As more and more homeowners create "outdoor room environments," placing a granite table outside seems like a natural. After all, granite is a durable material, and granite monuments can remain outdoors for hundreds of years. A granite dining table or cocktail table can add the perfect touch to an outdoor living space. There are a few factors to consider before purchasing a granite table for outdoor use:
What is the granite finish? Polished granite is a hard finish which can withstand exposure to the elements. On the other hand, honed granite is much more porous and more likely to stain. Honed granite is not recommended for outdoor use.
Will the granite table be exposed to sunlight? Many granites are treated with a resin to smooth out the surface. This resin is invisible, and as durable as the stone under normal conditions. However, under constant exposure to sunlight the resin will discolor and will eventually create a yellow cast in the granite. Because of this, we do not recommend granite in a location where it will be exposed to full sun.
How much maintenance are you willing to do? Polished granite typically requires almost no maintenance. However, when used outdoors you may choose to seal the granite for additional protection. In addition, if you place your dining table or cocktail table in a shady location to reduce sun exposure, you may find yourself frequently cleaning up pollen, tree sap, bird droppings, etc.
Can the table base be used outside? Be sure that your table base is designed for outdoor use. Direct exposure to the elements as well as the increased humidity outdoors can be a problem. Some metals are more rust-resistant than others; make sure you know all the materials your table is constructed from before placing it outdoors.
Of course all of the factors above depend on your local climate. If you live in an arid region like the Southwest, you will have much more leeway in placing a granite table outdoors. If you live on the coast, salt in the air will be yet another issue.