Outdoor cooking and barbecuing has long been a summer tradition in the United States, and every year it seems like there are new innovations in grilling products and techniques, from grill stones on which you can cook pizzas to tips on how to grill a myriad of fruits and vegetables. As a result, outdoor kitchens and grill stations have grown a lot in popularity the past few years. But before investing in an outdoor cooking area, it’s important to choose the right material for your countertops.

Tile countertops are the most economical option for outdoor grill stations and kitchens. The colors and styles are endless, but they do have some drawbacks. They don’t work well in cold climates because the tiles and grout tend to crack when they freeze, and even grout that has been sealed can stain. If you’re still set on a tile countertop, use freeze-proof tiles, choose dark grout to hide stains, and hire an experienced installer to make sure the tile is laid properly.

Many materials that work great for interior kitchen countertops are not the right choice for outdoor counters because of increased exposure to the elements. Granite is not one of these. This durable and easy-to-care-for material is perfect for a custom outdoor counter or surround due to the fact that it is strong enough to withstand bad weather, resists fading from the sun, and doesn’t stain easily when properly cared for. Just remember to seal it regularly, and your will granite beautify your outdoor kitchen for years to come.

Soapstone is another great option for outdoor countertops if you’re not picky about color. Though the color selection is small, the fact that it is non-porous and doesn’t need to be sealed makes it even lower in maintenance than granite. It also resists heat, staining, and bacteria, and holds up well against acidic foods.

Another popular countertop material that can work well outdoors is concrete. It will give your outdoor kitchen a contemporary look, and is available in an endless array of colors. Concrete does tend to crack, however, even when reinforced with steel, so an experienced professional installer is a must if that’s what you prefer. It is also very porous, and will need to be sealed on installation and regularly thereafter to keep it looking its best.

With over 30 years of experience, our skilled craftsmen at AAA Hellenic Marble & Tile are pros at custom stone fabrication and installation. If you are ready to extend your living space with an outdoor kitchen, give us a call today at 610-344-7700, and we’ll get one of our designers started on the perfect custom countertop for your outdoor space.