Choosing Your Outdoor Kitchen Countertops - The Summerset Outdoor Kitchen Planning Series
Outdoor kitchen countertops are often considered the eye-candy of the outdoor living space because of the beautiful colors and textures available. They are the primary place for food preparation, serving, and entertaining, but they also provide an extra level of protection for the cabinets and appliances below. The Summerset Kitchen Planning Series continues with what you need to know about choosing your outdoor kitchen countertops.
In an outdoor setting exposed to the elements, inferior craftsmanship will deteriorate quickly, making protective and weatherproof materials an absolute necessity. When choosing countertops, the priority should always be durability first and looks second, or the maintenance costs will get out of control.
Types of Countertops to Choose From
There are near as many material choices for outdoor counters as there are for indoor ones. Options include stone, concrete, tile, and more. Avoid manufactured countertop materials such as quartz and Corian since they are not designed to resist fading when exposed to UV rays. Keep these requirements in mind when selecting one of the following countertop materials.
It's hard to beat granite for ease of use, maintenance, and unmatched durability. It's UV resistant, scratch-resistant, and nearly nonporous, making it very water-resistant. Sealing granite countertops is typically a good idea to prevent stains; however, many varieties are dense enough that it's not needed. With routine cleanup, granite countertops will look great for years.
Marble is highly durable and will age beautifully outdoors, especially for those that like the rustic look. More susceptible to etching and staining, marble honed and regularly cleaned will last for years of use.
Not recommended for outdoor use because of possible fading, quartz countertops are made of engineered stone that is long-lasting, stain-free, heatproof, acid and sealant-free, and includes natural and manufactured components. They're a fantastic alternative for replacing or complementing ceramic kitchen countertops while keeping the same characteristics.
Concrete countertops are also very durable for outdoor kitchens. They are more prone to scratches and nicks than granite, but they generally hold up well. The problem with concrete is if improperly poured, the countertop can easily crack, compromising the cabinets and appliances underneath. Also, the coloring tends to fade and turn yellow in the sun over time, although this isn't as noticeable if you are using lighter earth tones.
Soapstone performs well and is highly resistant to heat and staining. Although you can scratch it easily, scratches are easily repaired. One knock on soapstone is that fingerprints, liquids, and oils will darken the stone when left unsealed or not oiled (neither of which are necessary for protection or maintenance). They will eventually wash off, but the spots and splotches can be annoying.
Ceramic countertops are not only popular, but they're also more durable, scratch-resistant, and appealing to the eye than natural stone or stainless steel. They're less expensive to install than other materials, although they're more vulnerable to heat, use, and wear and tear.
A less expensive and equally effective alternative to ceramic is recycled glass. It's simple to keep clean since it's nonporous and doesn't take in liquid. One of the most aesthetically beautiful materials available, you can use it in contemporary, modern, or traditional kitchens.
Tile countertops, especially granite or ceramic, are very durable and cheaper than solid slabs. Still, the grout can get dirty, badly stained, or even break up, making it less desirable from a maintenance standpoint. It will hold up reasonably well in milder climates if not neglected but is not recommended for environments with freezing temperatures.
We Can Help You Find Your Countertops
The sky is the limit when it comes to design and materials for kitchen countertops. With so many options, you're bound to find a material that fits your needs. Whether you prefer granite or quartz, you can find it at the Summerset Superstore showroom in Southern California. Come by today for a consultation with the expert design team.
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