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Our quick guide to benchtop options for your next renovation

Choosing the right benchtop is an important part of a new build or renovation. Not only is the benchtop a key part of the aesthetics, but choosing the wrong material can cause frustration and problems later on. This guide explains our most popular benchtop materials so that you can make the best choice for your home:

1 | Laminate $

Laminate is cheap and easy to install, making it the perfect product if you are on a tight budget. Like laminate cabinetry, it is a printed sheet bonded onto a substrate. Laminate benchtops are easy to keep clean and are stain-resistant, however, they can scratch easily, will swell if water gets under the top layer and will scorch if hot products are placed on top. Laminate comes in a huge range of colours, prints and finishes, to imitate many different stones, timbers, concrete and more.

2 | Solid Timber $$-$$$

Timber is a great product for benchtops due to it's ability to be sanded back and refinished when needed. It will need to be finished with a food safe oil or polyurethane to protect it as much as possible from scratches. It is also an environmentally friendly option, as long as it is from a FSC, PEFC or AFS accredited forest. While the cost of the benchtop will depend on what type of timber is selected, they are generally cheaper than stone benchtops, but more expensive than laminate.

3 | Reconstituted Stone $$-$$$

Reconstituted stone has always been the most popular benchtop product that we've used. However, with the recent issues with silica coming to light, I am seeing a lot of people start to steer away from this product. Luckily, many reconstituted stone suppliers have low silica options in the work and the product is still safe to use if the installers take the required precautions. Reconstituted stone has been so popular due to it's great qualities - being highly resistant to stains and scratches. It also comes in a huge range of colours and patterns, including many that imitate natural stone and concrete at a fraction of the cost.

4 | Natural Stone $$$ - $$$$

Natural Stone is a lovely luxurious product for benchtops, but it does comes with a very high price tag. There are many different types of stones available, from granite to marble, and they will all vary on colour, pattern, cost and durability. As no two slabs are the same, you will need to go into a manufacturer's showroom to select the exact slabs that you would like to use. It's important to consider that natural stone is a naturally porous material and will require to be sealed before it can be used. You will also need to maintain it and pay attention to the type of cleaners that are recommended for the particular type of natural stone you have selected.

5 | Porcelain panels $$$ - $$$$

Porcelain is quickly becoming a favourite for benchtops due to their fantastic properties. Porcelain is incredibly strong, durable, non-porous and is scratch, heat and moisture resistant, which makes it perfect for a kitchen. Porcelain panels come in a huge range of colours and patterns such as marble, other natural stones, concrete, terrazzo and even timber. However, porcelain does come with a high price tag, often similar to natural stone.

6 | Solid Surface $$$ - $$$$

Solid surface is an acrylic resin with a filler of alumina. Solid surface benchtops are able to be made in any shape making it easy to create curves or integrate a sink right into the benchtop. They are also able to create long runs of benchtop with no visible joins. Solid surface is non-porous, hard-wearing, easy to clean, and easy to repair chips and scorching. They come in a range of colours and patterns, including many that imitate natural stone, terrazzo and concrete. However, solid surface can also be quite expensive.

I hope this guide has been helpful! If you want to find out more about how we can help you with your project, get in contact with us below:

Have a wonderful week!

Nina xx

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