Best Outdoor Countertop Material

Best Outdoor Countertop Material for Your Kitchen

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Choosing the best outdoor countertop material for your kitchen is not easy as you might think since there are a lot of countertop materials, but not all are suitable for outdoor kitchens. Besides, it would be best to consider several factors before settling on your outdoor kitchen countertop. Here are the best outdoor countertops and factors to consider when buying one. Read on!

1. Granite Countertop Material

Granite countertops are easy to use and maintain and come with various color options. Besides, the granite material can withstand harsh weather conditions and all of the gourmet BBQ recipes, food, beverages, and fun outdoor eating and entertaining. In addition, it has unrivaled durability making it suitable for outdoor countertops.

Image Source: earthturfwood.com

However, when installing it, we recommend sealing it since it's a porous stone that will absorb water over time if not sealed. Also, sealing will help it resist stains. On the other hand, granite outdoor kitchen countertops don't etch, discolor or lose their luster.

If you accidentally stain your unsealed granite countertops, don't worry since it's still easy to clean. Besides, the sun and rain will remove the stains over time. With regular cleaning, your granite countertops will look fantastic for years.

Pros:

  • Heat and scratch resistant
  • It comes in a variety of color options
  • Environmentally friendly material
  • Can withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Require low maintenance

Cons:

  • Expensive countertop material
  • Requires sealing

2. Soapstone Countertop Material

Soapstone is a heat and stain-resistant nonporous material. And though it's easy to scratch, you can easily sand out the scratches. Besides, the material blends with other earthy tones like granite and stainless steel appliances. Also, it's worth mentioning that soapstone countertops are easy to clean and maintain.

Image Source: rtaoutdoorliving.com

Furthermore, avoid dropping pots or pans when cooking in your outdoor kitchen because soapstone surfaces can easily chip. You also need to seal or oil the soapstone surface; otherwise, fingerprints, oils, and liquids will discolor it. Therefore, you must seal it regularly or oil the surface with mineral oil.

I noticed that since soapstone is a dark natural stone, it tends to get hot to the touch than lighter-colored materials; however, it dissipates heat efficiently and doesn't get scorching hot. We recommend this soapstone countertop material for places with cold climates since it's nonporous, does not absorb water, and it's less likely to crack in cold conditions.

Pros:

  • Nonporous and water-resistant
  • Stain resistant material
  • Extremely durable stone
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • It offers a rustic outdoor look

Cons:

  • Expensive countertop material
  • Prone to scratches and chips

3. Concrete Countertop Material

Concrete is another durable option you can count on for the best outdoor countertop material. In addition, concrete countertops provide a great deal of design flexibility since they can be built in any size and shape. Also, concrete outdoor countertops can be imprinted with fancy designs to add uniqueness to your outdoor kitchen.

Image Source: concretenetwork.com

We recommend sealing the concrete outdoor kitchen countertops annually to maintain them in good condition. Conversely, we noticed that these kitchen countertop materials tend to fade in the sun and turn yellow. However, with milder earth-tone concrete material, fading is not common.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Incredibly durable material
  • Heat and UV-resistant
  • It comes with a variety of design options
  • Scratch resistant material

Cons:

  • Prone to cracking
  • Requires sealing

4. Stainless steel countertop material

Stainless steel is an extremely long-lasting outdoor kitchen countertop material. It also blends perfectly with your stainless steel grill, side burner, refrigerator, vent hood, and other stainless steel appliances. Besides, stainless steel countertops are stain-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. And in terms of aesthetics, these outdoor stainless steel countertops are about as contemporary as you can get.

Image Source: rtaoutdoorliving.com

Furthermore, stainless steel is a hygienic surface due to its nonporous nature; commercial kitchens prefer it. However, these stainless steel countertops are prone to scratching, smudging, and denting. Therefore, you must be more careful around the cooking area to prevent scratches and dents.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Extremely durable material
  • It can withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Complements other stainless steel kitchen appliances
  • UV-resistant

Cons:

  • It can get smudged easily
  • Susceptible to scratches and dents

5. Quartz Countertop Material

Quartzite is a sturdy and durable natural stone that's stain and weather-resistant. As a result, it will last you long with minimum maintenance. Besides, it is UV resistant, making it ideal for outdoor patios. And when compared to other outdoor kitchen countertop materials such as granite, it has a less rustic and more contemporary look.

Image Source: hgtv.com

Quartz countertops are also resistant to cracks, heat scratches, and stains. However, it would be best if you sealed them to keep them in good condition. We recommend resealing them annually to get the most out of them.

However, when comparing a Quartz countertop with other materials such as marble or granite, this material can be quite pricey. And due to its resistance to damage from chemical cleansers, it may require more maintenance over time than other outdoor countertop materials.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable material
  • Weather and UV-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Offers modern look

Cons:

  • It comes in limited non-porous designs
  • Requires sealing

6. Porcelain Countertonon-porous

Porcelain is a long-lasting, low-maintenance material for outdoor countertops. Besides, it is a nonporous metal meaning it's water-resistant. And since it's nonporous, it does not require regular sealing. Additionally, porcelain countertops will not etch or stain. Also, it's extremely scratch-resistant except for ceramic knives, so avoid using them.

