It's all Material

Whether you are a serious cook or a light user, the counter top can shape the way you use the kitchen.

Your counter tops are amongst the most hard working elements in your kitchen so it makes sense to choose wisely. 

 

Ask yourself these questions:

How do you use the kitchen?

If you’re a keen entertainer consider the space required for preparing meals and if you have enough space either side of the sink and the cooktop. The ideal amount is between 1200mm and 1500mm for one person. Any more and you are walking too much and any less you will be looking for other area’s to work.


 

 

 

What height suits you?

Set the benchtop at what is most comfortable. The standard is 900mm which links into most freestanding oven heights. The height can vary from 850mm to 1050mm. The height will vary on your height and even phsical things like a bad back. The amount of times you are at the kitchen each day and the amount of entertaining you do.

Consider the varying of the bench heights. Maybe preparation area is higher than the sink area. There are motorsied table lifts now that allow for flexibilty.

Countertop material can also be mixed. Maybe you like the stone look around the kitchen area but timber on the breakfast bar top.

Below are a few options that we do.
Some like concrete and stainless steel we rarely do due to finding trades or the high cost involved.

Listed are the choices based on the lowest cost counter tops to the more expensive

 

 

Option 1: Laminate

Pros:

Laminate available in a wide range of colours and finishes. The edge treatment is a square form, postform, square or timber edge. Many kitchens have had these tops in service for 30 odd years.

Cons:

While laminate is functional and durable it may be more acceptable to damage such as knife cuts, chipping, hot pans and staining. The surface tends to break down over years of scrubbing.

Price:

For an average kitchen about $2000.00

 

Option 2: Timber

Pros:

A true forever natural surface that can look better with age. Can be sanded and rejuvenated when required. Choice of oiling or 2 pack polish designed for stair tread use. Available in satin or high gloss

Cons:

Oiling requires doing every 3 to 4 months and some staining with red wine and beetroot juice will be noticed. Two pack polish should last for 5 years if you use protective cutting boards in high use preparation areas. Try using a good furniture wax polish which repels water. Don’t use furniture oils as they tend to soak into the cracks and look terrible then can’t be sanded out.

Price:

Average kitchen including two pack finish: $3000.00

 

Option 3: Stainless Steel

Pros:

Can take heat and any mess. Red wine and food stains are not a issue. For a industrial look pair with a stainless steel sink. This can be dropped in or welded in for a seamless look.

Cons:

Scratches easily, so wait until the entire surface has the worn look, becomes almost like a brushed stainless steel appearance. Check out your favourite restaurant kitchen for a fore gleam.

Price:

Around $3500 without the integrated sink or splashback

 

Option 4: Solid Surface

Pros:

Made from Acrylic, solid surface comes from Corian, Freestyle, HiMax, Staron and a multitude of other manufacturers. The product is non porous and can be heat formed. Can be formed to make a splashback in same material with a coved edge. Integrated solid surface material make a non join result. Stainless steel is also available as an under-mount.

Cons:

Not as durable as engineered stone or natural stone but scratches can be buffed out by the home owner if not deep. The hardness of surfaces varies from brand to brand, you can ask us or obtain samples and do your own tests.

Price:

Average kitchen $4000. More if the splashback and integrated sink option are taken.

 

Option 5: Engineered stone

Pros:

The combination of Stone (Usually Quartz) and resin creates a surface that’s durable,stain-resistant and low maintenece. There are several thickness at 6.5mm thickness which are used in a overlay situation which are cheaper than the 20 and 30mm thickness. The 40mm is two 20mm doubled up.

The 6.5mm is Trend Granite and Naturastone. The 20 and 30mm is by Qstone, Essa Stone, Caesarstone and Quantum Quartz. There are many other suppliers as the manufacturing process is well known. Once again get samples and check the staining and wear meets your expectations.

Cons:

The colour can look dull against natural stone. The edges are not as glossy as the factory surface finish.

Price:

Average kitchen $6000.00 Splashbacks can also be done in the same material

 

Option 6: Concrete

Pros:

Concrete has a free flowing,organic feel. Offers design flexabilty. Can act as a thermal mass for controlling room temperature.

Cons:

Installation requires careful planning and depending on complexity can drive up price. Chips can be repaired but will be noticeable. Difficult in country area’s to have work performed.

Price: 

$6,000 to $20,000