The benefits of an outdoor kitchen are obvious. You can experience the convenience of cooking outside, entertaining guests and enjoying fresh air. To make your kitchen useful, you will need enough benchtop space to prepare food and place other important items.
The material you should use for your benchtops will vary from what you would use inside the home. Indeed, outdoor kitchen benchtops need to be durable first, then aesthetics second. They should also withstand outdoor weather conditions that may cause them to wear out over time.
Here are four material choices that provide both durability and aesthetic appeal.
If you wish to equip your benchtops with natural stone, granite is your best option. Many other types of stone tend to be porous and will wear out over time. For example, marble and limestone have many cracks and openings that allow water and stains to pass through.
Granite is durable, and it doesn't easily absorb water from the outside. This is largely because granite contains minimal veins that don't allow water to easily pass through. Consider adding a thick granite benchtop that can also withstand constant beating from the sun.
With granite, you will have many options to choose from. Lighter colours are better at reflecting heat and remaining in good shape for a long time to come.
Brick benchtops are suitable for those who are looking for something to fit their outdoor space. When properly installed, brick can match your walkways and blend seamlessly with other outdoor features.
To get a brick benchtop to work, it will first need to be sealed to keep water out. You should also seek harder brick materials that can withstand high temperatures and regular use.
Concrete has been one of the most popular materials used for outdoor benchtops. It is easy to maintain, durable and highly customisable. However, you should make sure the concrete slab is not prone to cracking over time. Make sure your slab is thick enough and reinforced for constant expansion/contraction.
With concrete, you have the freedom to select from multiple finishing options. A smooth, reflective finish can reflect light from the sun and prevent the benchtop from cracking.
Another useful material to consider is slate. As a fine-grained, naturally occurring metamorphic rock, slate is as durable as granite, and it has excellent water resistance. It is also quite easy to clean on a regular basis, making it perfect for outdoor applications. In fact, you can use regular household detergents to wipe and sanitise the surface before and after use.