If you want to create an outdoor kitchen that goes beyond a grill and dining area, you will need to choose the proper outdoor kitchen countertops. You will need to consider durable countertops for the cooking and preparing as well as considering materials that work with the outdoor climate. Consider these countertop options and the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
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Many people believe that you can’t use materials like granite outside, but quite the contrary! While granite isn’t quite as durable to the elements as concrete and tile, you can still use it for your upscale outdoor kitchen. However, you do need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages. Granite is obviously beautiful and provides a high-end look to the countertops. However, it must be sealed if you want to avoid damage from water, such as rain or snow. It is also vulnerable to moisture from humidity, so keep that in mind.
One of the best options and my favorite for your outdoor kitchen countertops are concrete, so that is something to consider. Concrete provides a countertop that can handle a lot of different elements, is easy to clean and doesn’t stain easily. However, it is still prone to cracking over time if you don’t have it sealed properly. Concrete can be stained with other colors during installation, so you are not forced to have a boring, cement-color for the countertops.
Tile is an excellent option for your outdoor kitchen countertops. They offer an aesthetic appeal and longevity at the same time. Some benefits to using tile include the fact that it is very easy to clean and take care of, has lots of color and style options, and is affordable. On the downside, tile may stain if you’re not careful and there is an issue with some of the paler tile colors turning yellow when it is used outdoors. I also don’t like the cleaning of the grout, but they sure look nice.
Natural stone is a good option for your outdoor kitchen countertops, aside from just using granite. Other types of stone are more durable and easier to take care of, without requiring excessive sealing. For example, soapstone is a beautiful stone that can lend a unique appeal to your outdoor kitchen countertops. This is also very durable and often easier to take care of than granite. You might also want to choose a multi-colored stone like flagstone, which also happens to be used as flooring for many outdoor kitchens as well due to how well it holds up.
Speak to your contractor to get more ideas for choosing the right countertop materials. You may also want to go based on appearance so that your entire patio décor blends well together.
Choosing the Best Kitchen Flooring
As you begin planning your outdoor kitchen, you will need to choose a good flooring option. If you are simply installing it on your concrete patio, that will work fine. However, there are also some other flooring options you want to consider.
Concrete is an excellent outdoor kitchen flooring option, not just because it is durable, but because there are actually many design benefits. Concrete is naturally in a neutral off-white color, but you can have it stained, colored, or have other textures and designs printed into it before it dries completely. This allows you to have a traditional concrete patio for the kitchen or a unique design based on your aesthetic preferences. It can also withstand heavy winds, rain, snow, hail, and extreme heat without major damage.
The next option is to have more of a high-end look in your backyard where you have your kitchen by using natural stone. However, you need to be careful with the type of stone you choose. You don’t want to go with granite or marble, since they can be prone to damage. Instead, choose a stone that is more durable and easily available for your region. This might be soapstone, flagstone, fieldstone, or slate. Make sure you find out if maintenance or sealing is required when you have it installed.
For a warm appearance on your patio in the dining area of your outdoor kitchen, you can also use wood flooring. Not just any wood flooring though, since it could be vulnerable to damage from rain or high humidity. You want to go with pressure-treated wood as this will be able to handle more of the outdoor elements. While you can get other types of wood, it might not last as long in its current condition due to the heat of the cooking area or the moisture from the outdoor refrigerator. Also make sure it is sealed properly to avoid any fire hazards.
The final option to choose from with your kitchen flooring is tile. This is good when you want a beautiful, high-end style, but don’t want to deal with all the sealing and high maintenance involved in using natural stone. Tile also has a tendency to handle not just outdoor climate conditions, but also the heat and humidity in the cooking area of your outdoor kitchen. Porcelain tile is fine to use, as well as ceramic, however, make sure it is not glazed and is frost-proof. Tile may crack over time, so be careful not to slam heavy appliances or furniture on top of it.