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 and our designers are always 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 to learn more about the design process and to get your kitchen renovation underway!
Types Of Kitchen Benchtops
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! It is also 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.
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.
Engineered stone comes in a broad variety of colour options, from black to pink quartz, and pretty much every natural colour in-between.
Granite benchtops are a similar and equally popular choice as they uphold the same qualities as stone. This usually comes in a mottled-effect grey tone, though other colours of granite benchtops can be offered.
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 benchtops: it is a fine selection if handled with care.
Acrylic is a common benchtop material 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 kitchen benchtop materials. Use heat pads and preventative measures when placing piping hot pans or trays on an acrylic bench surface.
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 favourite kitchen benchtop style, your kitchen renovators will certainly be able to fit it for you.
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, oiled or coated with polyurethane lacquer to protect it.
Can I Paint My Kitchen Benchtop?
Some people love a good dose of natural benchtops for kitchens. Stone benchtops, or varnished wood – you name it! However, if you want to add a spot of colour to your kitchen, then it might be time for some paint.
Can it be done? Yes! Do you need to know some things before you grab your paintbrush? Also yes. It’s pretty simple – but we’ll guide you nonetheless.
First off, you need to ensure that you are preparing correctly. Imagine not cleaning the surface, and finding little dirt granules caught in the paint for the next 10 years? Rather make sure that you’re preparing right!
Make sure to scrub down your benchtop at least twice, using clean water. When this is dried, fill up any cheeky little dents it might have with some filler. This will ensure that your surface is flat and sleek. If the surface is laminate, use a steel cloth to lightly abrade the surface. Lastly, mask up with painters tape!
Mix And Apply To Your Kitchen Benchtops
Mix your paint up, ensuring that you follow the instructions as needed. Also, double-check your paint to ensure that it is properly mixed. You don’t accidentally want a marbled effect!
When applying the paint, make sure to apply as many coats as needed for it to be smooth and fully filled out. There also needs to be an adequate amount of time left between the coats, so that the previous coats can be properly dried out.
You’ll also need to make use of a clear coat to finish off the look. This will give it a sleek, smooth sheen. Make sure to apply this evenly, and definitely give it enough time to dry.
What Is The Hardiest Benchtop?
If you need durability – solid kitchen benchtop materials are a must. Some benchtops are purely aesthetic. If you’re looking for a hardy benchtop, as well as a stylish pick, then a granite benchtop is the one for you!
This is definitely the hardest wearing benchtop out there at the moment – and it looks fantastic in any kitchen space. Granite is known best for its hardiness, and snazzy look. Although these can be on the pricier side of kitchen benchtop materials, you certainly won’t be needing another one for a long time.
Granite is also available in pretty much any colour – if you’re shopping for a particular colour scheme, this is the best bet for you! If you’re also looking to avoid stains, then consider steering clear of light coloured granite.
Another factor to consider is the energy used to make a granite countertop. If you’re wanting to get some custom benchtops, it might take a while. The energy used to make them is paired with waste. However, it is also very likely that you won’t be needing to replace them.
Choose The Best Kitchen Benchtop To Suit Your Home
Benchtops can bring some great elements into your kitchen. Think about the style of your kitchen and the colour palette when making the big choice. Whether you’re looking for anything from natural stone to concrete benchtops, Kitchen Capital is here to help you with your kitchen design if you need advice.