Using Granite Outdoors
Popularity of Granite
Granite is an ideal material for outdoor living areas and landscaping. Kitchen granite countertops have been a popular choice that has grown dramatically since the early 1990′s. With its ease of maintenance and strength combined with the wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures, granite countertops for the kitchen seem to be the perfect solution. It has also been proven that granite countertops wear better than most other materials outdoors as well.
In the early 2000′s, a trend began that continues to improve and become refined today. This most recent trend is designing and creating outdoor living spaces. Although landscaping and gardening have been art forms for centuries, modern outdoor living as we know it is a new movement brought on by many factors. Our way of living today is much more casual with open floor plans and the replacement of formal living areas with a “great room” or “family room” where the kitchen opens into the living space. Most people have busy schedules during the day, so that when they are home they want to relax in a personal oasis. With a growth in home building in metropolis areas, most lots are small leaving little to no yard. Small yards are typically not used and enjoyed since there is little space to run and play, therefore utilizing the limited square footage for a garden or outdoor patio with seating and fireplace allow the homeowners to enjoy it more. All these factors make having an outdoor living area much more desirable and practical.
Outdoor living areas range quite a bit in style and purpose. Most outdoor spaces are defined by their constraints, for instance lot size, building restrictions, and budget. Including an outdoor kitchen with granite countertops and a stone fireplace are desirable luxuries. The ability to “cook out” on the weekends in an outdoor kitchen complete with sink, built-in grill, and ice maker, have given a whole new meaning to backyard parties. Covering the outdoor kitchen, whether it’s an arbor-style pergola or insulated roof with shingles, helps to protect the furniture, granite countertops, and other elements. Outdoor kitchens are often compact by simply including the necessary elements without taking up too much of the yard. Larger properties design outdoor kitchens that include all the appliances and fixtures of an indoor kitchen with weather resistant versions. Under-counter refrigerators, ice-makers, and even dishwashers are all available in outdoor models.
Landscaping with Granite
Granite is also a practical material to use in landscaping and gardening. Some built-in elements that add value to the landscape include using large granite stones for steps, granite pavers, and granite pedestals or columns for architectural interest. These solid granite elements are extremely durable and add an unmatched authenticity to a landscape. Fountains of any size can be carved from granite since it is naturally water tight and highly customizable. Solid granite also makes premium and heavy planters that work well as focal points in the garden to add character and interest. Granite landscaping elements can be maintenance-free if they are not polished and require little to no attention since they age gracefully and wear well.