Granite or Quartz Outdoors – Which Is Better?

Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

Can Quartz Be Used Outdoors?

Quartz countertops have surged in popularity in the Twin Cities over the past decade, not just for their sleek and luxurious appearance but also for their durability and ease of maintenance. This may have you pondering the viability of extending this trend outdoors. Can quartz countertops brave the Minnesota elements and maintain their allure?

In this post All American Granite explore the pros and cons of installing quartz or granite countertops outside, assessing their resilience against heat, rain, snow, and exploring their outdoor applications.

Outdoor Granite Countertops

Advantages of Installing Quartz Countertops Outdoors

Durability and Maintenance

Quartz is renowned for its durability. Composed of natural quartz crystals bonded with resin, it’s non-porous, resistant to staining, and doesn’t require sealing like natural stone counterparts. This makes it an ideal choice for kitchens and dining areas where spills are inevitable.

Aesthetic Versatility

Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, quartz can mimic natural stone or present unique, contemporary looks. This versatility allows homeowners to seamlessly extend their indoor aesthetic to outdoor living spaces.

UV Resistance

Certain types of quartz are engineered with UV-resistant properties, reducing the likelihood of fading or discoloration over time when exposed to sunlight.

Disadvantages of Installing Quartz Countertops Outdoors

Heat Sensitivity

Despite its durability, quartz is sensitive to extreme heat. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause warping, discoloration, or even cracking. Outdoor kitchens with quartz countertops should be designed with adequate shade or consider using UV-resistant varieties.

Weather Resistance

Quartz’s non-porous surface fares well against rain and snow, preventing water absorption and freeze-thaw erosion common in natural stone. However, in climates with severe weather fluctuations, the expansion and contraction can stress the material, leading to potential damage over time.


Quartz is a premium material, and its installation outdoors can be an investment. The need for specialized UV-resistant varieties and professional installation to ensure longevity can add to the overall cost. Quartz used outdoors should not be expected to last as long as it would indoors.

While quartz countertops can be installed outdoors, it’s crucial to consider the specific challenges posed by Minnesota’s environment. Choosing the right type of quartz and designing outdoor spaces to mitigate heat, cold and weather exposure can ensure that your quartz surfaces remain beautiful and functional for years.

Outdoor Uses for Quartz & Granite

Outdoor Kitchens

Natural stone countertops can transform an outdoor kitchen into a functional and stylish space. Their resistance to stains and easy maintenance make them ideal for this application.

Patio Dining Tables

A quartz dining table is a statement piece that combines durability with elegance, offering a weather-resistant surface for outdoor entertainment.

Fire Pit Surrounds

Granite Outdoor Fire Pit SurroundFor those who prefer a sophisticated look, granite and quartz can be used to encase fire pits. While it should not come in direct contact with high heat, it can withstand the warmth radiated from fire pits when used as a surround.

Garden Bench Tops

Incorporating stone slabs into garden design through bench tops or decorative accents can add a timeless touch of luxury to the landscape.

Using Granite Outdoors

Granite may be a better choice for outdoor installations for several reasons, due to its natural resilience and adaptability to various climates. Here’s a comparison to understand why granite could be more suitable for outdoor environments than quartz:

Advantages of Granite Over Quartz for Outdoor Use

Natural Durability

Granite is one of the hardest natural stones, making it extremely durable and resistant to scratches and chips. Its innate strength allows it to withstand harsh outdoor conditions better than quartz, which is a man-made product composed of natural quartz crystals and polymer resins.

Heat Resistance

Unlike quartz, granite has excellent heat resistance, making it ideal for outdoor kitchens or barbeque areas. It can withstand high temperatures without the risk of damage, so hot pots and pans can be placed directly on the surface without concern.

UV Resistance

Being a natural stone, granite does not fade or discolor significantly under sunlight. This is a key advantage for outdoor use where exposure to direct sunlight is a concern, ensuring that the beauty and color of the countertop remain intact over time.

Weather Resistance

Granite performs well under various weather conditions, including rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Its porosity can be minimized with sealing, providing a strong barrier against moisture and preventing stains, which is crucial for outdoor applications.

Considerations for Using Granite Outdoors

Sealing Requirements

To enhance its weather and stain resistance, granite requires periodic sealing. The sealing process is not overly burdensome but is necessary to maintain the stone’s resilience and aesthetic appeal over time.


Granite, especially high-quality or exotic varieties, can be expensive. However, considering its durability and longevity, it may offer better value in the long run for outdoor applications compared to quartz.

Aesthetic Variability

Each granite slab is unique, with natural variations in color and pattern. While this can be considered an advantage for those seeking a one-of-a-kind look, it might pose a challenge for those trying to match specific designs or colors.

Granite’s superior heat resistance, durability under UV exposure, and overall resilience to the elements make it a compelling choice for outdoor installations. While it does require some maintenance, such as periodic sealing to maintain its resistance to weather and stains, its natural beauty and longevity can significantly enhance outdoor living spaces.

Whether for outdoor kitchens, dining areas, or decorative features, granite offers a blend of practicality and elegance that is hard to surpass. However, the choice between granite and quartz will ultimately depend on specific design preferences, budget considerations, and the intended use of the outdoor space.

If you’re considering using natural stone for your Twin Cities’ area home, whether inside or outside, stop by and talk with the experts at All American Granite in Burnsville. Our design consultants can help guide you through the process of selecting the right type of stone for your application to ensure your project is a success.

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