Complete Kitchens

Kitchen Benchtop | Options & Designs

In an Aussie kitchen, the benchtop is more than just a surface – it’s an opportunity to make a statement, it’s where functionality meets style. Your benchtop is the canvas that brings your kitchen design together. The choices in material, colour, and finish don’t just define your unique style but also integrate into your daily routine. Hence, it’s important to weight durability and maintenance alongside aesthetics to find the perfect fit.

 

New Engineered Stone ( Zero Crystalline Silica)

 

With the ban on traditional engineered stone starting 1st July 2024, we are thrilled to introduce Zero Crystalline Silica Reconstituted Stone. 

Renowned brands like Stone Ambassador, Quantum Quartzite, Caesarstone are leading the way with their new ranges, providing homeowners with a plethora of choices to suit their kitchen renovation needs. These innovative products come with only a minor increase in pricing compared to their previous engineered stone products, with numerous benefits that almost ensure they will continue to dominate the Australian Market:  

Safety and Health: Significantly reduce health risks to workers by limiting crystalline silica content to less than 1%. 

Durability: Maintains same durability as traditional engineered stone including high resistance to cracks, chips, scratches, and stains. 

Variety: Offered in a broad spectrum of colours and finishes, with most of the previous product ranges still available.

Sustainability: Many of these new surfaces incorporate recycled materials, making them an environmentally friendly option. 

Visit our Oakleigh South showroom to see the brand new Reconstituted Stone Stone displays. Speak to our showroom consultants about the new colours, available samples, and more details about the products.  

Corian (Solid Surface)

Corian, an acrylic solid surface product, can be used similarly to engineered stone, catering to all types of kitchen designs. The durability and hygiene of Corian benchtops make them a reliable choice. 

These benchtops can be installed with seamless joins and moulded to include sinks and splashback, giving your kitchen a flawless, integrated aesthetic. They can be shaped to achieve curved and unique designs.

Additionally, Corian benchtops are renewable and repairable, ensuring a long-lasting investment. They will never permanently stain, any blemishes or scratches can be removed.

Having established its presence in both the commercial market and mid-to-high-end residential kitchens for a long time, Corian stand as a time-tested product.

Corian is also great for challenging sites like apartments, where delivering a stone slab could pose difficulties. The technicians can join the pieces on site without visible joins. 

We confidently recommend it as the premier alternative to engineered stone for kitchen benchtop surfaces, surpassing other existing options on the market.

Learn More about Corian

Granite & Marble (Natural Stone)

Granite and marble, as natural stones, provide a timeless and luxurious look that will add long-term value to your kitchen. However, they are both costly and requires ongoing care.

In terms of lifespan, granite will typically outlast marble since it’s harder, less porous, and more durable, while marble is considered the softer and more porous stone. Unlike granite, marble is not heat resistant and can stain easily. Both granite and marble require regular sealing to prevent staining, usually once a year for granite but twice a year for marble.

If you opt for the unique beauty of the natural stone, we recommend using granite for Kitchen benchtops since there is a lot of foot traffic in the kitchen space. Marble, on the other hand, can be used for bathroom vanities. 

 

Learn more about Natural Stone

Laminate Benchtops (HPL)

If your primary focus is on budget considerations and a quick turnaround, laminate benchtops emerge as a practical and cost-effective choice that has stood the test of time.

The Laminate benchtops we sourced from Polytec and other premier suppliers, present a diverse range of designs, from solid colours to natural looking timber grain and stone patterns. The High-pressure Laminate used in these benchtops is non-porous, so there is no risk of staining, but it’s not heat- resistance and can be susceptible to scratching. 

Unlike stone materials, which require weeks for manufacturing, laminate benchtops can be installed together with the cabinetry, potentially saving you valuable time during your kitchen renovation project.

 

Porcelain & Sintered Stone  

Porcelain and sintered stone are made from natural minerals using a high-heat compression process, mimicking a technique that takes thousands of years in nature, which may lead to natural faults. Known for their durability and low porosity, these surfaces resist liquid absorption, scratches, stains, and high temperatures.

However, sintered surfaces can chip, particularly along edges, when exposed to heavy impacts or sharp objects. It’s important to handle substantial utensils carefully and avoid dropping hard objects to prevent chips. Additionally, these surfaces may crack under extreme conditions, such as sudden, significant temperature changes.

Popular brands of sintered surface products in the Australian Market include Neolith, Dekton, Lapitech and Smart Stone’s Sintered Stone range. It’s important to note that many sintered surface suppliers or manufacturers may not offer warranties to address potential chipping or cracking issues.

Stainless Steel

 

Durable, sleek, and maintaining impeccable hygiene standards, stainless steel benchtops are a mainstay in professional kitchens.

These benchtops are super easy to clean and will withstand a lot of abuse even in the face of heavy-duty cooking tasks. However, it’s important to bear in mind that, while stainless steel surfaces are tough, they are susceptible to scratches over time. Therefore, it’s advisable not to expect that perfect brushed finish to remain unblemished for long.

Given their durability, ease of maintenance, and ability to withstand the demands of professional cooking environments, we highly recommend opting for stainless steel benchtops in commercial kitchens or for professional cooks.

 

Timber 

 

Timber can add warmth, texture and an organic feel to the kitchen space. Hardwoods such as oak, walnut and beech are popular as they are strong and durable. However, if low maintenance is a priority for your benchtops, timber may not be the most suitable choice for you.

Timber benchtops are more vulnerable to scratches, dents, chipping and staining, or burning with hot objects. Additionally, due to its slight porous nature, it’s not quite as hygienic as other materials and it needs to be regularly resealed to maintain surface quality. In practical kitchen design, it’s important to assess your needs when opting for timber.

 

Kitchen Benchtop Design

 

Choosing the right material for your kitchen benchtop is essential to suit your lifestyle and budget. However, several other factors also play an important role in designing a benchtop that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Here are some key considerations: 

Colour and Finish: Select colours and finishes that complement your kitchen’s overall design. Generally, light  colours can make a space feel larger, while darker shades add a touch of elegance. Depending on your cabinetry design, you can either make the benchtop “disappear” to keep the colour scheme subtle and allow the cabinetry to stand out, or use the benchtop as a statement piece to become the focal point of your kitchen space.

Edge Profiles: Different edge profiles, such as bullnose, bevelled, or waterfall edges, can significantly enhance the style and safety of your benchtop. Each profile offers a unique look and feel, contributing to the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.

Design Features: Incorporating features like curved shapes, shadowline details and integrated sinks can add a unique touch to your kitchen. These design elements are especially impactful when applied to a kitchen island, making it a centerpiece of your space.

Functionality: Ensure the benchtop design includes ample workspace and considers the placement of appliances and storage for optimal kitchen workflow. This helps create an efficient and practical kitchen layout, allowing for smooth and easy cooking and preparation processes.

 

Design your Kitchen with CK

 

For more inspiration and to see a variety of cabinetry finishes or benchtop options, visit our Oakleigh South showroom. Our expert showroom consultants are ready to introduce you to our products and guide you through our  Kitchen Design & Costing process. Start your kitchen renovation journey stress-free!   

 

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