Sprucing up your favorite spot at home can be as simple as upgrading your kitchen benchtop. However, choosing the best benchtop that will suit your style and budget can be a little daunting.

There are just too many choices. So, we narrow it down with the most consideration on the design appearance, maintenance, and cost. We hope to guide you on making a good decision that will satisfy the designer inside of you and most importantly, the need of your family. After all, they are what makes our kitchen our happy place.

So, whether you are looking for natural stones, wood, or acrylic for your benchtop, it is helpful to know what are the advantages or disadvantages of choosing such. Let’s take a look at the 10 best kitchen benchtop options

 

  • Marble

Marble is made of natural stone that yields a contemporary and modern look in your kitchen. Homeowners choose a marble benchtop because it is beautiful, durable, and timeless. Marble is a popular choice among designers who are going after minimalist designs. Mainly because of its sleek style and sophistication.

It is commonly used as a splashback, benchtops, and flooring. Aside from its elegant look, marble is a suitable material to use in the kitchen because it is naturally heat-resistant. You can place a hot utensil over it without damaging the surface of your benchtop. It is also scratched and stain-resistant.  It is low-maintenance and very easy to clean.

However, using high-acid content in cleaning detergent or supplies is not advisable. This may cause damage to the marble by stripping off the topcoat layer and make it look dull. If you have the budget, marble is one of the best kitchen benchtop options with a cost ranging from $250 – $500 per square meter. 

 

  • Granite

Like marble, granite is also a natural stone. They are acquired by quarrying and then fabricated by manufacturers to be used for benchtops, splashbacks, and floors. Granite is composed of silica between 70% – 77% and other chemical compositions (e.g. alumina, potassium oxide, etc.) while marble mostly consists of Lime.

This Silica appears like tiny granular flecks that give the granite its natural unique colors and patterns that cannot be duplicated compared to engineered stones. Both Marble and granite are heavy solid stones suitable for the kitchen or bathroom.

But since natural stone is porous, granite requires proper treatment or sealing to make it stain-free and durable. It is also less expensive than marble with costs ranging from $80 – $175 per square foot, depending on the style and patterns you like.

 

  • Quartz

Quartz is another best kitchen benchtop option you can consider. It is an engineered stone with a composition of silicon and oxygen. Quartz benchtop is becoming popular among designers and homeowners because of its versatility. It gives you the sophistication of natural stone without ripping off your pocket.

Smartstone, a designer and builder from Australia recommends the use of quartz for kitchen benchtops and other interior design applications because it is relatively less expensive than marble and granite. 

Its durable material can make your benchtops last a very long time. However, it cannot withstand extreme heat compared to natural stone-made benchtops. But when it comes to design, quartz can give you uniformity in pattern because it is man-made and can be duplicated. 

 

  • Porcelain

The popularity of using porcelain for kitchen benchtops has reached ‘down under.’  Porcelain or also called ultra-compact benchtops are made of a combination of materials such as glass, porcelain, and quartz.

This is a fairly unique fabrication that involves mixing of raw materials, powdered clay, and pigments using high temperature and pressure. This process makes a very durable benchtop. It is also heat and stain-resistant making it easy to clean and maintain. The Porcelain benchtop is non-porous, meaning the sealing application is not required, unlike other natural stones.

So, it is economical helping you save some cash for more value-adding features in your kitchen like upgrading some lights or adding a high-tech fixture.  

 

  • Polished Concrete

A Concrete benchtop is an eco-friendly option for your kitchen. It is like a blank canvas waiting for your creativity to pour in. You can opt for a plain polished design or a decorative surface. If you want to make a statement through your benchtop, you can give it a unique appearance by staining the concrete surface.

You can choose from the wide variety of colors available or give it a texture mimicking a natural stone without the price tag. You can set aside a budget ranging from $75- $170 per square foot depending on your desired design. 

 

  • Solid Surface Benchtop

Solid Surface is a high-tech innovation related to the fabrication of kitchen benchtops. It is a synthetic product made up of mixed raw materials such as acrylic and polyester with a combination of other substances like filler and pigment. It is treated under extreme heat and molded into a solid material that can be used for various building applications like benchtops, bathtubs, and sinks.  Corian by Dupont Corporation is the first among solid surface materials ever marketed to be used as benchtops.

Other known brands are Swanstone, Formica, Wilsonart, Hi-Macs, and many more. A solid surface may not be as durable as solid stone or timber; however, it is sturdy enough to take impacts and will also last long depending on how well you take care of it. The downside of using solid surface is that it can be deformed with the heat temperature beyond 212 F.

Though its major advantage is the easy repair-solution caused by natural wear and tear. When scratched, chipped, or broken, the surface can be sanded and glued together without leaving any marks, and still appear seamless. It is still one of the best kitchen benchtop options depending on the style and budget you set.

 

  • Bamboo

Bamboo is naturally attractive when used for benchtops, cabinets, and floors. It has a wood grain that is uniquely its own. It brings warmth and coziness to the kitchen especially when you played it with good lighting. Bamboo is perfect for the kitchen because it is heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and does not absorb moisture.

It maintains its texture without bending, twisting, or any sort of distortion that may cause due to exposure to different temperatures. It is also mold-resistance, so it will last for years and years without touching your savings for repairs or replacement. Suitable for many designs from modern minimalist to cozy rustic approaches it is truly a great choice.

Logan Leigh, an expert in fabricating bamboo benchtops caters to many customers for their desired kitchen fittings and customized bar, office table, and counter made of bamboo. The cost of the material varies from low to high depending on the grade or quality of the bamboo. However, bamboo grows very fast, so the supply will be steady and ultimately, less expensive than hardwood.

 

  • Timber 

Timber benchtop from softwood (e.g., Pine, Cedar, and Redwood) or solid hardwood (e.g., maple, cherry, or mahogany) stands out in aesthetic terms among other benchtop materials making it one of the best kitchen benchtop options. The natural wood grain creates a unique variation of texture for the design that gives a visual appeal of warmth and coziness. Its organic material complements any color scheme you set for your kitchen.

As long as seal application and coating are maintained, the timber benchtop will keep its luxe appearance and durability. However, a timber benchtop is neither heat-resistant nor scratch-resistant. It can likely be stained or chipped over time. 

The good thing is that it can be sanded and refinished to make it like new again. If you are worried about your budget, you can use recycled timber which is a fraction of the cost compared to new timber.

 

  • Laminated Benchtop

A laminated benchtop is becoming increasingly popular for building and renovation purposes. It’s because the laminated benchtop has a wide array of designs, colors, and textures that will suit any style you are planning for your kitchen upgrade.

A laminated benchtop is very affordable compared to natural stones or hardwood. Maybe you want to install a marble for your benchtop but are deterred by the expensive price, then laminated Carara Marble design could be a great design solution and best alternative for you.

Kitchen renovator, Just Benchtops showcases a gallery of benchtops with every different look that will suit your style and fit your budget. It doesn’t require sealing application and is non-porous, so it will not absorb germs and It’s very easy to clean. 

 

  • Stainless Steel

With a lot of health issues going on today, we want to keep our home and our kitchen squeaky clean and free from harmful bacteria. The best kitchen benchtop option for a hygienic solution is the stainless-steel benchtop

With regular cleaning using detergent and water, you can maintain the surface and avoid germs from breeding. Stainless steel can create an industrial style for your kitchen.

Its robust and sturdy look goes beyond its appearance because stainless steel can take the heat and repels rusts and stains, although it may acquire dent or scratch after some time.