The kitchen is the heart of your home, and the bench is the star of the show. With so many choices in bench tops now available on the market, it takes time to decide on the right one.
Here are a few considerations:
Budget – some materials can cost thousands of dollars per square metre while others are much more affordable
Lifestyle – some bench top materials will suffer wear and tear more than others
Other Kitchen Fittings – if you have already chosen the flooring, some bench top options may be a better fit aesthetically
Bench top Options
Below are some of the most popular options new owners choose for their homes.
The past few years have seen the popularity of stone bench tops soar. If you love the look of natural stone but not the price tag you can choose the cheaper option of engineered stone such as Essastone. You can order the exact color, shape and size in engineered stone while natural stone will depend on what pieces are available at the time.
One of the biggest concerns with natural stone is it’s a soft, porous material which can stain and scratch easier than other materials. Sealing your bench top before use can offer some protection but if you have teenagers in the house who like to drip coffee and cut directly on the bench, you might want to consider another material.
If you like the industrial look, a bench top made from stainless steel, aluminum and even copper are popular options. Metal has the advantage of being stain resistance and heavy duty compared to stone, but shiny metal surfaces can show up marks. The resilient qualities make stainless steel an ideal option for outdoor kitchens too.
A decade ago it was rare to see a concrete bench top in a new home but it’s becoming a popular choice today. More resilient than natural stone, concrete can withstand heat, stains and scratches however it’s at risk of cracking and chipping. Due to its weight, it may need to be poured on site, but there are plenty of options for colored oxides so you have a one-off.
It might be one of the oldest bench top materials, but timber is still a modern option. A beautifully selected and finished piece can add warmth and character to your kitchen. Choose between a single piece of wood or composite wood. Unlike most other bench top materials, timber can be repaired. Sanding and re-finishing will remove scratches.
Another beautiful natural option is marble. Like natural stone, marble is expensive and you can’t order in the exact color, size and shape you want. There is a large range of colors to choose from between brilliant white to black and may include shades of blue-grey, even red or yellow. Marble contains interesting veins but can be damaged by acidic foods and abrasive cleaners and utensils.
Choosing a quartz benchtop such as the Caesarstone range gives you plenty of color, gloss and moulding options. A low maintenance hard wearing option, quartz offers a stunning finish and will last the lifetime of your home. All Start Right Homes designs come with Caesarstone bench tops as standard.
Laminate has stood the test of time as a popular choice in benchtop materials. Laminate is one of the most resilient options because of its heat and scratch resistant qualities, and also one of the most cost effective options on the market. The range of colours is endless and some modern designs give the appearance of expensive marble and stone materials. Its low maintenance and high resilience makes laminate ideal for investment properties.
What Else to Consider
You can’t select your kitchen benchtop without considering all the materials that surround it. If you have already chosen your flooring option or colour, then this may impact on the type of bench top you can select. It is ideal to choose the bench top with your splashback, cupboard doors and flooring so nothing clashes.
Choosing a benchtop you will be happy with for many years to come can be a big decision. Do plenty of research online, visit our display homes and drop by Home Base in Subiaco to view the full Caesarstone range in person. When the time comes to do pre-start, you will be put in touch with our expert pre-start consultant Mikaela who will take you through choosing the products for your entire home, both inside and out. Her expert knowledge and keen eye for design is at your disposal the whole way through the pre-start process.
: If you had your heart set on a bench top material that is out of your budget, choose a cheaper option that mimics the look or choose a material that you can afford and save up to upgrade in the future.