A crucial decision when remodelling your kitchen is the choice of benchtop material. Engineered quartz, timber, stone—each comes with its own character and feel. Here are some essential points to help you make a final choice for your kitchen benchtop.
With its organic textures and blends, natural stone beings the beauty of the universe into the kitchen. Popular choices include granite and marble. Both are available in a range of textures and colours, including milky creams, grainy tans and rich blacks, so you should have no trouble finding a shade you love. Because these substances evolve across eons, no two slabs are precisely the same, and this natural variation provides choice. Bear this in mind, though, when choosing your counter, and view your particular stone in person.
Being porous, rock does require care and attention. If you spill drink or food, particularly acidic ones, wipe up immediately to prevent it soaking into the surface and leaving a stain. Granite is the less porous of the two. Regular sealing is a must to keep natural stone looking its best.
The textured graininess of timber brings a warm ambience into the kitchen. Woods vary greatly in colours, and staining further changes the surface hue. Choose from creamy blonde or honey brown blackbutt, or pink or straw toned mountain ash. Dark chocolate browns or deep reds are among the diverse range of colours within different hardwoods.
This variety allows you to coordinate timber with many decors. Light-toned wood enhances Scandinavian kitchens, and warmer amber shades complement country styles. Whether your kitchen is industrial, rustic or contemporary, you should be able to find a suitable benchtop.
Like natural stone, wood requires some care while you're cooking and preparing food. Make sure to use trivets for hot pots and pans; otherwise, you risk scorching your benchtop. Regular sealing will help to protect the surface from staining, but it's best to wipe spills as they happen. With age, wood can develop an attractive character and patina. If you want to start again, however, you can always sand it down to reveal a new surface underneath.
Engineered stone is a hybrid material, consisting of crushed rock, often quartz, mixed with resin polymers. While these benchtops look like natural stone, they're non-porous and unlikely to stain. They benefit from the beauty of organic hues within the rock and the science and strength within the bonding materials.
Because manufacturers mix and match the stone pieces to create specific popular styles, these surfaces are more consistent than ones that originate purely from nature. So if you have multiple benchtops, you can more easily create coherence across all surfaces with engineered stone.
Because of their increased resilience, you don't need to be as concerned about spills as you do with natural stone kitchen benchtops. Also, any chips can undergo repair to look like new.