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Best Countertop For Outside Use

When designing an outdoor kitchen or revamping an exterior living space, selecting the right countertop material is not just a matter of aesthetics; it’s about finding a balance between beauty, durability, and functionality. Outdoor countertops face a unique set of challenges, including exposure to varying weather conditions, direct sunlight, and extreme temperatures. Among the myriad of options available, quartz, quartzite, and granite stand out for their popularity and proven performance in both indoor and outdoor settings. Each of these materials brings its unique set of properties to the table, from heat resistance to maintenance needs, making the choice far from straightforward. This article aims to delve into a comprehensive comparison of quartz, quartzite, and granite, focusing specifically on their suitability for outdoor use. We’ll explore how each material stands up to the elements, particularly their ability to resist heat, which is a crucial consideration for outdoor kitchens exposed to direct sunlight and high temperatures. By examining the pros and cons of each countertop option, this guide seeks to arm you with the information needed to make an informed decision, ensuring that your outdoor space is not only stylish but also practical and enduring. Join us as we navigate through the heat resistance showdown to discover the best countertop for your outdoor oasis.


Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are renowned for their beauty and durability, making them a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor kitchen spaces. Composed of natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments, quartz surfaces offer a wide range of colors and patterns that mimic the look of natural stone. However, when considering quartz for outdoor use, it’s essential to weigh both its advantages and limitations, especially in terms of heat resistance, UV sensitivity, and maintenance requirements.

Pros of Using Quartz Outdoors:

  • Durability: Quartz is known for its strength and resistance to scratches and impacts, making it a robust choice for high-traffic outdoor areas.
  • Non-Porous Surface: The non-porous nature of quartz makes it resistant to staining, mold, and mildew, which are common concerns in outdoor environments. This characteristic also means that quartz does not require sealing, reducing maintenance efforts.
  • Aesthetic Versatility: With a vast selection of colors and patterns available, quartz can complement any outdoor kitchen design, from modern to traditional.

Cons of Using Quartz Outdoors:

  • Sensitivity to UV Light: One of the primary drawbacks of quartz is its sensitivity to UV radiation. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the colors and patterns in quartz countertops to fade over time, affecting their aesthetic appeal.
  • Heat Resistance: While quartz countertops can withstand moderate temperatures, they are not the best choice for areas exposed to high heat or direct sunlight. The resin components in quartz can become damaged when exposed to excessive heat, leading to discoloration and warping. It’s advisable to use heat-resistant mats or trivets when placing hot items on quartz surfaces and to consider some form of shade for the countertop area to protect it from direct sun exposure.
  • Maintenance and Care: Although quartz is generally low-maintenance, the outdoor setting demands extra care to maintain its appearance. Regular cleaning to remove debris and spills is necessary to prevent staining, and using a UV-protective sealant can help mitigate the effects of sun exposure, although it may need to be reapplied periodically.
Quartzite countertop at Superior Stone & Cabinet.

Quartzite Countertops

Quartzite is a stunning, natural stone that has become increasingly popular for both indoor and outdoor countertops due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. Formed from sandstone that has undergone high pressure and heat, quartzite boasts a hardness and heat resistance that surpasses many other countertop materials, making it an excellent choice for outdoor environments.

Pros of Using Quartzite Outdoors:

  • Exceptional Durability: Quartzite’s natural formation process results in a stone that is incredibly hard and durable. It is resistant to scratches and chips, which is particularly beneficial in outdoor settings where countertops may be subject to more wear and tear.
  • High Heat Resistance: One of the most significant advantages of quartzite is its ability to withstand high temperatures. This makes it ideal for outdoor kitchens where the countertop may be exposed to direct sunlight or hot cookware. Unlike quartz, which can be damaged by excessive heat, quartzite maintains its integrity and appearance even when subjected to high temperatures.
  • Natural Beauty: Quartzite offers a unique aesthetic appeal with its marble-like appearance and striking veining. Each slab is one-of-a-kind, providing a luxurious and elegant look that can elevate the design of any outdoor kitchen or living space.
  • Low Porosity: While not as non-porous as engineered quartz, quartzite has a relatively low porosity, which means it is less likely to stain than other natural stones. However, sealing is recommended to enhance its stain resistance, especially in outdoor settings where it may be exposed to spills and stains.

Cons of Using Quartzite Outdoors:

  • Maintenance Requirements: To preserve its beauty and resistance to staining, quartzite requires periodic sealing. The frequency of sealing depends on the amount of use and exposure to the elements, but generally, it should be done annually.
  • UV Sensitivity: While quartzite is more UV resistant than engineered quartz, prolonged exposure to sunlight can still lead to some fading, especially in darker colored slabs. Positioning quartzite countertops in shaded areas or under a patio cover can help mitigate this effect.
  • Cost: Quartzite can be more expensive than other countertop materials due to its natural beauty and durability. However, its longevity and aesthetic appeal often justify the investment for many homeowners.

Practical Advice for Outdoor Quartzite Use:

When incorporating quartzite into an outdoor kitchen or living space, consider the stone’s natural patterns and colors in relation to your overall design theme. Opt for professional installation to ensure the countertop is properly sealed and secured against the elements. Regular cleaning with mild soap and water, along with annual sealing, will keep your quartzite countertops looking beautiful for years to come.

