Spring is coming and we’re all looking forward to spending time outside enjoying the warmer weather. That means now’s the perfect time to begin researching whatever spring/summer projects you have in mind for your property.  Setting up a new outdoor kitchen, or remodelling an existing one, is an example of a big investment of time but worth it.

No matter its size, a beautiful and functional outdoor kitchen can complete the look of your property. But what factors should you keep in mind to make the most of the space? And what outdoor kitchen countertop material suits you?

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Kitchen Countertop Material

These are some of the key factors to consider when choosing a material for your outdoor kitchen to increase the value and functionality of your home.

  1. Budget

Determining a budget at the start and sticking to it is vital. Not doing so can result in your expenditures quickly getting out of hand. Some items to keep in mind:

  • Quality of the Material

Materials of a better quality and with a better finish will cost more but last longer.

  • Utilities

You’re likely going to have running water, electricity and gas, especially if it’s a new setup. Plan for this expense beforehand as it will require materials and installation, and may be subject to local inspections/permitting.

  • Technology

If you want cable or internet, you’ll have to include Wi-Fi and network installation line items.

  1. Location

Location, location, location. It dictates the functionality and safety of the whole area. An indoor kitchen can be dangerous when you’re not careful, and the same is true of outdoor kitchens. Be careful not to place the grill, for instance, next to an existing children’s play area. It should also be located away from any place where wind might blow smoke into your house. If possible, place your outdoor kitchen close to the indoor one to make transporting utensils and food to and from designated cooking zones less demanding.

Plan a convenient workflow based on your family’s needs when designing your outdoor kitchen and express this to your contractors to bring your perfect outdoor kitchen to life.

  1. Appliances

Appliances can increase your outdoor kitchen’s value. Electric, gas, infrared, charcoal or teppanyaki grills along with burners, pizza ovens and smokers support the creativity of chefs, be they pros or amateurs. Based on your cooking style and entertainment needs, consider buying appliances that are adaptable. For instance, purchase a grill that can also roast, smoke and bake to save space and extend your budget while highlighting your cooking skills. You may need an ice maker and refrigerator. Make sure you choose high-performing models to get the best value out of your investment.

  1. Layout

The layout of your indoor kitchen can be configured to fit the outdoors one. From a galley style to an L-shaped one, there’s a perfect layout to complement any outdoor space including a deck, patio, rooftop or backyard. Examine the space properly and use it as inspiration when preparing the layout. If you don’t have space constraints, go for an island with a sink, a few cabinets and a built-in grill. However, if you’re short on room, a grill with a simple run or two of cabinets should work nicely. A large outdoor kitchen offers a variety of options for prep, cooking, refrigeration and bartending, and will surely enhance your backyard.

Selecting the Best Outdoor Kitchen Countertop Material

Due to the harsh weather conditions outdoor kitchen countertops face, not all options are appropriate. Here are some of the best materials you can choose from.

  • Marble

Marble is a natural stone and durable material that requires regular upkeep and maintenance to ensure it looks pristine. Consider a marble countertop with a honed finish since wind, rain, snow and general weather changes can harm a shiny, polished surface. Additionally, the rain will wash out stains and marks left behind by food prep and cooking. It will also age the countertop naturally, creating an authentic rustic appearance.

  • Granite

Another great choice for an outdoor kitchen countertop, granite offers ease of maintenance, unmatched durability and a wide range of colours. It’s a natural stone that stands up well to almost anything that you or Mother Nature throws its way. Granite doesn’t discolour, lose its shine or etch easily. It’s heat resistant and when properly sealed stands up well to mould, mildew and stains. A sealant is recommended but not an absolute must. There are many varieties available that are dense enough not to require sealing. If you somehow manage to stain the countertop, it can easily be removed with a cleaner, or sun and rain will take care of it over time. Since granite is available in a wide range of colours, you’re sure to find something perfect for your space.

  • Quartzite

Quartzite is another great option as it’s easy to care for, extremely durable and doesn’t require any special cleaners. (Mild dish soap with warm water works just fine.) Don’t worry about the colour fading in the sunlight, but be careful not to place hot pots or pans on the surface as it can’t withstand high temperatures. Instead, use hot pads and trivets. The surface should ideally be sealed at least once a year to ensure it stays looking as good as new.

Setting up an outdoor kitchen is a great way to transform your backyard and add significant resale value to your home.  However, you need to consider important factors, like choosing the right countertop material. A simple solution will be to find an experienced outdoor kitchen countertop installer. Aside from offering designs and colours according to your preferences and needs, they will make sure you get the exact quality you pay for.