How to pick the perfect benchtop for your new kitchen? This is one of many strategic questions everybody embarking kitchen reno land has to answer!
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to selecting the best benchtop for your kitchen. Depending on your needs, your budget and the overall look you’re trying to achieve, Milray Park Designer Caine Hodder shares his best tips to help you choose from the many options available to you.
#1 The Best Benchtop Materials Depending on Your Budget
Your budget will be the biggest factor in the selection of your benchtop’s finish.
Natural stone like granite or marble are the most common materials used for kitchen benchtops. But given their sleek finish, they come with a higher price tag.
However, a benchtop in marble or granite might be something worth investing into as it will definitely give your kitchen this timeless and elegant look.
It’s also important to remember that the price will vary depending on the style and thickness of the slab selected.
Engineered stone like Caesarstone or quartz benchtops offer a more affordable option to create a first-class look without breaking the bank.
The plus is that with the rising popularity of engineered stones, there are more and more options available from marble-look, right through to polished concrete.
If you are on a strict budget, then laminate might be the right solution for you.
Being the cheapest option available on the market today, laminates also offer the widest range of colours and styles to ensure you don’t have to compromise on the look for your kitchen.
Design Arent&Pyke | Pic Felix Forest
Design: Mard Doherty | Pic Tom Blachord
#2 Consider your kitchen overall look
With so many benchtop options available on the market, it’s important to have a clear idea of the overall kitchen look you want to achieve before making any final decisions.
Selecting the wrong product can really throw off the overall look of the room. That’s why all elements of your kitchen design should be carefully and equally considered. We’re talking about things like the colour scheme, flooring, lighting, splashback, cupboards and even tapware.
Remember that all components of your kitchen look should complement each other nicely. Don’t let your benchtop be a final consideration. Being one of the feature points, ensure it’s a well thought out piece in the design process of your new kitchen.
Your choice of benchtop should also be dictated by your kitchen use and needs.
Marble vs. Engineered Stone
Marble-looks timeless and sophisticated, but might not be the best option for an avid cook. Indeed, while scratches resistant, marble porous stone absorbs stains and could very easily ruin the look of your investment.
For a marble look without the upkeep, you could opt for an engineered stone with a marble finish. Being stain, heat and scratch resistant, engineered stone benchtop will ensure top class durability.
While laminates are a cheap option, they may not quite meet all your requirements for use in the kitchen.
Laminate finishes are stain resistant and easy to clean, however, they’re also prone to scratching and marking with heat.
The good news is that it won’t be too much of an issue if you make sure to always use a cutting board, a heatproof mat and be super careful not to put any hot pots and pans down on a bare benchtop.
Concrete is a more and more popular option when it comes to benchtops. It can give your kitchen this instant industrial look and can be made in any shape or size off-site or in situ.
However, if you are after a pristine, low-maintenance benchtop, concrete is also not the finish for you. It scratches easily, chips and stains in areas where sealants have worn away and will require re-sealing and polishing every few years.
Image courtesy of Smartstone
Design Olivia Cirocco from GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens