Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

Increasingly popular is the outdoor kitchen in today’s backyards. The space is a great way to entertain guests and can reduce the draw of pizza and a movie, saving on the monthly budget. Outdoor kitchens can include many different elements but the countertop is a primary feature that will set the tone of the entire space.

There are many different types of materials for countertops but some that work specifically better for outdoor spaces. A great standard for outdoor countertops is granite as it is non-porous, doesn’t chip or scratch easily and requires sealing less often than materials like concrete.

When considering an outdoor space it is important to take in the option of shade to this area. Most of the materials are going to get hot over the summer month and don’t hold a tablecloth like a typical picnic table. Using place mats or just simply scheduling later in the day are a good idea. But the best permanent solution is going to be including a shade structure into the design.

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Cleaning, Aesthetic and Durability

The look of a stone countertop can really set the tone in an outdoor setting but understanding the qualities are important to making a decision on which one to buy. Certain types of stone can chip and scratch easily while others straight up crack. Another deep consideration is the cleaning of these bad boys. Are you prepared to deep clean tile grout after big events? Probably not. That’s why the focus here is going to be on stone, porcelain and concrete for countertop surfaces.

The Soapstone Countertop

Soapstone surfaces are soft on the eyes and easy on the touch. Typically too, the soapstone standard is going to be on the cheaper side of the price spectrum. It is an easy product to clean and soapstone is non porous in nature. So with good care this is a great natural stone to choose for entertaining the guests. Be careful what is brought to the table though as the surface is prone to scratches, dings and chips.

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The Quartz Conundrum

In shaded areas a quartz countertop is a great solution. It is a wonderful countertop to work with that has many different color options but, unfortunately, doesn’t keep its true colors when kept out in direct sunlight. Quartz is easy to clean, is non-porous and isn’t affected by nicks and dings like soapstone or concrete.

Concrete is Ideal for Customization

When creating modern kitchens with particular designs one might consider concrete as the go-to option for their countertop. Concrete can be poured into match exact contours and offers all the options of colors available. Since the surface can be poured on site installation costs can be lowered but the cost of concrete itself can get pricey depending on the elaborateness of design.

Cutting boards will need to be used on a concrete countertop as the nature of the material can be porous. This is avoided by regular sealing but it’s best to be cautious. It doesn’t get as hot as granite in direct sun but colors can be affected by long periods of sunlight. one way to avoid this is to plan for a little fading and choose colors that will not be so affected by it.

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Granite Countertops are a Safe Bet

Granite is a choice material for outdoor kitchens. It is non porous, easy to clean and doesn’t scratch or ding easily. Sealing granite is important but doesn’t need to be done nearly as frequently as concrete. With a leathered style finish the gloss of granite can be reduced to ensure it doesn’t reflect light during the hot summer months. The surface itself will get hot though so it’s best to plan a pergola or other type of shaded structure in order to enjoy the area when the heat kicks in.

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Stainless Steel, the Timeless Option

The look of stainless steel is a great modern look that blends in easily with appliances, sinks and many kitchen storage options. The price is on a steeper side but can be reduced with the size of the counter area. It is important to note that stainless steel will scratch over time and can get incredibly hot in direct heat.

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Porcelain, Another Great Choice

The introduction of porcelain as a countertop is a relatively new feature in kitchens both indoor and out. It is an easy material to clean and doesn’t generate heat like granite. Porcelain is on a more affordable range of countertop installations and is worry free when it comes to bacteria.
Be cautious with knives around this countertop though as it can scratch or chip easily. Repairs can be made to porcelain but the fixes are typically noticeable.

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