When it is time to make your kitchen benchtop material and compare it, you have to do the research first.
It’s said to be one of the most hard-working areas in your home. Here is a guide to making a good choice of material wisely and also getting the best and nice kitchen benchtop material for your use.
No more being shut away behind closed doors, modern kitchens are not only where meals are being made but also where most of the activities or action occurs– from homework to household admin and from family meals to entertaining. Allthishich means the kitchen benchtop materials used need to be both practical and good-looking, whether you are an enthusiastic gourmand, a short-order family cook, or a takeaway connoisseur. And nothing gets a bigger workout than your benchtop.
What to keep in mind:
Hard choices to make
Different materials suit many different applications, so before you get swept away choosing a colour, consider how your kitchen is used. Most materials are durable and hard-wearing, but some require a little more care than others. Marble has been having a moment recently, but it’s actually fairly soft and absorbent, meaning you’re constantly on the lookout for spills, or need to accept it will show its history.
Cost is a big consideration, not just for the material but also for installation. Porcelain, for example, does require specialized tradespeople. “Because it is so hard and dense, if it was dropped, it would just shatter,” says Prue Gordon, interior architect at Melbourne’s Bryant Alsop Architects. “It needs special tools to cut it and stonemasons who are happy working with engineered stone are not necessarily happy cutting porcelain.” Always make sure your estimate includes installation before you sign on the line.
The final step is finding a look you’ll love. Prue Gordon of Bryant Alsop Architects, takes her benchtop lead from the flooring. “It’s a case of who’s using the kitchen, whether there are kids, and what the home’s design style is,” she says. Consider too, how the color and finish will flow throughout your home, a factor particularly important in an open-plan zone.
6 materials you have to consider:
1. Natural stone
The beauty of stone – such as Statuarietto marble or Juparana granite – is as a natural material, each slab is unique. Marble is popular with enthusiastic cooks as it’s perfect for rolling out pastry, but it’s easily stained by things such as red wine, vinegar, coffee, spices (we’re looking at you, turmeric!), and even water.
Granite benchtops are much less porous, making them more stain- and scratch-resistant, and they come in a wide, and very beautiful, selection of colors. The finish for either marble benchtops or stone benchtops can be gloss (polished) or honed (matt) and it’s best to visit the warehouse and choose the slab you want so you know exactly what you’re getting.
2. Stainless steel
Stainless steel is very hard-wearing and hygienic, which is why it’s used in restaurant kitchens. Splashbacks and sinks can be completely integrated, so there are no cracks for nasties to loiter in, and going for high-grade, thicker stainless steel benches mean they can be re-polished every five to 10 years, giving you the look of a brand new benchtop. “I love stainless steel, but you have to be the type of person who’s happy with the little scratches after a couple of years,” said Prue Gordon.
3. Polished concrete
Concrete benchtops are formed and poured on-site, and considering their weight, you may require additional sub-floor structural work for support. However, they have a wonderfully raw finish (that’s now being imitated by other materials) and can even have heating built into them. Concrete benchtops also need to be sealed before use and finishes can vary from very rough to more refined, plus they can be colored by tinting the mix.
Timber benchtops, such as American Oak top, are formed from one solid length or pieces that have been laminated together (butcher’s block style). The surface of wooden/timber benchtops needs to be finished before use and, if oil is, will absorb spills. Bamboo benchtops are on the rise in the timber market. The big advantage is every couple of years you can have it re-finished to remove any marks, and the benchtop will be as good as new. The trend, says Brett Patterson of design and project management company, The Renovation Broker, is towards timber being used as a feature on an island bench, rather than throughout the kitchen.
5. Engineered stone
Appearing under brand names including Caesarstone, Silestone, Quantum Quartz in Gobi Black, and Essastone, engineered stone is made from mostly crushed quartz held together with resin, and is available in a variety of colours and finishes. It is also sold by the slab, which does limit its length to 3000mm. Joins are becoming finer, but if you are installing a longer bench or island, you will need to consider where the join falls. Brett Patterson also recommends pairing engineered stone with low-profile, flush-mount sinks so cut edges aren’t chipped and damaged by pots and pans.
Laminates are budget-friendly and offer a seemingly endless range of colors and finishes, including marble and stone-look that are almost as good as the real thing, so try Laminex’s ‘Diamond Gloss’ in White Valencia or ‘Impressions’ in Black Spark. The major brand has also recently added an on-trend matt finish to its massive range. “It’s velvety to the touch, has limited reflectiveness and is non-fingerprint marking,” explains Catherine Valente of Laminex. “Plus, it has a really strong sense of warmth.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the hardest wearing benchtop?
Porcelain is also extremely dense, non-porous, very resistant to heat, and resistant to stains; generally, porcelain lasts for a longer time than other kitchen benchtop materials. Due to porcelain’s high durability, this type of stone can be easily cleaned with just water and a brush without risking any damage.
What is the longest lasting countertop material?
Quartz takes first place in terms of durability. Made of crushed quartz stone mixed with polymers and resin, this artificially engineered stone countertop is an extremely durable surface that resembles natural stone.
What is the most high end countertop material?
