Choosing a Kitchen Benchtop Material
Posted on: 1 May 2023
The benchtop is an important element to get right during a kitchen renovation. Covering a large area, it will help create the mood. Plus, the countertop is used constantly, and you need to consider the care it will require. Here's an outline of various options.
Materials and Appearance
The style of your kitchen will help you choose a material, as some will look better than others in your setting. Timber is extremely versatile and blends with traditional, contemporary, and industrial styles. On the other hand, stainless steel doesn't suit such a wide variety, as it has a modern and factory-like look that fits with contemporary and industrial homes but maybe not with country kitchens.
If you want something economical, you could opt for laminate, which comes in a large variety of colours and patterns that fit diverse aesthetics. It provides a wider colour range than either timber or steel.
Concrete provides customised options as the slab is created specifically for your space, rather than you choosing from premade options. Different colours can be mixed into the cement or applied on top of the counter. Contractors can layer the colours to give the impression of natural stone.
Alternatively, you may prefer natural or engineered stone. Natural stone is quarried from the earth, and the slabs are carved into benchtop shapes. You have an endless choice of colours such as white, black, grey, pink, and beige. Some rock is more uniform and others more speckled, and you can choose which you prefer. Being organically formed, each piece is unique. Thus, either see the slab personally to know what you're getting or expect some variation if you've only seen a representative example.
Engineered stone uses crushed stone, which is combined with resin. Thus, these benchtops have a natural look. However, the designs are more consistent than solid slabs, so you'll know what to expect.
Materials and maintenance
Another important aspect of a kitchen counter is the maintenance it requires. If you want a benchtop that doesn't need regular refinishing, you could choose laminate, stainless steel, or engineered stone. While laminate is hardy, it's still wise to use trivets and cutting boards to protect the surface from scorching and scratching. But laminate doesn't need sealing, and you can simply clean it with a regular mild detergent.
Neither stainless steel nor engineered stone requires refinishing. Stainless steel is tough, but don't use a knife directly on the surface if you don't want scratches. The resins in engineered stone form a non-porous surface, which means it doesn't have tiny holes that can absorb food and drinks and thus stain.
Timber, concrete, and natural stone all need regular refinishing. You'll need to apply food-grade oil to the timber every year. Natural stone requires a regular application of sealant, and concrete needs to be sealed and waxed.
For more information about custom kitchens, contact a local contractor.Share