A Few Pros and Cons of DIY Benchtop Materials

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If you're very handy around the house and have a nice selection of tools, and a friend or two to help, you might consider installing a new kitchen benchtop yourself. Many benchtop materials can be placed right over the kitchen's current benchtop, so that you don't need to tear up old surfaces and remove adhesives.

However, not all benchtop materials are as easy to install as you might assume, and installing them improperly can mean a benchtop that doesn't stay in place, and even damage to the kitchen cabinets. Before you decide on a benchtop material because you assume it's a DIY installation job, note a few pros and cons of your various choices.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel can give a kitchen a somewhat industrial, commercial look, which can be very good in modern homes, and if you like the look of a professional kitchen at home. Steel also provides a tough and durable surface that is impervious to cuts and scratches. One drawback to applying a stainless steel benchtop yourself, however, is that the ends need to bent and folded around the corners of the benchtop properly. If this is not done right, you could have sharp corners and edges that are downright dangerous in the kitchen.


Concrete can be buffed and polished, or stamped and stained so it looks like stone. If you've ever poured concrete before, you may have some skill in being able to use this material for your benchtop. However, concrete does need proper forms to keep it in place while it dries, and the material can become very heavy, so that the cabinets and even the subflooring might crack under its weight. If you're not sure of how to brace up the building materials and keep concrete in place so that it sets properly, this is better left to a professional.


A glass benchtop can be very attractive and also provide a safe, hygienic surface for food prep. The glass can be coloured or it can be clear, so that you can show off the tile or other material under it. Glass is usually attached to a benchtop with connectors along the corner, and not with adhesive along its underside; if you don't attach these connectors properly, the glass might slide out of place, or allow for water to seep under its surface, causing mould and damage to the cabinets. Glass pieces can also be heavier than you realize, so you might risk actually dropping the glass piece during installation if you don't have proper assistance.