DESIGN + SELECT: Benchtops
As well as having a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen, the benchtop is the most hardworking surface in the room. There are so many different options when it comes to benchtop materials, and it’s important to consider every factor (durability, price, style, etc.) when making your selection.
Engineered stone is made up of bits of quartz or granite, marble dust and glass, mixed together with resin and pressurised. The result is a hard-wearing, beautiful material. Engineered stone is available in a wide range of styles, colours and finishes. It’s also not as porous as marble or granite, meaning it doesn’t need to be re-sealed. This characteristic also makes it a more stain resistant benchtop option.
Pictured: Smartstone Benchtops
Laminates have come a long way in the past few years and are a far cry from the laminate benchtops of your childhood home. Laminate is easily the most wallet-friendly benchtop option. There are plenty of good quality laminate options available in a huge range of colours and styles, so there’s a decent chance you’ll find something that fits with the look you’re going for. The smooth finish means most things can easily be wiped away.
Pictured: Polytec ‘Xenolith’ Laminate Benchtops
Using timber as a benchtop is a great way to soften the look of your kitchen. Timber can improve with age as it develops more ‘character’. It’s also relatively easily restored with a sand-back and a reseal. There’s a large range of species you can use, offering a wide selection of colours and design opportunities. There are plenty timber options that are really quite friendly on the ol’ hip pocket – however, this will depend on the size of your benchtop and the type of wood you choose.
Pictured: Country Lifestyle Benchtops Timber Benchtops
Nothing feels quite as luxurious as a natural stone, however be prepared for some additional maintenance to retain its unique beauty – as it requires sealing (preferably yearly) to maintain its good looks. Despite some disadvantages, natural stone can still be a great option. Most natural stones are highly resistant to scratches, heat, and general wear and tear. This makes these benchtops excellent options for high-traffic areas. Investing in natural stone benchtops can also increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell.
Pictured: Granite & Dolomite Benchtops
In recent years, porcelain benchtops have started to gain popularity in Australia – and there are a few key reasons why. Since it is resistant to scratches, chipping, and cracks, porcelain is essentially stronger than most types of natural stone. Porcelain is also extremely heat resistant and UV resistant, making it an excellent material for both indoor and outdoor benchtops!
Pictured: Multiform ‘Infinity’ Porcelain Benchtops