The benchtop is one of the hardest-working surfaces in a kitchen. Plus, its look defines the room's aesthetic. To help you choose wisely during your kitchen renovation, here are several options to consider.
Laminate counters come in a wide array of attractive designs. They can be uniformly coloured in white or charcoal, or they can mimic other materials like stone and timber. Laminate is made through a heat and pressure process that melds together layers of paper, resin and decorative and protective coatings. The decorative paper provides the design of the laminate, so the options are endless. You'll find an appropriate design regardless of your kitchen style. You have the choice of selecting a benchtop with a beautiful marble- or granite-like matte finish. These counters are quite hardy, but be careful to use cutting boards and trivets to prevent scratches and scorch marks.
If you want to add warmth to the room's design, you could opt for a timber benchtop. They can be made of budget-friendly bamboo or an exclusive Australian hardwood such as Jarrah. The beauty of wood complements diverse kitchen styles, including rustic, modern and industrial. However, unlike laminate, which entails virtually no upkeep, timber requires regular finishing with a food-grade oil designed to protect the surface. Wooden kitchen benchtops can scratch, but they may be repairable with sanding that shaves off the damaged top layer.
A striking look that you may love is a stainless steel countertop. They provide a hygienic surface that is heat-resistant and durable. This material can give your kitchen a custom look as the steel can be melded to form a sink, creating a sleek and seamless bench and food prep area. Steel is especially apt in an industrially styled room. It can, however, be installed in other decors and warmed up with wood flooring or shelves.
If you love the appearance of natural stone but don't want to undertake the regular sealing it requires, you might prefer engineered stone instead. These countertops are comprised of crushed stones, such as quartz, mixed with resin to form a non-porous surface. To create different designs, the manufacturers can add diversely coloured stones in varying amounts. So you can pick a subtle, soft grey with little mottling or a bold black with white streaks, depending on what's available. Because of the resin within the counter, it doesn't require sealing as stone does. But it will realistically mimic stone because of the crushed quartz content.
Contact a supplier to learn more about kitchen benchtops.