"The Great Outdoors" – Outdoor kitchen concrete countertops
“So why should I choose concrete when there are so many choices available for outdoor countertops?” asked our Denton, TX homeowner. It was a good question so we decided to go over some of the options to see what worked best for him.
Some of the most popular materials we can compare our outdoor kitchen concrete countertops to are stone and tile. When it comes to stone, there are many different types available, some of the most popular are lueder, granite, and soapstone. These look great on almost any type of exterior outdoor countertop base, especially those made of stone. Tile comes in an almost unimaginable amount of choices, ranging from porcelain to glazed, plain to embossed, literally the sky is the limit.
So which way to go? As always it just really depends on your tastes and what you would like to see. Lueder, granite, and soapstone are normally priced in the same range as our outdoor kitchen concrete countertops, so that doesn’t really enter into the decision. Tile is normally cheaper so if price is your driving force then this would be the way to go.
Lueder and soapstone have a very natural look but if not sealed, will immediately stain, even from things as innocuous as standing water as can also be the case with concrete. A common misconception is that granite is stain proof, it is very stain resistant but not stain proof. Even through it is far less porous than the other stones and even concrete, it still needs to be sealed to protect it from common food stains and other household materials.
Some types of tiles absolutely require sealing to protect them from staining, particularly porcelain and travertine. Glazed tiles are very stain resistant and do not require sealing, however, all tiles are grouted and grout can and will stain, especially if it is not sealed (think about it, the grout is lower than the tile so all juices, liquids, etc., will pool in there and do its best to stain). So back to square one, all the countertop materials need to be sealed to one degree or another to ensure good stain protection so that doesn’t help in choosing which one is better than the others.
So we’re still not sure why outdoor kitchen concrete countertops would be better than other materials unless you are comparing solely based on price, with tile being the best choice. That aside, the biggest reason to choose concrete over the other materials is aesthetics and flexibility.
Concrete, especially when sealed with a matte finish has a natural look, a characteristic shared with the natural stone countertops materials, with one exception, granite. When granite is cut to become a countertop, part of the process includes polishing it to a high, mirror-like, shine. For interiors, this looks great, outside areas, on top of a rustic stone base, it looks a little out of place, a rustic base with a glossy countertop, kind of like mixing oil and water. Any type of glazed tile will also have this effect.
Our outdoor kitchen countertops can have another advantage over the others, no seams. We can pour them using a process called cast in place, i.e., we build the mold and pour the countertops directly over the existing base which makes them seamless; and, as we are pouring them instead of cutting them out of a slab of stone we have a lot of flexibility when it comes to edges and even embossing materials into the final finish.
You need a 6″ drop down face? No problem; Want it to also be curved? Can do; A matching sink? Order it up! These are just some of the options we can offer with our outdoor kitchen concrete countertops.
At last, we’ve found the reason for choosing concrete. If you are looking for something unique, something that stands out from the rest, reasonably priced, works well with almost any type of base you want to put it on, interior or exterior applications, has a wide range of colors, shapes, sizes, and other features, then outdoor kitchen concrete countertops are the best way to go. Ultimately our homeowner agreed with us and even asked for a matching concrete sink. It came out looking awesome!