Where to start with Kitchen Benchtops
Selecting the correct benchtop for your kitchen revamp is an essential component. It can be difficult to make a decision due to the abundance of options that cater to different areas and lifestyles. When selecting which material for your surface, there are a plethora of elements to contemplate that affect the final visual outcome. Aspects such as aesthetics, usability, sturdiness, cost and personal preference should all be taken into consideration when deciding. Not only for aesthetic purposes, but kitchen benches are also the main work area of your kitchen and must be capable of accommodating a hectic lifestyle.
Our knowledgeable kitchen planners will personally meet with you and get a feel for your kitchen area. They will collaborate with you on your aim and can likewise assist to determine the optimal material for your new kitchen bench. An expansive range of choices is available, varying from natural stone or marble to composite stone, laminate and wooden benchtops. Additionally, there are an assortment of textures, colours and finishes to select from. Our designers can provide guidance to aid you in picking the most advantageous material by taking into account the advantages and drawbacks of each option.
When refurbishing your kitchen, familiarising yourself with the multiple materials available for benchtops can assist you in deciding which one to choose. Here, we’ll analyse how to pick the best material, the standards to think over, and the advantages and disadvantages of using a specific material that caters to both your desires and aesthetics.
What elements should be taken into account when deciding on a material for benchtops?
When selecting a surface for countertops, it is important to weigh up various elements.
Longevity: The perfect material for benchtops should be able to tolerate frequent utilisation and ordinary day-to-day living. Substances like engineered stone and porcelain-based benchtops are sound choices for durable surfaces as they possess durability and longevity.
2. Appearance: Your benchtop should be visually pleasing in your kitchen, so the aim is to select a substance that goes well with the general decor of the area. Lighter shades and fabrics can give the effect of added space in a room, whereas darker materials evoke feelings of comfort and warmth. Natural wood can also bring out heat in an area.
It is necessary to both evaluate the out-of-pocket cost initially and factor in the expenses related to upkeep. Laminate is a cost-effective choice but may need periodic maintenance or replacement sooner than other materials since it is prone to being scratched and stained.
It is essential to select a material that can be looked after conveniently, as benchtops are exposed to substances like food, oil, water and heat. For example, stainless steel offers durable features yet can be labour-intensive to maintain its brightness and is prone to scratches due to constant activity. Thus, it’s usually not the favoured pick for a home with hectic activity. On the contrary, engineered stone demands very low upkeep besides routine wiping down with warm soapy water and infrequent re-sealing over the product’s lifetime.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using various materials for benchtops?
An aesthetically pleasing material that gives off a classic and everlasting vibe
Natural stone provides a classic aesthetic that is ageless and stylish. This material has multiple choices like marble, granite, and quartzite that are incredibly strong and give added opulence to any area in your residence. The one-of-a-kind designs and differences in aesthetics give space for personality to be highlighted with each rtop.
It is simple to keep stone benchtops clean utilising lukewarm water and a mild detergent; however, it is wiser to evade harsh cleaning solutions like bleach or rough scrubbing pads since they could cause harm eventually. On the other hand, unlike engineered stone or laminate, acidic liquids such as vinegar, fruit juices, and wine ought to be avoided as they can create staining and discolouration. Furthermore, it is important to avoid placing knives on these work surfaces as this could cause irreversible damage.
Advantages Disadvantages and Inspiration Kitchen benchtops are the most used surfaces in your kitchen. They are available in several materials such as laminate, granite, marble and stone. They come with various finishes to give your kitchen a unique look.
Advantages: Benchtops are very functional and practical. They can be made from different types of materials giving you the flexibility to choose your own favorite style. Disadvantages: Benchtops are usually of poor quality and cheaper, which means you will have to spend more on maintenance or repair.
Let us examine a variety of native rock materials and their advantages and disadvantages:
A solid material composed of calcite or dolomite
Marble has been held in high esteem for its elegance and durability. One can select between honed and polished types of marble. Honed marble is absorbent and has a dull appearance, whereas polished marble has a sealed finish and glossy gleam.
- One of a kind and attractive
- Heatproof – able to withstand heat, fracture and shatter
- Long life
- Can be Pricey
- Susceptible to marking and abrasions
- Yearly caulking necessary
- Prone to acid discoloration
A natural stone material
Granite is seen as an ideal surface for benches because of its alluring aesthetic, numerous shades, design and longevity. Now it is more obtainable and reasonably priced than before, even though it continues to be towards the more expensive end as it is a natural stone.
- Extremely strong and tough
- Attractive look and adaptability in style
- Simple to maintain
- Heat-proof, chip-resistant and scratch-resistant
- Can enhance the worth of your house
- Long life
- May cost a lot of money
- Frequent maintenance needed
- The potential of becoming discoloured or stained
- Exerting a lot of effort to put in place
Quartzite offers the attractive appearance of marble while also being more durable to damage, marking and discoloration.
- Appealing looks
- Strong and enduring with a high tolerance for heat
- Extended life with maintenance
- Certain ones have the ability to fight off microorganisms
- Can be quite costly
- Regular resealing/waxing may be required
- Demanding in terms of upkeep
Synthetically created stone material composed of quartz pieces
Recently, engineered quartz countertops have become popular due to their hard-wearing attributes. The making process involves combining quartz, resin and colourants which produces a strong and damage-resistant surface that can resist scratches, chips and spots.
