Outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular with homeowners due to the ability to enjoy the weather and fresh air without running in and out for supplies and food. Outdoor countertops are generally deeper than traditional countertops, and they need to be able to withstand nature and still look great. Rock Doctor is here to help show you the best countertops for an outdoor kitchen just in time for summer entertaining.
Common Outdoor Countertop Surfaces
Many of your favorite indoor countertop surfaces can be used outdoors. For many homeowners, sturdy, weather-resistant outdoor countertops are a must. That means stone and concrete countertops are the most popular choices for outdoor kitchen areas.
Arguably, granite is considered the best choice for outdoor kitchen countertops. Granite is a natural stone that is both durable and beautiful. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns as well. Granite isn’t damaged by heat, and if it is properly sealed, it is resistant to stains, mildew, and mold, all of which can be a huge problem outdoors.
Concrete is a great option for outdoor kitchens, because it can withstand the elements. To prevent staining, you will need to use a sealant on concrete countertops. Proper installation is very important for concrete countertops, because concrete can crack if not done correctly. Concrete is also easier to scratch and chip than granite, but it tends to hold up very well.
Other natural stones can be good outdoor kitchen countertop options. Soapstone, for example, is dense and heat-resistant. It is also stain-resistant and isn’t likely to fade in the sun or rain. You will need to treat soapstone from time-to-time with special mineral oil to enhance the natural darkening process of the stone. Soapstone can be scratched fairly easily, but it can be sanded out without a whole lot of hassle.
Quartzite is very similar to granite, which means that it is hard and durable. It can hold up to the weather conditions as well as prolonged exposure to the sun.
Marble can be used in outdoor settings if you aren’t too concerned about etching and staining. Just like inside, acidic foods and drinks can cause etching and liquids can be absorbed into the stone if it isn’t properly sealed. A honed finish can help prevent too much change in the appearance of your marble countertops, but they won’t be shiny like you are probably used to seeing with marble countertops.
In warmer climates, tile can be used in outdoor kitchen spaces. However, exposure to the cold can cause the grout to crack. While ceramic tile is prone to fading, porcelain and granite tiles are more resistant to fading. Since grout can stain, you will want to use a darker grout. Consider larger tiles to minimize the amount of grout needed.
One consideration you should make when selecting an outdoor countertop is the color. Lighter-colored surfaces don’t retain as much heat as darker-colored surfaces, which means a dark surface could be very hot to the touch after prolonged exposure to sunlight.
You should avoid using quartz in outdoor kitchens, because it easily fades with exposure to the sunlight. Formica should never be used outdoors, because it will warp and deteriorate with moisture and humidity exposure. Wood and stainless-steel countertops are problematic outdoors as well. Stainless steel will become extremely hot in the sunlight, and the shiny surface can be blinding. Wood is beautiful, but it will require a lot of upkeep to prevent warping and other damage.
Caring for Outdoor Countertops
Fortunately, you can care for your outdoor countertops much like you do the ones inside your home. Since most outdoor countertops are stone, you can rely on Rock Doctor’s Granite line to keep your countertops clean, shiny, and protected.
Use the cleaner for daily cleaning on your stone countertop surfaces. In just a couple minutes, your countertops will go from grimy to spotless. Polish your countertops every couple of weeks to keep them looking shiny and new. Indoor countertops only need to be sealed once every 12 to 18 months, but you may find that your outdoor stone countertops need to be sealed every six to eight months to keep the stone protected from the elements.
All of the products in Rock Doctor’s Granite line are quick and easy to use. The entire product line is meant to help protect stone surfaces of all kinds, including both marble and quartz.
Check out our new Outdoor Stone Cleaner!
If you have more questions about Rock Doctor’s cleaning, polishing, and sealing products, call us today at 913-894-0288. Rock Doctor products can be purchased at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Menards, and online on Amazon.