In kitchens across North America, quartz has been overtaking granite as a popular choice of countertop material. Quartz is a great option because it’s practical, reasonably affordable, and very durable. For all these reasons, it would be safe to assume that engineered stone would make a good addition for outdoor spaces, but there are a couple of things to consider as well. You may already know indoor quartz installations look great and are easy to maintain with quartz cleaner, and the same goes for outdoor spaces such as summer kitchens, bars, and lounge spaces. The idea is to create a continuation of your interior décor as it extends to the yard or pool area, but you may want to keep these areas covered.
The Ultraviolet (UV) Resistance of Quartz
About 10 percent of sunlight produces UV radiation, which is known to cause certain chemical reactions. The atmosphere filters out most UV radiation before it reaches the surface of the Earth, but overexposure can have consequences. Quartz is UV resistant to a certain extent. For example, you can install it on a kitchen center island that’s exposed to direct sunlight coming from windows a few hours a day. However, outdoor spaces in warmer regions that are constantly exposed to sunlight could be problematic for quartz surfaces because its UV resistance may be exceeded.
Take a look at this quick video to find out why you shouldn’t use common household cleaners on quartz and natural-stone surfaces such as granite, marble, and slate:
Quartz and UV Overexposure
Too much direct sunlight on quartz can elicit a chemical reaction of the polyester resins and synthetic pigments used in the fabrication process. Initially, this will cause discoloration, particularly if the quartz is of a darker color. Over time, tiles or slabs can develop hairline cracks that require professional refinishing.
Ideal Outdoor Applications for Quartz
As long as quartz is sheltered, it can be safely installed in outdoor kitchens, gazebos, and lounge areas. The goal is to protect the surfaces, whether they’re slabs or floor tiles, from constant exposure to sunlight. In a backyard bar, you can surround the sink with quartz countertops as long as they’re covered. The sitting and dining area can be al fresco, and the same goes for the charcoal or gas grill, but you need to keep the quartz sheltered.
The Advantage of Quartz in a Summer Outdoor Kitchen
A quartz countertop is great as the food preparation surface of an outdoor kitchen. When cooking up barbeque meals, things can get messy, and quartz will be able to handle it. You don’t have to worry about spills as long as they’re cleaned up quickly and correctly. All you need to do is apply a quartz cleaner such as Granite Gold Quartz Brite® once you’re done cooking. To be on the safe side, you should keep some insulating pads and trivets in your summer kitchen to keep hot pots, pans, and utensils away from direct contact with the quartz surface.
Much like quartz, natural-stone surfaces such as granite, marble, and slate also need special care when installed outdoors. If you’d like to know more about how to clean outdoor stone and quartz, reach out to Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.