What is the right kitchen benchtop for you?
Choosing a kitchen bench top is a big deal. You have to consider style, functionality, cost effectiveness, durability and aesthetics.
It has to be suitable for working on so the importance of practically has to be a high priority . Also it should be visually appealing as it’s the most dominating factor in a kitchen.
With so many styles to choose from selecting the right one can be daunting!
Here’s some information on the type of bench tops available to help make the decision process a little easier.
There are several materials available to the Australian market. The most common styles include:
High pressure laminate: The most common of all benchtops and is the best economical solution. It’s made up of layers pressed together and is very durable and versatile. Laminate comes in a range of colours, finishes and textures.
Granite: Has a smooth surface and is very durable being heat, scratch and stain resistant.
Marble: A luxurious and high end material for a kitchen bench. Similar to Granite with a smooth surface. Works best for dough and pastry preparation.
Reconstituted stone / quartz: Most durable benchtop being low maintenance and highly resistant to staining. Look and feel of natural stone and very hygienic.
Hardwood: Constructed from narrow timber strips bonded together. Favoured by chefs and serious cooks.
Stainless steel: Very contemporary look. Be aware does scratch and has to be cleaned with non-abrasive cleaners.
Polished concrete: Concrete benchtops are the newest trend. It can be pre-cast in a mould on site but has to be sealed in order to resist stains and water damage.
So how you know what best fits your home?
All these bench tops will do the trick. However there are three main factors that can help to narrow down your choice:-
- Personal Style
- Level of maintenance
Depending on what material you choose, there’s a huge difference in price from the most affordable to the most expensive materials available on the market.
Be wary if a kitchen bench seems lower in cost. As s0metimes the costs of production can boost up the figures.
Stone Materials like marble and granite are usually the most expensive. These have to be shipped, installed and prepared specifically to your needs.
Laminate benchtops are the cheapest option as they can be ordered by the metre and cut to fit on site.
Raw materials like concrete can be cheap but requires a highly specialised manufacture and installation.
A kitchen bench is a big factor being in any kitchen being the first thing you see upon entering.
It’s a major focal point in the space so has to be visually appealing. You have to consider personal style but also what materials are better suited to a particular type of kitchen.
Marble, for example, will comfortably find a home in a French provincial kitchen, whereas stainless steel is likely to be better suited to a contemporary, minimalist kitchen. It also has to suit your lifestyle.
If you are a serious cook stay away from laminate and stainless steel as they are easily scratched. Instead, look for more durable and heat resistant materials like granite and quartz.
Raw surfaces like timber and concrete will need to be treated occasionally to ensure they remain heat and scratch proof. While stone surfaces may look and feel great, with them comes the responsibility to keep it clean.
Leaving spillage of juice on a marble bench could cause a permanent stain as it can eat away at the protective coating.
Some laminate benches won’t take to hot cookware being placed on them for any extended period of time.
Now with this information, hopefully once you establish your kitchen layout, you’ll have the right kitchen bench to add the finishing touch!