Renovating one of the most popular spaces of your home, kitchen, may seem to be a challenging task. Out of all, a Kitchen renovation is perhaps the most defining feature in the design and contributes to the personality that you want to imbibe. Practically speaking, it is the meal preparation area, so the right benchtop should also render functionality in your kitchen.
Luckily, with the advances in engineering in recent years, we’ve been facilitated with several options in terms of benchtop materials. If you’re prepping for your next renovation project, then we’ve accumulated 10 benchtop materials for you. Stay tuned!
The top contenders…
1. Engineered stone benchtops
Modern technology has delivered a smarter way to enjoy ancient stone’s prestige and veined beauty. Engineered stone benchtops can mimic most of the styles of marble with quartz substance. It has thus become the most popular choice of benchtop material for many homeowners.
From bright white to dark grey, you can choose any solid color to match with your décor, adding elegance. You can also refer tips to choose a stone benchtop to make your job easy.
- One of the great qualities of engineered stone which amazes everyone is its durability.
- The material will keep its beautiful appearance longer than others as it is resistant to stains.
- It is non-porous, which means it doesn’t absorb liquids and will make your cleaning work hassle-free.
- The hardness of this material is incomparable and is also resistant to heat, scratches, and cuts.
- If you are on a tight budget, then this material will seem to be expensive.
- It is replicable of natural stone, and therefore you will not get a natural and unique look.
2. Laminate benchtops
The most versatile material invented ever is made up of paper impregnated with resins, then pressed together. Laminate benchtops will render you an aesthetic look without compromising on your budget. The best of two worlds – isn’t that interesting?! The advantages aren’t yet over! Let’s dig into it more.
- They are impervious to water and thus will not soak up water.
- They are long-lasting material and can live up to 50 years.
- It is less likely to damage this material due to its impact-resistant quality.
- The range of colors, finishes, and styles make them a favorite material of many kitchen renovations.
- The laminated surface is suspectable to burn as it is not resistant to high temperatures.
- You even cannot use it as a chopping board as it will scratch.
3. Porcelain benchtops
After Europe, porcelain benchtops have started to take Australia by storm. Furthermore, due to its various advantages, it is likely to become a staple design trend in the coming years. Its sleek and slimline nature lure the hearts of many for their modern kitchen design.
- As it is a lightweight countertop material, it will make a perfect way to your kitchen.
- It lasts for a long time, and that’s why it is one of the durable materials in the market.
- It is essentially scratch- and heat-proof, unlike other materials.
- They are the best material for outdoor kitchens with their UV light resistance quality.
- The patterns on it are only surface-deep, and that’s why they tend to lack depth.
- As the demand for this material is reaching heights, it has become costly than others.
4. Granite benchtops
It is one kind of enduring surface that has an almost luminous look. Furthermore, its look will improve the feel of your overall kitchen while cooking. And that’s the reason it has been a top choice of homeowners for years. However, it is considered as the second most expensive material after marble (learn the pros and cons of marble benchtops as some interesting facts).
- As they are unbreakable, they can last for decades due to its hard substance.
- Practically, granite material is the best for the cooking area as they are heat- and stain-resistant.
- The exquisite look of this material will render a home lasting value.
- Granite benchtops do not depreciate.
- Unsealed or poorly sealed granite counters can be porous.
- If counters installed are more than one slab, then it will come with seams.
The best of the rest…
5. Timber benchtops
Crickey! Timber benchtops are making a comeback, and that too bang on. With the incorporation of an extra level of luxury to your space, this material would be an introduction of organic surfaces in your kitchen. By the way, to fight against global warming, we need to incorporate eco-friendly products at home. What else can be an excellent start rather than your kitchen benchtop?
- You don’t need to worry much when it comes to price as they are least expensive.
- They are typically easy to cut, joint, and install – good news for DIY (do it yourself) renovators.
- It needs maintenance to lasts longer and also requires sanding and resealing regularly.
- As it is softer than other materials, they are more vulnerable to scratches, chipping, and staining.
6. Solid Surface
Like timber benchtops, solid surface is also back into fashion as a perfect mid-range material. It has seamless design capabilities, and you also would be delighted to know that its appearance has invisible joins. That means you can integrate sinks with the avoidance of grime lines, making the touch soft and silky.
- With nearly non-porous quality, solid surface is giving competition to engineered benchtops.
- They are easy to repair, so you don’t need to worry if scratch happens due to vegetable cutting.
- They are equivalent, and it visually fares better after impact than multi-layered laminate benchtops.
- It is UV resistant so, it can be a perfect choice for an outdoor kitchen.
- With solid surface benchtops, you need to be extra careful to use cutting boards as it is prone to scratches.
- They cannot hold more heat temperatures, therefore, placing hot pans on it can begin heat deformation.
7. Stainless steel benchtops
Ahh! No wonder why stainless-steel benchtops are favorite amongst chefs. It is virtually indestructible! You can also receive all the benefits that come your way with this material at your convenience. Let’s take a look.
- The flexibility of its metal is enough to complete your work joyfully.
- No matter it is water, heat, stains, or anything else, its resistant to almost anything.
- With this material, you are being allowed to enjoy preparing meals as long as you want as it is durable.
- You need to be cautious while chopping vegetables as scratches can appear on it soon.
- These benchtops are noisy, so if you have kids at home, then this disadvantage should be considered.
- It will need maintenance promptly as smudge marks and fingerprints can make it look dirty.
8. Polished concrete benchtops
Placing concrete benchtops is an excellent way to infuse rustic yet industrial look to your home. Honestly speaking, it’s trendy and at the same time, unfussy. You can even add a raw contrast to timber joinery by using concrete on benchtops. Also, like stone, it requires sealing.
- The strength of the cement and sand mix itself makes it so strong and durable.
- It is prone to cracks, but the good part is that you can fix those fractures.
- The risk with concrete countertops is that it can crack and cannot take the pressure.
- Another common complaint from homeowners that they are prone to stains and scratches too.
9. Bamboo benchtops
The little-known countertop material – bamboo, is in a very similar fashion to certain varieties of plywood benchtops. From country to contemporary, it can suit any style of kitchen and that too for a long time. Its environmentally friendly nature is making it extremely fast-growing materials which require a few resources to grow.
- They are amongst the most affordable options for those looking for unique benchtop material.
- It is naturally non-porous and thus antibacterial material.
- Unlike oak and maple, they are the sturdiest material.
- Though they are sturdy, it can attract stains, and moisture can damage the material.
- It is not impervious to dents and chips and thus needs occasional maintenance.
- There is a limitation in its color options due to the composition of bamboo.
10. Ultra-compact surface benchtop
Manufacturers use the same natural materials that are in glass, porcelain, and quartz. They go through extreme temperature and pressure to create a durable product. It’s striking colors and patterns will make a style statement in your kitchen.
- Due to extreme exposure to heat and pressure, it is hard to stain.
- They are scratch-proof and heat resistant, making a reliable choice for your kitchen countertops.
- It is a safe material for outdoor use as the color won’t fade in the sun.
- The material is little brittle as compared to other materials; hence chipping can happen.
- In case chips and cracks happen, you can’t get it repaired.
A few things to consider:
The kitchen benchtop is a jack-of-all-trades – hard, resistant to scratch, heat or stains, and look stunning. For cooking lovers, the flow of work is vital, and the wrong material placement can interrupt it. Aside from this, the budget plays a crucial role in your decision-making, so the best quality will turn up to be a wise investment.
Hence, the much-needed guide (above material options) can set you to the right path that is suited to your home needs.