Modern Kitchen Design Ideas – 5 Kitchen Benchtops

January 01, 2020 | Custom Kitchens

Why It’s Important to Have the Right Kitchen Benchtop

You could be excused for thinking that a kitchen benchtop or countertop is simply a mundane work surface in the kitchen, however the overall impact of a kitchen benchtop on your kitchen design can’t be over-stated. A kitchen benchtop is perhaps the most defining feature in the kitchen design and contributes to the “personality” you’re trying to create. In addition, the right kitchen benchtop provides functionality in your kitchen. Practically, the kitchen benchtops are your preparation area for meals and the place to keep everything you need within easy reach while working in the kitchen. Fortunately, through advances in engineering and technology, there are several options when choosing your ideal kitchen benchtop, especially if yours is a modern kitchen design. 

For Modern Kitchen Design Ideas check out these 5 Kitchen Benchtop options.

Stone

Far and away the most popular choice for kitchen benchtops is stone, or, more correctly, engineered or composite stone. Once a product that was considered “exclusive”, there is now a vast range of modern engineered stones, offered by companies whose names are instantly recognisable such as Caesarstone, Smart Stone, Silestone and Essastone. Over recent years the use of engineered stone products has proliferated to the point where this product is very competitively priced for many kitchen renovators/ kitchen renovation. 

While not impervious to stains or damage caused by impact, modern stone benchtops are durable, long-lasting and colour-fast (provided they are installed out of direct sunlight). They are easy to clean and generally come in 20mm thickness, although stone benchtops up to 100mm thickness are increasingly common. This is a great modern kitchen design ideas.

Laminate

Laminate benchtops have long been considered a “budget” alternative to stone or granite. While laminated, post-formed benchtops are considerably cheaper than some of the alternatives, the range of colours, finishes and styles makes them a firm favourite with many kitchen renovators.  

Laminated benchtops have undergone somewhat of a renaissance due to their durability, price and range. When choosing a laminated benchtop it’s worth keeping in mind that the laminated surface is not resistant to very high temperatures and cannot be used as a cutting board as it will scratch. 

Modern laminates that closely resemble the look of marble are particularly popular, at a fraction of the cost of genuine marble. 

Granite

There remains a market for granite benchtops, despite the comparatively high price associated with using a natural stone product. Granite comes from a crystalized form of hot liquid magma, making it one of the hardest 100% natural stones. Granite boats high durability, heat and scratch resistance, and is aesthetically pleasing. 

Properly maintained, the life of a granite kitchen benchtop is considerable, making it a long- term investment in the value of your home. Granite kitchen benchtops require daily cleaning, preferably with soap and water or a mild household cleanser. Since granite is a natural stone, it is porous, meaning it is susceptible to staining. Granite benchtops are usually sealed at installation stage to mitigate the risk of staining.  

Porcelain

Porcelain benchtops are a relatively new product that has increased in popularity, particularly in Europe. The main reasons renovators may choose porcelain are its resistance to stains (due to low porosity), and its thickness. Porcelain benchtops are typically less than half the thickness of comparable benchtop materials, with the thinnest profile currently available being just 6mm. 

If you’re looking for a sleek, slimline benchtop in a modern kitchen design you may consider porcelain, however its long-term durability, popularity and affordability is yet to be thoroughly tested. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel combines elegant beauty with outstanding practical benefits for the kitchen. It has a non-porous surface which means it’s resistant to water, heat, and stains. If you’re aiming for a bacteria-free countertop, then stainless steel may be a suitable choice for you.  

On top of these benefits, a custom-made stainless steel countertop provides a distinctive feel that conforms to a modern kitchen design. It is highly durable, resilient, and can be aesthetically appealing in the right setting. You can choose from finishes such as satin, mirror polish, brushed metal, and antique matte.  This is also a good option for small kitchens.

The drawback of having a stainless steel countertop is it can get dented and scratched over time, severely diminishing its’ appearance. There’s a reason stainless steel is often the choice in commercial kitchens…its’ durability and ease of cleaning make it the obvious choice. In a residential situation stainless steel is not often chosen as it looks very industrial and it can come at a premium price. 

Other Options

There are several other products available such as solid timber, ceramic tiles and polished concrete. Each of these have their place in the market, however these alternatives generally lack broad market appeal for various reasons.

When choosing a benchtop material, consider the look you require, while not forgetting durability, ease of cleaning, hygeine….and of course, your budget. Budget is very essential so it is best to do a bit of consultation from kitchen experts or find out things to know before doing a kitchen renovation. It’s advisable to seek the help of a professional kitchen designer such as Imperial Kitchens when choosing your new kitchen benchtop so you can achieve a Modern Kitchen Design.

Contact us now to receive your free kitchen design appointment.

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