When you want to create a focal point that your family, friends, and neighbors can enjoy and increase the value of your home, incorporating an outdoor kitchen is the best way to go! Our Florida lifestyle gives us year-round enjoyment of our yard and allows us to let nature feel like an integral part of our home.
When it comes to designing an amazing outdoor living area, every detail should be just right. Your choice of countertop will likely be one of the first things guests notice. To help you choose which counters best suit your style and activities, Synergy Outdoor Living reviews your outdoor countertop options.
Types of Material for Outdoor Kitchens
Before you just pick a granite slab (which is always a popular design choice), there are a few important things to take into consideration when choosing your outdoor countertops.
Will the countertops be in a shaded area or full sun?
What is the climate you live in?
Will you be prepping food here?
What look and feel do I want my outdoor space to have?
And that’s before we get to your color choices! With many options to choose from, here’s our kitchen designer’s complete outdoor countertops list along with the pros and cons of each type of material.
The natural stone…. not “quartz” the engineered stone. While available, they come at a price.
Quartzite countertops – like granite – are a great choice for a busy outdoor kitchen because it’s a hard, durable, and long-lasting material. But they aren’t bulletproof; if you have a pool you may want to pick another countertop. Acid used in pool cleaning can cause a vapor that may damage the surface.
Another durable material that holds up well and looks great. The main con with this outdoor countertop surface is that it may scratch or chip. But this wear can add to the appeal. If not shaded, concrete can fade and turn yellow over time too.
For homeowners who want a luxury look, marble is the way to go. It’ gorgeous, but marble is a softer stone. Outdoor use may cause staining so use with caution. However, sealing them may help to protect your investment from acidic foods and drinks like red wine that will cause etching and staining.
Granite or ceramic tile is exceptionally durable and cheaper than a slab. But you’ll have to deal with grout lines which can get dirty, break, and/or stain from exposure to the outdoor elements and the wear of using your outdoor kitchen. Not to mention bacteria from meat and other food!
Saving the best for last? Granite certainly is one of the most popular for outdoor kitchens thanks to its ease-of-use/maintenance, color choices, and durability. Plus, this surface will not etch or discolor.
Contact us for a free design estimate today! Call our Synergy Outdoor Living at 813-322-2137 to speak with our 5-star kitchen designers.
Edges, Finishes, and Slab Size
Once you’ve narrowed down your outdoor kitchen countertop options. Remember to also consider the material’s edges, thickness, and finish options to make sure you get the designer space you’ve been dreaming of.
Epoxy glue is used to create different countertop edges like:
- full bullnose
- double bevel
While using a thinner slab, (less than 2 cm) will be less expensive it will need some additional support. The most common size used for outdoor countertops is 3 cm slab.
A honed finish on granite or marble will mute the color a bit but can still look brilliant. The most popular is a polished surface which brings out the pattern or color and makes for easy cleanup.
We can customize every element of your dream outdoor living area. Peruse through some of the outdoor kitchens we have designed in our project gallery here, then call our local designers for a free quote.
Is There Anything That Can’t Go Outdoors?
Not all countertop materials are made for outdoor kitchen use. When it comes to a long-lasting design, you’ll want to skip these:
No hot pots, plates, or anything hot can go on this surface as it is not heat resistant. It also can be easily scratched (though you can buff those out), and the color will get splotchy and fade outdoors.
While great indoors, the resin used in this surface will turn yellow in the outdoor elements and sun.
While your appliances may be stainless, these countertops will need a backer so they don’t go well for outdoors. Another con for some Tampa Bay homeowners is that stainless steel can get hot. This countertop material is extremely reflective and can get very hot if not shaded.
Be inspired! Go to our Project Gallery to see some of our design team’s favorite afters!
Pull the Design Together
For non-shaded areas, picking a lighter color assists in reflecting the sun’s heat to make a cooler surface. However, building a pergola or roof to create shade is your best way to control the countertop temperature.
Still not sure which material to choose, we can help you make the right choice while considering your design needs, amount of shade, your climate along with the energy you want to dedicate to countertop maintenance.