Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

Countertops in your outdoor kitchen maximize workspace and beauty in a variety of materials and colors.


The Keller's new rooftop kitchen features a state of the art grilling area, a bar with a granite countertop and fridge and a dining table under a pergola with retractable canopies, after transformation by the crew of DIY Network's original series, Kitchen Crashers.

From: Kitchen Crashers

Photo by: Jean-Marc Giboux

Jean-Marc Giboux

By: Margaret Grigsby

Outdoor kitchen countertops are the primary place for food preparation and serving, but they also provide an extra level of protection for the cabinets and appliances below. That's why protective and weatherproof outdoor countertop materials are so important.

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You may find some of the most protective materials are a bit more costly, but the price is worth the protection and longevity of your outdoor kitchen.

Prep and serving space are an important part of any kitchen and should be maximized no matter what size your space. If your outdoor kitchen space is modest, your counter space should be in proportion to the size of appliances and accessories like a grill and sink. For larger outdoor kitchen space, countertops can include a larger prep, serving and even a dining and bar area. Before ordering countertops, you will need to know the layout of your appliances and accessories so the manufacturer can make cutouts.

Granite may be the best option for an outdoor kitchen countertop. It's UV and scratch resistant and is nearly nonporous, so it's very water resistant. Soapstone is also a nice stone option, but is a bit more likely to scratch. With proper oiling, soapstone is easily maintained and is resistant to fading. Ask the manufacturer for details about cleaning and maintaining soapstone, granite and other mineral countertops.

If porcelain tile or concrete is the style you're after, be sure to use a waterproof board rather than plywood for the base of your counters. Choose porcelain tile rather than ceramic because it's more resistant to fading or discoloring. Also be aware that grout can discolor outdoors, so be sure to choose darker tile and grout colors to avoid this.

If you want a little more visual interest or are interested in post-consumer products, recycled glass countertops are available in a variety of colors and provide protection against the elements. Concrete is a popular material for countertops, but do your homework on the company you choose to install and pour them. An improperly poured concrete countertop can easily crack, compromising the cabinets and appliances underneath.

Materials you may want to avoid completely for your outdoor kitchen's counters are stone like quartz and laminates like Formica. Quartz is beautiful, but it's a more delicate mineral and may not stand up to extreme heat. Granite is a good alternative because it reflects many UV rays and protects itself in sunny conditions. Formica may seem tempting when you consider its low price, but at the core Formica is made from particleboard and will quickly warp or rot in hot, humid, or wet weather. For your outdoor kitchen countertops, don't sacrifice quality for price. Your wallet will thank you in the long run.

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