If you are planning to have outdoor kitchen countertops installed in the St. Louis area, here are some tips that may help you to choose the right countertop material for your outdoor project. It also helps to avoid the blunder of choosing the wrong stone for outdoor kitchens. Not all stones are suitable for outdoor projects because of the natural characteristics of different countertop materials and their durability when exposed to direct sun and temperature variations.
Having an outdoor kitchen is a hot commodity across the country, but this is especially true in St. Louis, where there are more professional and amateur chefs mastering the art of backyard barbecue than possibly any other locale.
If you honor the rich culinary tradition of St. Louis-style barbecue, it only makes sense that you’d look into creating a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing workspace from which to prep and smoke your premium cuts in the backyard.
When you go about planning and designing your outdoor kitchen, remember that the same elements that make an indoor prep area useful apply to this setting as well. Your grill, countertop and sink all need to be within close proximity to each other so that food preparation is convenient. Consider following the “kitchen triangle” philosophy where the prep area, cooking range and refrigerator are all located at different axes on an equilateral triangle that is formed by the path you would travel from each station to the next.
The big distinction between an outdoor kitchen and an indoor one is the materials you’ll need to use to make sure this is as low-maintenance and durable a work zone as possible.
Outdoor kitchen expert Russ Falk told HGTV.com that natural stone counters are best, because they are inherently more durable than manufactured products in such a setting.
Materials to avoid
However, you’ll want to avoid highly porous materials like Limestone or Marble and instead stick with geologically true Granite slabs for outdoor applications in order to sustain weather conditions. Porosity of these materials will absorb moisture and easily stain with the organic materials of outdoor cooking.
Resin filled exotic granite slabs (strictly speaking some of those stones are not even granite stones in geological terms) should be avoided for outdoor use because the ultra violet rays under the sun will cause the resin to fade the color of the granite slabs.
For the same reason of fading when exposed to direct sun, engineered stones commonly known as Quartz surfaces should also be avoided for outdoor kitchens.
Ideal Materials to choose
Natural stones that are classified as granites in geological nomenclature are ideal for outdoor kitchen countertops because the ideal granite stones are harder (6 and above on the Moh’s hardness scale) and do not fade or discolor when exposed to the direct sun.
Good examples of granite slabs recommended for outdoor kitchens are Black Pearl, Indian Coffee Brown, Tan Brown, and Silver Pearl. Paired with durable stainless steel appliances, granite will also give your outdoor patio a look you’ll love.
Your local area granite installer should be able to help you to choose the right stone for designing your outdoor kitchen countertops.
Arch City Granite & Marble stocks wide range of granite slabs that are suitable for indoor and outdoor countertop projects. Please feel free to visit our St. Louis or O’Fallon locations in Missouri to have a no obligation consultation with one of our granite professionals.