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Which Material is Best for Kitchen Benchtops?

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There are so many options these days when choosing a material for your kitchen benchtop. Do you go for something hardwearing, good-looking or something more cost-effective? Well, it all depends on your needs. Perhaps you just want to bring your kitchen up-to-date before selling. Or maybe you want benchtops with ‘wow-factor’. Here’s a quick rundown of the main kitchen benchtop materials to help you decide.

Timber

Timber benchtops can help give a kitchen a warmer feel than stone or metal. Timber benchtops do need sealing but they are not too difficult to maintain. The good thing about wooden benchtops is that any scratches can be sanded out and the surface resealed. Timber benchtops are well suited to country or French provincial style kitchens and you could consider using a recycled timber to give your home additional warmth and character.

kitchen timber benchtop

Image: Everlong Joinery

Stone Benchtops – Granite and Marble

The uniqueness of stone makes it highly desirable. Both granite and marble are stylish options and give a kitchen a real sense of luxury, but they are relatively expensive and keep in mind that marble does need sealing so there will be some ongoing maintenance. But stone is long-lasting and very durable. Lighter coloured marble and granite options can stain so you will need to be careful when it comes to cleaning spills such as red wine and beetroot.

granite benchtops

Image: IH Construction Group

Laminates

Laminate benchtops have come a long way and can be a stylish option for your kitchen. They are a cost-effective choice but are not as durable as most other options. Laminates are available in a myriad of colours to suit any kitchen. You can choose from a rounded edge or square edge profile to suit the look that you are after.

Engineered Stone/Quartz Benchtops

Engineered stone is a man-made composition of quartz and resin. It is easier to care for and generally cheaper than granite and marble but it still looks great. Engineered stone is made to be extremely durable and hard wearing and is well suited to kitchen benchtops. Most project home builders these days offer upgrades to engineered stone benchtops for your kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

stone benchtop

Image: Tops In Stone

Metals

Stainless steel, once only seen in commercial kitchens, is growing in popularity for residential home kitchen benchtops. Stainless steel is hygienic and low maintenance. It gives a streamlined utilitarian look but it does scratch easily and is quite expensive. Zinc is popular in some countries but isn’t often used in Australia.

Acrylic Benchtops

Acrylic benchtops are hygienic, non-porous and can offer fewer visible joins than other benchtop materials. They are easier to maintain than stone or timber. Corian is the most widely known acrylic benchtop manufacturer on the market in Australia.

Tiles

Not used very often these days, tiles can be a wonderful talking point when used on a kitchen benchtop. They can help you create a truly individual kitchen, but they can be difficult to clean due to the grout lines and you do need to ensure that they are non-porous. Talk to your kitchen designer to ensure you choose suitable tiles if you are considering this option.

The best way to decide what benchtop material will work best for you is to talk to a local kitchen designer, detailing your needs and desired look. Build Local can help you find a kitchen renovation specialist or kitchen benchtop supplier to help you build your dream kitchen or simply update your benchtops.

By Kelli Hawkins, Build Local

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October 21, 2015 |

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