Summertime means more entertaining outdoors. For Hudson Valley homeowners with large patio areas or backyards, building an outdoor living space extends your home’s potential for enjoying time with family and friends. That includes building an outdoor kitchen, complete with a custom countertop.
Best outdoor countertop material
As you plan your outdoor kitchen and custom countertop, think about how you’ll be using the space—prepping meals, cooking, grilling, and serving. Also consider the climate (winter snow and ice, rain and wind, plus bright summer sun).
Your choice of countertop material will also depend on your style preference, budget, backyard (shady, sunny, or a mix of both), and ease of maintenance. Be sure to select the best material for your custom countertop to suit your anticipated use and environment.
Popular options for outdoor kitchen countertops are natural stone, concrete, and tile.
Natural stone for outdoor kitchen countertops
As with kitchen countertops, not all natural stone works best for all homeowners. At Affordable Granite & Cabinetry, we carry a broad range of natural stones for countertops, each with its pros and cons.
For example, marble, limestone, and bluestone are more porous than granite, so they scratch and stain more easily (reminding you of that big barbeque long after the party is over.) However, marble is easy to maintain and clean.
The materials that provide the best solid surface for outdoor kitchen countertops are granite, quartzite, and soapstone. These natural stones offer durability and resistance to heat, stains, and bacteria.
A custom outdoor countertop made of granite will withstand the elements, and you are less likely to deal with stains or odors. However, a granite outdoor countertop requires sealing after installation and on a regular basis. Choose a mid-range color because dark stone absorbs heat, creating a hot surface that can burn your hand.
Quartzite is slightly harder and more UV resistant than granite. Many homeowners also like the sparkling appearance when sunlight hits the quartz crystals. Quartzite comes in interesting colors and patterns as well as neutrals. It must be sealed upon installation and at regular intervals.
Soapstone offers fewer color choices but stands up well to acidic foods (such as tomatoes, citrus, and vinegar) and regular sealing is not necessary.
Other natural stone options for your outdoor kitchen countertop
Sandstone is a great choice for many areas of your outdoor living space (including a fireplace or walls). It tolerates heat, cold weather, moisture, and acidic environments well, and comes in a nice variety of colors.
Used millennia ago for ancient temples and tombs and for centuries for historic buildings, limestone’s natural attributes mean your custom outdoor countertop will weather the elements without cracking or fading. However, it may be more delicate than granite when it comes to accommodating very hot pans or dishes.
Custom outdoor countertops from other materials
Concrete’s clean, modern look is trendy but this material will crack if it’s not installed correctly. It does offer countless custom color choices and enables you to integrate certain features. Concrete is porous so make sure it is sealed after being installed and at regular intervals.
Tile gives you many style and color options, and can be more budget-friendly. Choose porcelain tile over ceramic for resistance to discoloration or fading, and ask about freeze-proof tiles that will withstand many Hudson Valley winters. One downside of tile is that the grout can stain even when it is sealed, so look for a dark color to avoid the grout looking dirty.
NOTE: Manufactured countertop materials such as quartz or recycled glass are not ideal for outdoor use. They are more delicate than quartzite and granite and the pigments and colorations fade due to exposure to UV rays. Quartz can stain, and quartz and glass may be affected by extreme heat.
Custom countertops for your outdoor living space from Affordable Granite & Cabinetry
One visit to our Fishkill showroom and you’ll see why so many Hudson Valley homeowners choose their countertop materials from Affordable Granite & Cabinetry. We carry high-quality natural stone and our design team can help you create a custom outdoor kitchen that enhances your home. We serve homeowners in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties, designing and installing beautiful kitchens—both indoors and outdoors.