Why Have an Outdoor Kitchen?
Summer is prime time for backyard barbeques. Nothing makes this more doable than a custom outdoor kitchen. An outdoor cooking space might be as simple as a charcoal or gas grill. It could also be as elaborate as an actual kitchen that includes built-in appliances – grill, sink, fridge – and outdoor counterspace for food prep. Either way, an outdoor cooking station can feel like a luxury and provide an additional spot in your home for entertaining.
Choosing Products for Your Outdoor Kitchen
Designing a kitchen for your backyard is different than designing a kitchen inside your home. When selecting the materials for an outdoor cooking space, there are several supplementary factors to consider. These include, but are not limited to:
• Sun exposure
Creating a backyard living space is a considerable investment. Because of this, you might want to save the high-maintenance materials for your indoor kitchen. Instead, choose products that can withstand the elements – this includes your countertop surface. We’ve found that these three materials prove to be the best option for outdoor kitchen countertops.
Granite countertops lend an elegant and modern feel to any kitchen. It comes in many beautiful colors and designs so there is a granite choice for every aesthetic. You’re probably saying, “It’s pretty but will it last?” Yes – granite is a hard substance making it extremely durable. That means there won’t be as much noticeable wear over time which makes it a viable investment. Granite is heat-tolerant and therefore able to withstand high temperatures and harsh environments. It also resists scratching and won’t dull.
More good news about granite for outdoor countertops…it’s an eco-friendly material that repels stains, mold, and mildew. The surface of granite is easy to clean – warm, soapy water will do the trick. Maintaining granite countertops does require sealing about once or twice a year but otherwise, it’s a low-maintenance choice for your outdoor kitchen.
Quartzite has visual appeal as well as strength. An actual metamorphic rock, it forms as a result of extreme heat and pressure deep under the ground. Once mined, this substance is strong enough to endure. It is a naturally shiny, crystalline-looking stone. Part of quartzite’s allure are the mosaics of quartz and other minerals visible inside the rock. Color varieties abound so you’re sure to find one that matches your design style. If you’re asking yourself, “Is quartzite the same as quartz?” the answer is no. Quartzite is much better suited to the outdoors than quartz.
Here’s what you need to know when considering quartzite for outside countertops. This material has the same qualities of granite but with the luxurious look of marble. It won’t fade, crack or warp. It will however show cuts and scratches so use a cutting board. Quartzite can’t withstand high temperatures. Sunlight is ok but use a trivet for hot pans and dishes. You can clean quartzite with soap and water but be sure to wipe up spills quickly to avoid stains. To ensure that your quartzite countertops remain non-porous, you should reseal them once a year.
Soapstone is also a great option for outdoor countertops. It is a type of metamorphic rock composed largely of the magnesium-rich mineral talc. Soapstone is produced by metamorphism (change caused by heat and pressure) and metasomatism (chemical alteration). It’s been valued as a carving medium for thousands of years. Because it will weather naturally over time, soapstone adds a charming, rustic look to your outdoor kitchen.
There are pros and cons to soapstone countertops, but overall its non-porous surface can withstand dirt, rain, and extreme temperatures. Don’t worry if you forgot the trivet – hot pans won’t damage the surface. Sealing soapstone isn’t necessary, just be sure to remove spills quickly in order to prevent staining or discoloration. Mineral oil application can make soapstone shiny and give it a darker appearance, adding contrast to its natural colors. Be forewarned – soapstone is softer than both granite and quartzite so it will show scratches. However, knicks can usually be buffed out.
Phoenix Stone for Outdoor Kitchen Countertops
Add value and functionality to your home with an outdoor kitchen. Creating an additional living space in your backyard is a profitable investment. We offer granite, quartzite, and soapstone countertop installation in Austin, TX, and the surrounding areas. Our other specialty products include quartz and marble, as well as custom sinks and edges. Let Phoenix Stone & Laminate help you select the best materials for your project.