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For an increasing number of people just having a barbecue grill on the deck or patio outside is no longer enough. Instead, they are choosing to create complete outdoor kitchens that allow them to cook outside all summer long (and even longer with the right weather and a nice fireplace or firepit)
Outdoor living features like this are also increasingly popular with homebuyers, and so while the investment made in an outdoor kitchen may or may not add actual value to a home it will add perceived value, and that can often be just as good.
The one thing that any functional kitchen really needs though is great counter tops. Obviously if a kitchen is located outdoors, a homeowner planning one might imagine that their outdoor countertop options would be rather limited but in fact that is not really the case.
Some countertop materials are better suited to the outdoors than others though. Here are some top choices for great outdoor kitchen counter tops that are well worth considering:
Ceramic Tile Outdoor Countertops
Ceramic tile is tough, durable and relatively easy to take care of. If you choose the right grade of tile, it can also stand up to all kinds of inclement weather so makes a great outdoor counter top choice that can often be a little more affordable than some other options.
In terms of style and looks ceramic tile is also incredible versatile because there are so many styles, colors and designs available. If you want a colorful look, you can use ceramic tile to achieve just that or if you prefer countertops that blend in with their surroundings then there are ceramic tile options and choices that mimic the look of natural stone, granite and even wood very well and cost a lot less than the real thing.
The only big issue that some people have when using ceramic tile as a countertop material outdoors is that keeping the grout clean can be rather hard. You can overcome this problem by using a good grout sealant right from the start and then cleaning up spills as they happen.
Concrete Outdoor Countertops
Concrete counters are more expensive than ceramic tile but they offer the advantage that they can be poured in almost any shape and tinted many colors, offering you a long wearing, custom countertop look for an outdoor kitchen that is as practical as it is attractive.
Concrete counters will chip and nick over time though but with a little sanding you can smooth these dins out. Lots of sunshine may also fade brightly colored concrete counters over time so that might be something to remember when making color choices.
Granite Outdoor Countertops
Granite is expensive, but it is also possibly the very best choice for an outdoor countertop. Even unsealed granite can stand up to all weathers (after all it is stone) and of course in terms of looks granite is, in many people’s eyes, about as good as it gets whether they are installed indoors or out. For homeowners serious about creating a truly impressive outdoor kitchen granite is certainly a good choice.
Outdoor Kitchen Islands
Not everyone has the space – or the budget – to create a permanent outdoor kitchen on a grand scale and for those people a portable kitchen island can be a great solution. They are inexpensive, flexible and provide homeowners with the counter space they need for a mini outdoor kitchen but they can easily be moved back inside when the weather turns nasty!
Most home stores carry a fairly wide selection of portable kitchen islands these days and as a fast, easy way to add counter space to an outdoor entertaining space they really can be the ideal choice to make.