Granite: Fits Just About Anywhere
Pros often mentioned granite as the most practical surface for a wide variety of situations. Granite plays well with a variety of styles, fitting in equally well in a modern setting and a farmhouse one; the latter is seen in this inviting space designed by K&D Landscape Management in Chicago.
- It is durable and won’t be damaged by heat.
- When sealed properly, it is resistant to stains, mold and mildew.
- The colors won’t fade from sun exposure.
- Granite can be more expensive than some other options.
Tile: Timeless and Affordable
Tile is another option, although it’s suitable outdoors only in regions with warm weather.
- It is generally more affordable than other options.
- Tile varieties and styles are numerous; you can find just about any look you want.
- If you damage a tile, it’s easy to replace it without having to redo the whole surface.
- Freezing temperatures can cause the grout to crack.
- The grout can be prone to staining.
Natural Stone: Durable and Unique
Some varieties of natural stone other than granite can be a great option for your outdoor countertop.
- Natural stone is very durable.
- No two pieces of stone are exactly alike.
- It never goes out of style.
- Stone countertops need regular refinishing.
- Stone is porous and can stain easily.
Concrete: Flexible and Customizable
OK, it’s not literally flexible, but one of the big selling points of concrete is that it’s highly customizable. Although concrete is very hard, it will still show some wear and tear. As Douglass puts it, the hairline cracks that sometimes appear can be a feature or a bug: “Some customers like the look it creates; others don’t,” he says. “And if they choose a colored concrete, it may not come out exactly as they expected.”
- It can be formed into virtually any shape you want.
- It can be tinted to the color you want.
- Concrete pros can mold impressions into the concrete, such as a dish drain or a decorative design.
- It can develop scratches and cracks.
- Exposure to the sun can cause colors to fade.
Quartz: One to Avoid
Several pros warned us against using quartz outdoors. The color can fade, and it will not be able to handle the moisture and humidity. It will cause it to warp.