Planning an Outdoor Kitchen? Discover the Best Worktop Materials
Spending time outdoors is both rejuvenating and an excellent way to bond with friends and family. Outdoor cooking, in particular, is a fascinating activity trending amongst UK-based homeowners. To plan and design an outdoor kitchen, ample thought must be given to the worktop material. While there are several efficient choices, granite worktops are considered the best. In outdoor spaces, the worktop material has to be resistant to rain and sun exposure. It has to be hard-wearing, durable, and yet appear stylish.
Granite Worktops for Outdoor Kitchens
Since outdoor kitchens enhance the overall home valuation, homeowners are often tempted to use marble worktops for maximum value and appeal. No doubt, marble is grand and beautiful. But it is a completely wrong choice for outdoor spaces, owing to its low UV resistance, high porosity, and low resistance to constant water/chemical exposure. Granite worktops are best suited for outdoor kitchens, providing a seamless combination of functionality and visual appeal. Here are the advantages of using granite for outdoor kitchen worktops in London:-
- Hard-wearing– Given how unpredictable London’s weather is, one needs to be armed with the most resistant material for outdoor kitchen worktops. Whether it is blazing sunshine or torrential rain, granite is least likely to crack, chip, or dent. It is also fairly UV-resistant and will not get faded from continual sun exposure.
- Cost–Effective– While choosing kitchen worktops in London, getting value for money is equally important. There is no point investing in a costly material that will have to be replaced in a couple of years. Granite provides the required longevity that makes it worth investing in.
- Hygiene– Bacterial, mould/mildew, and dust exposure are far higher in outdoor kitchens. Granite worktops make for extremely hygienic kitchen surfaces as long as they are sealed well. These are also impervious to spills and stains.
- Easy Cleaning and Maintenance– If properly sealed before installation, outdoor granite worktops can be easily cleaned with a water hose and gentle wiping. Use mild soap to dislodge the surface dirt if it isn’t washed regularly. But no special cleaning agents or harsh abrasives are required for cleaning granite.
- Aesthetics- Amongst the various natural stone options for outdoor worktops, granite offers the best range of styles, colours, and patterns. With suitable resin treatment, the look can be further customized to match the core design elements of the outdoor kitchen.
Other Worktop Materials for Outdoor Kitchens
Apart from granite, several other worktop materials can be considered for outdoor kitchens. These include-
- Quartzite– A natural stone formed under the earth’s surface by the gradual crystallization of quartz, quartzite is a good choice for outdoor kitchen worktops. Its biggest strengths include its excellent UV resistance and hardness quotient, both of which are slightly higher than that of granite. But it is more prone to scratches and scalding. So homeowners must exercise caution while using hot and heavy pots/pans. Despite these limitations, many homeowners prefer quartzite worktops owing to their marble-like look. Available in various shades of white with a subtle grey, brown, blue, green, and gold veining, quartzite worktops create an ambient, mesmerizing aura.
- Soapstone– A unique choice for outdoor kitchen countertops, soapstone has a characteristic set of pros and cons. being an extremely dense and non-porous material; it doesn’t require sealing before installation. Its top-notch resistance to heat and UV rays also works in its favour. Although it darkens when exposed to water or any other liquid, the same can be washed off easily. Its biggest drawback is that it can get scratched due to physical wear and tear. Also, some homeowners might find the restricted colour palette (earthy, rustic shades only) a bit limiting.
- Porcelain- In contrast to granite, marble, quartzite, and soapstone, porcelain is an engineered material. Its utility as an outdoor kitchen worktop is augmented by its non-porous and fade-proof properties. Porcelain can be easily cleaned and maintained and is available in an enormous range of colours, patterns, and designs. Overall, it is a highly customizable and cost-effective low-fuss material. But homeowners should be aware that it is not as durable as granite or soapstone and tends to scratch/dent easily.
- Marble- As mentioned above, the biggest highlight of marble countertops is their unparalleled visual charm. But not all homeowners can afford the cost and efforts required to maintain its beauty. It is an eye-catching option for outdoor kitchen worktops but not a practical one in the long run.
Having an outdoor kitchen not only increases the overall home value but also reduces the strain on the indoor kitchen. If a house has ample outdoor space, having an outdoor kitchen is a practical, trendy, and aesthetic choice. As long as the worktop material and other fixtures are chosen wisely, outdoor kitchens can last beautifully for years without needing renovation. While granite remains the best-voted choice, other materials have unique strengths and weaknesses, as discussed above.