Monthly Archives: October 2018

Countertop Spotlight: Tips for Using Granite Outdoors

granite countertop outdoor kitchenGranite’s stylish looks and array of colors and patterns make the stone a longstanding favorite for both indoor and outdoor counter and tabletop use. But just how tough is this revered stone? Granite Imports takes a closer look into what granite slabs will stand up to, helping you with tips for ensuring the lasting looks and beauty of your granite season-to-season, year-after-year…

Granite vs. the Weather

Eco-friendly and naturally durable, granite is capable of standing up to sun, rain, snow, and wind. Working in conjunction with Mother Nature, sunshine and rain will naturally wash away stains from food. Unlike other natural stones, such as marble, which will naturally weather and lose their shine when used outdoors, granite maintains its luster, its variety of finishes standing up to the abuse of time and weather with proper care.

Granite vs. Sunshine & Heat

Granite slabs can withstand extreme temperatures including sunshine as well as the heat from a grill or fireplace. But this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to leave granite countertops exposed to the sun. Shading your kitchen area and countertops with a pergola or awning will ensure a surface that isn’t hot to the touch on a hot summer afternoon. Overheated countertop surface? Cool carefully with lukewarm water to avoid rapid temperature changes that could cause hot granite to crack.

Granite vs. Snow, Sleet & Freezing Temperatures

As with sun exposure, minimizing exposure to snow and sleet will help prolong the life of your counters. As the Colorado area is also at the mercy of frequent cycles of freezing and thawing, take care with installation, relying on the professional expertise that includes adequate space for expansion and contraction that could negatively impact the stone.

Granite vs. Maintenance Effort

Simply hose-off your granite countertops before and after use, relying on a non-abrasive detergent to remove food and outdoor buildup from pollen, dirt, and outdoor grime. Protect against spills such as those from wine or mustard with regular sealing. Want to extend the use of your outdoor granite countertops? Keep countertops covered when they are not in use, or consider a covered outdoor kitchen design, such as a pergola or awning. Though granite easily stands up to the elements, protecting the stone from the wear of weather such as sun, rain, hail, and snow will extend its longevity.

Premium Granite vs. Cut-Rate Imitations

Geologically speaking, many stones qualify for classification as granite, so doing your homework before investing in a slab is key to maximizing return-on-investment. As with many purchases, you get what you pay for, with substandard stone wearing far faster than premium natural stone options.

Which Granite Slab Shade is Right for Your Outdoor Kitchen? (use the product search feature)

  • Monte Cristo
    Veins of jet black against a soft white backdrop provide dramatic flair.
  • Black Pearl
    The matte or brushed finish of Black Pearl Granite emanates elegance. Consider coverage with these darker shades, however.
  • Luna Pearl
    Shimmery and opalescent, Luna Pearl adds luxurious looks.
  • Santa Cecilia
    A popular stone for nearly a decade, its rich brown tones and blacks accents add just the right amount of movement.
  • Bianco Antico
    The perfect balance of light and dark, this stone works well with a variety of kitchen tones.

Looking for ways to maximize your granite countertop investment? Granite Imports is here to help, with the latest industry information and access to an array of stunning, premium natural stone. Shop our amazing selection in-store or online today.

What’s the Best Stone for My Outdoor Kitchen?

best stone for an outdoor kitchenSearching for the best stone for an outdoor kitchen addition? Outdoor kitchens materials require careful selection and attention to detail to ensure they not only stand up to frequent use, but also the rigors of the outdoor environment. Which stones are capable of taking on such a gargantuan task?

Granite

The toughest natural stone countertop option for your outdoor kitchen, granite offers both looks and durability, coming in an array of color and pattern options. Though the stone does require regular sealing, it won’t fade or lose it shine. Granite also readily stands up to stains as well as the abuse of weather, and does not scratch or etch as easily as other natural stones.

Quartzite

Another great countertop contender for your outdoor kitchen, quartzite slabs bear similar qualities to granite, offering a hard, durable surface that can stand up to heavy use and the outdoor environment with very little fuss.
NOTE: Be careful not to confuse this stone with engineered quartz, which is a manmade stone that is not compatible with outdoor use.

Soapstone

Porous, like other stone options, soapstone slabs can make a beautiful addition to any patio kitchen when properly maintained. What does soapstone maintenance involve? Whether it is used inside or outside, keeping this natural stone properly oiled or sealed is recommended to prevent darkening from spills and fingerprints. Another plus: Soapstone stands up to heat and staining well. It does, however, scratch a bit more easily than other stone options, though these blemishes can be easily sanded out.

Limestone

On par with soapstone, limestone slabs function well as an outdoor kitchen countertop. Like other stone options, it likewise requires regular sealing to guard against darkening from oil and fingerprints, as well as to improve resistance to staining and etching.

Marble

Though it feels hard to the touch, marble slabs are actually softer than other outdoor stone options, such as granite, and will develop a natural patina, weathering over time. This does not have to be a negative thing, as the stone will last for many years to come, however, if you’re looking for a continuously shiny surface, there may be better options to suit your style. Love the patina of weathered marble? Look to honed or tumbled finishes from the start and embrace the aging process, which this rougher finish will help camouflage. Don’t forget regular sealing, however, to ward off etching and stains on this classically beautiful stone.

Ensure a lasting return on your outdoor kitchen addition. Shop the selection of beautiful, durable, premium natural stone at Granite Imports today.