A gas grill that uses propane makes it easy to cook family meals or entertain outdoors. A grill that uses charcoal or wood is messy and much less user-friendly. Installing a brick grill creates a stable structure to withstand the elements over time, too. The component parts of a brick grill are not difficult to build for a DIY project if you have some basic bricklaying skills. However, be sure to use fire-retardant brick or tile on any interior surfaces, because basic masonry materials aren’t designed to withstand high temperatures.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Wooden stakes
- Concrete blocks
- Bags of mortar mix
- Pre-made grill unit
- Angle iron
- Metal doors
- Masonry bolts
- Gas supply
- Shutoff valve
- Concrete backerboard, ½ inch thick
- Fire-retardant tiles
- Masonry bit
Measure the basic footprint for your grill on a patio or at ground level. Buy all construction materials based on the dimensions, which will likely fill a space at least 12 feet square. Design the cooktop area to reach about waist-high, or 36 inches, similar to the height of an indoor stove or kitchen countertop.
Build a poured concrete base at least 12 inches deep that will support all weight of the grill structure. Dig out lawn dirt, so the top surface of the slab foundation comes out approximately level with the lawn. Build an inground form with 1/2-inch plywood held in place with wooden stakes for the concrete pour. Add rebar in the form to strengthen the concrete. Allow this slab base foundation to dry for several days.
Lay concrete blocks to form the grill shape. Buy bags of dry mortar that you will mix with water to install these blocks. Trowel mortar directly on the concrete slab base to hold the first row of blocks. Install mortar between individual blocks and between all rows. Build the basic shape of the grill and the chimney with blocks, leaving room for a gas grill unit. Allow room in the overall grill dimensions to add brick facing over the blocks for a professional look. Plan to install the pre-made grill unit roughly waist-high on top of the blocks, setting it into place carefully.
Frame any door openings in the grill structure with metal. Use angle iron to fit over the header of any steel doors or around door openings. Get an expert to cut and fit angle iron for these headers and for doorjamb material. Install angle iron with bolts into the blocks or bricks.
Cover the blocks with bricks on all four sides, if all four sides will show. Lay bricks, separated with mortar, to cover the concrete blocks. Allow a couple of days for the mortar between concrete blocks to dry before installing bricks over them. Use mortar between individual bricks and between each row of bricks.
Call the local gas company to run the gas line to the unit with a shutoff valve, if you will pipe natural gas to the grill. Ask for the input of these experts to install any type of gas from bottled propane or an in-ground tank as well. Follow all local safety codes.
Install ½-inch-thick concrete backerboard to form a countertop base. Place this backerboard to support the weight of poured concrete and tile that will form the countertop of the grill. Make sure the backerboard sits even with the outer edges of the brick. Pour a 2-inch-thick concrete surface directly on top of the backerboard to form the countertop base.
Install exterior-grade fire-retardant tiles on top of the 2-inch poured concrete slab. Use exterior-grade mortar to hold the tiles in place and separate them appropriately, forming the finished countertop surface. Cut tiles to fit around all edges of the countertop, which will all be held in place by mortar, so none of the 2-inch-thick concrete slab or 1/2-inch-thick backerboard is visible.
Add metal doors over any storage sections of the grill. Drill into angle iron with a masonry bit to attach the door hinges. Be sure to install a door below the grill cooking unit, so you can work underneath to replace the grill in the future, if needed, or check on the gas valve inside the base.
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