Out of all the surfaces in your home, none face as much action as the kitchen benchtop. Not a day goes by that you don’t use your benchtop, whether it’s to prepare a meal, help your child with homework, or set up a temporary home office. You need a benchtop that not only looks great but fits all of the functions of your kitchen.
Then again, not all kitchens have the same functions and needs. Some homeowners need benchtops that go well with an open concept kitchen, meaning the kitchen and the living room need to match in some way, while others need a durable benchtop for chopping vegetables and meats. Not all renovation budgets are the same, just as not all benchtops cost the same.
Whatever your needs are, there is a great benchtop option for you. Not exactly sure what you need from your benchtop? Learn how to choose just the right benchtop with a little more information about them. Check out our guide below.
For a sleek, natural look, you can’t go wrong with a laminate benchtop. These surfaces appear to be made of natural materials and they are incredibly durable. You’ll have to hit them hard to scratch the surface. In addition, they’re an inexpensive option.
Some laminate benchtops are designed to be anti-bacterial, moisture resistant and extra durable. This will ensure that you’ll have a safe environment to cook your food, and your surface will last for many years. Laminate benchtops are also difficult to stain and can have an abrasive-resistant glass added.
Of course, these benchtops won’t quite look like the real thing and they won’t last quite as long as other types of benchtops. If you do happen to scratch the surface, bacteria can live in the cracks. You want to make sure to clean up all moist areas, especially around joins where the paint might peel. For extra precaution, use a cutting board and clean up puddles.
Stone offers the best qualities from solid surfaces, to natural swirls to natural stones like granite benchtops. The stone material looks stunning and is highly durable. It is scratch-resistant and makes for a cutting board in a pinch, though you will not want to rely on it as your sole cutting surface. If you take care of your stone surfaces, they’ll last you a lifetime.
Similar to solid surface materials, this material is great for choosing the right colour and pattern for your kitchen. It can be customised and comes in a variety of colours already so that any kitchen can use stone benchtops.
Remember that these stone pieces are unique and are therefore more expensive than other options. You will also have to seal the stone to prevent liquids from getting between the cracks. Granite and marble are also susceptible to chipping. As these stones are naturally cold, be careful not to place any hot pans on them. They might crack.
This type of stone varies slightly from the stone we previously discussed. It’s made from 95 percent quartz and resin, which gives it a dazzling look. It might be just want you need to put that sparkle in your kitchen. It is also non-porous, which means your liquids will not get trapped into cracks and crevices. It doesn’t need sealing, and the surface is heat, stain and scratch resistant.
As pretty as it is, engineered stone is naturally flawed. You might have a hard time picking out a good stone that will match your home. Be careful as the sides are easy to chip, and the benchtops are often more expensive to repair. As with the regular stone, don’t put hot surfaced on this benchtop unless you really want to crack it.
A versatile, dependable option, concrete benchtops have recently come back into style. Because these are handmade, you can choose just about any style or customisation option available. They feel natural and will last forever is you take care of them properly.
Obviously, this option can also be very expensive since it’s so customisable. Make sure you tell your kitchen contractor if you decide on concrete benchtops because they are heavy. You will also have to seal these benchtops often because they get stains. Keep all hot surfaces on a hot pad and your benchtop will serve you well.
No other benchtop appears as warm and as inviting as timber benchtops. This natural look is usually associated with the classic country look where scratches and abuse enhance the look. Modern decorators are using timber benchtops to offset the hard lines of their design.
Because of its natural look, timber is soft and susceptible to damage. Though light damage does enhance the look of the timber, you do not want to keep dropping sharp knows and other blunt objects on the surface. Timber is sensitive to hot dishes and cups so be wary when putting them down on the counter. This benchtop material is also easily stained.
Stainless Steel Benchtops
This sleek benchtop just screams professional. It’s a favourite among serious chefs. You won’t have many problems keeping the surfaces clean, and you can set both hot and cold items on the benchtop without damaging it. The look itself blends well with other materials such as stone, glass and timber so you can mix and match all sorts of styles in your kitchen.
The biggest drawback is that these surfaces show every mark and they’re easy to scratch. These form patina overtime. Try a textured finish to try and hide these marks.
For a kitchen that matches and looks put together, look no further than acrylic for your kitchen benchtop needs. This type of surface can fit easily into nearly any space and it naturally resists heat and it antibacterial. Acrylic benchtops also have a raised curve on the back to get rid of the seam line where dirty gets easily trapped.
This benchtop chips easily, but it can be repaired without too much hassle. Beware of acrylic copies. Ask your contractor if the acrylic’s content of polyester because this has a lower melting point, making it more brittle and less flexible.
There are quite a few options you can go with when it comes to your benchtop. Depending on what you’re looking for, from heatproof surfaces to a classy design, our benchtops can cater for all your needs!