Are you planning on renovating your kitchen? One of the largest decisions that you will need to make during this process is deciding on the type of benchtop that you will use. A kitchen benchtop is an aspect of the kitchen that you will see a lot of, so it is essential to make sure that you choose one that you love.
There are numerous factors to take into consideration when choosing the right kitchen benchtop for your home. From budget constraints, maintenance and durability factors and visual impact. While it can be convincing to be easily persuaded and caught up in the excitement of choosing the most expensive slab available, it is crucial to understand the latest developments on the market. From tried and true to new and innovative, here is a rundown of the various kitchen benchtop materials available, along with a comparison of their pros and cons.
Engineered Stone Benchtops
Engineered stone benchtops are the most popular choice of benchtop materials among kitchen renovators. Also known as quartz and engineered stone, this kitchen benchtop material is made up of natural aggregates such as quartz granules, marble dust or glass chips mixed with a resin or polyester base. Engineered stone benchtops come in a wide range of colours and patterns.
What’s great about engineered stone benchtops or quartz benchtops is that they are very durable and happen to be very easy to clean and maintain. Its non-porous surface allows it to be resistant to staining, scratching and chipping. Caesarstone, quantum quartz and Smartstone are among the big brand names of engineered stone benchtops.
Laminate benchtops are usually the go-to material if you are on a tight budget. A great affordable solution without the need to compromise on looks. Made from layers of paper over chipboard, ply or MDF, it is coated in a layer of melamine. Laminate benchtops come in a huge range of colours and designs that can even emulate the look of more expensive materials such as timber or stone.
Although laminate benchtops are resistant to staining and easy to clean, it is more prone to scratching and scorching. In saying that, it is important to utilise cutting boards and to be extra careful with hot pots and pans. Once the melamine layer has been chipped, water can seep in underneath and cause swelling.
Timber has been making an ultimate comeback over the last couple of years. Timber allows renovators to incorporate a sense of warmth and character into your kitchen when utilising other colder materials such as glass or steel elsewhere within the kitchen.
In order to maintain the look and appearance of the timber benchtop, the timber needs to be coated with either a food-safe oil or polyurethane oil to protect it. Oil needs to be reapplied every year or so for it to remain effective. While polyurethane oil can last longer, when recoating, it requires sanding back the whole timber benchtop prior to applying a new coat of oil.
Timber benchtops are in the mid to high price range. Pre-made benchtops are on the cheaper end of the spectrum, whereas custom-made benchtops that are made from more exotic or rare timbers are in a higher price range.
Marble is a beautiful and classic natural stone that is very commonly used in kitchens either as a kitchen benchtop or as a splashback material within the kitchen. Marble benchtops come in a range of different patterns and designs, with each benchtop being unique.
Marble benchtops are quite expensive and do, however, have the tendency to stain, chip and crack as the surface is very porous. Being very sensitive to acidic foods and spills, marble benchtops require ongoing maintenance. Ensure you wipe up spills quickly. Sealing is a must.
Granite makes for a very elegant and well-crafted surface for a kitchen benchtop. As no two slabs are alike and every piece is unique, granite benchtops are considered the second most expensive benchtop material after marble. On a positive note, granite benchtops can come in numerous styles and colours.
Granite material is very durable. However, it is quite a porous surface, so it is important for it to be sealed for stain resistance to be effective. To clean your granite benchtop, simply utilise warm water and soap to aid in maintaining its shine.
Are you ready to begin your next kitchen renovation with a brand-new kitchen benchtop?
With many different kitchen benchtop materials available, from Caesarstone benchtops to Dekton benchtops and quantum quartz benchtops, if you are after advice on choosing a certain benchtop material, consider getting in touch with a leading stone supplier. Reputable stone suppliers are able to provide you with a range of natural, porcelain and engineered stone designs to best suit your kitchens, bathrooms, bars and many more areas. Get started on your kitchen renovation planning today!