Bringing the Indoors Out: Outdoor Countertops – 6 week summer series

Jul 6, 2015

Here we are again in the second installment of the 6 week summer series where I talk about the what and where of designing outdoor living spaces. This week I will focus on countertops for outdoor kitchens. There are 4 categories of countertops that I will cover: concrete, manufactured stone, granite and tile.

Materials for counters

  1. CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS
    PROS: very versatile – it looks great in a contemporary or traditional setting and can be any color.
    CON: can crack so be sure to hire a first rate contractor & needs to be sealed
    Cost is about $100sf
  2. MANUFACTURED STONE COUNTERS
    For counter-tops like quartz or recycled glass, talk to the manufacturer first. Most use pigments that are not designed to stand up to outdoor use, HOWEVER, manufacturers have been working on this! Manufactures like Cosentino producers of Silestone have Dekton and Porcelanosa has Krion both of which were designed with outdoor use in mind.
    Cost $75-100sf
  3. GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
    PRO: nature created it so it should be find outside. Stick with lighter colors so you don’t burn yourself as darker colors can get hot. Numerous options in this category.
    CON: granite that has a lot of filler material (epoxies) will discolor over time. Needs to be sealed regularly to maintain it’s beauty.
    Cost $50-100sf
  4. TILE COUNTERTOPS
    When using tile outside, use full body porcelain because the color is thru and thru. The benefit of a full-body porcelain is that you won’t see chips vs a ceramic that has a very durable but thin glaze on top that once chiles is visible.
    CON: Tile counters can have a dated look, consider 24×24″ to minimize seams. Seal grout and tile if it is stone
    Cost $15+++
kitchen outdoor countertops in stone

outdoor stone counter – image by Alfresco Grills

granite outdoor kitchen counter

granite outdoor counter – image by Ultra Outdoors

tile countertop – image by Unique Landscapes

concrete counter tops for outdoor living spaces

hand pressed concrete counter – image by Cheng