An outdoor countertop is one of the most visible and often-used features of an outdoor kitchen. It therefore worth investing time and money in building and maintaining outdoor countertops that not only look great, but also last for years.
Choosing the material that your outdoor countertop is built from is perhaps the most important aspect of the process. This must be material that can withstand the elements particular to your local climate all year round. Ideally, they should also offer easy upkeep.
Granite is widely considered to be nature's most durable surface, and it's just as well-suited for outdoor use as it is indoors. Other less expensive but durable materials are also available, such as concrete, which, do well in the worst of weather. What's more, you can tint the concrete or incorporate other materials into the concrete for a custom look.
Other good options include slate and ceramic tile. If you prefer something less expensive, a laminated plastic countertop is a cost-effective albeit less durable alternative.
If your outdoor countertop is to be made of concrete or thick slabs of stone, it will likely not need support other than the counter's walls. However, most other countertop materials will need to rest on a solid sub-surface that is wider and longer than the top. The best quality sub-strate options are a steel-reinforced concrete slab, or two layers of concrete 'backer board' that you will glue together with thin set mortar.
The location of your outdoor countertops is a key consideration. Countertops that are used for food preparation should be located close to the barbeque grill and sink. If a countertop serves as a sitting area, it should be located upwind of the grill, to avoid smoke blowing into your guest's faces.
When designing your outdoor countertops, keep in mind the intended functions. A countertop that incorporates a barbeque grill, for example, should be constructed to meet local building and fire codes, and should be located away from overhanging branches or nearby plants, which could become a fire hazard. Storage and table space are other practical features to include.
Quartz countertops are NOT recommended for outdoor use. In fact, most manufacturer warranties do not cover their outdoor installation. This is because quartz countertops are produced with a resin topcoat that tends to discolor with exposure to the elements.
- Photo Credit Product Shot of ""Outdoor Refreshment Area"" by Viking
How to Make Concrete Countertops for an Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen can provide a place to prepare and serve food, if you live in an area where you can spend...
How to Build an Outdoor Countertop
An outdoor countertop can be the aspect of your outdoor kitchen that adds a little touch of elegance. Choosing the material that...
How to Build Bluestone Countertops
Bluestone is a natural sandstone made of quartz and silica that is very hard wearing. Long used in outdoor settings as pool...
How to Tile Outdoor Counter Tops
A tiled outdoor counter top is durable and weatherproof. If you use heat-resistant stones, you can place hot pots and pans directly...
How to Tile an Outdoor Bar
Whether you're expanding an existing outdoor space or you're building a new outdoor kitchen, tile is a durable option for covering an...
Tile Vs. Granite for Barbecue Countertops
Outdoor kitchens are a huge trend in home improvement as homeowners seek to take their living space outdoors. Barbecue grills are the...
The Best Man-Made Countertop Materials
Granite and quartz may be winning the countertop wars, but other options available include laminates, solid surfacing, stainless steel and recycled glass.
Outdoor Countertop Ideas
Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, but cooking outdoors can be more trouble than it's...