Renovating your kitchen?
Kitchens are the centre of modern-day family’s day-to-day living and are considered the most important room in the home. Not only are kitchens vitally important because they are a workstation, but they are also important spaces for storage, seating, and communication.
Your kitchen benchtop needs to be functional, durable, and appropriate for your family use, while also matching the design style for the rest of your home. So what is the best kitchen benchtop for you?
Let’s discuss the pros and cons of the most popular benchtop materials.
Engineered stone like Caesar Stone uses natural aggregates mixed with resins. This means there’s a large variety of colours and patterns to choose from – whether you’re looking at bold choices like a black benchtop with copper flecks, or a white benchtop with grey veins, they have it all, which makes it an easy fit for any kitchen. It can also come in a range of thicknesses (20mm, 40mm, 70mm.)
They are very easy to clean, resistant to most scratching and staining, and do not require any ongoing maintenance. Although darker colours can make scratches more prominent and lighter colours can stain a little easier.
Laminate is layers of paper over chipboard, ply or MDF board and is the cheapest option. It can be used as a kitchen benchtop, splashback, or cupboard. It has a wide range of colours and designs that imitate other materials such as woodgrains, marble stone, and granite, without the expensive price tag.
It’s resistant to staining and easy to keep clean but is sensitive to heat and scratching. Ensure to follow the cleaning care guides from the supplier (such as Polytec or Laminex) and your laminated kitchen benchtops can still be durable and last a long time.
If you’re on a tight budget for your kitchen renovation, then laminate is a great option.
SOLID SURFACE BENCHTOP
What’s there not to like?
Solid surface benchtops like Corian or Staron are
acrylic resin with an alumina filler. The joins between each piece of benchtop are invisible after installation, so it seems like one big slab of stone, which is perfect for large benchtop areas! An in-mount sink can also be installed into the benchtop, which is sleek and easier to clean. Corian can also be curved, which options the possibility for bolder design choices.
It’s an extremely durable surface but is on the more expensive side. If you’re tight on budget, it might not be the best option for you.
If you’re after a warm, rustic, farmhouse vibe for your kitchen, then a timber benchtop ticks all those boxes. A timber benchtop is extremely durable and can last for many years as it can be sanded and re-sealed like a timber floor. The longevity of the wood also gives you the option of repurposing the benchtop if you choose a different look for your kitchen after a certain time (hello backyard bar!)
Scratches and scuff marks will appear easily on a timber countertop, which can add to the rustic vibe, but if you prefer a crystal clear & polished surface, then this isn’t the one for you. Some deep stains may not be removed with sanding and polishing and sitting water could also discolour the timber over time.
A timber benchtop sits in the mid-high range but can be made cheaper if you look at recycled timber rather than rare timbers.
Granite is a high-end product. It’s sophisticated, is of great quality, but is high in price. Granite benchtops are elegant, tough, and resilient. It comes in a wide range of colours that will match any interior. It’s difficult to scratch and is sealed for stain resistance and will need to be resealed every so often to ensure longevity. It comes in slabs, so if you have a large benchtop space, you will be able to see joins in your benchtop.
Granite ticks all the boxes, it’s functional, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. If you can fit this into your budget, then maybe granite is for you!?
Marble is a natural stone that can be used as a kitchen benchtop and kitchen splashback. Marble benchtops are a classic, sophisticated, and timeless option for your kitchen. However, it comes at an eye-watering cost. As it’s a natural stone, it lacks durability and tends to stain, chip, crack, and scratch.
There are ways to keep your marble benchtop looking new and keep it clean, but it can be a lot of extra work. If you have a large family or love to cook, the marble benchtop may not be practical for your space.
Polished concrete is perfect if you’re going for a modern, sleek, and industrial type look. Raw concrete is porous so will need to be sealed/polished
to avoid staining and damaging the surface.
Once sealed, the surface is rock solid, very durable, and easy to clean. Although a pricier option, a polished concrete benchtop is guaranteed to last for a long time.
Polished concrete is not suitable for a splashback option.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN INSTALLING YOUR BENCHTOP
This is a big decision, so make sure to order samples before you commit to a benchtop.
Ensure to follow the care and maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer
Ask about the warranty
Make sure you use an accredited installer like Farrago Interiors. Attempting to DIY to cut costs is possible, but any mistake can end up very costly.