Summertime Means Outdoor Kitchen Time!

Summertime Means Outdoor Kitchen Time!

July 09, 2015

After the New England winter we had this past year, we know you’re ready to bring on the outdoors now that summer is here. For many, this means the addition of an outdoor kitchen!

Outdoor kitchen by Christopher Grubb, Arch-Interiors Design Group featuring a Costa Smeralda granite countertop. Photo by Greg Weiner. 

If you’re looking into options, we know you have many questions. Specifically, you need to know which materials will stand up to the elements through all the elements and the changing seasons we experience in this part of the world. One of the most important elements of your outdoor kitchen is the countertop. Here’s a primer of the various options available, along with some pros and cons to help you decide:

Granite Slabs

The most popular choice for indoor kitchen countertops, granite is the toughest option for outside as well. Granite will stand up pretty well to the elements, plus it won’t absorb stains as easily as some other types of stone will. Fading from the sun should be minimal, but we do recommend choosing a mid-range color. The darker the stone, the more heat it will absorb. Stone sitting out in the sun can get pretty hot to the touch and even burn you. Use caution if you choose a granite style with lots of veining. Sometimes the fillers used in these materials will react negatively to UV rays.


You can do a lot with tile both inside and out. Tile offers the widest range of style options. From ornately patterned styles to a simple stone look and anything in between, tile lets you create a unique look. But one drawback of tile for us here in the North East is that the seasonal freeze/thaw cycle can be exceptionally hard on tile grout lines and even cause undesired cracks. There are freeze-proof tiles available. Our best piece of advice here is to work with an experienced installer. They can recommend the right tile product and advise you on proper care.


Soapstone is a very nice outdoor kitchen countertop option. With proper oiling, soapstone can be easily maintained and is resistant to fading, heat, and staining. It is, however, a bit more likely to scratch. However scratches can be easily repaired. One thing to note with soapstone, however, is that if it’s left unsealed or unoiled, fingerprints, liquids, oils, and spills will darken the stone. If you’re fine with the countertop developing a gradual patina, this isn’t a problem. They will eventually wash off. But if you want a surface that has a uniform look, you may want to make another choice.


Neolith is a high-performing, hard-working surface both inside and out. Photo by Neolith.


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.

Want to see some of these materials in-person? Visit either of Marble and Granite, Inc.’s two New England showroom locations where our stone and surfacing experts can help steer you in the right direction, ensuring you create an outdoor kitchen you’ll enjoy for years to come.


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