Kitchen Benchtop Ideas

As kitchen designers, we have completed countless renovations with a variety of benchtop surfaces. Here we thought we’d give you a simple comparison of the different products available for your next kitchen project //

 

NATURAL PRODUCTS

Marble, Granite or Stone

Natural marble is a high end product with a beautiful, one of a kind finish. Clients can choose a specific slab with a variety of colour and veining options. Depending on the finish, marble can be very expensive and also rare. It is a high maintenance product that is more porous and softer than reconstituted stones and can therefore stain easily. Care must be taken to clean up spills immediately and it is suggested the marble is sealed every 6 months. Granite on the hand is a far more durable & resilient material. Natural marbles and stones are considered more luxurious than man made products and add a certain wow factor to the design. Marble, granite and stone are generally supplied in 20mm thick slabs and can be built up at the edges to give a thicker bench top appearance. Suppliers can provide the material with a polished, honed, flamed or brushed finish depending on the look you are trying to achieve. Our favourite products to use in our kitchen projects include Statuario Venato and Calacatta marbles.

 

Timber hardwood or veneer

Being a natural product, timber has a lovely warm finish. The use of hardwood timber for kitchen benchtops isn’t very common as it’s susceptible to staining, warping and moisture retention. Whilst we like to add timber highlights on the cabinetry or breakfast bars in our kitchen designs, we rarely install a timber kitchen bench. Cooking fats, oils, knife marks and hot pans can damage the surface so its best kept for surfaces that aren’t in high use. Our timber veneer finish is a better option which has a polyurethane coating which protects the wood finish from staining and wear & tear.

 

MAN MADE PRODUCTS

Engineered solid surfaces such as Caesarstone, Smartstone, QStone, Silestone, Quantum Quartz etc

Available in 12mm, 20mm & 30mm thick slabs, the range of engineered solid surfaces is vast and impressive. Made using a mix of ground stone/quartz, polymers and pigments, solid surfaces can look very realistic whilst having the added advantage of being a lot easier to maintain. Engineered stones offer a non-porous surface material that is stain, scratch and heat resistant. A more uniform and perfect finish can be achieved at a cost which is typically more affordable than natural marble. Advances in technology have allowed for the development of engineered stone surfaces that have veins and colouring that is very similar to natural marble at a fraction of the price. Due to the nature of the product, sinks and basins can be moulded out of the engineered stone product for a seamless look. We produce a lot of kitchens using Caesarstone bench tops and splash backs which have a beautiful high end finish.

 

Large format compact surfaces such as Dekton, Neolith, Lapitec & Laminam

Retreat Design is championing the use of a new technology in bench top and cladding material that provides large format compact surfaces (porcelain) which are perfect for the kitchen. The slimline composite material comes in large sheets which allows for greater design scope and installation without cuts or joins. Available in a wide range of finishes and colours which mimic natural stones and marble, it has near-zero porosity, making the product hygienic, stain resistant & easy to clean. It is also wear, scratch & heat resistant. Available in thicknesses of 6mm, 12mm and 20mm.

 

Large format matte finish surfaces such as Fenix NTM

Fenix NTM is a super opaque interior design finish suitable for horizontal or vertical surfaces (namely kitchens).
This revolutionary nanotech material is made in Italy and has the following properties: anti-fingerprint, super matte finish, resistance to scratches & abrasions, enhanced antibacterial properties, thermal healing of micro scratches, hydro repellent & heat resistant, easy to clean and it’s available in a variety of colours and thicknesses. This is becoming a popular benchtop choice for our Arrital range of kitchens.

 

Stainless Steel

The favoured choice of chefs and commercial kitchens, stainless steel is hard wearing and very hygienic. It can be assembled in large sheets for a seamless benchtop finish. It can also be used as a splash back without having to create a join and is a versatile product. The only downside is it can be cold to touch and clinical looking.

 

Concrete

This on trend finish gives a raw and industrial look to the kitchen. Concrete benchtops can be made and finished in many different ways.  A mould is formed and the concrete is poured in to the desired size and shape. Its important to remember that concrete is a porous material and you’ll  need to apply some kind of concrete sealer, or a combination of sealers, to the benchtop to protect it from stains, heat damage and scratches.

 

 

 

Stainless Steel top

Kabuki Black Granite & Sealed Oak Veneer

Bernini ‘Versailles’ Stone

Carrara Marble Kitchen Benches

Caesarstone ‘Rugged Concrete’ finish

Caesarstone ‘Fresh Concrete’ & Avana wood veneer tops

Calacatta Marble Benchtop

Caesarstone ‘Piatra Grey’ 60mm top

Fenix NTM ‘Nero’ benchtop

Contrasting Quantum Quartz & Granite Benchtop

 

For more images of our projects and to get ideas for your kitchen benchtop, please take a look at our portfolio page here.

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About the Design Blog

Welcome to the Design Blog. Here we're sharing the latest kitchen and bathroom products from our Italian manufacturers. We'll also bring you inspiring kitchen renovations and beautiful bathrooms. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.