When it comes to your outdoor kitchen counters, there are several great contenders! To make the best decision, you will need to consider your preferences, budget, location in relation to weather, and amount of maintenance you're willing to keep up with or pay for. Hopefully, this list can help guide you in your decision!
Concrete counters are very durable and the most customizable option as it can be poured into the exact dimensions of your kitchen space. It can come in many different finishes and can be stained pretty much any color. You could even embed tiles or river rock for a unique look!
Sunlight will cause it to fade over time so be sure to do this countertop in the shade or choose earth tone finishes so it can last longer.
Concrete must be sealed; its porous and leaving it open to Mother Nature to do her thing, will allow stains & bacteria growth. Sealant will also help prevent cracking!
Marble is a beautiful choice, but Mother Nature will wear away its nice polish finish quickly. Be sure you're willing to regularly seal the surface.
Some foods & drinks can leave stains but some people are ok with letting the marble age naturally, so you could just let the rain come down & blend out the stains.
Porcelain comes in any sort of color or finish - can look like stone, glass, or anything else you can imagine!
Porcelain is non-porous and is fade-proof so it'll be long lasting with next-to-no maintenance. It does have the tendency to scratch so be careful with knives and other rough objects.
Soapstone is a sleek, dark natural stone. Naturally non-porous so it won't need any sealant. Though its dark, it'll darken further with any liquids or oils (hands or from cooking), but it is cleanable.
Though its dense, its soft, so it can be easily scratched or nicked.
Similar to granite, it can withstand very hot temperatures so you can set hot pans on it. With that being said, because it's so dark, it gets VERY warm to the touch so watch out for little hands.
Granite is probably your best choice overall. There are endless color options & finish options too (textured vs polished).
The durability allows it to stand up to a lot of harsh weather conditions. It can also handle hot pans set directly on it's surface.
It does need a proper sealant so that it can be resistant to stains, mold, & mildew.
The main downside, it does get pricey but we think it's worth the investment!
Quartzite - NOT QUARTZ
Quartzite shares many of the same qualities at granite but is even easier to care for! A quick soap & water cleaning does the job.
Sunny days won't bother it, but it doesn't withstand hot pans so use holders & trivets.
Definitely use a cutting board as it can scratch.
Seal once a year depending on the use..
What to avoid:
Unlike quartzite, quartz is man-made & uses resin & coloring in the manufacturing process and will yellow quickly with the sun & weather.
While wood does add a lot of character, we don't suggest it for an outdoor kitchen. First and foremost, wood is flammable and shouldn't be near an open flame.
Also, it is naturally porous so bacteria from food prep and mold/mildew from weather could become an issue as sealant wears down.
Corian is essentially plastic so it is NOT heat resistant. It also scratches super easy and can fade fast. Best to keep this one away from the elements.
We only suggest using steel if your kitchen is in a completely covered & shaded area, as the sun reflection will make it dangerously hot.
Steel can also be very expensive and has downsides; loud if not properly insulated, low grade steel tends to scratch & dent, shows fingerprints easily.
Whatever you choose, Summit Outdoor Designs is here to help! We have experience in virtually all countertop materials and are excited to work with you to make your dream Outdoor Kitchen become a reality! Call us today for a free estimate.
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