It takes some planning and research for what type of outdoor countertop material to use for an outdoor kitchen or grill area. The countertop needs to be very durable and require little maintenance. So, today we will discuss some of the best choices for outdoor countertops.
Let’s start with granite. Granite is one of the best choices due to its strong durability and low maintenance. Weather isn’t a match for granite, as it handles well in all types of climates. Often with outdoor countertops in your kitchen or grill areas you will notice that things get messier than they would indoors. Granite can handle all kinds of food, drink, and fun. Spill a little BBQ sauce on the countertop? No biggie.
Granite won’t lose its shine, etch, or discolor. Just be sure to seal the granite to prevent stains. If you don’t use a sealer and you do happen to stain the countertops, then don’t worry. Stains can be removed or the natural elements will rid them over time. With regular cleaning your granite countertops will look fabulous for years!
Soapstone countertops are a good choice for outdoor kitchens due to its resistance to heat and stains. It performs well, but can be scratched pretty easily. However, scratches are typically rather easy to repair.
One consideration with soapstone is that if the stone is not sealed the stone will darken over time due to fingerprints, oils, and liquids. The darkened areas wash off eventually, but they can be kind of annoying to deal with.
Oil can be applied to give the soapstone a dark shine, but this has to be done regularly. Besides the few cosmetic issues, soapstone is fairly low maintenance and durable.
Slate is an option, but it’s important to consider that no two slates are the same so they will not perform the same for outdoor countertops. The characteristics can actually vary greatly. Some slate can be dense, very durable, and able to resist heavy use and stains.
On the other hand, some slate can easily scratch, stain, cleave, and crack. Unless you are guaranteed top quality in the slate you plan to purchase, other options are advised to use for outdoor kitchens over slate.
Marble is maybe the most expensive, but also the most elegant choice. It works best if the finish is honed and you don’t care about it getting stained or etched. A honed finish is suggested because the natural elements will wear away a polished finish. The natural elements will also wash away any stains and wear away any etch marks which will also naturally age the marble creating a rustic appearance.
Stains and etches can also be removed when needed, the most that is required for years of use is normal clean up if the aforementioned factors are not a problem for you.
Remember that outdoor countertops stone tiles can be used as well, but keep in mind that the grout will stain, get dirty, or even break apart. So, tiles are not the best from a maintenance perspective, but it is a good option if you’re on a budget and if it gets some extra TLC.
Corian and quartz countertops should be avoided for outdoor countertops. Corian countertops fade, stain, burn, and scratch easily. Quartz’s resin/color topcoat will turn yellow in the natural elements and sun.