If you do quite a bit of entertaining, building an outdoor kitchen can increase the functionality of your backyard, create an inviting space for guests to congregate, and even have a positive impact on your home's value. Although there are many materials you can use in an outdoor kitchen design, here are two types of natural stone that both look great and work well in these environments.
Quartzite is a hard stone created as a result of the heat and pressure placed upon sandstone. It's found naturally in many places in the United States including South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. This stone is able to resist chemicals, scratches, and abrasions and hardly ever cracks or breaks, making it a good option for outdoor countertops. Its natural color lands between white and grey, but can be found in a wide range of colors, making it easy for you to customize to your exterior decor.
However, there are a few drawbacks to using this material. It doesn't have a high heat resistance, so you shouldn't use it if the kitchen is going to be in direct sunlight. You should also avoid using it around the oven or fireplace; otherwise the heat may make the rock soften. It's also much heavier than other types of natural stone, so you'll need to make sure the base is strong enough to support the weight.
Lastly, quartzite is more expensive than other types of natural stone, costing $115 to $200 per square inch.
Soapstone is a soft metamorphic rock composed primarily of talc and magnesium. It's well-known for feeling like soap when touched and being flexible enough to be used in a number of applications such as countertops, cooking slabs, and even bowls. This is because the stone is so soft that it can easily be molded into different shapes before being hardened by fire. Its pliability also means it's less likely to break from stress or weight. Additionally, it is heat-resistant and holds heat very well, which is why it's a good stone to use for fireplaces and brick ovens. It's also easy to clean, durable, and resists stains.
However, the stone's softness also makes it vulnerable to scratches and cuts. The color palette is also limited to white and a variety of light to dark grey with some blue or green undertones. This may make it tough to match with other stones to get a cohesive look.
The average cost of soapstone is between $60 and $105 per square foot.
There are many other natural stones that work well for outdoor kitchens. Contact a provider in your area for more information about these and other good materials for your project.
To learn more, contact a company like Old World Stone.