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Tips on choosing the right benchtop for your home

Posted 11 February 2019

Choosing benchtops for your new kitchen is an exciting stage in your home building or renovation journey. There are many factors to consider when making your selection. From finishes, colours, lifestyle and thickness, there are many elements to think about. The Style Studio by Summit shares their top tips when it comes to making your choice

1. How do you use the kitchen?

Who will be using the benchtop space and how will it be used? You want it to be able to withstand the impacts of day to day living. If your young children will use the benchtop for playing/drawing you need to ensure it is easy to clean!

2. What is your style?

Certain benchtop materials suit different styles. From classic styles such as the Hamptons, to a strong alignment of veins decors, to concrete tones for an industrial or inner urban look, to a fresh white or light grey for an architectural look, there are some many styles to play with.

3. How much cooking do you do?

Think about how much cooking you do and the items you use. For example, picking a white benchtop might not be the best option if you tend to use lots of spices. Laminate benchtops are a great choice for ‘secondary’ spaces, such as butler’s benchtops, laundries or areas that require high wear and they look good. 

4. Do you want a seamless look?

If your sink is situated at the back section of your benchtop, consider using laminate for your splashback to create a seamless look.  However, if you are installing a cooktop in the back section, the perfect choice is Essastone for a seamless connection between the benchtop to the splashback. It’s an even better choice if you are going for a veined décor look, as you will get a stunning elongation of the vein.

5. What benchtop thickness do you want?

Laminate benchtops don’t have to be chunky, a simple streamlined version is possible. When it comes to Essastone the options are immense and range from 20mm, to a shark nose detail for a super streamlined look or for a more industrial commercial look an 80 or 100mm face can be created. A benchtop is more than just a horizontal surface – they can be a striking feature, or a subtle supporting element to beautiful cabinetry. 

6. What are the key features of your space?

Consider the key features of your kitchen before choosing your benchtop, as some styles have elements that are core to the design. For example, when it comes to a classic look, the key feature is a profiled door, which are more expensive. This can affect budget and might mean something else in the kitchen has to be altered. There is a great range in laminates that can replicate a stone look extremely well. Don’t think of this as a compromise. By using a laminate, you are still able to achieve the perfect style you are after.

7. How much light does your kitchen get?

Check the benchtop décor in the early morning, middle of the day and at night to ensure you can assess the colours before you make your choice. By seeing the colour at night, you can see it at it darkest level, which is crucial to ensure you will always feel comfortable with your decision.

8. Finishes

Gloss, matte, natural and honed. Consider how you will use the space. Think about finger prints, the texture and materiality of the other elements of the kitchen. Texture is key to create interest to a space.

9. Your sink

Would you prefer a butler’s or undermount sink? Your sink choice dictates the style of your benchtop. An undermount sink has to have a stone top, not laminate.

10. Colours

Warmer tones are on-trend, while whites are a little softer with the vein details that pick up small contrasts of golds. Coppers are great to support the popular red based timbers. Greys continue to be popular with a warmer base, while the popularity of concretes continue. If you don’t like heavy tones, a softer vein detail is a great choice.

While trends are great to follow, it pays to ensure your choices reflect your personal space, as choosing a benchtop is an integral part of your kitchen and is not something you can change easily so make sure it reflects your personality, your requirements and all the other key elements in your home.  

*Thank you to Laminex Australia for your design, style and inspiration tips for this blog.


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