Once you pick out the grill and the appliances you want to include in your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen, you’ll need to pick your countertops. Outdoor countertops can be a great way to add an extra touch of personality to your outdoor living space. When you pick a countertop material, it’s not just a question of which one looks cool. You need to consider the location, the other colors in your outdoor kitchen, and how often you want to clean the counters.
The first thing to consider is the location of your outdoor kitchen.
What Climate Do You Live In?
The location of your outdoor kitchen is important for choosing a countertop. To start off, consider where you live. What’s the weather like in the wintertime? How about the humidity in the summer? Since we’re based in Orlando, we deal with a lot of hot and humid weather. That means we want to be careful about materials that could rust, like stainless steel. For people who live in a colder climate, with freeze/thaw cycles and lots of ice or snow, we recommend staying away from materials that crack easily, like tiles.
Is Your Outdoor Kitchen in Direct Sunlight?
Also, it’s important to know where your outdoor kitchen will be located in your backyard. Will it be covered, or is it in direct sunlight? We recommend at least a small covering for your outdoor space. Some outdoor countertops, like granite and stainless steel, can get way too hot in direct sunlight. On the hottest days, you could probably cook the food on the countertop. That’s not a good thing. In short, it’s a good idea to keep your outdoor kitchen in the shade, either under a roof or a pergola. That way, you’ll have more countertop options.
How Much Cleaning Are You Willing to Do?
No, we mean that seriously– how much cleaning are you willing to do? Some outdoor kitchen counters are easy to clean. With stainless steel, you just need a little spritz of household cleaner, and wipe it down, and it’s clean. Other options, like tile, can be a lot more work. Don’t forget to factor in the general hygiene of a countertop. You should have your countertops sealed before you use them, to add extra protection against bacteria. Still, some materials are cleaner than others.
What Aesthetic Are You Looking For?
There is a countertop to match every look. Are you going for a rustic outdoor kitchen, or a more modern vibe? There are options that fit any style you’re looking for. Our team at Outdoor Kitchen Guy is highly experienced in finding the materials that perfectly match your vision. And every time we do a project, we create a 3D render model of the kitchen, so you can see what the final result will really look like. There are so many options out there, so be sure to explore the options, and weigh the pros and cons of each material.
A Quick Note About Prices and Your Budget
Some options, like tile and limestone, are less expensive than the higher quality options like granite and quartz. The cheaper options may be easier on the wallet, but they will need more deep cleaning and repairs over time. Plus, they’ll eventually start chipping and breaking, to the point where you might need to replace the whole thing. So as you look at your options, keep in mind that the cheapest price tag might not be the cheapest option in the long term.
Outdoor Countertop Materials
Here are some of the more popular countertop materials, as well as a couple of pros and cons for each one.
Tile is the cheapest option for your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen countertops. A good thing about choosing a tile countertop is the versatility. You can choose any color or pattern you like with tiles. It comes in a wide range of colors, so you can find something to fit every aesthetic. However, tile tends to chip and break easily, so it may need to be repaired often. Also, the grout in between the tiles is porous. This means that germs and dirt will get in between the tiles, and you may need to have a deep cleaning done every few months to clean it all out. This can be expensive, and all the germs being near your food is unsanitary. We don’t usually recommend tile for outdoor use.
Granite is one of the most popular options, and for good reason. It’s fairly low maintenance, it offers a nice natural stone look, and if it’s sealed well, it can last for years. Since granite is such a hard, dense material, you don’t have to worry about chips or dings on the surface. The only thing we recommend watching out for is the heat. When granite is placed in direct sunlight, it can grow extremely hot. To avoid this, we recommend keeping your outdoor kitchen in the shade, and choosing a lighter color material.
Quartz is a beautiful material that is popular, but also one of the more expensive options. You don’t need to do much in order to keep it clean. It needs little to no maintenance. It’s also scratch-resistant. The main problem with quartz is the exposure to direct sunlight. Over time, quartz grows yellow in the sun. This may be a problem if your Orlando Outdoor Kitchen is in full sunlight.
Quartz and quartzite are different materials. Quartz is a man-made product, while quartzite is natural. Quartzite can resemble marble countertops, but at a lower cost. It has a similar white and grey pattern. Quartzite is one of the best materials. It is resistant to UV damage, which can be bad for other materials. It can handle more acidic foods, and any spills. It’s also strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of an outdoor kitchen. On the other hand, quartzite requires a lot of maintenance. Specifically, you need to seal it about once a year, and make sure it’s sealed properly. Also, since quartzite is such a hard material, it may cost extra to have it cut and installed, so keep some room in the budget for that.
Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless steel Orlando Outdoor Kitchen countertops are one of the cleanest options out there. They don’t need any deep cleaning, they look very modern, and they are very resistant to chips. Depending on the type of stainless steel, you may have to watch out for rust, especially if you live in a humid climate.
The last option we’ll talk about today is concrete. Concrete is a material that can fit a lot of outdoor kitchens. It’s not as pretty as granite, but it doesn’t get as hot in the sun, so if your outdoor kitchen is uncovered, concrete is the perfect option for you. With a concrete countertop, make sure to reinforce it correctly. Since concrete often cracks over time, you want to make sure it stays strong.
Are You Looking to Build Your Outdoor Kitchen?
We are an Orlando Outdoor Kitchen design and installation company, located in Orlando, Florida. If you’re in the area and you’d like to start building your outdoor kitchen, give us a call at (407) 330-6860. We look forward to working with you!