Kitchens have always been an important hub of the house, and a large and expensive part of any kitchen is the benchtops. If you are renovating or building a new house make sure you take your time to explore the great range of benchtops on offer. It is crucial you choose the benchtop that suits your lifestyle. Here are our top five benchtops, all practical and are gorgeous wrapped into one:
1. Engineered Stone
What is there not to love about “Engineered Stone”, no sealing is needed, it is extremely hard wearing and long lasting without the huge price tag. Popular brands like Caesarstone, Smartstone and Essa Stone are always adding new colours/designs to their range. If you love Marble but don’t like the price or the vulnerability of marble, get the same look in engineered stone – it’s gorgeous, and won’t let you down.
Have you always thought metal kitchen benchtops were only good for commercial kitchens? Hello and welcome to the new industrial trend, more and more metal benchtops are being installed in residential kitchens, and they look fabulous especially when teamed with wood. There are lots of pluses in having a metal kitchen bench top: they are durable, stain proof, and hygienic. Fingerprints and scratches might drive you a little crazy but if you are dead keen on having that industrial look kitchen go with brushed steel – much more resistant to scratches.
Wood benchtops can look amazing but professionals advise customers to do their research carefully when comparing the many varieties. It is important to know the strength and durability of the wood (so, don’t just chose a particular wood by its colour alone). Soft woods are prone to damage with dents and scratches, (though scratches can be sanded out). Costs for timber bench tops do vary greatly – again do your homework. Bunnings and IKEA offer pre-finished composite timber benches and don’t forget Bamboo which is hard and tough and comes highly recommended.
The most interesting thing about having a concrete benchtop is you can create virutally any shape and there is an endless choice of colours and elements that can be added. Concrete goes beautifully with anything industrial although the lack of thickness and limited overhang can be a bit of challenge to work with. Installing a weighty concrete bench is not for the faint hearted – you will need experienced tradesperson to carry out the work.
Last but not least we have Laminex. Good old Laminex has been around forever. Years ago the only decision you needed to make when designing your new kitchen benchtop was ‘which colour’! The product has come a long way since then. Laminex offers a bigger range than ever before. The latest range of Laminex mimics colours, styles and some of the durability of Engineered Stone and at times it is hard to tell the difference. If your budget is tight you should seriously consider Laminex, it looks great and is very economical.