Benchtop Materials to add Style, Function and Value to your Kitchen
Your benchtop is arguably the most attention-grabbing piece in your kitchen, and it fulfils an essential day-to-day purpose, too. Nail the look, and you can make your benchtop work wonders for you. Miss the mark, and you could be left with a drab centrepiece that hinders your time in the kitchen more than it helps.
These days, you have the freedom to choose from a wide range of materials, finishes and styles when it comes to designing your space. But this wide range of options can also be overwhelming, as you struggle to pinpoint the right material for your home.
Should you choose a stone kitchen benchtop? Is timber really that hard to maintain? Does the lower upfront cost of laminate cause problems down the track?
In this post, we’ve curated our favourite benchtop materials to invest in for your new kitchen. Stylish, durable and worth the money, read on to learn what we recommend and which benchtop may be right for you.
Stone is an elegant choice for your benchtop and can be a showstopper in your kitchen. Natural stone gives you a feature people won’t forget in a hurry – and when it’s cut from real stone, it’s a unique piece you can’t buy off the shelf. This makes it one of the most coveted looks for modern kitchens, its aesthetic mimicked in many other materials like laminate and porcelain.
The major drawbacks of a stone kitchen benchtop are the cost and maintenance. Because it’s a one-off, stone can be pricey – and being a naturally porous material, it absorbs spills and stains quite easily. This makes it prone to discolouration over time.
If you prefer a cheaper option that’s easier to maintain (but still just as classy), an engineered stone bench is sealed against stains, making cleanup easy.
Stainless steel is perfect for people who prefer modern, industrial design (or those who just like their cleanup to be as simple and straightforward as possible).
There’s a reason the material is a firm favourite amongst commercial and home kitchens alike: stainless steel is a breeze to clean, absorbs no odours, germs or stains, unlike a stone kitchen benchtop, and can be cut to the exact size of your space.
The one downside? Stainless steel makes scratch marks obvious, so if your knife skills need a bit of work, it might not be the right material for you. Choose a brushed aluminium instead to get the same sleek look without the risk of marks.
Want to see how we’ve used these benchtop materials in real kitchens? Download our eBook, full of inspiration for your renovation, with tips and tricks to help you design the kitchen of your dreams.
If you don’t like to be tied down to a particular design style, timber can be a surprisingly versatile benchtop choice. Pairing just as well with contemporary kitchens as it does with a country or traditional look, timber has proven itself to be a timeless choice that forms the basis of a myriad of kitchen design styles.
Ranging from dark to light, from minimal to maximum grain, you can create the exact look you have in mind. Plus, it’s usually easy to replicate in your cabinetry for a uniform style; alternatively, timbers pair well with a range of colour palettes.
Concrete has come a long way in recent years, becoming a stylish and popular option for modern kitchens.
Similar to a stone kitchen benchtop, concrete as a material is both heat-proof and resistant to chips and scratches. It can also be poured to your precise specifications too, which can help to cut down manufacturing and installation costs.
Concrete is naturally a cold material, so we recommend offsetting this in your space by incorporating elements of timber or a colour palette with a warm base to prevent the space from feeling too stark. You can also achieve this through the strategic use of task lighting and pendants, creating different degrees of lighting with an end result of warmth and brightness without looking clinical.