Outdoor kitchens are a trend that’s here to stay. When deciding on creating an outdoor kitchen, the decision of selecting the outdoor countertops could be daunting.
For a functional, stylish outdoor kitchen, you will need a durable and aesthetic countertop.
While there are various choices, granite countertops stand out.
In this article, I will discuss The Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops Outdoors.
Once you are done reading, you will know everything about creating the Perfect Outdoor Entertainment Space with Granite Countertops.
Let’s talk why granite is a great choice.
Granite, a natural stone with immense durability and a unique aesthetic, makes a perfect match for outdoor kitchens.
Its exceptional strength can withstand harsh weather conditions, making it ideal for an outdoor setting.
Moreover, its diverse array of colors, patterns, and textures bring a unique touch of elegance to your outdoor space.
This Post is about Granite Countertops Outdoors.
Truth about Granite Countertops Outdoors
In this article, I will cover :
Let’s get started…..
what is Granite
Granite is an igneous rock that forms when magma cools slowly beneath the earth’s surface, developing visible crystals of feldspar, quartz, and mica.
These give it a speckled look, with every slab having a unique design.
Understanding Outdoor Countertops
Outdoor countertops play a crucial role in maximizing the functionality and aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces.
They are a very important part of outdoor kitchens.
Outdoor kitchen countertops serve as bars, are used for food preparation, serving and dining.
Your outdoor kitchen countertop can also be used as a decorative element. This can really contribute to the overall design and style for an outdoor setting.
The most important factor that makes them different from Indoor kitchen countertops is that they are exposed to freezing temperatures, Sun’s rays and extreme temperature changes.
You need to make sure that the granite counters you choose is the best choice for outdoor use.
Why granite is a good choice for outdoor countertops ?
Granite counters are a popular choice for both indoor kitchens and outdoor kitchen spaces. Granite slabs are durable and require minimal maintenance.
Here are some key features of natural granite that makes it the best countertop for outdoor entertaining.
Durability and Strength:
- Granite is one of the hardest natural stones, second only to diamond.
- This makes it very resistant to scratches, chips, and cracks. This makes it the perfect material for high-use areas like kitchens.
Because of this reason, granite is also used very commonly in commercial kitchens.
- Each slab of granite is unique, with its own pattern and coloration.
- Granite is available in wide range of colors.
- The granite slabs have subtle flecks to dramatic swirls and patterns.
- Granite is highly heat resistant, which is just perfect in a kitchen setting.
- You can place hot pans directly onto a granite surface without causing damage.
- When properly sealed, granite countertops are resistant to stains.
- It’s important to know that granite is one of the porous materials.
- If any spills occur, it’s recommended be cleaned up quickly to prevent potential staining.
- Regular sealing is important to maintain stain resistance.
- While granite countertops require some maintenance, it’s relatively minimal.
- Regular maintenance includes cleaning with a soft cloth and mild dish soap.
- Periodic resealing is also necessary to keep the surface non-porous and resistant to stains.
- The sealing process of granite is very easy.
Granite is considered a premium countertop material, and its cost reflects that.
Because of its durability and low maintenance & the life of granite countertops being really long, it justifies the cost.
Since granite is a natural stone, it doesn’t require any manufacturing processes that can harm the environment. However, the quarrying process does have an environmental impact.
How Granite handles extreme temperatures or high temperatures
Granite is a great material that can withstand a variety of weather conditions, making it suitable for both indoor and great outdoors .
Here’s how granite handles different weather elements:
Direct Sunlight and UV Rays:
Granite is a UV-resistant material, meaning it will not fade or discolor significantly when exposed to the sun’s rays (UV radiation) over time.
This makes granite a very durable material for outdoor kitchens where the countertop will be subjected to direct sunlight.
Having said that, just like any other natural stone, continual exposure to UV rays may potentially cause subtle changes in color over a very long time.
Extreme and High Temperatures:
Granite’s ability to handle extreme and high temperatures is one of the reasons why it is a popular choice for kitchen countertops.
It can withstand the heat of a pan straight out of the oven without being damaged.
This heat resistance is also perfect for hot summer day.
However, I will still recommend to use heat protectors or trivets to prevent potential discoloration or damage to the sealant over time.
Cold Climates and Freezing Temperatures:
As an outdoor kitchen countertop, Granite performs relatively well in cold weather and freezing temperatures.
It is less likely to crack or chip due to the freeze-thaw cycle compared to some other materials.
However, granite is a natural stone and it does have microscopic pores.
If water gets into these pores and then freezes, it could potentially cause damage.
To prevent this, granite countertops should be properly sealed, and this process should be repeated as recommended based on the sealer instructions.
Tips for maintaining outdoor granite countertops
Here are some tips that will help you maintain granite countertops:
Use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild soap to clean your granite countertops.
Avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the sealant and potentially the granite itself.
Wipe up spills promptly to prevent possible staining.
Granite is a porous stone, which means it can absorb liquids and potentially stain.
