Outdoor Cooking Area: What are the best materials for outdoor floors and countertops?
Outdoor dining has become a large part of our lifestyle as more and more families entertain at home.
Televisions have also become a major component of these outdoor entertaining areas. Therefore, outdoor countertops are generally 30 inches deep to accommodate a built-in grill, among other features, unlike indoor kitchen countertops which are 24 inches deep. A countertop should be especially deeper if it is on an island accessible from all sides. Appliances for outdoor kitchens have become far more sophisticated, such as wine fridges, ice makers, microwave ovens, and kegerators, commanding higher end countertops and flooring. Stone selections are excellent for outdoor applications.
Since outdoor countertop and flooring materials are a large investment, your first consideration should be durability rather than design aesthetic. When giving thoughtful consideration of material selections, you should then coordinate the materials with the style of the exterior of your home as well as the existing materials already part of the structure. Also give consideration to your cooking and entertaining style. Granite, as one of the most durable stone selections for countertops, wears exceedingly well in outdoor cooking areas. Lightly veined granite styles wear better with UV rays because highly veined granites contain epoxies and fillers. Stones that rate lower on the Mohs Scale of hardness will etch, stain, and wear far more quickly in outdoor settings, unless they are sealed on a routine basis. Ceramic tile is also highly durable and well suited for outdoor applications. Quartz and other man made countertops do not fair as well with UV rays, changing the color over time. Consult the manufacturer before using such materials. Stone flooring options to consider for best durability are sandstone, limestone, slate, and marble. However, ceramic tile offers more style and color options. Tile also comes in options resembling stone, which can be extremely budget friendly.