Downing Designs offers many countertop choices. In fact, we are the ONLY countertop manufacturer that can supply our own custom  Textured Glass and Concrete Countertops, along with White Glass, and every Quartz, Granite, Solid Surface, etc.

The point is: We are agnostic when it comes to materials for your project. We do not care to push you in one direction or another, and as such, are a trusted advisor to many architect and design-build firms who seek our vast experience in the selection of materials.

Many times we are are asked to fabricate outdoor countertops, and the plans call for dark colored material (which makes us wince), or, worse yet, Quartz countertops (which cannot be used outdoors because it will yellow). We like to enjoy the great outdoors as much as anyone, BUT, in the Florida summer heat, most materials will be very uncomfortable in direct sunlight (not to mention making my beer/wine warm). For our clients, the definition of luxury outdoor countertops is “Un-Fussy”. ..i.e. no sealing, no maintenance, non-staining…essentially wipe/hose it off and its ready to go. There are few materials that fit this definition, that stay cool outdoors. To understand which ones were in fact cool in direct sunlight, I purchased a digital laser thermometer to find out just how uncomfortable some of these countertop options are in summer sunlight. We have a huge warehouse in Tampa, and store many of our materials outdoors. For this test, the facts were:  September 19, 2017  1:30pm,  Temperature 93 degrees, Zero Clouds. All materials were outdoors since early morning, placed flat and level on a table.

 
Temperature of Countertops

 

As you can see, there are clearly bad choices to be made when selecting your outdoor countertop material. There was one very clear winner, and not surprisingly it is the White Glass.

This material was developed by Russian space agencies to repel heat on their re-entry rockets. Clearly it succeeds in that regard. It is also the “un-fussiest” of materials we offer.  Never burns because of cigars or cigarettes. Never stains. No sealing ever. It is a 100% inorganic material that will never yellow. It is the toughest material we know of…very hard to chip or break. Perfect in many respects.

Conclusion can be drawn any way, but we continue to become more and more impressed with our White Glass material, as seen in the above evidence. When selecting your materials for your outdoor kitchen countertops, please keep in mind these results, as they may just make the difference between a countertop that is highly used vs one that gets used only during the cooler months.

Come on by our shop someday and bring your own materials to compare with ours. Our digital thermometer is ready…

Jeff Downing (813) 784 5211