Applying a sealant can help prevent this.
The frequency of sealing will depend on the specific type of granite and the sealant used, but a good rule of thumb is to reseal once a year.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals:
Do not use harsh or acidic cleaning agents such as vinegar, bleach, or ammonia-based cleaners on your granite countertops as they can etch the surface and degrade the sealer over time.
Protect from Extreme Elements: While granite is durable and can withstand weather changes, it’s advisable to use a cover for your outdoor kitchen or countertop area during the off-season or during periods of extreme weather.
Use Cutting Boards and Trivets: While granite is scratch-resistant, using cutting boards will prevent potential scratching and also protect your kitchenware.
Although granite is heat resistant, it’s also a good practice to use trivets for hot pans to protect the sealer and the finish of the granite.
Regularly inspect your granite countertops for any signs of damage such as chips, cracks, or areas where the sealant might be wearing off. Early detection plays an important role in preventing more extensive damage.
Hire Professionals for Repairs: If your granite countertop gets damaged or stained, it’s best to hire professionals for repair. They have the skills and tools necessary to address the problem without causing further damage.
How does Granite compare to other kitchen countertop materials
I like this video by The outdoor Kitchen experience. He talks about all the different countertop materials.
Granite is one of the most commonly used materials for countertops, However there are other options that have their own unique pros & cons.
Engineered Stone (Quartz):
Quartz countertops are a blend of crushed quartz and resin.
They are non-porous, which makes them resistant to stains and bacteria, and they don’t require sealing.
They are also very durable and come in a wide range of colors. However, they are not as heat-resistant as granite and discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight.
Mostly all quartz manufacturers do not recommend quartz as an outdoor kitchen countertop option.
Stainless Steel Countertops:
Stainless steel provides a sleek, modern look and is often used in professional kitchens due to its heat resistance and easy cleaning.
However, it can scratch and dent more easily than granite, and it can become hot under direct sunlight.
Concrete is highly customizable in terms of shape and color. It’s also heat and scratch-resistant.
However, it’s porous and needs regular sealing to prevent stains and moisture absorption.
Concrete can also crack over time, especially if exposed to freezing and thawing cycles.
Soapstone is a natural stone that is dense and non-porous, meaning it’s resistant to stains and bacteria.
It’s also heat-resistant. However, it’s softer than granite and can scratch or chip more easily.
It also requires regular maintenance with mineral oil.
Glass countertops provide a modern, sleek aesthetic and are non-porous and stain-resistant.
However, they can chip or crack more easily than granite, and they can show fingerprints and smudges.
How to choose the right Granite Countertop for your outdoor space
Selecting the ideal granite countertop for your outdoor projects is very important to ensure durability of the material and aesthetic value. Here are some factors to consider:
Color and Pattern:
Choose a color and pattern that complements your outdoor setting.
Remember that lighter colors tend to hide dirt and stains better than darker ones.
Finish: You can select between polished, honed, or leathered finishes.
Polished finish granite offers a shiny, reflective surface while honed granite gives a matte look.
Leathered granite, on the other hand, brings out the natural color and texture.
The edge profile of your countertop can add a touch of personality.
Options range from simple round or square edges to intricate designs like ogee or bullnose.
Design Ideas for your Outdoor Granite kitchen
Now that you’re all set with the basics, Here are some ideas while designing your outdoor kitchen.
Blend with the Landscape: Choose granite colors and textures that blend with your outdoor landscape for a seamless look.
Mix and Match: You can combine different granite colors or pair granite with other materials like wood or metal for a unique look.
Bar Style Kitchen: You can design a a bar style kitchen with a granite countertop. Add bar stools for a perfect gathering spot.
Incorporate Fire Element: A built-in fireplace or a fire pit in your granite countertop can be an excellent choice and add a cozy touch.
What is the best finish for outdoor granite countertops?
The best finish depends on your personal preference. Polished granite shines under the sun, but honed granite offers a more natural and subtle look.
How often should I seal my outdoor granite countertop?
Usually, sealing once a year is sufficient. However, this can depend on the specific type of granite and the local climate.
Can granite withstand freezing temperatures?
Yes, granite can withstand freezing temperatures without cracking or breaking, unlike some other countertop materials.
Is granite more expensive than other outdoor countertop materials?
While granite can be more expensive upfront compared to some materials like concrete, its durability and low maintenance costs can make it more cost-effective in the long run.
Can I cut directly on my granite countertop?
While it’s technically possible due to granite’s hardness, it’s not advisable as it can dull your knives and possibly scratch the surface.
Are there different types of granite?
Yes, granite comes in various types, like white, black, and pink granite, each with unique aesthetics.
The information in this post is for general informational purposes only. The author
and publisher are not responsible for any damage, injury, or loss that may occur from using the
information provided. Readers should follow safety guidelines and take necessary precautions
as listed by installation countertop professionals.
This Post was about Granite Countertops Outdoors.
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