Kitchen Appliances & Fixtures

Kitchen Benchtop / Countertop Buying Guide









A benchtop is where all the important work happens in the kitchen. So when you're shopping for benchtop material, you need to choose a hardwearing and attractive option. Here we examine the features you need to consider when selecting kitchen benchtop material, and the pros and cons of different types.

FEATURES

Size

For benchtops that are located against a wall, the maximum depth should be approximately 650mm, because if it's any deeper you won't be able to reach across it to clean. This doesn't apply to island benches, where you have access from both sides. When deciding on benchtop length, consider whether one person will generally be preparing, or two people side by side. Of course, benchtop size is also determined both by the size of your kitchen and your budget.

Edges

There are many edging options for benchtops including wood, bevel, bull nose, round nose and half round nose. Your benchtop material usually determines the type of edging you have. If you have young children opt for rounder varieties to avoid nasty bumps on heads.

Splashbacks

Your splashback should protect the wall behind the benchtop, be waterproof and easy to clean. Your options include a continuation of the benchtop, tiles or the most popular - glass.

Cost

Before you go shopping you need to agree on your price limit. As with most renovation material, your budget will largely determine your benchtop material choice.

TYPES OF BENCHTOP MATERIAL

Laminate

Laminate benchtops are a cheap and versatile option. They come in a variety of finishes and looks to suit most décor. Laminate benchtops can be bought from kitchen stores and you can install them yourself (if you're particularly handy).
Pros
Cons

Timber

Timber benchtops are, as their name suggests, made from timber and work well in rustic-style kitchens.
Pros
Cons

Stainless steel

Stainless steel benches were once only found in restaurants and industrial kitchens. Bu the minimalist, contemporary look they create means they're in many private kitchens now, too.
Pros
Cons

Marble

Marble is traditionally a luxurious kitchen benchtop option. However, many companies only recommend its use in bathrooms.
Pros
Cons

Granite

Hard stone option
Pros
Cons

Engineered stone

Engineered stone is new to the market. It's a combination of stone granules, marble dust or glass particles and resin or polyester.
Pros
Cons

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