When choosing the type of stone you would like to use for your outdoor kitchen countertop, many people choose granite for its appearance and durability, but they fail to realize that local stone can achieve the same durability and save up to 50 percent on the cost of the countertop. Bluestone countertops are certainly durable enough to handle the outdoors, especially considering a bluestone countertop may match your dining patio. In style, bluestone countertops bring a formality to the look of the outdoor kitchen. Other countertop options include concrete, slate, tile, marble, and soapstone. In the end, local stone such as bluestone seem to hold the best balance between cost, durability, and beauty. (Also, 2-inch bluestone should be used instead of typical 1and a quarter-inch. This will provide the countertop with necessary strength and durability for transportation.)
Next you must choose the type of finish for your stone countertop. First of all, never use polished stone for an outdoor kitchen countertop. The surface will blind you with reflected sunlight and always look dirty. Allow the natural stone to look natural and it will enhance the style of the outdoor kitchen. Some possible finishes for a natural stone countertop include honed, flamed, and brushed. A honed natural stone finish features a smooth surface without the horrible reflection of a polished finish. Honed finishes, being completely flat, do not collect spills because the surface can just be wiped clean, as opposed to the rough, grittier finishes.
Honed countertops also benefit greatly if they are sealed. Flamed countertops feature this rough, gritty surface as it is heated to extremely high temperatures and cooled rapidly. The flamed countertop achieves a rugged, natural look. The rough surface can be somewhat random as a result of the unpredictability of extreme heat, making this finish the most natural. Brushed stone moderately rough, brushed surface with a certain ruggedness to it. The natural stone countertop will have a wispy texture that will not become slippery when wet. A brushed stone countertop balances the formal honed finish and the natural flamed finish. The brushed finish has a natural texture but presents this texture in a consistent, formal way.
Use low voltage lighting on the backsplash and under the countertop of your outdoor kitchen. Don’t assume that you will only use your outdoor kitchen and grill during the day. Including low voltage lighting in an outdoor kitchen will safely create a usable cooking space after the sun goes down and highlight the bold features of the structure, therefore increasing the overall value of your outdoor kitchen and grill. After all, not even the greatest chefs can cook in the dark. For added style to the well-lit backsplash, glass tile can be used for color and design. Glass tile also meets the backsplash criteria of being non-porous and heat-resistant, both necessary qualities for a backsplash that will have to withstand extreme heat and splashing in the kitchen.