Outdoor Stone Kitchen Design
Custom built outdoor stone kitchens are increasing in popularity. Outdoor living brings a sense of escape and fun to your backyard. Designing an outdoor stone kitchen will create a place for entertainment while bringing value to your home.
Natural stones are formed from the earth, making many of them ideally suited to withstand the wear and tear caused by various weather conditions. However, some types of natural and engineered stones have characteristics that make them a poor solution for certain outdoor applications or usages. We want to help you understand exactly which type of stone would work well for your kitchen or outdoor space to ensure the stone design and fabrication process is as seamless and transparent as possible.
Outdoor Stone Kitchen Countertops and Grill Surrounds
Stone is often used for outdoor kitchen countertops and grill surrounds because it is very versatile, highly durable and stands up to the natural elements that many other surfaces cannot withstand. Stone will allow you to completely customize your outdoor kitchen and create a space that fits your needs.
Stone in Natural Elements
The climate where you live will have a major impact on your stone’s performance. Different weather conditions can affect your stone in different ways. Not only this, but the characteristics of some natural stones do not hold up in natural elements. This is especially true in places like Colorado where temperature changes can be quick and extreme.
Some important factors that should be considered are when choosing a stone for your outdoor kitchen include:
- Amount of sun exposure or shade
- Susceptibility to moisture
- Drastic temperature changes
- UV and heat resistance
- The color of your stone
Considerations for Stone in Cold Weather
Some places are more susceptible to cooler weather conditions such as rain or snow. Depending on the placement of your stone’s application, it may require additional upkeep and frequent sealings. Natural stones are porous and as a result, they absorb liquids and debris if not properly maintained or sealed.
Drastic temperature changes can also shock your stone and cause it to crack or break. The climate you are in plays an important role in determining the right stone for your outdoor application.
If your stone is in a climate with moisture, it is especially necessary to apply a high-end sealant regularly. A good sealant will help repel any liquids from seeping through the stone’s surface. In addition, having a team of professionals re-apply adhesives and epoxies when you notice cracks or breaks will help strengthen the bonds and elongate your stone’s lifespan.
Considerations for Stone in Hot Weather
Similar to cool temperatures, extremely hot temperatures can alter your stone’s appearance and performance. It is recommended to choose a stone that is UV and heat resistant to keep your stone from discoloring over time.
Ideally, your stone design should be in a place with minimal sun exposure. If this isn’t possible, it’s important to create an enclosure around it. This will increase your stone’s life expectancy.
Dark Colored Stones are Not Ideal for Outdoor Spaces
As you might expect, dark colored stones can attract sunlight and become a heat source with intense sun exposure. We recommend choosing a lighter colored stone with neutral hues and avoiding bold colors such as black and brown.
Stone Options Most Ideal for Outdoor Projects
Some types of stones can be used in outdoor spaces depending on characteristics such as their porosity, durability, density, and heat or UV resistance. Stones that are most ideal for your outdoor kitchen design or space include:
Granite is easy to maintain and one of the densest materials on earth. In addition, it is UV and scratch resistant, so it performs well in the natural elements. It will last for years if properly maintained, and its color variations are endless.
Porcelain is an engineered stone that is heat and UV resistant, as well as non-porous, so it repels liquids and debris. It is also resistant to both cold and hot temperatures and does not chip, crack or scratch easily. For these reasons, porcelain is an exceptional option for your outdoor kitchen countertops or grill surround.
Travertine and limestone are some of the most practical stones for outdoor spaces because they are able to tolerate liquid and moisture without altering their appearance. In addition, these stones are extremely durable and do not easily chip or crack. These stones are UV and weather resistant, so they are great for outdoor use.
Stone Options Not Recommend for Outdoor Projects
Stones that should not be used outside include marble and quartzite because they are more porous than others. If these stones are used in your outdoor design, you should make sure they are well covered so that they are not exposed to extreme weather or sun.
Outdoor Stone Options to Be Used on a Case-by-Case Basis
Quartz, which is an engineered stone, is also not recommended for outdoor use, unless you have an outdoor rated version which is UV light resistant. Otherwise, it can fade and discolor with exposure to the sun and other natural elements. Certain quartz brands offer outdoor rated stone that could be perfect for your outdoor application.
Caesarstone and Diresco are two quartz brands with new outdoor rated stones and have many options to choose from. Dekton is also great for the outdoors and is an up-and-coming surface material that is similar to quartz. Dekton slabs are 3 cm in thickness, which makes them stronger and more durable than some other quartz brands. Not only are these stones nonporous and weather resistant, but they offer easy maintenance as well.
If you’re interested in using quartz, our team will recommend the right option to hold up under outdoor conditions.
Best Finishes for Outdoor Stone
Leathered or brushed finishes work well for stones that are in an outdoor space. These finishes will disguise any scratches or marks on the surface and maintain your stone’s best appearance. If you have a specific finish in mind, you should make sure your fabricator is capable and able to achieve it.
Other Considerations for Your Outdoor Stone Kitchen
Aside from the stone itself, other components such as adhesives or epoxies used for installation must be chosen carefully. The wrong adhesives can become brittle and crack, weakening the bonding of the seams. In addition, a sealant can wear more rapidly depending on the weather conditions and its exposure to natural elements. Using stone for outdoor applications typically requires more upkeep and maintenance, which should be considered when choosing which type of stone would be best for your space.
More Uses for Outdoor Stone
Aside from kitchens and grill surrounds, stone can be used for:
- Fire pit surrounds
- Outdoor bars
Granite and Marble Designs Creates Custom Outdoor Stone Kitchens and Applications
Granite and Marble Designs has built and installed many outdoor kitchen and living projects. We will work closely with you and your landscaper to articulate a cohesive design and come up with the best placement for your stone in its outdoor life.
Call us 303-551-6000 or get a free quote, today. We can’t wait to take on your outdoor stone project!