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I'm building an outdoor kitchen and have to buy the countertops, or at least hire a countertop guy, soon.

Because (a) there is a gas grill so I can't use flammable materials like plywood and (b) it's outside so ply or OSB or MDF (?!) would rot or turn to mush, what, if anything should I use?

The maximum span is 26" between supports. This is over an alcove for a fridge. That area will be supported on three sides but open at the front. If push comes to shove I think I might be able to squeeze in some 2" deep angle iron but I would prefer not to.

Don't mind paying for 1- inch thick slab but obviously I don't want to spend hundreds on a countertop only for it to give way.

One idea I had was cement backer board.

Thoughts anyone?

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How about using a stone slab. Something that is sawn out of a large block should be finished nice and smooth. For a 26" span that is only unsupported in the front I would think that a 1.25" thick piece should be adequate if it is not being anything but a counter/cook top.

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You could make a concrete counter top for it. This would be a perfect place to use concrete and the cost is relatively cheap. They can be dyed and finished to look very attractive and they are especially durable. (I haven't done it yet, but I'm planning on making one for an outdoor kitchen this fall.)

Here's an example how-to video: How To Make A Concrete Counter Top, It's Easier Than You Think There are hundreds more on YouTube and elsewhere.

Granite, quartz or similar would be good but considerably more expensive.

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