When you’re building or renovating your kitchen, the benchtop is a major fixture. Whatever your style, there will be a benchtop to suit your taste, but it pays to do your research. We step you through some important considerations when choosing your benchtop, and some popular options
What to consider when choosing your benchtop
How functional the benchtop is an essential consideration when you are deciding on which one would be suitable for your kitchen. You should consider whether it resists heat and UV damage, stains or will be affected by abrasion, is impact resistant and how easy it is to clean and maintain.
When considering form, consider the following:
- Does it suit your design?
- Is this a benchtop for life, or will you update it periodically?
- How does the natural and/or artificial light interact on your benchtop?
- Do you like the appearance?
Popular kitchen benchtop options
Sintered Surfaces - Porcelain
Made from complex raw materials similar to those used glass, porcelain and quartz surfaces, sintered surfaces take these production steps further with a high tech process which naturally takes thousands of years to occur and contain natural faults.Due to the high tech process which represents an accelerated version of metamorphic change there are many advantages to using Sintered Surfaces.
- Resistant to High Temperatures – Does not burn of combust when it comes into contact with fire or extreme temperatures
- Resistant to Ice and Freezing – No damage occurs from exposure to extremely low temperatures
- 100% Natural – Resin-free and does not release and harmful substance to the environment
- Resistant to UV Rays – Colour will not fade over time to UV exposure making it perfect for outdoor and indoor use
- Colour Stability – The manufacturing process allows full control over the pigmentation and decoration of the material
- Scratch Resistant – being the most scratch resistant surface available on the market your surfaces will continue to look new for years to come
- Waterproof – The extreme heat and pressures used to create the material make it non-porous
- Hygienic – Due to being non-porous and scratch resistant bacteria can’t grow in these imperfections making it easy to clean a maintain
- High Mechanical Resistance – Over 5 times the flexural structure of natural granite, sintered surfaces can be installed using thinner materials over greater spans with up to 300mm of unsupported overhang perfect for a kitchen breakfast bar or island.
Manufactured to include resin and other additives into natural quartz or granite, engineered stone is highly variable in terms of quality but offers consistent and broad colour ranges. This composite stone delivers a high performing bench top that is durable, resistant to heat, scratches and stains, and requires no ongoing maintenance.
Marble is natural stone often made from limestone or dolomite which has classic and natural mineral deposits or veins. Marble delivers a high-end look that will be unique to your kitchen. However, it is soft and porous, requires regular resealing and can be stained or damaged by some foods and liquids.
Granite is a natural stone that has a coarse mineral grain that’s typically a contrasting, darker colour. It is a classic design but can vary widely in quality and look. It is, however, more resistant to staining and chipping than marble.
If you opt for hardwood, you will get quality and durability. Timber is a classic look that is warm and suited to many styles as shades and textures of wood will vary.
Acrylic, also known as Solid Surface, is a manufactured plastic-based material that can replicate the look of stone or marble benchtops. Colours will be consistent, made-to-order, and versatile to all tastes. Some types will be prone to scratching, but it is a popular option for integrated sinks if you wish to avoid any visible joins or want a very hygienic option. It can also be shaped in different forms and is particularly great for creating an interesting look or curve.
Laminate benchtops are manufactured with high heat that bonds plastic and paper layers and is very affordable. It is available in a range of colours and finishes to suit any kitchen design, but not as durable as other options and easily heat damaged. However, the price point means that replacing laminate over time is less costly than other options.
Where to next?
Mint Kitchen Group are leading kitchen renovators with a reputation for inspiring design, impeccable build and expert installation of custom-made kitchen renovations.
Unfortunately, we do not offer kitchen benchtops as an individual product, however, if you are looking forb kitchen designers to help you project manage the whole renovation project, contact us today!
frequently asked questions
A kitchen benchtop is a flat, horizontal surface in your kitchen where you can prepare food or store items. They often have cabinets or storage underneath, and some may have features built in such as cooktops, sinks or even smart technology.
Benchtops can be difficult to price because materials alone are only one aspect. Installation, dimensions and inbuilts (like an inlaid sink) also impact upon cost.
However, as a guide expect higher prices for marble ($750-$3000 per sqm), granite ($650-$2000 per sqm), concrete ($1000-$1800 inclusive of labour), engineered stone, ($450-$4000 per sqm) acrylics ($900 - $1500 per sqm inclusive of labour), and timber ($500-$1200 per sqm).
Laminate is the most affordable benchtop option, however, some engineered stones and timbers become cost-effective if overlaid on top of laminate that delivers a superior, value-for-money finish.