Inside-Out: The best materials for outdoor living spaces

Inside-Out: The best materials for outdoor living spaces

March 18, 2014

Now that we’ve finally “sprung ahead” and the days are a bit longer, you’ve no doubt got warmer weather on your mind. Maybe you’re even thinking about some outdoor projects that will let you enjoy the open air more freely as the temperature rises. If so, you’re not alone. The outdoor living and landscape sector has grown into a $60-billion per year industry—and not just in the areas that are warm-year-round. No matter where you live, you can design a beautiful outdoor living space that will last— as long as you know which materials will stand the test of time.

Outdoor Kitchen in NeolithNeolith is a beautiful choice for kitchen countertops; photo via Neolith North America

Research has even shown that investing in outdoor living projects offers a pretty substantial return on investment. So, whether you want an outdoor kitchen complete with appliances, storage, and seating, or just a simple outdoor fire pit, you’ll need surfacing materials that can stand up to Mother Nature. Using the right materials is crucial for ensuring that your investment won’t quickly deteriorate out in the elements—especially for those of us in the New England and other areas which experience the full gamut of seasons.

One terrific choice for outdoor countertops, seating, and work areas is granite. It’s resistant to temperature extremes, so its not damaged by years of freezing and thawing cycles. Arguably one of the world’s most beautiful natural stone options, granite is less likely to fade in the sun. We recommend choosing darker granite shades for outdoor use since lighter colors are more likely to discolor over time spent in bright sunlight. In sum, granite offers a luxurious look that will remain beautiful and durable for years.

Outdoor Kitchen in graniteGranite fire pit and outdoor seating by Siemasko + Verbridge; photo via Houzz

Neolith ultra compact surfacing is another fantastic choice for outdoor use. A product that’s redefining the building cladding industry, this ultra thin material is resistant to changing weather conditions and even exposure to UV rays. Since the colors found in the material are oxide mineral based, they won’t change over time, even outdoors in bright sunlight. Another unique trait of Neolith is that it comes in very large, thin panels. It’s a great choice for areas where you want a long stretch of surfacing without seams or joints, such as countertops or even walls and flooring. Though it’s a very thin and light material, Neolith is a powerhouse when it comes to durability. It’s resistant to water, chemicals, fire, and abrasion, making it one of the most efficient solutions on the market today for projects both inside and out.

Neolith countertopNeolith is a high-performance surface both inside and out; photo via Neolith

Feel free to visit either of our two showroom locations in New England. We’ll tell you more about Neolith and show you some exquisite choices for granite. No matter what the scale and scope of your project, we’re happy to share our knowledge of durable outdoor materials and provide advice as you dream about the comforts of your new outdoor living space.


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