Some countertops designed for indoor kitchens work as well outdoors too. Naturally, outdoor kitchens have to put up with the temperature fluctuations and all elements year around. And so, it’s only fair to say that not all countertop materials are ideal for outside. Not if you want to keep them for more than just one season.
Everything regarding the aesthetics of the outdoor kitchen countertop is tremendously important – the texture, the material per se, the color. After all, this is what stands out – the countertop. But how impressive can a ruined countertop be? And how often can you afford a backyard remodel? For such reasons alone, the main consideration for outdoor countertops is durability. All the rest follow. So, let’s meet the candidates and explore the best countertop options for outdoor kitchens. Ready?
Granite is a natural stone and so comes with the good and the bad of natural stones. Since it takes years to form under earth, it is extremely durable. Since it slowly crystallizes, it creates the beautiful crystals granite slabs feature. Granite countertops pass the test for a suitable outdoor material with flying colors. Granite is strong, stain resistant, heat friendly, hygienic, very tolerant to hardship. Its main drawback is the very fact that it’s a natural stone and so absorbent. This means that you need to keep it sealed. It’s also one of the most expensive materials and so, it will depend on how much you want to spend for the countertop alone – let alone the rest of the backyard renovation. Or, from a different perspective, it will depend on the size of your countertop.
Concrete is one of the best outdoor kitchen countertop materials. By nature, it has this country look that predisposes you to relax and enjoy nature. Concrete is made by mixing aggregates, water, and cement. Since not all such mixtures are the same, you need to know that more cement will make the concrete countertop susceptible to cracking, and heavier. You actually want more aggregates (sand, gravel, etc.) to make it lighter and stronger. As far as appearance is concerned, concrete brings imperfect perfection – if you will. It has character and ages beautifully – can take any shape you like. As for its technical features, it’s resistant to heat and very durable, but it’s porous and must be sealed.
Considered THE soft natural stone, soapstone allows for a nice touch but may also become susceptible to cracking due to heavy impact. Due to its softness, it can be easily carved and take the shape you want. Are you asking what a soft material is doing on the list with the best outdoor countertop options? Soapstone may be soft but also very dense. As a natural stone, it is very durable. Plus, it has the advantage of being non-porous – as a consequence, germ-free and practically maintenance-free. Due to its high resistance (to heat too), it’s ideal for outdoor kitchen countertops – gorgeous too.
Quartzite – not to be confused with quartz, is a natural stone, which grows deep into the earth and forms when moving sand and grains come together to make sandstones. Now the sandstones continue to move until they start breaking into pieces due to the earth’s heat and pressure and from quartzite as we know it together. All this journey under earth makes quartzite extremely strong. It is rated 7 on the Mohs hardness scale – that’s harder than the blade of a knife. Also, it’s resistant to UV and etching. But it must be sealed since it is porous. That’s its main disadvantage. Overall, it’s one of the best choices for outdoor countertops.
If you are a wood lover and wouldn’t say no to a wooden countertop for your outdoor kitchen, pick hardwood. Something like ipe. It’s no wonder that this timber is often used for deck building. It’s particularly resistant to mold, weather, insects, rot – all bad things, which would otherwise make you think twice before investing in a wooden countertop. Of course, it’s best if you seal the countertop to better protect wood from the elements, in the long run.