Tile Vs. Granite for Barbecue Benchtop
In a high-end barbecue kitchen design, the grill itself is only one part of the equation. The material you choose for your benchtops will not only determine how your barbecue looks, but also how it performs over time.
Granite and tile are both durable materials that can stand up to the rigors of cooking in the great outdoors, but differences in cost, maintenance and installation requirements could make one of them more obviously the best choice for your barbecue.
BBQ Benchtop Appearance
Granite is elegant and luxurious, and it's widely considered to be the mark of a high-quality benchtop. It's available in a wide variety of colors, and it can be worked into custom designs and edge profiles.
Tile has the advantage of being even more versatile than granite in terms of color and style. Tile can also be made from many different materials, ranging from porcelain to unglazed ceramic -- although unglazed tile, because it's porous, is not a good choice for a barbecue countertop -- and even natural stone, including granite. Each of these different tile materials has a distinct visual character, and they offer more design choices than slab granite does.
BBQ BENCHTOP Durability
Granite is one of the most durable materials you can choose for your outdoor barbecue benchtop; it's a hard stone, it can tolerate heat, and it doesn't chip or scratch easily. Depending on the material that it's made from, tile can be almost as durable as stone, but most ceramic tiles will be more vulnerable to cracking and chipping than granite.
In the case of outdoor countertops, the substrate on which the tile is installed is more important even than the tile itself; a plywood substrate will deteriorate when exposed to the elements, so you have to be sure to use a waterproof material such as concrete backer board as the base for your barbecue countertop.
BBQ BENCHTOP Maintenance
Granite is more resistant to stains than some other types of natural stone, but it still needs to be sealed in order to make it as impervious to staining as possible. Regular application of sealant is a necessity, as is prompt clean up of spills.
Glazed tiles are resistant to stains and don't need to be sealed, but the grout between the tiles is susceptible to staining, discoloration and bacteria. It will benefit from the application of grout sealant.
BBQ BENCHTOP Installation Process
Installation of a granite countertop is complicated by the fact that granite is very heavy, and a massive slab of stone is not something that you'll be able to handle yourself.
Working with granite also requires special tools and skills that the typical homeowner is not likely to possess. Tile, by contrast, is relatively easy to install. If you're handy and resourceful, you can do it yourself.
BBQ BENCHTOP Cost
A granite slab will be the most expensive option for almost any countertop, but tile is not necessarily cheap, either. If you don't install the tile countertop yourself, the labor costs for the installation will probably be higher than those for a granite countertop.
Also, the labor cost difference will begin to eat into the material cost savings. However, if you install the tile yourself, a tile countertop will probably be significantly cheaper than a granite one.