Kitchens are one of the busiest and most used areas in the home. Kitchen benchtops serve a multitude of purposes, such as homework station, breakfast bar or food preparation zone. Therefore, your kitchen benchtop must be durable and functional. When renovating your kitchen, you should consider the following benchtop options:
Marble benchtops are the most stunning in terms of aesthetics. They effortlessly become the focal point of any kitchen. All pieces of marble are individual, and the character of each piece adds substance to any kitchen. There are some drawbacks when it comes to marble benchtops. It is probably one of the most expensive benchtop choices depending on the piece you choose and the size of your kitchen benchtops. Although marble is heat resistant, it’s quite a soft material that can mark or scratch easily. It is also very porous and prone to staining so it requires quality sealing every 6-12 months. If you can put up with the maintenance and the possible imperfections on your benchtops over the years, marble might be the right choice for you.
Granite, like marble, is a natural stone. It much more hard-wearing and durable than marble but is still a porous material that needs to be sealed correctly. Granite is heat resistant and can put up with hot saucepans without marking. While granite might not be as ‘on trend’ as engineered stone or marble, it is still a notable contender as a kitchen benchtop.
In terms of longevity and maintenance requirements, Engineered Stone/Quartz is a excellent choice for kitchen benchtops. Products such as Caesarstone’s engineered stone is non-porous, hard wearing and is generally more affordable than natural stone. It is manufactured in sheet sizes, so joins can be unavoidable, but can easily be matched up so the joins appear seamless. At Melbourne Kitchens and Bathrooms, we recommend using Caesarstone as they have an excellent range of styles and colours and all of their products come with a 10-year warranty.
Timber has become an increasingly popular option for benchtops in the kitchen. It’s warm and easy to contrast with other materials and textures in the kitchen. Timber needs to be cared for carefully as it marks and scratches easily, however, this can add further character to the benchtop. The best timbers to use for kitchen benchtops are hardwoods as they are most durable. Hardwoods are also more likely to last longer but reclaimed or recycled timber and bamboo are also great alternatives. Timber benchtops can be finished as a matte sealed with oil or polyurethane gloss finish. Both styles can be sanded back when required and resealed to add further life to your benchtop.
Laminate has come a long way since the 70s and 80s. The colour and style range is huge and is the most affordable benchtop option. Although laminate benchtops may not be as hardwearing as stone, they can be an appealing option due to their range of colour and styles. Polytec, Laminex and Formica are just some of the many companies that provide a great range of styles, finishes and colours. (Photo courtesy of Polytec).
Concrete benchtops look and feel amazing. They add an industrial look to your kitchen and are comparable in pricing to marble and granite. Due to the porous nature of concrete, concrete benchtops must be sealed to prevent marking and staining. Concrete benchtops are also prone to chipping on corners and edges. As concrete benchtops are labour intensive, budgets can easily blow out.