The Best Benchtop Material for Outdoor Kitchens
One of my lovely clients asked me recently about the best material for an outdoor benchtop. She had a timber bar table in full outdoors for just on 3 years and its totally deteriorated so she was looking at her options to replace it. It prompted me to write this blog. I hope it helps others.
When it comes to selecting a material for an outdoor benchtop, there are several options to consider, each with its own pros and cons. Here are some alternatives and their characteristics:
Natural stone, such as granite, marble, or limestone, is a popular choice for outdoor benchtops because of its durability and resistance to the elements. Stone is also available in a wide range of colours and patterns, which can make for a striking design. However, stone can be quite expensive, and it requires sealing to prevent staining and discoloration. Its also heavy and will require extra bracing.
Concrete is a versatile and affordable material that can be moulded into a variety of shapes and finishes. It is durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions. Concrete is also low-maintenance, but it can crack or chip over time, and it may require sealing to prevent staining.
Timber is a traditional material for outdoor furniture, including benchtops. It has a warm, natural look and can be finished in a variety of stains or paints. However, requires regular maintenance to prevent rot and weathering, and it may not be as durable as other materials.
PORCELAIN SLABS & TILES
Porcelain is a great choice for outdoor applications because of its durability, water resistance, low maintenance, and huge range of design options. It is a long-lasting and cost-effective option that can enhance the look and function of your outdoor living space.
Composite materials, such as engineered stone, solid surface or wood-plastic composites, are a newer option that combines the best features of different materials. They are durable, low-maintenance, and resistant to the elements. They are also available in a range of colors and finishes.'
Ultimately, the best material for an outdoor benchtop depends on your budget, style preferences, and the specific demands of your climate and environment. It's important to consider factors such as durability, maintenance, and resistance to weather and staining when making your decision.
Here’s are my go-to suppliers for outdoor benchtops;
Project Stone Boast Queensland’s largest range of stone surfaces. From the intensity and durability of Granite, the elegance of Marble, the exotic charm of Limestone and Travertine to the sheer brilliance of Onyx. Project Stone Australia is also proud to stock and distribute TrendStone™ Quartz. This versatile Engineered Stone product completes our extensive range. We invite you to visit our Brisbane showroom, where our experienced staff will guide you through the process of stone selection.
Concrete Benches Australia
Handcrafted polished concrete benchtops and basins straight out of our workshop to your home or business. our colour choice is almost unlimited and we can do things with concrete that seems impossible! Once committed to a concrete bench, you can be provided with a concrete colour sample showing you the colour you have chosen, not just showing you a colour chart. However, the final concrete colour can sometimes have a slight change, influenced by factors such as the temperature, humidity and variations in the products used.
IMAGE CREDIT: CONCRETE BENCHES AUSTRALIA
STARON SOLID SURFACE
Staron® Solid Surfaces is comprised of a natural and safe pure mineral derived from bauxite ore and blended with an advanced pure acrylic resin, resulting in a premium surface material. Staron® Solid Surfaces does not contain any harmful silica and is suitable for endless applications in a commercial or residential project. With a smooth finish and a range of over 90 colours to select from, Staron® is both aesthetically and functionally pleasing. The benefits of selecting Staron Solid Surface is the ability to continue to the outdoors. With a large collection to choose from there are design options that can be in used in semi outdoor conditions with some protection from the elements to options in full outdoor exposure. Staron is unaffected by water and offers high performance in UV exposure, the applications go beyond benchtops. Doors, draws, kick boards, seating and wall cladding are all areas Staron can be considered for.
A durable surface Staron is also renewable and repairable and will perform form many years with minimal maintenance.
IMAGE CREDIT: DARREN JAMES INTERIORS
PORCELAIN SLABS & TILES
When it comes to outdoor benchtops, Smartstone recommends AtlasPlan Porcelain.
Smartstone established an exclusive partnership with Italy’s Atlas Plan, a European porcelain leader renowned worldwide for its superb replications of marble and natural stone-look surfaces. With its exceptional aesthetic versatility for indoor-outdoor usage,
The technical performance and refined aesthetic of porcelain come together in Atlas Plan’s versatile large format 1600mm x 3200mm (nominal size) porcelain panels. Porcelain’s durability and UV stability make it ideal for outdoor spaces, including building facades, paving and wall panelling, as well as demanding, high-traffic interior spaces such as porcelain benchtops and kitchen splashbacks, sinks, tables, bathroom vanities and shower walls... the applications are limitless. A major advantage of porcelain is its slab thickness which can offer an ultra-slim, modern look or can be mitred to create deeper edged profiles or waterfall features. Here's a few if the lovely designs;
Porcelain Slabs are like no other product on the market. They are waterproof, heat, stain and scratch resistant. Uptiles Strathpine slabs comes with a 25 year warranty for external use. Porcelain tiles have been being made in Italy for over 60 years and now with new technology the porcelain can be made into Slabs 3.2m x1.6 m and are available in thicknesses of 6mm, 12mm and 20mm. The 12mm and 20mm are used for Benchtops while the 6mm is used for the face of cupboard door, walls and floor areas.
The Porcelain Slabs are just like a porcelain tile. They are pressed and then fired at 1200 degrees leaving the end product impervious. Meaning it won't stain, is not affected by UV light so also won't fade in the sun. You can take hot pots and pans and put directly on the surface as it is thermal shock resistant and you can even use knives directly on the surface, as it is rated for flooring and can be walked on, so your normal day to day use will not affect the surface.
Uptiles 20mm Porcelain slabs are unique, as Uptiles has an exclusive induction cooktop that can go under the slab and cook through the slab (without having a cooking element visible). This creates clean surfaces and leaves you with a streamline benchtop for use to prepare food and then also cook on the same surface.
Finishing off the edge of the Porcelain Slabs you have many options. As the body is coloured to match the surface, you can simply polish the edge, or if you wish to have a large edge, you can create it by using a mitred edge and then continue the vein matching. You are able to create waterfall ends and even continue onto the cupboard door,
Need help perfecting your outdoor kitchen. Book a discovery call today.
Yours in design, Maz