Outdoor kitchens are increasing in popularity around the country as more people begin to follow the trends of blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living. With these new kitchens comes the question of what materials to create them out of. After all, many people have been opting to use natural stone counters such as granite inside their kitchens for several years now, so it naturally follows that they would want a similar material outdoors. While granite is a natural material created in the outdoors, a polished and cut countertop is slightly different than the large granite boulders you may see as you travel through the woods, and therefore also needs different care if used in an outdoor kitchen.
The first thing to keep in mind when choosing a stone for an outdoor kitchen is what kind of elements it will be exposed to. Some outdoor kitchens have a roof or overhang that shades and protects the counter area. In this case, your new stone counter should perform similarly to the way it would indoors.
If your counter will be exposed to the elements, however, you may need to pay closer attention to the type of material you choose. Dark colored granites can heat up very quickly in the sun, making them difficult to touch. On the other hand, some lighter colored granites may fade in direct sunlight, so be aware when choosing your colors.
Sun, rain, snow, and ice can all take a toll on the sealer you use on your stone as well, which may make your outdoor granite counter more susceptible to stains. These same elements may also affect the polish or finish of your granite, and in some cases you may want to opt for a honed or matte finish to help disguise etch marks that can come from use outdoors.
So while you can use granite or stone counters outdoors, just keep in mind that you may need to extend some extra care and consideration to your choice to help your granite maintain its good looks for as long as possible.