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Which Is the Best Outdoor Kitchen Countertop Material?

Outdoor Kitchen

The best part of summer is spending time outside with friends and family, hanging out by the pool, grilling some burgers, and relaxing with drinks at the end of the day. If you’re stuck inside making a salad or making a pitcher of drinks, you miss out on all the fun. An outdoor kitchen elevates your entertaining game, allowing you to cook without running inside every few minutes to check the stove or get more ice. 

The type of outdoor kitchen countertop you install will affect the vibe of your outdoor space, whether you like the industrial look of concrete or the high-end look of quartzite. During the decision-making process, think about the different ways you plan to use your countertop, how much effort you want to put into cleaning, and the type of weather your outdoor kitchen needs to withstand. Keeping those things in mind will help you narrow down the options as you choose the best type of countertop for your outdoor kitchen. 

NorthWest Stone Fabricators provides residential and commercial countertop installation services in Redmond, WA. We can help you through the entire design process, including choosing countertops for cherry cabinets.

Budget-Friendly Tile Countertop

Homeowners commonly use tile for indoor spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, but it’s also a good option for outdoor countertops. If you don’t have a huge budget for outdoor kitchen upgrades, tile could be the perfect choice.

Tile comes in various sizes and colors, making it easy to find a few options to suit your personal style. The price point and customization options are the biggest benefits. That said, as with any material, there are some downsides to consider. 

The grout lines between each tile are not as durable as the tile itself. They easily become stained, especially during pollen season. Using dark-colored grout will help disguise staining and other damage.

Additionally, tile doesn’t hold up very well in cold weather. If temperatures drop below freezing, the tile may crack. Even though tile has a lower upfront cost, it requires more maintenance than other countertop choices.

Sturdy Stainless Steel Countertop

There are tons of benefits to installing stainless steel in your outdoor kitchen. If you’ve ever worked in a commercial kitchen, you know that stainless steel is easy to keep clean. It won’t stain or harbor bacteria because it is a nonporous surface. 

However, if your outdoor kitchen isn’t covered, think twice before you choose stainless steel. It can get very hot under direct sunlight, which could injure small children and unsuspecting guests. 

Stainless steel can rust if it’s exposed to regular rainfall. If you choose stainless steel countertops, make sure you have a plan to protect them from sun and rain to prevent damage.

Classic Granite Countertop

If your outdoor kitchen isn’t covered and gets a lot of sun exposure, a granite countertop is a good choice. Granite can withstand all sorts of weather exposure, including daily sunlight, without cracking or changing color. It is heat resistant, so you don’t have to worry about burn marks if you put a hot pan on your outdoor kitchen countertop.

The downside of granite is the maintenance. Granite is porous, and without regular sealing, bacteria, moisture, and dirt can end up in the tiny holes without you even knowing. Sealing granite countertops every two or three years is all it takes to protect them from bacteria and other contaminants. 

Sleek Soapstone Countertop

Black soapstone makes your outdoor kitchen look sleek and sophisticated. Soapstone is nonporous and very dense, making it a good choice for outdoor kitchens. It doesn’t need sealing, just a little TLC once in a while. When it starts to look dull, rubbing it down with mineral oil will restore its shine and buff out any scratches.

For daily cleaning, soapstone needs nothing more than soap and water to clean away crumbs. 

Soapstone can handle a hot pan without sustaining damage, but it can also absorb heat from the sun, so keep that in mind during your design process.

Sophisticated Quartzite Countertop

Quartz is a manmade option that is too delicate to use outdoors, but quartzite is a natural stone that is much more durable. Knowing the difference between the two can save you a lot of trouble in the future.

Quartzite looks very similar to marble, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a high-end look without the amount of maintenance marble requires. It is porous, so you will have to seal the surface every couple of years, just like with other porous countertop options.

With regular sealing, quartzite is stain- and scratch-resistant. It won’t lose its color with direct sun exposure, but it cannot handle extreme heat, so don’t sit hot pans on your quartzite countertop.

Industrial Concrete Countertop

Concrete is a manmade material that looks like natural stone. You can choose different colors to suit your personal style. While it is porous and requires sealing, concrete can withstand wild temperature fluctuations and heavy rain, making it a great choice for uncovered outdoor kitchens.

Concrete is a good choice if your outdoor kitchen is not a standard size because the manufacturer can pour concrete to any specification. Covering concrete countertops with epoxy resin makes them even more durable, and you can customize them even further with paint flakes or even metallic options mixed into the epoxy.

Live Out Loud With Custom Countertops

The best type of outdoor kitchen countertop depends on a few things. Not all types of countertop materials can withstand daily sun exposure, whereas others can handle all types of weather without sustaining damage. Nonporous surfaces need very little special attention other than cleaning, but porous surfaces like granite need regular sealing to avoid bacteria and mold growth.

Once you decide on an outdoor kitchen countertop, the next step is selecting your countertop edge style. NorthWest Stone Fabricators in Redmond, WA, can help you decide which custom countertop is the perfect fit for your outdoor kitchen. Reach out to our team by calling 425-881-5100 or filling out our online contact form.

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