What is a Kitchen Benchtop?

What is a Kitchen Benchtop?

One of the most useful and versatile areas of the home is the kitchen benchtop. But what is a kitchen benchtop? 

As a large, flat, hip-height surface, it’s the workhorse of the home—a space to cook, clean, dine, store, entertain and work.

Kitchen benchtops vary in size, material and cost  Below we outline what to know when it comes to choosing the right one for your kitchen.

Key Summary

A benchtop or countertop is the raised, flat surface in your kitchen. There are many types and sizes of benchtops and they’re made from a variety of materials.

There is no one-size-fits-all, yet a kitchen benchtop should be at the heart of your design, allowing for flows and integration of work areas in the kitchen space. 

what is a kitchen benchtop

What is a Kitchen Benchtop?

Whether you call it a bench, counter, countertop or worktop, they all provide the same thing. It’s a flat horizontal surface in the kitchen, positioned at a particular height to work, cook and dine. 

Depending on your requirements, benchtops are available in a range of sizes and layouts. There are also customisable—such as including integrated sinks or cabinetry below.

The standard height for benchtops is 900-920mm which includes the kickboard. Once installed, the average benchtop will sit between 850mm to 1050mm from the floor.

We discuss the different types of benchtops below in further detail.

Benchtop Types to Suit All Kitchens

A kitchen benchtop can have many configurations. The most useful benchtop shapes include:


Portable or fixed, a kitchen island is a popular benchtop in many modern kitchens. May feature a waterfall edge which is a top with no overhang so the end of the bench has a 90-degree drop to the floor.


An economical configuration well suited to a corner space and small to medium-sized kitchens. L-shape works well in open plan designs and is a popular configuration for those who want bar stools on the opposite side.


Delivering a classic profile, rectangular is the most popular shape for a kitchen benchtop. 

Whether for traditional and rustic designs to streamlined modern or industrial kitchens, a rectangle benchtop is versatile. It’s sleek and streamlined, or a strong monolith that fills a space. 

Curved, round, oval or semi-circle

Making a recent comeback are rounded, organic benchtop shapes. You may opt for a classic semi-circle, curves on one edge, kidney-shaped or even fully circular. 

Although a retro-chic design, rounded benchtops can suit ultra minimalist and modern industrial designs.


Providing a horseshoe-shaped work area, u-shaped benchtops increase space and storage capacity. If you want the maximal benchtop area to work on and the classic kitchen work triangle, a U-shape is ideal. 

U-shape can be made with an island bench in the centre for added function and storage.


Features two flat surfaces at different heights: a standard benchtop and raised bar style area on the outer side. This is sometimes called a breakfast bar. You can also reverse the height of the tiers and have the seating side at a lower, table height.


Benchtops that continue up the wall as a splashback are becoming popular. This is due to their integrated look and lack of grout lines and joins, making them low maintenance and stylish.

Types of Kitchen Benchtops

Kitchen benchtops are made from a wide range of different materials, including:

Engineered Stone

Often quartz or granite-based composite mixed with resin and other additives to boost its performance. Engineered mixes including Caeserstone and Silestone.

Natural Stone

Granite and marble are popular choices which feature beautiful mineral vein deposits. Great for a unique, high-end finish.

Sintered surfaces 

High performance surface made from raw materials including porcelain that can be installed as a slimline surface. Examples include Dekton. 


Manufactured under high heat to bond its plastic and paper layers. An affordable option that is available in a range of colours and finishes.

Acrylic –  Solid Surface

Manufactured plastic-based material that is similar in look to natural stone. Colours and shapes are consistent, made-to-order, and versatile to all tastes. 

Popular for those installing integrated sinks who wish to avoid visible joins.


Benchtops made of wood are available in many types of timber and deliver a textured, organic look with wonderful character. 

Natural hardwood varieties are more expensive while composites with added pulp or fibreboard are more affordable. May be stained or painted prior to sealing.

Need Help Deciding on a Kitchen Benchtop? Speak to the Kitchen Renovation Experts

Having trouble designing your kitchen? We can advise you on the best solutions including benchtops, appliances and cabinetry. 

Contact our expert team and build your ideal kitchen today. 

Find out more about Mint kitchen renovations

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