There are a lot of things to consider when designing and building your kitchen. You need to decide on the room layout, cabinetry design, ventilation, appliances and the kind of benchtop or countertop you want.
Based on experience, a lot of homeowners find it hard to choose a countertop material that is right for their lifestyle. There are a lot of types being offered in stores and so many pros and cons to each surface. No wonder so many people end up going back and forth because they can’t decide.
Here, we discuss the top five benchtop materials that you should consider.
Option 1: a solid surface countertop
Solid surface countertops are perfect for homeowners who are building simple but busy kitchens. This material is non-porous, durable, scratch-resistant, low-maintenance, easy to clean and able to withstand pressure, moisture, heat and impact.
Here’s an all-white solid surface countertop that looks striking against a timber cabinetry surface. The simplicity of the countertop heightens the look of the cabinets and makes the grain more obvious.
Option 2: Natural stone countertop
Marble and granite slabs are the most popular natural stone materials used as kitchen countertops. These make any kitchen look expensive and elegant.
We’re not going to hide the fact that natural stone countertops are expensive and costly to install, but these are worthy investments because the material is long-lasting and can increase the value of the entire house.
Moreover, natural stone benchtops are firm and heat-resistant, but high-maintenance. Recoating the surface of the countertop periodically is needed to keep it smooth and beautiful.
These come in a variety of patterns and colours as well. It’s best to consult your designer to make sure your cabinets and benchtop suit each other. Here’s a black granite kitchen countertop paired with grey cabinetry.
Option 3: Concrete benchtop
Concrete countertops are trending. These offer design flexibility. You can:
- Customise the colour of the countertop. Your choice of colours are endless thanks to powdered and liquid pigments mixed with concrete.
- Mould the concrete to achieve a desired finish. Some homeowners like a woodgrain effect. Others like the vein and mottle effect which mimics the look of natural stone.
- Give your countertop a luxurious edge design using prefabricated moulds. This one is perfect for renovating classic or traditional style kitchens.
- Incorporate drainboards so the water slides directly to the sink. Add trivets to protect the surface from hot pots and pans too.
- Add aggregates such as tiny stones, glass and tile fragments on the concrete mix to make the end product more visually appealing.
- Lay pebbles, coloured rocks, shells, coins and mosaic tiles to enhance the countertop’s appearance.
- Integrate the sink into the concrete benchtop using a mould.
There are a lot of things that you can do when you choose a concrete benchtop. You can make one that’s truly unique to your kitchen.
Concrete countertops are also very sturdy, durable, heat-resistant and low-maintenance. All you need to do is apply a sealant or coating to smoothen its surface and make it suitable for cooking.
Option 4: Quartz
Engineered Quartz countertops are one of the most popular and most sought-after kitchen benchtop materials. This is the best alternative to natural stone countertops. It’s more expensive but more luxurious and durable.
Option 5: butcher block or wooden benchtops
Do you want to create a cosy and warm atmosphere in your kitchen? A wooden benchtop should be at the top of your list.
Unlike real marble and granite, butcher blocks are very affordable. The price depends on the type of wood, the thickness of the benchtop and the finish of the material.
Wooden countertops are easy to install, maintain and repair. All you need to do is seal the surface annually. You’ll need to sand the surface to remove the scratches and stains, then refinish the countertops using oil. With proper maintenance and repair, ageing butcher blocks will look good as new and will stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
Here at Superdraft, we help our clients make sound and smart design decisions for their project. Not sure which kitchen benchtop is right for you? Our design consultants can help you choose.