Whether you consider yourself Nigella Lawson or you just want to give the impression you’re a master chef at work, choosing the right bench top for your kitchen could be the distinction between serious cooks and leisurely chefs.
If you’re blessed with the time to cook a meal every day without fail, then it will bode well to dig a little deeper into your money bank and choose a heat and scratch resistant material as opposed to cheaper ones. However, if the words “I don’t cook” become a regular statement, you may wish to focus on design and style at budget prices.
With a dizzying array of bench tops all with their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, here’s a list of the pros and cons you may want to take into consideration before reaching a final decision.
If you’re a bit of a baker marble is top choice for preparing dough and pastries. Marble possesses similar qualities as granite however, has a risk of staining and is sensitive to acidic foods and cleaning agents.
Durable, scratch, stain and chip resistant. It can withstand high temperatures without causing any damage and is ideal for food preparation.
Hardwood is a favourite among chefs. A timber top creates a traditional look, is strong and long lasting, but is prone to wear and tear, and isn’t particularly heat or scratch resistant.
If you’re looking for something a little flash, quartz surfaces are found in homes, hotels and restaurants across the globe. Renowned for its natural stone look, stone/quartz is long lasting, resilient, hygienic, low maintenance, and is highly scratch, stain, chip and crack resistant.
Extremely stain resistant and relatively heat resistant. It’s available in matte, semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes. Joins are not visible so you get a seamless top and scratches can be buffed out.
Has been around for more than 50 years and is the most traditional and cost-effective of bench tops. It is stain resistant, strong, waterproof, low maintenance, inexpensive and there are plenty of colour options available. It is however susceptible to scratches, cuts and burns. High Pressure Laminate (HPL) like Formica is argueably the number one choice when it comes to bench tops in New Zealand.
Popular for using as bench tops and splash backs, it’s heat resistant, non-porous and hygienic. Easy to clean but reflective in strong sunlight. The availability of patterned surfaces means scratches can be minimised.
Commonly used as splash backs in the kitchen tiles are hard wearing, easy to clean, and heat and moisture resistant. They are generally made from ceramic, porcelain, glass or natural stone. On the other hand tiles are prone to scratches, cracks and chips, and grout can stain.
Is highly resistant to scratches and chemicals and is mould, bacteria and fungi resistant. Its large size, resistance to moisture and durability makes Laminam perfect for wet interior and exterior applications. However, grout can become stained.
Strong, heat and impact resistant, and a popular choice to achieve that contemporary industrial look. Concrete tends to chip easily on the edges and needs to be sealed in order to resist stains and water damage.