23 Dec Which kitchen bench top should I choose?
How do I choose between the different types of kitchen bench tops for my kitchen?
When choosing a bench top for your kitchen there is actually a huge selection on the market with different pros and cons. With a various range of products available it can seem a little overwhelming.
We’ve put together the following to help you with what is available & explaining the details, pros and cons of each benchtop type and their relative price point.
It is a good idea to start with what your type of lifestyle is currently and what you intend your budget to be.
For example you may have energetic young kids and if you are looking for durability in your bench top this may be the most important factor for you.
Or you may be a first homeowner on a tight budget and looking to update the current kitchen in your new home.
Or you may have a property that you are looking to renovate completely and maybe the sky is the limit.
Another aspect to consider is if you intend to sell your house in the not too distant future? If so the decision on the quality of the bench top right now could lift the sale of property significantly when you sell.
For new homebuyers they consider the kitchen to be a very important part of the house when purchasing as they spend a lot of time there.
For example a house selling for around $700k buyers would expect to see a stone top included in the kitchen. Yet if a house if selling for over $850k buyers might expect granite bench tops as well as lacquered or vinyl wrapped finish cabinets. However if you intend to stay put for a while then obviously this does not become as important.
Once you have decided what your requirements are you can then discuss this with your Kitchen Designer and they can assist in choosing the right bench top for you.
Kitchen Benchtops – Quick Reference Guide
|Kitchen Benchtop Type||Pros||Cons||Price Range
Caesarstone, Silestone, Roxx, Iquartz, Quantum Quartz
|-There is a good benchtop colour selection|
-Reasonable heat and impact resistance
-Gives a contemporary look and feel
-Depending on thickness price of these benchtops can almost compete with laminate
|-These are less heat and impact resistance than granite and stainless steel benchtops|
-Dark colours can look relatively flat when compared with granite
-There is a time delay between cabinet and bench installation
-Choosing thick bench tops can be relatively expensive
Corian, Hi-Macs, Infinity
|-There is a good selection of acrylic colour bench tops to choose from|
-Similar in price point to granite and engineered stone
-Option of easily repairing or repolishing
-Produces no visible joins so long bench tops are an option
|-Delay between cabinet and benchtop installation|
-Scratches more easily than stainless steel, concrete and stone bench tops
-Can stain easily if it is a light benchtop colour
|High Pressure Laminate|
Formica, Wilsonart, Laminex, Bisonne
|-This is the most cost effective benchtop product which is highly popular (although other options are becoming as cost effective now)|
-Huge Colour selection (over 300 to choose from)
-Bench top arrives with kitchen cabinets so there is no delay in the installation process
|-Perhaps this product can be perceived as a cheap alternative bench top in more expensive homes |
-These benchtops are more prone to heat and impact damage compared to other products
-The price of other more durable products can be in line with laminate benchtops now
|Concrete||-Can be coloured to suit|
-Gives a strong contemporary industrial look
-Very strong and durable bench top
-Similar in price point to higher priced stone
-Good heat and impact resistance bench top
|-Can form cracks if not resealed on a regular basis|
-Can be an expensive bench top compared to granite
-They can develop small cracks that are cosmetic rather than structural which can add to the uniqueness
-There will be a time delay between cabinet and bench top installation
|Natural Granite||-Some colour bench tops are very competitively priced|
-A good range of colour selection
-Good heat and impact resistance from a benchtop
|- Some people find the benchtop surface too hard to work on|
-Some colours are very expensive
-Light colour benchtops may show stains if not regularly resealed
-As it is a natural stone, it may chip more easily than engineerd stone
-There is a time delay between cabinet and benchtop installation
|Stainless Steel||-Available in a range of different bench top finishes|
-Very impact and heat resistant
- Reasonably priced bench tops if used in straight runs
|-These can become an expensive alternative benchtop if side joins or welding is required|
-Brushed and polished stainless steel benchtops are highly reflective and show all scratches
-There is a time delay between cabinet and bench top installation
|Timber||-This bench top gives a natural warm feel to your kitchen|
-Can be used as a highlight piece when mixed with other bench top materials
|-Relatively expensive natural product for a bench top compared to most other alternatives|
-Timber surface of bench top can bruise easier than most other products