If you've always dreamed of creating a backyard oasis complete with a fire pit and functioning kitchen, the proliferation of do-it-yourself television shows and online tutorials may have finally put this project within your reach. However, choosing the perfect countertop material to tie your outdoor kitchen together can be a challenge. Read on to learn more about a few of the most durable materials for your outdoor kitchen counter.
Although concrete counters may not sound as attractive as granite, quartz, or marble, today's brushed concrete counters look more like a solid slab of stone than a mixture of sand and crushed rocks. Concrete counters are available in a variety of colors and textures, making it easy to find a look that suits your taste.
Two of the biggest advantages of concrete counters, particularly in the outdoor context, are their durability and wide variety of customization options. Instead of trying to build your kitchen around the countertop you've already selected, you'll be able to pour a concrete counter into a custom mold, ensuring it's the perfect size and shape for your backyard oasis. Plus, because concrete is designed to stand up to the elements, you're unlikely to need to do more than give it a good wipe-down after every use to ensure it's well-maintained.
Another durable and inexpensive option is a recycled or reclaimed granite countertop that once resided in an interior kitchen. Often, homeowners looking to remodel or refresh their kitchen find themselves paying to have their old granite countertop hauled away by a recycling company or even the countertop installer.
These used counters can be repurposed into outdoor countertops at a significantly lower price than buying new. The unique and attractive look of granite or other natural stone countertops can make your outdoor kitchen the true focal point of your backyard while saving you money.
A sleek and utilitarian option, aluminum counters are lightweight and inexpensive. Because these counters are so much physically lighter than stone or concrete counters, they require less structural support, allowing you to get by with a stripped-down cabinet setup. Depending upon your intended uses for your outdoor kitchen, an aluminum countertop may be your best choice.
No matter which material you choose, keeping your countertop covered during the winter months (or even while not in use) can go a long way toward keeping it looking and functioning like new. For concrete and aluminum counters, a thorough washing with a power washer once every year or two can also prevent oil and debris from scratching the counters' surface and causing damage; granite counters should instead be cleaned gently with a diluted soap and water mixture.