go with the durarock. Screw it to the metal frame, then use a notched trowel and apply a modified thinset to give your texture mud something to hold on to. If you use the wood, be sure to seal the edges where you had to make any cuts. 

i agree with mikey the rat block is always the best solid sjubstrate you can use on almost any outdoor structure. and my next choice would be metal studs covered by durarock i have made quite a few outdoor kitchens both ways.

Thanks Scott, I figured as much with the dura rock. Doing block could be tricky do to the size of the area and the amount of inserts (grill, fridge, cabinet, etc.). If there was a brick oven or something more substantial than block would be the way.
My biggest concern is rust, galvanized-shmalvinized! I need to weatherproof the entire frame. I'll have to do more investigation. Any experience with redguard or other waterproofing membranes?? I use them for interiors though not for exterior. But those Florida winters aren't as brutal as Boston :)

Metal studs with Durarock or any concrete board will do you good.  When you have limited space and multiple appliances, block is too big. So most outdoor kitchens (in my area) are steel stud construction. Glue the bottom plate down when you attach it, dont hesitate to glue the concrete board to the studs when you screw them on, wrap it in concrete board, MAKE SURE you tape the joints and mud them good, Jeff is right about the modified thinset for a scrath coat and then go to carving. You wont have any issues. I am building an outdoor kitchen for a client as we speak, I am constructing it the same way, carving all the face and pouring concrete counter tops. It will last a long long time!

we may not have brutal cold winters but we have insane humidty and moisture almost year round. this very moist climate can wreak havoc on metal studs best thing i have dun is spray the metal frame down with rustoleum rustconverter/blocker before applying the cement board. about a year and a half ago i built an outdoor kitchen on a large dock that has one end that is used as a fish cleaning station and is subject to massive amounts of water both naturally and by heavy use we used metal studs and cement board on this one sprayed the whole frame down including the track before attaching and it still looks great and is as solid as the day we built it a year and a half is not that long but with the amount of water this thing sees it sould be a rust bucket by now!

Thanks to everyone who gave their input! It's good to know that you all are willing to give your 2 cents. It's important to have discussions to make sure that we are up to snuff with any new materials and methods. Do it right the first time.
Hi Ryan, you could also check out Eldorado Stone, they have a full kit that will provide the base for your kitchen.

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