Outdoor kitchens are a great addition to any outdoor living area. Not only they are the perfect place to have guests over on nice weather days, but they also can make your patio look fantastic. Choosing countertops for outdoor kitchens is the cherry on the cake, and it doesn’t have to be a hassle, so long as you are well-informed and know your priorities right.
There are definitely 2 things you want when selecting outdoor kitchen countertops. You want them to look great and increase your home’s visual appeal, but you also want them to last decades, withstanding the elements and the way you use them.
Finding out the best countertop material for your indoor kitchen is simply a matter of getting these 2 goals in line. Selecting something that visually complements your style and looks great to your preferences, while at the same time being as durable and low maintenance as possible.
Outdoor Kitchen Countertops: Find out your best options
To help you with that, we have deeply analyzed common countertop materials and selected your best options, their pros and cons.
Natural stones countertops are a great choice outdoors since they are ultra-durable and will last for decades, even when exposed to the elements. Now, out of all natural stones, granite is definitely a top choice.
Granite countertops are low on porosity and very hard. That means they won’t scratch or stain easily and require very little maintenance (cleaning and eventual sealing). They are also extremely heat-resistant, which makes day-to-day use really stress free.
As for appearance, granite can be found in numerous varieties and tones and one of them is sure to perfectly fit your style. Overall, a great option of countertop for outdoor kitchens.
This is another natural stone option you should definitely check out. Performance-wise it’s similar to granite in all aspects. Nevertheless, quartzite offers a twist on granite traditional freckled appearance.
Quartzite slabs can be found in very interesting tones and patterns, some that resemble marble for instance. You can trust quartzite to make an excellent job as an outdoor kitchen countertop.
Although marble is a natural stone and it will last exposed to the elements, you can’t expect it to keep a lustrous polished look.
Marble is actually a softer stone that will weather a lot with time. If you like the look of honed or tumbled marble, and doesn’t matter a few stains and etch marks, then you can go for it.
However, if what you have in mind is a shining white marble countertop, that’s not going to last.
Maybe you haven’t heard of it, but you’ve definitely seen paver outdoor kitchen countertops before. If you like the way a countertop made of brick or concrete pavers look, then it is quite practical.
Pavers are already a number one choice for patios, so continuing the theme all through your countertops is not a bad idea. Plus in case repairs and stains happen, you can always replace just the affected area.
Pavers do require a bigger cleaning and maintenance effort.
If you like the way concrete countertops look, and they fit your design style, they can, by all odds, be considered as options of countertops for outdoor kitchens.
Nevertheless, extra care must be taken on installation cause concrete counters tend to crack. Also, you need to consider that they will require regular sealing, and that pigments mixed on the concrete will face fading over time.
Tile countertops are actually quite common outdoors, they can be beautiful and still prove themselves a lower-cost option.
Material wise, we’d recommend porcelain over ceramic, or better yet, natural stone (which will not suffer from fading, as pigmented materials will).
With that taken care of, the main issue tile countertops face when outdoors is with their grout. Not only they require attention and sealing, but they also tend to lose color (choosing a darker grout will solve the problem).
Countertops for Outdoor Kitchen: The no-no list
Let’s also discuss some options of countertop material you should avoid using in an outdoor setting.
Although sold at a great price, laminate countertops such as Formica are not your best choice outdoors. While laminates are now able to look like stone, they are definitely not as durable.
The problem is on the particle board though, not the laminate itself. Constant exposure to the elements will cause them to rot or warp.
Butcher block countertops look great, no doubt here. However, they will always be high-maintenance and less durable, even indoors. That’s an option you should count out from the start outdoors.
Solid Surface Countertops
Although solid surface is stronger than laminate, it’s still easy to scratch. To top it off its color will fade under constant exposure to sunlight and that’s not what you want.
Although engineered stone is a great, really low maintenance option indoors. It’s not suitable for outdoor usage, mainly because the pigments responsible for its color will fade.
We’re sure you don’t want to pay the higher price tag of this premium material just to watch that happen.
Choose What Fits Your Lifestyle Better
Now you have all the information you need in order to make the right choice. Use it with care.
Choose a countertop for your outdoor kitchen that will fit perfectly in your lifestyle and that looks great to you. Avoid the temptation of choosing something beautiful but which will require a time commitment you can’t make.
If you decide on a natural stone or even a paver countertop, we will be more than happy to help you with your project. Visit our showroom in Sarasota, FL. We will be waiting.