Kitchen Benchtops: Types, Pros and Cons
Kitchen benchtops are truly your kitchen style ID. There’s so much you can do about your aesthetical expression and functionality of your kitchen with a perfectly suitable kitchen benchtop. On the other side, the “collateral” damage of being used as one of the most heavily exploited surfaces in your kitchen, is an unparalleled abundance of choices in this field. Being confronted with so many eye-catching kitchen benchtop types can be a source of joy for you and your loved ones, but also the very reason for frustration and huge disappointments. With a specific kitchen benchtop you’re actually setting up a tone of the entire structure and feeling of your kitchen. The more you know about kitchen benchtops, the more likely they’ll literally glow, in your kitchen. Without any exaggeration we can say that a kitchen benchtop is the most important “crossroad”, where your aesthetic plans, expectations, functionality requirements, and budget, all meet together.
Here the main kitchen benchtop types, with all of their pros and cons to help you make the right choice:
Laminate Kitchen Benchtops
Although, being the cheapest and most widely used available option for your kitchen benchtop, this material still has so much to offer.
- Affordable price, much cheaper compared to materials, such as engineered or natural stones
- Easy to customize according to your needs
- You don’t have to use special chemicals for maintenance and cleaning
- You don’t have to worry about harbouring of unwanted “guests” on its surface, such as bacteria, mildew, mould, or other most common microorganisms
- Not as durable compared to other kitchen benchtop materials, such as engineered or natural stones
- Inappropriate maintenance or cleaning can damage or cause marks on its surface
- Unattractive look once it gets old or damaged
- Easy to damage, scratch, or cut
- Poor heat resistance and high possibility to leave burning marks
Quartz Kitchen Benchtops
This is undoubtedly one of the top quality materials, you can possibly use for your kitchen benchtop. Here are its pros and cons:
- Prestigious and eye-catching appearance
- Stain resistance
- Extremely scratch resistant with one of the hardest surfaces, you can find among kitchen benchtops
- Burn, heat, and scorch resistant
- Bacteria and stains resistant
- Can be quite expensive compared to granite and especially laminate kitchen benchtop
- It doesn’t look as attractive as other materials, especially stone
- Long-term sun exposure can have damaging discoloration effects
Granite Kitchen Benchtops
With its almost diamond-hard surface this is an extraordinary material of top quality for your kitchen benchtop.
- Can be more affordable compared to other materials with similar remarkable surface hardness
- Can provide you with a great choice of colours and patterns
- Extremely scratch resistant
- Stain resistant
- Scorch, heat, and burn resistant
- Very expensive, actually one of the most expensive materials used for kitchen benchtops
- Has to be sealed at least once in every two years
- It can absorb liquids and oils
- Can be cracked easily
Marble Kitchen Benchtops
Marble bench tops are much softer compared to granite, but they can very beautiful choice for your kitchen.
- Classic and timeless beauty
- Eye-catching white brightness
- Not likely to be damaged or chipped while cutting on it
- It doesn’t conduct heat
- Top heat resistance
- Widely available
- Very expensive
- More starches and stains can appear on the surface
- Stains can be permanent
Acrylic Kitchen Benchtops
This material is an attractive and less expensive material compared to other stone surfaces used for kitchen tops.
- Very easy to maintain and clean
- They aren’t affected by common chemical household cleaners
- Affordable and quite easy to be installed
- Stain resistant
- Compared to other stones not extremely durable
- Can be scratched easily, which leaves permanent damages
- Not particularly heat resistant
- It doesn’t look very attractive
- Can be chipped or scratched very easily
Those were the most popular material choices for kitchen tops. However, it wouldn’t be unfair not to include concrete and hardwood, as well. Although, being considered as an obsolete material, we’ve to notice that concrete hasn’t lost much of its previous popularity. The biggest drawback, though, responsible for lack of supportive modern kitchen design recommendation is associated with the maintenance issues. Every now and then, you have no other choice, than to seal it in order to fight stains and water-related damages properly. On the other side, kitchen bench tops made of hardwood can be a great choice for professional chefs and enthusiastic cooks.
Honestly speaking, we have to admit that this list of material used for kitchen tops can go on and on. Almost anything you can think of can be used as your new kitchen top. However, you need to make sure that your choice gives you all what you need in your kitchen, it terms of functionality, aesthetic appearance, and durability.
Yet, how can you make sure that a material of your choice can give you all what you’ve expected? Well, there are some important moments for you to consider, such as:
- Costs of materials and installation
- Style and visual appearance
- Cost and time required for proper maintenance
We can say that finding a healthy balance between these elements is the best way for you to be fully satisfied with your kitchen benchtop. However, you should be also aware that your kitchen top is going to be your next best kitchen friend in the next couple of years. This isn’t something you can easily change or replace easily, unless you have no problems with financing your kitchen design a couple of times in a single year. Finally, your kitchen benchtop is your best interior design style statement.