Having an outdoor living kitchen area is a fantastic addition to any home. Choosing counters for an outdoor kitchen is just as important if not more important than the kitchens you have indoors.
The countertops for the outdoor kitchen will be much more prone to damage and weather than the indoor countertops. Therefore, the proper material will be able to keep your kitchen in the best shape and make it last longer.
The best outdoor kitchens will have tons of counter space and will be made out of a material that is resistant to UV rays and humidity.
Most people think concrete is the best choice for outdoor kitchens. While it is a decent choice, it may not be the best one. The look is very modern and clean, but concrete can be cracked pretty easily. It is extremely important to find someone who has many years of experience when installing concrete.
Make sure the installer seals it correctly and keep the granite on a regular schedule for being resealed. Concrete will have to be washed regularly too as it can be stained pretty easily.
It is scratch and heat resistant. It also will not change colors from being in the sun and does not absorb odors.
Natural stone comes in a large variety of materials such as limestone, marble, and soapstone. Stone is pretty resistant in some ways, but not in others. Most stone is porous which means it may not be the best choice if you live in a humid or hot area.
Choose a stone that does not have too much veining or patterns. This is because veining can absorb sunlight and UV rays. The color of your counters may change over time and eventually look faded.
Granite may be the best choice for stone because it does not fade in the sun as easily as other stones, like marble. It is also more stain-resistant. Marble and limestone can be stained pretty easily.
If you spill anything on stone, clean it up immediately. Grease from a built-in grill can also stain the counters, so consider laying down a towel or other cover when cooking with oil. Be careful with wine and other alcohol.
Make sure to keep your stone resealed as needed. If you do not reseal the stone when needed, it could lose some of its durability qualities which means you may need to replace the counters sooner than you anticipated.
Since most stones are suspectable to bacteria, keep the counters clean and free of debris whenever possible.
Soapstone can stand up better to heat and bacteria. It is also resistant to acid which makes it a better option if you plan to use the outdoor counters as a food prep area. Soapstone also does not to be resealed like other stone options.
No matter the stone you choose, try to choose a medium or light color. Dark stones can absorb more heat and may be a burn hazard if you have small children around.
If you are looking for the most fun or versatile choice, tile may be the option for you. Tile can come in many colors or patterns to match a certain theme you have. Keep in mind that tile is better suited for hotter environments.
When tile gets too cold, it can freeze and crack. So, if you live in an area with very cold winters, tile is not a good choice unless you have a heater in your outdoor space. The grout in between the tiles can also crack. There are some freeze-proof tile options, but they are not as versatile as the regular tile options.
Speaking of grout, they can be stained easily even when sealed and cleaned regularly. Since the counters are outdoors, they will probably end up getting stained after a few years. Use a special grout cleaner to keep this to a minimum.
Tile can be DIY which makes it a good choice if you are on a limited budget. The cost for the tile is only about $10-$30 per square foot and the labor can be free. However, if you want to use freeze-proof tiles or a special kind of grout, hiring a professional will be better than doing all the work yourself.
Last, but not least is quartz. Quartz is one of the best options. It is an engineered stone which gives it some special qualities that natural stone does not have.
Like soapstone, quartz is nonporous. However, it is more resistant to bacteria than soapstone. It is also resistant to mold and mildew growth, as well as most water damage. This makes it a pretty solid choice for humid or rainy environments.
Quartz is also pretty stain resistant which makes it a good option if you plan on grilling or cooking near the outdoor counters. Even red wine will not stain quartz, so it is a great choice for outdoor living areas that will see parties and entertainment events. Read more here about the endless amazing qualities of quartz.
Unlike most stones, quartz will not need to be resealed. It keeps all its durable qualities with little to no maintenance. It also much easier to clean than other materials because it does not stain or need any special cleaners to kill bacteria. A simple combination of soap and water will keep your quartz clean.
Quartz is also an affordable option that will save you the most money in the long run because you will not have to spend any money on upkeep or cleaning.
Outdoor counters will need to be durable and resistant to all environmental elements. The best choice for this is quartz because it can naturally repel bacteria, mold, and mildew. It is also perfect for events because it cannot be stained or scratched.
No matter the choice you make, outdoor kitchens should be built under a patio or other covering. Consider covering your counters and outdoor space when you are not using them.