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How to Build a Surround for an Outdoor Grill

A grill surround is a brick or stone structure in front of which is placed an outdoor grill. It establishes a permanent location for the grill, and protects it, too. If you're a grilling enthusiast about to make your own background grill surround, consider making it with counter space on each side of the grill. Extra counter space provides a safe, secure place to set down cooking utensils, a bowl of basting sauce, a platter of grilled food or your drink.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 stone countertops, 24-by-24 inches
  • Bricks
  • Work gloves
  • Mortar
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Mortar mixer drill attachment
  • Drill
  • Level
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    • 1

      Choose where you plan to install the surround. This location should be a paved area away from your house and any overhanging structures, such as trees.

    • 2

      Lay down the first course, or row, of bricks, to test the layout of the surround. Leave 1/2-inch space between the bricks where the mortar will be. For a grill that is 24 inches wide, the center part of the grill surround should be about 9 standard bricks (8-by-4 inches) wide and 3 bricks deep. Temporarily wheel the grill to the center of the surround, so that the back of the grill touches the surround, so be sure it fits well.

    • 3

      Continue laying bricks to build a square brick support post -- 3 bricks wide and 3 bricks deep -- on each side. The back of these posts will be formed by the wall that will run behind the grill, and the sides of these posts will form the sides of the surround. Plan for each course of bricks to contain approximately 33 bricks. The number of bricks you will need will depend on the height of your surround. Shorter people will want a shorter surround, taller people want a taller surround. Assuming your grill surround will have at least 6 courses of bricks, you will need at least 200 bricks. When the first course is in place, wheel the grill back into place and check that you have enough clearance to get it in and out of the surround. Make adjustments to your first course, if necessary. If your grill is larger than 24 inches, you may need to add more bricks to the back wall of the surround and widen the space between the posts so that the grill will fit. Remove the grill when the adjustments are made and you know the exact layout of your bricks.

    • 4

      Put on your work gloves and mix the mortar in a 5 gallon bucket, following the manufacturer's instructions. Use a mortar mixer drill attachment.

    • 5

      Remove the first 5 bricks from the grill surround and lay mortar in their place, using a trowel. Spread mortar over the sides of the bricks with a trowel, then place them on the wet mortar. Remove the next 5 bricks in the surround, lay mortar in their place, spread the sides of the bricks with mortar then replace them on the wet mortar. Continue this until the entire first course has been laid, then scrape off any extra mortar with the trowel.

    • 6

      Spread mortar over the top of the first course of bricks, then lay down the second course of bricks. Stagger the bricks so that each brick in the second course is centered over the ends of two bricks in the first course, rather than simply stacking the second course of bricks over the first course of bricks. Spread the sides of each brick with mortar before placing it on the surround. When the second course has been laid, check the top of the bricks with a level. Scrape off extra mortar from the bricks using a trowel.

    • 7

      Continue to lay bricks, repeating this same method. When you've laid approximately five courses, wheel the grill back into place and open the lid. The lid should open all the way without hitting the wall behind it. Determine how many more courses you can lay behind your grill without obstructing the open lid by stacking one or two bricks on the wall behind the grill.

    • 8

      Continue to lay as many courses as you determined will be possible without obstructing the lid. Periodically check the level of the surround.

    • 9

      Continue to add bricks to the posts until you've built them as high as you want the countertops to be.

    • 10

      Lay a bead of masonry adhesive around the top of each post and put the stone countertops in place.