27 July 2016

Countertops and benchtops are one of the most significant decisions that homeowners have to make when renovating their kitchens. With so many options available, choosing the right benchtop becomes quite a challenge. Whatever the decision, it all comes down to functionality and style.

Kitchen benchtops are made of different materials. As such, they have different aesthetic and functional benefits. To help make the decision of choosing the right benchtop easier, we delve into the different benchtop materials that are trending and why you should or should not choose them.

Timber

Timber countertop

Timber has long been used as a benchtop material by homeowners who want to achieve a rustic, country feel in their kitchens. It also offers natural warmth that’s impossible to find in other benchtop materials. Timber can also be used for breakfast bars and looks good if used consistently with marble.

It however has its drawbacks. For instance, timber requires frequent sealing as it is susceptible to staining. It also scratches easily. Compared to other materials, timber is very soft. This means that it wears faster than other materials. While this can be an advantage for those who want their kitchens to have character, it can also be painful if your goal is to have a smooth benchtop.

Stainless steel

The increased popularity of home chefs has necessitated the increased use of stainless steel in residential kitchens for benchtops. This arises from the need to make residential kitchens have a similar look to that of commercial kitchens. The main upside of this material is that it is resistant to wear and tear. In addition, it requires minimal maintenance. On the downside, stainless steel makes kitchens look a little cold and therefore uninviting.

Natural stone

Natural stones vary in terms of texture, color and even pattern makes it very essential for creating a truly unique kitchen space. Granite and marble are the most common natural stones used for benchtops.

• Granite

Stone benchtops are a great option, particularly if yours is made of granite. It is one of the best materials that can be relied on to give character to a kitchen. Moreover, it is durable and long-lasting. Like every other natural stone, granite requires regular maintenance to continue serving your needs for years. Granite is also a cost effective alternative to expensive engineered stones and synthetic solid benchtops.

• Marble

Marble is a great option for those who want to give their kitchens a luxurious and soft appeal. There’s a catch though. It requires extra care and maintenance if used as benchtops in the kitchen. This is because it’s softer compared to other natural stones. This makes it susceptible to cracking, staining and scratching. You may have to consider the cost of maintaining it when choosing a material for your kitchen benchtop.

Engineered stone

This is a good option if you are looking for a material that’s not only solid, but also low maintenance. Being non-porous, scratch-resistant and waterproof makes it effective for use in a kitchen space. However, it’s more expensive than most of the other benchtop materials already discussed. Given its advantages, the cost is well worth it.