Looks alone are not enough to choose the best outdoor kitchen countertop. Although the designs and materials are very tempting, there are many other factors that should be put into consideration such as the material’s durability, maintenance, and cost.
You can get the countertop of your dreams without spending so much and at the same time, without sacrificing quality. You just have to look long and hard before deciding on what you will like. You don’t want to invest for a countertop that you will replace in only a year or two.
Remember, even a thing as small as a countertop is a long investment. You need to have something that you will like for a long time. This isn’t like a set of kitchenware, curtains, or mats that you can replace immediately.
Also, unlike an indoor countertop, you need to get something that can withstand the changing weathers. Rain, snow, and heat can really batter the countertop; make sure to get one that lasts. With that in mind, we have put together the factors that you should consider before getting a countertop as well as the different materials that may suit your fancy.
What’s the best surface material for an outdoor kitchen countertop?
The dizzying array of countertops makes it difficult for you to pick. With all the material and designs continually developed, what is the right one for you? We have listed all the most popular materials that may help narrow down your search.
Stone – Most widely picked because it offers different kinds and variations of beautiful and colorful stones that look great as countertops. It is also durable and can stand tough use of an active kitchen.
Natural stones are classic that never goes out of style and it is heat-resistant as well. However, it requires regular maintenance and resealing for food safety and aesthetic upkeep. It is also an expensive type of countertop material.
The popular stones used as countertops are as follows:
Granite – The patters and the host of colors make this countertop unique. It is highly heat-resistant and can stand up to stains and bacteria when properly sealed. However, it is also heavy, you have to install sturdy cabinets to support the weight.
Quartz – Crafted from resin and quartz chips tinted with color. It doesn’t come as pure as stone because it is an engineered product. But because of that quality, it is available in more colors and patterns than natural stone. Although engineered, it is quite pricey.
Marble – Gives out a sophisticated look and feel to your kitchen. It withstands heat and yet is able to keep its surface cool, great for pastry and baking stations. However, it is susceptible to stains, scratches, and chips so many homeowners don’t fully cover their counters with marble and instead only covers and area or two.
Soapstone– Soapstone has natural a matte finish and softness that makes it suitable for older or cottage-style homes. However it needs constant oil polishing and can’t handle knife scratches well. The natural roughness may also cause tiny, almost invisible marks to glassware and china.
Tile – Made from ceramic and porcelain, tile is your best bet if you like to have a variety of color and designs without having to spend too much. Its offers nearly limitless designs and is easier to use if you are going for a themed look. Tile can also withstand the changing weathers and heat.
The only downside is ceramic and porcelain are easily smashed and chipped. This however, can be easily remedied because it is fairly cheap. Be careful of damaging it however, because these small crevices may promote bacterial growth.
Wood – Homeowners choose a wooden countertop when they are going for a more natural ambience especially if their outdoor kitchen is designed traditionally. This type of outdoor kitchen countertop also sits well with the nature surrounding it and doesn’t feel out of place.
However, it may be difficult to maintain especially if its stored outdoors it may harbor bacteria and wood may swell with constant moisture exposure. It needs frequent disinfection and oiling to protect the surface. A good example is the:
Grizzly Solid Maple Workbench Top
Stainless Steel – With good maintenance, a stainless steel outdoor countertop can last you a good while. Like the suggested materials and appliances for outdoors, stainless steel is good against facing harsh weathers, moisture, and heat. It is indestructible and also doesn’t harbor bacteria.
Maintaining it is also easy; a simple cleanser and towel will do the trick. However, this is prone to dents and may be expensive because of the custom fabrication. Start with something like the:
G.S Stainless Steel Heavy Baking Sheet
Solid Surface – Made from acrylic and polyester, these are available in a range of colors and patterns. It resists water, bacteria, and stains, making it a good option for low-maintenance outdoor countertops. However, unlike stone, solid surfaces don’t have stronger resistance against hot pans or sharp knives, as well as scratching and chipping.
Laminate – Consists of sheets glued to plywood or countertop boards, it is usually made up of paper blended with resins. It has been the popular choice for countertops because it is very cheap and can mimic all kinds of designs out there, be it stone, wood, and many others.
It has many downsides though: It is prone to scratching and burns and sometimes it peels off after moisture exposure. Laminate isn’t advisable to be used for outdoor kitchen countertops because it will be constantly exposed to adverse weathers. If you want to have an idea how it looks like, check out:
Instant Granite Counter Top Venecia Gold
Make sure to pick the right countertop for your outdoor kitchen. Some countertops, although cheap and pleasant to the eye, won’t be able to withstand moisture and weather changes.
A cheaper countertop that won’t last you a good while and require constant replacements would be equal to getting an expensive countertop minus the hassle. Consider investing in an outdoor kitchen countertop that will last; this may cost a bit more but will be beneficial in the long run.