Tile is a versatile material to help make your outdoor barbecue area a real focal point. You can use raw and tumbled materials such as slate or concrete for a rustic appearance, or slick and smooth enamel tiles to coordinate with a modern-looking outdoor grilling area. Tile is relatively inexpensive, so you can play around and experiment with different tiles, colors and textures to make your barbecue area look as good as the food you grill.
Mexican Tile Bar and Grill
Use earth-red colored Mexican clay tiles to give your barbecue station the look of a Southwestern bar and grill. Build a bar-height counter, using the tiles on the top and the base of the bar. Build the bar so the barbecue grill and the bar are one solid unit. As an alternative, you can build a bar as a separate unit if you have a portable grill on wheels. The tiles can also be used to create the flooring so the barbecue spot looks like a separate area. Use wrought iron bar stools to add to the Southwest theme.
Caribbean Poolside BBQ Station
If you’re planning a poolside outdoor barbecue station, use enamel tiles in colors of the Caribbean waters. Enamel tiles are good for outdoor use because they're non-porous, pre-sealed and easy to clean. Turquoise is a good color choice that will blend well with a stainless steel barbecue grill or even a black portable cast iron grill. You can use the tiles on the counter and on the walls of the barbecue station. Add decorative tiles with seashells and nautical graphics to accent the poolside grilling location, and invite guests over for a Caribbean jerk-style barbecue party.
Tiled Serving Counter
A short retainer wall-style serving counter provides a creative way to design a multi-use wall in front of a built-in barbecue. Unlike a snack bar that’s at seating height, a serving counter should be around 4 feet tall, and 2 to 3 feet wide. The counter's ledge doesn’t have to be very wide, just big enough to hold plates. You won’t need a huge quantity of tiles, making it easy enough for a do-it-yourself project. You can cover the wall counter with just about any type of tile, from enamel to stone. A slate tile countertop is a good choice for a natural look that also ties in to the gray of stainless steel. By placing the counter in front of the grill, you can dish up barbecue to guests and they can bring you drinks to keep you refreshed while you’re grilling.
Mixed Grill Welcome Mat
Welcome guests to step right up to your grill by replicating a welcome mat. This is an idea you can create easily with brick paver tiles, concrete tiles or stone tiles such as limestone or flagstone. The mat should be at least three or four times the size of a conventional mat so it stands out. To make it look like a mat, use a contrasting color for the border, or add a personal touch by laying out tiles in the center of the mat in the shape of your initials.
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