What Type of Benchtop Do I Need for My Kitchen?

When redesigning your kitchen, you’ll often make several trips to the showroom before you’ve fully decided on all your colour and material options – our designers are there to assist you.

Colour schemes, table options and splashbacks are obviously important to consider – but have you thought about your benchtops? In the kitchen, you spend a lot of time preparing food, washing dishes and placing hot pans on your benchtops, and your choice of material will actually make much more of a difference to the durability of your kitchen surfaces than you might expect.

In this guide we’ll explain the pros and cons of each benchtop option and give you some direction about which kind may be best for you, depending on your budget and how you use your kitchen. Have a browse to find out which material will suit you and your family best – then visit Kitchen Capital WA  to learn more about the design process and to get your kitchen renovation underway!

1. Laminate

Laminate kitchen benchtops are available in different textures. They’re moderately resistant to most common problems that occur with heavy use of benchtops, including scratching and heat discolouration; though you’ll need to use chopping boards and heat pads to keep them looking brand-new for longer.

It’s a great material option for busy families as it’s incredibly easy to clean – simply wipe and go – and is one of the cheapest options for those looking to renovate their kitchen on a budget. You can choose laminate benchtops in a variety of colours, making it a perfect selection when you have an unusual colour scheme in mind.

2. Engineered Stone

Stone is possibly the most common benchtop choice – its popularity is due to its strong and sturdy nature and high resistance to wear and tear. It’s an incredibly hard material to scratch or to damage with heat, but customers should be aware that chopping boards and heat pads are still necessary to keep stone benchtops in the best condition.

Stone comes in a broad variety of colour options, from black to pink quartz, and pretty much every natural colour in-between.

Granite is a similar and equally popular choice as it upholds the same qualities as stone. This usually comes in a mottled-effect grey tone, though other colours can be offered.

3. Marble

Marble is a highly sought-after material for kitchen benchtops, as it looks beautiful and has become very popular in recent years. However, customers should be aware of its porous nature – it’s softer and therefore less durable than granite or stone.

Consult with a stonemason for advice on how to treat your marble benchtop: it is a fine selection if handled with care.

4. Acrylic

Acrylic is a common choice as it is non-porous and therefore great for cleaning. It looks beautiful when buffed and polished. You can also find it in a wide array of colours.

However, be aware that it is not as heat resistant as other materials – use heat pads and preventative measures when placing piping hot pans or trays on an acrylic bench surface.

5. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the perfect choice for commercial kitchens due to its high heat resistance; though its scratch-resistance isn’t quite so good. It’s the material of choice for industrial kitchens because it’s great for cleaning and doesn’t go on show – commercial kitchens are usually purely for use by chefs, not shown off to guests!

Its industrial look doesn’t make it a hugely popular choice for family homes – though if this is your style, your kitchen renovators will certainly be able to fit it for you.

6. Timber

Timber is a classic choice for creating a warm and homely atmosphere in your kitchen. It should, however, be treated with care with the use of heat precautions and chopping boards.

You can opt either for solid timber, timber veneer or a timber look laminate.  Timber can be waxed or oiled or coated with a polyurethane lacquer to protect it.