Our kitchens are probably the busiest rooms in our homes. In some houses, it includes the dining area, making it a centerpiece. We advise homeowners to get ready for some disruptions when renovating a kitchen. One of the best areas to renovate is the benchtop or worktop. Being the hardest surface in the cooking area, the benchtop must be chosen carefully. A lot of activities happen here including cutting, chopping, cleaning, mixing, and eating sometimes. So a lot of things must come into consideration when choosing one.
Today, benchtops come in many designs and materials to match different kitchen styles. We can never run out of options when choosing the right combination of style and function. We want to help you make the right decision by listing down various factors to put into account.
The appearance of a benchtop- color and finish- should be in harmony with the rest of the kitchen appliances and surfaces. The color schemes of the cupboards, flooring, and walls must coordinate. A hardwearing benchtop maintains the good looks for longer. But with common wear and tear; stains and minor scratches, the appearance is bound to fade away sooner than expected.
Since hygiene is paramount in a kitchen, a good benchtop should be easy to clean. Some materials are known for reacting negatively to cleaning products. It is good to avoid those that easily scratch since they end up harboring dirt and grime, making our work harder during cleaning.
Stone materials and laminates are some of the most affordable and practical benchtop choices. They are available in various colors and styles. While the laminate is easy to clean, we must be careful not to introduce excess heat and scratches. Acrylics are very functional, easy to maintain, but can get damaged easily by heat and rough items. Their ease of installation is a huge plus and repair is not complicated.
We recommend stone benchtops for durability. They hardly get damaged by scratches or heat. The granite is an attractive design and quite affordable. However, it requires special installation and regular sealing. For homeowners who love luxurious surfaces, marble would be a great benchtop material. While its maintenance is a breeze, it has to be sealed and must be protected from stains. Marble is also prone to cracking and chipping and must be installed by an experienced builder.
Another affordable material for a benchtop is stainless steel. It is common in commercial kitchens and contemporary homes. Stainless steel is extremely durable, easy to clean, and cannot be damaged by heat. We must take caution not to scratch and make use of special cleaners.
Wooden benchtops provide the most natural look in a kitchen. Sealing is a must to avoid damage by scratches, stains, and heat. For an industrial look, a concrete benchtop would be a good alternative. The durable surface must be sealed to keep it safe from stains and heat. The only downside is that concrete can easily chip and sustain dents.
Porcelain is a lightweight material that doesn’t require sealing. It is available in different sizes and versatile enough to match with outdoor areas, flooring, and furniture. We have found porcelain to be resistant to heat and stain. It performs excellently in terms of cutting and abrasion resistance.
- Examine a wide range of material and make sure that what is advertised online matches your expectation
- Inquire about the warranty
- Follow to the letter the care and maintenance guidelines by the manufacturer
- Settle for a type of sink that works well with any benchtop materials
- Choose wisely the cleaning products to avoid stripping the color and polish
- Have an accredited specialist to install the benchtop
- Never put hot cookware directly on the benchtop
- Stains and spills must not stay overnight
- Slicing foods directly on the worktop is wrong- use a chopping board
The appearance, material, function, and cost are vital aspects to consider when choosing a new benchtop. The functionality is the number one priority since the benchtop is where we do all the work. Big families need hard-wearing materials that are easy to maintain especially where the kitchen-diner is present. With a wide range of benchtops to pick from, we will be glad to advise you on the best design for your kitchen.