Deciding on a kitchen bench is a delicate balance of aesthetics and durability; it’s an element that must look appealing, and last the distance. When considering this addition, write a list of qualities you expect from your bench top in order of priority, for example: a large family may choose affordability and practicality over style. Smarter Kitchens offer bench tops to suit every space and set of requirements; here are five popular finishes in their wide range:
1. Stainless Steel. The hallmark of industrial kitchens, metal surfaces are increasingly popular in homes. Offering a sleek and streamlined look, functionally, stainless is hygienic and easy to maintain, however different shades of metal are easier cleaned than others, and some are more susceptible to scratches. When considering a metal bench top, every element in the kitchen needs to be assessed as stark white walls, for instance, can make metal look stark, sterile and ultimately, uninviting.
2. Natural Stone. Stone bench tops are available in a variety of colours and textures to compliment most kitchen spaces. While an incredibly versatile element, stone surfaces can be difficult to clean, especially natural and light varieties. Stone bench tops need to be sealed and stained for hygienic purposes and require ongoing maintenance. For big families, consider a more durable and treated stone such as quartz and marble-based products as
3. Wood. Timber affords the luxury of various colours and grains, however wood varies in terms of durability. Dependant on the level of which it is treated, wood is a magnet for moisture. Unprotected wood is attracts bacteria and liquid – one drop of wine can transform it from rustic to rusty. Polyurethane coated timber will mitigate stains, however if you are in the market for the raw look, laminate sections that are susceptible to moisture, especially around the sink. Alternatively, try bamboo.
4. Corian and Engineered Stone. These two man made alternatives have become the darlings of kitchen specifiers in the last decade. Their hard wearing and easy clean characteristics have won the hearts of kitchen users all over Australia. The beauty of choosing this material is that you know exactly what you will get. Every slab is the same as the one in the showroom. It does not stain, and a quick clean with some gumption returns it to showroom condition. Being a blend of natural stone and synthetic resin, they have the look of natural stone without the maintenance. Corian has the added advantage that it can be formed into curves and if damaged, can be repaired on site.
5. Marble. No two pieces of marble are the same, making it a striking albeit expensive choice. Marble is extremely heavy, meaning the cabinets underneath may need reinforcing, especially if it’s an older kitchen. Marble is porous and will require sufficient sealing to prevent liquid damage. Cleaning your marble will require a bit of extra love and care with completely natural products, however it’s an investment in your kitchen that will stand the test of time – and will impress your friends for years.
Speak to the professionals at Smarter Kitchens to decide which bench top is best suited to your needs. Discuss your options with an award-winning Designer now on 1300 662 838 or arrange free in-home consultation today.