If you want to set your outdoor area apart from the rest, what’s cozier and more cutting-edge than an outdoor kitchen? Setting up an outdoor kitchen unit and dining area can be great for entertaining, grilling, or just spending long summer nights casually feasting outdoors. Of course, if you live in a rainier climate or are worried about the elements wreaking havoc on your work, you’re not alone. An outdoor kitchen might seem like a great idea at first, but if it’s not built to withstand any and every kind of weather, your ROI-boosting improvement project could end up costing you way more than you expected in repairs. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to make sure your outdoor kitchen survives even the worst weather year-round. Whether you’re looking into getting granite countertops from the best fairfax granite company or opting for a concrete countertop, you’ll need to make a strong selection in order to get your money’s worth. If you’re creating an outdoor kitchen, here’s what you’ll need to think about when choosing countertops.
Choose a Moisture-Proof Surface
The first thing you want to do when choosing your countertop is to make sure a light rainfall isn’t going to end up destroying it. This doesn’t just mean getting a block of marble or granite that’s sealed and treated (though that’s going to help with food and drink stains.) It means investing in a large block of something durable and long-lasting such as granite, soapstone, and concrete. These materials will last forever and will stand up to any outside factors like extreme heat, freezing cold, and moisture easily. This goes double for sealed countertop. You’ll also want your stone to be thick to protect against chipping or breaking and make sure your investment really lasts. It takes a lot to put a dent in concrete or granite as long as its at least ¾ of an inch thick. If you’re not sure about the best kind of stone for the job, check with your contractor to ask about specific options that are best for your climate. Granite, for instance, might not be best for climates that are dry and hot, since the surface can heat up quickly.
Get Something Durable Yet Stylish
If you’re looking for something that’s going to look elegant in any season, there are tons of options for stone countertops that look great and won’t crack under pressure. Soapstone, for instance, comes in a range of colors and is heat-resistant as well as crack-proof and bacteria-resistant. Any countertop you choose should be sealed for extra protection against bacteria, but getting a bacteria-resistant material will help cut down on maintenance. If you want your countertop to have a lot of detail and veins, granite is a great option. However, don’t choose a slab with too many veins, since this could invite a lot of UV ray damage. For best results, keep your countertop in the shade to protect against overheating and sun damage.
Protect the Finish
Whether you choose granite, soapstone, concrete, or tile for your outdoor kitchen countertop, you’ll want to make sure you have your stone sealed and resealed regularly. Stone types that are famously crack-proof, such as granite, will need less retouching than a material like concrete, which is more prone to cracking if exposed to extreme fluctuations in weather. If your countertop is made of tile or concrete, think about getting it resealed at least every year. If you don’t want to worry about resealing, choose soapstone, which is not porous and does not need to be sealed. If you want something that you can directly chop food on and spill liquid on without worrying about staining, both soapstone and granite are ideal options.
Don’t Be Deceived by Price
Many homeowners will want to choose a material for their countertop that won’t cost a ton of money outright. While price is always an important consideration, it’s best to look at the big picture before choosing your material to make sure you get the best possible deal in the long-term. For instance, while tile is the cheapest material for countertop at $10-$30 per square foot, it requires frequent resealing and is prone to staining. At $100 per square foot, concrete would seem to be the most luxurious option. However, since it’s prone to cracking, you’re better off going with granite for almost half the price. While soapstone can cost up to $120 per square foot, you can find options for around $70 to cut down your costs.