Popular Benchtop Materials and their Pros and Cons

May 4, 2023

If you are looking to update your kitchen, an affordable way to do it is by simply installing a new benchtop. It will revitalise a tired room and won’t break the bank. Indeed a stylish benchtop is the first thing that will catch a person’s eye when they walk into a kitchen.

With many benchtop options on offer, selecting one can be a daunting task. Fortunately, I am here to offer some expert advice as to what you should consider. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages and it's important to factor in your lifestyle, budget, and preferences when choosing.

Here is a little guide to get you started…


Image - CDK Stone

Pros: Elegant, durable, heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and available in a range of colours and patterns. It is preferable to choose your exact slab for your project. Granite is costly but sculptured slabs of natural granite give the appearance of museum quality artwork in your kitchen

Cons: Expensive, requires regular sealing, and can be difficult to repair if damaged.


Image - CDK Stone

Pros: Elegant, heat-resistant, and luxurious. A marble benchtop will add value to your home. It is also smooth and cool to the touch - which makes it a traditional favourite for rolling dough and pastries, especially amongst people with Italian and Greek heritage.

Cons: Marble can be high maintenance. It is porous, prone to scratches and staining (lemons, red wine and tomatoes are its enemy), and it requires regular maintenance and sealing. In addition, it has a luxury price tag to match its luxury reputation.

Engineered Stone

Image - Ferrari Interiors (see the whole project here)

Pros: Non-porous, stain-resistant, low maintenance, available in a wide range of colours and patterns, and durable.

Cons: Can be sensitive to heat, and is controversial at the moment with SafeWork Australia currently investigating if it should be banned due to silica dust particles damaging the lungs of people who cut and install it. (Please note, it is safe to use once it is installed).


Image - Laminex Australia

Pros: Laminate is having a resurgence thanks both to the cyclical nature of fashion (hello 80s & 90s styles) and of course due to the fun you can have with it. You can choose from a huge and diverse range of colours, patterns and textures ranging from satin smooth to pebbled, to textured matt and high gloss. It is also easy to clean and is relatively low cost.

Cons: Prone to scratches, less durable than other materials, and can be damaged by heat.


Image - Nullabor Timber

Pros: Timber is one of the most sustainable products that can be used in the home. Its organic, textured, warm and natural appearance gives immediate appeal to your home. Should damage occur, it is relatively easily restored with a sand-back and a reseal.

Cons: Requires regular maintenance, susceptible to scratches and water damage and is less hygienic than other materials.

Stainless Steel

Image via Ferrari Interiors Pinterest Page

Pros: Durable, heat-resistant, easy to clean, and resistant to stains and bacteria. As it is hygienic, it is a material extremely popular with chefs. In addition, sink bowls can be welded into the bench top creating a seamless finish.

Cons: Prone to scratches and dents and it will show up smudges. It can be noisy.

A final note..

When updating your kitchen benchtop, you could also consider updating your splashback, cupboard handles and potentially recolouring your cupboard doors. If your kitchen is perfectly functional, these are all effective ways to rejuvenate the space without the hefty price tag of a complete overhaul.

If you are finding all this information a little overwhelming, fret not, that’s why interior designers exist. Please feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to discuss your project's needs.

B x

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