Choosing a Benchtop Material for Your Sydney Kitchen
With open plan living now a staple of most modern home designs, the kitchen has become as much a design statement as it is a functional room of the home.
Not only does it receive a high level of wear and tear in its daily use, but the kitchen is also often a hub for entertaining or coming together as a family – and so our design choices need to be as aesthetic as they are durable.
Taking up a large surface area within the kitchen, your benchtop is arguably one of the most important decisions to make regarding materials in your space.
Not all surfaces are created equal, however – so your design preferences, along with the way you like to prepare and cook meals, will influence the best kitchen benchtop in Sydney for your home.
Here’s our rundown of five of the most popular benchtop materials for your kitchen and how to choose the one that’s right for you.
One of the most influential materials in kitchen design over the last decade, stone encompasses materials like marble, granite, quartz, reconstituted and engineered stone.
Seamlessly integrating into many different design styles, stone has become a popular choice for the character it adds to a kitchen. The natural veins, flecks and tones that run throughout these materials are unique to each piece; giving you a wide range of looks and styles to choose from.
While incredibly striking, it’s worth noting that stone can be porous and will need to be sealed to minimise the likelihood of stains and scratches.
An engineered stone option like Smartstone is more durable, made with quartz for the beauty of natural stone while being heat, stain, scratch and chip resistant.
Natural stone can be expensive to source and install, as it’s a heavier material. Smartstone comes in a range of styles and budget options, giving you a bit more flexibility to pick a surface that fits your needs.
2. Polished concrete
Offering the character of stone without the same price tag, polished concrete is becoming a popular choice as industrial kitchens become more common.
Like stone, concrete comes in a variety of colours and textures so you can customise the look of your benchtop to suit the design style of your space.
Due to its weight, you will potentially need additional reinforcement under your bench to avoid any structural issues down the track. Professional installation is recommended for this material.
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Continuing our journey through options for natural kitchen benchtops in Sydney, timber can either constitute one long piece of wood, or several thinner pieces joined together.
Pairing well with the all-white Scandinavian aesthetic, looking right at home in a country kitchen or offering a dynamic warm contrast to darker monochromatic spaces, timber is a versatile choice that works across multiple design styles.
While cheaper in material and installation costs than stone or concrete, wood can also involve more maintenance over time. Although timber can be less resistant to stains or scratches, you do have the benefit of being able to sand and reseal your benchtop after a few years of wear and tear.
If you’re after a low-maintenance, affordable material with a range of styles and finishes to choose from – laminate might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Once thought of as dated and unappealing, laminate has evolved to offer hundreds of colours and styles in its range – including stone and marble finishes that look as good as the real thing, at a fraction of the cost.
Relatively easy to look after, the one thing to watch for is any chip to the melamine coating on the surface. If you don’t catch this early, water can seep into the wood inside and cause swelling.
A ceramic product, porcelain is popular for its extremely durable qualities. Fire, heat, stain and scratch resistant, a porcelain kitchen benchtop in Sydney is a great material to use across both surfaces and splashbacks.
Available in both glossy and matte finishes, porcelain is available in finishes that replicate everything from marble to timber.
Despite its durability, porcelain can be prone to chips and cracks if something heavy is dropped on the surface.
As it’s newer to the Australian market, porcelain is relatively expensive when compared to other options and does require specialist installation, too.