When it comes to buying a new kitchen, choosing the right benchtop is probably the biggest decision you’ll make. Not only does it need to perform well with the rigours of cooking, but it should harmonise with your kitchen cabinetry and have an enduring style that will last at least several years. The most popular choices include natural and engineered stone, Corian, laminate and stainless steel, each with its pros and cons.
What Are The Main Benchtop Choices?
Materials such as Vstone and CaesarStone are made with around 95% natural quartz, giving you the look of natural stone, but with added durability. Engineered stone is scratch, stain and chip resistant, and will give your kitchen a sophisticated, modern look. It’s less costly than granite and marble, and requires no special maintenance.
Natural granite will give your kitchen the wow factor, but it’s expensive and does require sealing. Choose between a glossy polished finish, and a more contemporary, honed finish. Liquid spills should be mopped up immediately to prevent staining.
Corian is an acrylic material and can be formed into just about shape, making it possible to create a curved benchtop or an integrated benchtop and sink. It’s non porous, stain and scratch resistant, and has a chic, modern look.
You can recreate the look of just about any material you like with laminate, including stone, concrete and timber, at a fraction of the cost. Look for quality laminates that are specially withstand the rigours of a busy kitchen – it will have a tougher, more scratch resistant surface than standard laminates. Can be installed by a competent DIYer.
The benchtop material of choice in professional kitchens, stainless steel will give you a professional look at home and blends in well with both contemporary and traditional kitchen styles. It tends to scratch and show fingerprints, so probably not the best choice for families.