Outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. What’s better than spending time outside with your family, eating and enjoying a beautiful Michigan summer, and if you’re lucky a gorgeous lakefront view? If you’re considering an outdoor kitchen, it’s important to use the right materials, since unlike your indoor kitchen, the outdoor one will be exposed to the elements. Here are some of the best (and worst) materials for outdoor kitchens.
Soapstone resists bacteria, heat, and staining, making it a high-performance material for outdoor countertops. It’s non-porous (unlike granite) and doesn’t require sealing. It comes in various shades of grey and black and has a sleek modern look that would look stunning in an outdoor kitchen.
Tile is an inexpensive and attractive look for an outdoor kitchen, and it’s the easiest to DIY. There are a range of tile shapes and looks that offer a variety of possibilities for your outdoor kitchen.Though just like indoors, grout stains easily and is a pain to clean. Michigan winters can be too much for tile, also. Cycles of freezing and thawing can crack tiles and grout if not properly installed or if you don’t use freeze-proof tiling.
Granite has a gorgeous classic countertop look and it stands up well to heat and wear. It resists stains and bacteria, which is a positive for any kitchen surface, indoors or out. Granite comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so no matter what you want your kitchen look to be, you can find a stone to fit.
Concrete is popular because it seems easy and inexpensive, compared with natural stone. It’s extremely customizable in terms of features and appearance, and can come in an extensive range of colors. Be warned though that concrete is not impervious to the elements. Just like your sidewalk, your concrete countertop can crack if not installed correctly.
Materials to avoid
There are some countertop materials that work well indoors, but can’t survive the brutal and unpredictable weather that outdoor kitchens face. Don’t use:
- Marble—it is too soft to stand up to wear and tear and etches easily
- Quartz—the pigments in quartz, since it’s a manufactured stone, aren’t designed to stand up to continuous UV exposure
- Recycled glass—just like quartz, the pigments may fade if exposed to too much sunlight
- Limestone—it’s porous and so stains easily, plus it is not very resistant to erosion
Looking for countertops for your outdoor kitchen? Check out our showroom!