In conclusion, quartzite’s blend of natural beauty, durability, and heat resistance makes it an outstanding choice for outdoor countertops. With proper care and maintenance, quartzite can withstand the rigors of outdoor use while adding a touch of elegance to any space.

Granite Countertops

Granite, a natural igneous rock, is one of the most popular choices for countertops, both indoors and out, thanks to its durability, unique beauty, and natural resistance to elements. Its composition of quartz, feldspar, and mica gives granite its distinctive granular appearance and contributes to its strength and heat resistance, making it an ideal choice for outdoor kitchens and entertaining spaces. Click here to read more about designing your outdoor kitchen with granite countertops.

Pros of Using Granite Outdoors:

  • Unmatched Durability: Granite is renowned for its hardness and resistance to scratching, chipping, and cracking. This robustness is particularly advantageous in outdoor settings where countertops are exposed to more rigorous use and a wider range of elements.
  • Superior Heat Resistance: Granite’s ability to withstand high temperatures is unparalleled. It can tolerate hot pots and pans directly on its surface without damage, making it perfect for outdoor cooking and dining areas where high heat exposure is common.
  • Natural Beauty: With its wide variety of colors and unique patterns, granite offers unmatched natural beauty. Each slab is one-of-a-kind, with variations in color, veining, and speckles that add character and elegance to any outdoor space.
  • Low Maintenance: Granite’s relatively low porosity means it’s less susceptible to staining compared to other natural stones. While sealing is recommended to protect against stains and facilitate cleaning, once sealed, granite requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking pristine.

Cons of Using Granite Outdoors:

  • Periodic Sealing Required: To maintain its low porosity and resistance to stains, granite countertops need to be sealed periodically. The frequency depends on the specific type of granite and the level of exposure to outdoor elements, but generally, sealing every one to two years is recommended.
  • Weight: Granite’s durability comes with a significant weight, which may require additional structural support, especially in outdoor kitchen islands or bars. This should be considered during the planning and installation phase.
  • UV Sensitivity: While granite is more UV resistant than many other countertop materials, some colors may fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. Choosing granite colors that are less likely to fade and positioning countertops in shaded areas can help mitigate this issue.

Practical Advice for Outdoor Granite Use:

To maximize the longevity and beauty of granite countertops outdoors, choose a color and pattern that complements your outdoor space and aligns with your design vision. Ensure that the installation is done professionally to accommodate the weight of the granite and to apply the necessary sealant correctly. Regular cleaning with mild soap and water, along with periodic sealing, will help your granite countertops withstand the elements and remain a focal point of your outdoor space for years to come.

In summary, granite’s combination of durability, heat resistance, and natural beauty makes it an excellent choice for outdoor countertops. With proper care and maintenance, granite can enhance outdoor kitchens and living areas, providing a functional and stylish space for entertaining and relaxation.

Comparing the Options

When deciding on the best countertop material for outdoor use, it’s essential to weigh the unique benefits and considerations of quartz, quartzite, and granite against the specific demands of your outdoor space. Each material offers distinct advantages in terms of durability, heat resistance, maintenance, and aesthetic appeal, making the choice highly dependent on individual preferences and lifestyle needs.

Quartz is celebrated for its vast design versatility and minimal maintenance, yet its sensitivity to UV light and lower heat resistance may limit its longevity in outdoor settings. It’s best suited for covered outdoor kitchens where exposure to direct sunlight and high temperatures is minimized.

Quartzite stands out for its natural beauty and remarkable durability, offering superior heat resistance and a robustness that rivals granite. Its requirement for periodic sealing is a small trade-off for a countertop material that combines the elegance of marble with the resilience needed for outdoor use.

Granite remains the top contender for those prioritizing heat resistance and low maintenance in an outdoor kitchen environment. Its natural ability to withstand the elements, coupled with its unique aesthetic variations, makes granite an enduringly popular choice for outdoor spaces.

In conclusion, the decision between quartz, quartzite, and granite will ultimately hinge on balancing the specific needs of your outdoor kitchen with the material characteristics you value most. Whether you prioritize ease of maintenance, heat resistance, or natural beauty, there’s a countertop material perfectly suited to enhance your outdoor living experience.


In the quest for the perfect outdoor countertop, the heat resistance, durability, and aesthetic appeal of quartz, quartzite, and granite each present compelling arguments. Quartz offers a modern look and minimal maintenance, albeit with some limitations under direct sunlight. Quartzite brings a unique blend of natural beauty and robust performance, ideal for those seeking the elegance of marble without its fragility. Granite, with its unparalleled durability and classic appeal, stands as a testament to time, especially in environments that challenge both the resilience and beauty of countertop materials. Your choice among these options should align with your outdoor space’s specific needs, aesthetic desires, and usage patterns, ensuring a blend of functionality and style that enhances your outdoor living experience for years to come.

Ready to transform your outdoor space with the perfect countertop? Visit Superior Stone & Cabinet today to explore our wide selection of quartz, quartzite, and granite options. Our experts are here to guide you through every step, from selection to installation, ensuring your outdoor kitchen or living area becomes a testament to timeless beauty and enduring quality.