Marble tops the most-expensive list due in large part to its elegant looks. The good: It will instantly lift your kitchen or bathroom to another level. The bad: It requires some regular maintenance to ensure its legacy. Plan on $75-$250 or more per square foot.
Which countertop is lowest maintenance?
Quartz countertops are the easiest natural stone to take care of. They are engineered using ground stone and resin, so they don’t require regular sealing they the way most granite and marble countertops do. This stone is non-porous, so it does not easily stain or etch.
What is the best countertop to put in a kitchen?
Quartz: Best Overall Choice. Quartz countertops—a form of engineered stone—may well be the best of all countertop materials when all factors are considered. Quartz countertops are made from natural stone byproducts (leftover rubble from quarrying) which are pulverized and blended with resins to form slabs.
What is a durable inexpensive countertop material?
Laminate Countertops. Generally the most affordable countertop material available, laminate is made from layers of plastic bonded to particleboard to form a solid surface. Preformed counters with a built-in backsplash come in a limited range of colors and patterns.
What is the most durable kitchen benchtop?
Porcelain Panels – the strongest benchtop of all. Aesthetically, it’s a beautiful, pure surface material, but it’s also versatile, coming in styles that recreate the look of a wide range of materials, such as raw concrete, Calacatta, Statuario, onyx and other natural stone.
Can you put hot pots on Caesarstone?
Do not put hot cookware directly on the Caesarstone® Quartz surface. Therefore, we always recommend placing hot pots, oven trays, and fry pans directly from the oven or hot plate onto a wooden chopping board or heat trivet.
Which stone benchtop is cheapest?
Like travertine, limestone is among the cheaper of natural stone options. Again, with a minimal additional investment for regular maintenance, resealing,g, and care, limestone is a savvy choice for anyone looking for a beautiful, long-lasting and durable benchtop.
What is the difference between Corian and Caesarstone?
Corian is classified as a reconstituted solid surface material, composed mainly of bauxite minerals, while Caesarstone is classified in the re-engineered stone category, composed mainly of quartz.
What is the most popular countertop material 2022?
Granite is one of the most popular options for kitchen countertops, with a particular favor towards high-end kitchens. Granite is a natural stone loved for its unique color, shades, and veins.
What is the most timeless kitchen countertop?
Slate, soapstone, and honed granite are timeless materials for countertop and backsplash, for houses of almost any period. This marble look-alike surface material from Okite is a compound of natural quartz and resin, which complements this period-style kitchen.
What countertop is better than laminate?
Quartz is more durable than laminate, and that quality is reflected in the price. If you have kids, if you like to cook, or if you entertain frequently, quartz is the hands-downtown choice if it fits within your budget.
What countertop is better than quartz?
Granite is the #1 chosen kitchen countertops and islands in homes across America. It not only improves the value of your home as does Quartz, it’s easy to clean and heat and water resistant. Bath vanity tops are ideal because of granite’s resistance to water and mold.
What is an inexpensive alternative to granite countertops?
Laminate countertops are an inexpensive, low-maintenance alternative to pricey stone and solid-surface countertops, and they are available in many styles that mimic expensive surfaces such as granite or marble. Laminate countertops are not resistant to heat and can scratch.
Can you put hot things on granite benchtops?
Avoid extreme heat. It’s heat-resistant as opposed to heat-proof, so don’t place extremely hot items (such as pots and dishes directly from the oven) directly onto the benchtop as prolonged exposure to high-heat items can result in discolouration or even cracking. DO use trivets, insulated mats, or hot plates.
Can vinegar damage Caesarstone?
Caesarstone® is a 93%quartz-basedd product that has outstanding properties to ensure ease of Caesarstone maintenance and longevity of your surfaces. It will withstand exposure to tea, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, and strongly colored substances.
What countertop can you not put hot pans on?
That said, we don’t recommend putting hot pans on granite countertops — not for the granite’s sake but for yours. If you leave a hot pan on granite, it will heat the granite; then, when you remove the pan you have a hot granite surface that could burn you or someone else.
How do I choose a kitchen benchtop?
Price, colour, durability, and uniqueness all factor into making a decision on which type of kitchen benchtop you should select. And taking the time to really think through which kitchen benchtop is best for your kitchen renovation can take time. But if you get it right the results will be so worthwhile.
Is Caesarstone or quartz cheaper?
Caesarstone, meanwhile, is generally more affordable than quartzite. Unlike natural stones, engineered stones are relatively easier to create, with some designs being somewhat reproducible. Most Caesarstone quartz countertops could range between $49 and $105 per sq. ft.
Which is better quartz or Caesarstone?
Caesarstone: Caesarstone may be more durable, flexible, and porous than natural quartz since it is engineered. Quartz: Quartz is hard, durable, heat resistant, and, inert with most substances.
What is the best natural stone benchtop?
Granite is an optimal choice for kitchens as it is the toughest type of stone and is the most porous, stain-resistant,heat-resistantt, and least likely to crack or chip. You’ll find granite for benchtops in various pink, sand, white and grey tones and various subtle marbling and linear patterns.
Which stone countertop is best?
Engineered stone is the best all-around surface for kitchen countertops. It is more durable than all-natural stone countertop options, which saves you money in the long run. Quartz also comes in a much wider array of styles than natural stone, making it more versatile.
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