Engineered stone benchtops are simple to take care of, as there is no need for sealing or buffing, and can be wiped with soap and water. These benchtops come in a large assortment of colours and designs, allowing you to pick the one that fits with your kitchen or bathroom decor. It is possible to replicate the aesthetics of natural stone such as marble or granite, or to have a more consistent visual style.
Engineered stone benchtops have a non-porous composition, making them bacteria resistant and hygienically sound for kitchen and bathroom use. Additionally, many quartz countertops are crafted from recycled materials, rendering them a more environmentally friendly solution than some alternatives.
- Striking visual.
- Highly tough and able to withstand abrasion and discoloration
- Inhibits the growth of mould, mildew, and bacteria
- Does not need to be sealed
- Enduring a long period of time
- Requiring minimal upkeep and simple to tidy up
- Excellent for kitchen and bath areas
- Susceptible to heat degradation or melting
- Susceptible to abrasion
- Exposure to sunlight can cause colours to diminish
Are there potential health hazards linked to engineered stone, such as the chance of developing Silicosis?
Recently, there has been some worry over health concerns related to engineered stone, such as the appearance of Silicosis in certain industries. Silicosis is an inflammation of the lungs that can arise from continual exposure to small amounts of airborne silica particles. We will only collaborate with providers who pledge to reduce the percentage of silica in their items, aiming for 40% or lower, which is a worldwide recognized target, and call on government officials to set regulations for stone crafters.
When the appropriate methods are applied, working with engineered stone can be carried out securely. These procedures involve the use of personal protective gear like breathing apparatus, technical regulations like air circulation and filtration, as well as utilising water-injected tools for ‘wet cutting’ which removes any possibility of airborne silica dust. Smartstone and Cosentino have recently included more reprocessed glass and minerals in their collections that guarantee superior quality and strength, as well as global sustainability awards, comprising NSF, Greenguard and Greenguard GOLD. Furthermore, these vendors guarantee that each piece of stone is delivered with worthy caution and health/safety directives prior to being worked on and fitted into its destination.
It is possible for a minimal amount of silica particles to be dispersed during the installation or repair of quartz surfaces as per state-specified security practices. Notwithstanding, this does not create any health hazards for you, your kin, or staff since ailments due to silica dust can only arise in cases of unchecked, unprotected, and continual exposure to silica dust at work. After affixing the benchtop, there is no risk to anyone and it is completely secure for utilisation.
If budget is your main concern while still wanting to obtain a good quality product, laminate benchtops may be the choice for you. These items come in many colours, textures, finishes, and designs to let you create the perfect benchtop based on your individual requirements. The low cost and versatility of using laminate countertops can be appealing, but there are certain disadvantages that accompany them.
An apparent shortcoming of laminate benchtops is their tendency to display visible wear and tear swiftly due to notches, scrapes, and charring that can be troublesome to fix or substitute. Additionally, this material usually does not increase the worth of a house like other substances, as it doesn’t deliver the superior appearance of a genuine texture like other surfaces like rock or wood.
In consideration of the pros and cons, laminate benchtops can be a practical option for homeowners seeking inexpensive countertop solutions that offer diversity. Ultimately, it is essential to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks in order to make an informed choice.
- Exceptionally inexpensive
- Straightforward to set up
- Diverse, adjustable shapes
- Simple to sustain and cleanse
- Vulnerable to thermal harm
- Susceptible to being peeled
- Not as lasting or able to last as long as stone or manufactured countertops
- Restricted to installing a top-mounted basin
Timber surfaces provide an intriguing organic feel that can add charm to a range of designs. Additionally, they could gain a distinctive appearance over time which adds character to the table. Made of wood blocks such as Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, or Jarrah, wooden countertops can also be crafted from renewable materials, allowing them to be more environmentally friendly than certain alternatives.
Well-crafted timber bench tops are very enduring and capable of withstanding frequent use and wear. If maintained properly, they can even be resurfaced or sanded to eliminate any scratches or blemishes as the surface of the benchtop gets older.
- Simple to set up
- Introduces a natural, living aspect
- Cozy and
- Practising sustainability with recycled or regrown timber
- Grinding can resolve most area problems
- Needs frequent lubrication
- Susceptible to blemishes
- Not tolerant to heat or stains
Concrete benchtops are becoming a popular choice because of their distinct visuals and usability, as concrete is one of the most reliable substances that can handle heavy traffic, degradation, and even heat. Affordable and able to be tailored to style, concrete benchtops generally need protection with frequent sealing due to their porous nature so as to prevent staining or splitting.
- Extremely resilient
- Resistant to abrasions
- Able to tolerate high temperatures
- Adjustable to personal preferences
- Prolonged existence
- Needs consistent waxing and protecting
- Susceptible to scuffing
- Susceptible to discoloration
Factoring in wear and aesthetic preferences should be the most important considerations when deciding on a benchtop material. Get advice from one of our experts to make sure you understand all your choices.