Choosing the right benchtop involves a myriad of considerations. It’s not just a practical choice to make, it’s also an aesthetic decision. The design and style of the benchtop can really pull a kitchen design together (or apart!). Plus, you need to consider the functionality of the benchtop – will it help or hinder the way you work in the kitchen?
Here are five elements to consider when choosing a benchtop for your fabulous, new kitchen.
Who are you?
Are you a MasterChef wannabe or more of a 2-Minute Noodles sort of home cook? Do you like to entertain or are you juggling making dinner with kids’ homework every night? Are you a messy baker or a minimalist who is all about precision?
Whoever you are and however you do what you do in the kitchen will dictate the type of benchtop you need.
The dreaded B word doesn’t have to be so scary anymore. You won’t blow your Budget if you select a laminate benchtop. Laminate costs around 25%-35% of alternative benchtop materials making it great value for money. With so many colours, wood-grains and marble-looks to choose from, it’s hard to tell the difference between laminate and the real deal. And with some lovely edge options such as the Quadra Edge, a new-look elegant square-edge finish, your benchtop can become a talking point for all the right budgetary reasons!
If your benchtop tends to see a whole lot of spillage –kids eating spaghetti bolognaise and toddlers chowing down on mushed up veggies and the foodstuff that strikes fear into every parents’ heart, Weet-Bix (don’t let that stuff dry, people!) – then a solid surface benchtop is the one for you.
Solid surface benchtops are made from a hard-wearing blend of acrylic resin and natural minerals providing the ultimate in easy care and durability. They are also non-porous, so liquids cannot be absorbed. This means stains are never permanent, so your benchtop will retain its fresh, new look for years to come and you can safely sip your red wine while you make dinner. That’s a win-win if we’ve ever heard one.
Now, if you are more of a gourmet home cook and you spend your Sunday nights watching cooking shows, telling whoever will listen – or pretend they’re listening – that you could do better than that, then perhaps an engineered stone benchtop is for you.
An engineered stone bench top is more than a thing of beauty. It’s a functional and practical work space for the everyday cook as well as the MasterChef wannabe. The surface remains cool in all weather, it’s hygienic and easy to clean, it doesn’t scratch easily nor absorb dirt or stains and it will look great for years to come.
It’s so hard to go past the distinctive look that timber creates in a kitchen. But gone are the days of kitting out the entire kitchen in timber and feeling like you’ve just walked into a Swedish sauna house. Now timber is used as an accent material, grounding the kitchen design as it works with the ‘shinier’ elements of the kitchen such as appliances and modern cabinetry.
Because timber is both durable and resilient, it can be repaired, altered or given a new lease of life at any time during its life. You do need to take care to maintain the surface though, so perhaps timber should be the kitchen benchtop of choice for the more careful cooks amongst us.
To find out more about the right kitchen benchtop for you, check out our gallery here.