Best Outdoor Kitchen Countertops for Hot Climate
We are trying to decide on the outdoor kitchen countertop material most appropriate for our climate and budget. Our outdoor kitchen plans call for a location situated directly off of our brick patio and will be in direct southwestern exposure. We live in Northern Virginia.
I have done extensive reading on the various products, and even though we love granite, the idea that you can "fry an egg" on granite that has been exposed to direct sunlight is a no brainer decision. We have discussed putting up a pergola, but that is not in our budget this year. I have looked at hard travertine and am looking into porcelain tile.
Please give me your expert advise. Frustrated in Centreville, VA. Thank you.
True, granite countertops exposed all day to 90 degree sun will get very hot, but so will any other type of stone or tile you would consider using... hot enough that you don't want to rest an arm on it.
I didn't mean to single out granite in this regard. The idea is that you really want something to shade the cook and the counter if you live in a hot climate.
Travertine and porcelain may even be worse than granite since they are more dense than granite and typically have a higher "thermal mass," which
is the ability to absorb and transfer heat.
Plus, travertine will etch with all the ketchup, mustard and other "sauces."My opinion:
a light-colored, polished granite is still your best bet. This will reflect most of the heat, of course it will be very bright too.Another option:
Install any color you want, but also get a large portable umbrella that has an off-set base to cover the outdoor kitchen area. That's the kind without a middle pole.
Or configure your outdoor kitchen countertop design with a hole somewhere appropriate where you can put any standard umbrella.
Put this up in the morning and you won't have any problems with the granite getting too hot. And I'm sure you can design it so the whole thing still looks cool.
I think the umbrella is a far better idea than trying to find some material that stays cool enough to touch in constant direct sun...(I can't think of any material that would even come close)
In a few years, you'll have saved enough for a pergola and have the best countertops too.
Who knows... maybe the umbrella works out great and you use the pergola money to redo the bathroom instead!
I'll be curious... use the comment link below and let us know what you decide. And send a picture when you're done!