Image Source: info.unlimitedoutdoorkitchen.com

On the other hand, porcelain slabs are extremely thin. And it's not unusual for them to break during the installation procedure. Consequently, you should leave its installation to a professional. After installation, avoid dropping anything on the porcelain countertops since they're susceptible to cracking.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Nonporous material
  • It does not require sealing
  • Extremely durable
  • Come in different colors and designs

Cons:

  • Fragile during installation
  • Susceptible to cracking

7. Marble Countertop Material

Marble is a luxurious countertop material that you can use for indoor and outdoor kitchen countertops. Besides, with its outstanding aesthetic appeal and variety of finishes, you can count on it for your dream outdoor living space.

Image Source: blog.marble-granites.com

Marble countertops require more maintenance than other outdoor kitchen countertop materials and are more costly. But, in terms of style and function, nothing beats it. Besides, marble countertop material is a great option for buyers who want to add refinement to their homes.

We recommend applying a long-lasting food-safe sealer to your marble countertop to boost its life. And to keep the countertop in good condition, reseal it once a year. Ensure you maintain it properly.

Pros:

  • It offers a high-end modern look
  • Highly durable material
  • Heat-resistant
  • UV-resistant
  • Aesthetically pleasing material
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Requires sealing for outdoor use

8. Slate Countertop Material

Slate is another incredibly durable material for outdoor countertops. However, remember that the durability and performance characteristics can vary greatly. For example, you might end up with a piece that can withstand stains or a piece that's more porous and prone to staining, cracking, and scratching. Besides, some varieties can be easy to use and maintain while others are vice versa.

Image Source: trex-outdoorkitchens.com

On the other hand, regular cleaning and a sealant will help in durability. However, a denser slate slab may not require sealing. Also, keep in mind that slate is soft, so chipping is possible. Moreover, you can easily remove scratches, and slate is extremely heat resistant.

The darker-colored slate will result in a hot surface in direct sunlight, like soapstone. Therefore, we recommend going for other options unless you are guaranteed the quality of the slate you want to install. But, after getting a high-quality slate slab, you won't have to worry because it will provide you with years of service.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable material
  • Can withstand stains
  • A denser slate slab may not require sealing
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • You can easily remove scratches

Cons:

  • Some varieties tend to get hot in direct sunlight
  • Some varieties are prone to cracking and scratching

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Outdoor Countertop Material

1. Type of Finish

Choosing the surface finish on outdoor kitchen countertops depends on personal preference. Here are a few things to consider:

i). Polished finish

A polished finish is the most common option. Besides, a polished finish is quite easy to maintain and clean, and polishing brings out the color and design of natural stone countertops far more than any other type of finish.

ii). Honed finish

The color won't be strong with a honed marble or granite finish. It may, however, still look great, and most people prefer a honed surface finish. Besides, fingerprints are more visible on a dark-colored honed surface.

iii). Flamed surface

A flamed surface is not the best option for a countertop since it's a rough surface that's quite difficult to maintain clean. However, it has a great aesthetic for walls and great traction for floors.

2. Slab Thickness

When looking for the best type of kitchen countertop, pay attention to the slab thickness. A 2 cm (3/4 inch) or a 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) slab is enough for an outdoor kitchen countertop. The thinner 2 cm slab will require a bit more support, but it will be generally less expensive.

Besides, a 3 cm (vs. a 2 cm) slab can have a good thick edge profile without laminating. Although the edge is often the main reason for installing 3 cm granite countertops, the extra expense of the thicker 3 cm slab may not be worth it.

3. Function

When determining the best outdoor kitchen countertops, remember to consider how you intend to use your outdoor kitchen. For instance, do you want to use the kitchen space as a gathering area when you host? Or do you love trying new recipes in your outdoor kitchen?

4. Durability

When shopping for the best outdoor countertop material, it's important to consider its durability. Look for a material that's scratch, heat, stain, and chip resistant so that it can last you longer. Also, go for a material that doesn't require sealing regularly.

5. Maintenance

We recommend looking for a countertop material that is easy to clean and maintain. And since the countertop materials are prone to wear and tear, always take the necessary actions to maintain them at some point. Nonetheless, the frequency with which maintenance should happen largely depends on the material used on your outdoor kitchen countertops.

Although most kitchen countertops require frequent cleaning, porous materials such as marble or granite countertops require more. Besides, it would be best to quickly remove stains and scratches from your countertops before they become permanent.

6. Color and Aesthetics

Though not a major consideration, some homeowners prefer countertop materials that will blend in with the kitchen. For instance, some homeowners go for stainless steel countertops because they blend with their homes' stainless steel kitchen appliances.

On the other hand, remember to consider the aesthetics you want to achieve since each material is unique. Also, each material has a different texture.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Outdoor Countertop Material

1. Do granites crack in cold weather?

If granite is properly sealed, it should not crack in cold weather. However, the material is more sensitive during the thawing season, so pay attention to your sealant to ensure it is properly sealed.

2. What is the main drawback of using concrete countertops?

Concrete countertops' initial cost ranges from $65 to $135 per square foot, with labor ranging from $40 to $50 per hour per person. Also, keep in mind that it takes 28 days for concrete to cure.

3. Which countertop material is the most heat-resistant

Granite stone is one of the most heat-resistant countertop materials on the market. And forming granite stone requires quite high heat and pressure. So, you can put pans directly from the oven or stove on a granite countertop without worrying about the surface getting markings or stains.

Featured Image Source: brownjordanoutdoorkitchens.com

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About the author

Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is an electrical engineer turned marketer. He is the founder of Indexsy, Far & Away, Laurel & Wolf, a couple FBA businesses , and about 40 affiliate sites. He is a proud native of Vancouver, BC, who has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes, Oberlo and GoDaddy.