The kitchen is normally a place of intense activity, where high temperatures, humidity and pressure, scratches and all sorts of stains are not uncommon. The benchtop, as the primary working area in the kitchen, should be made out of sturdy and resistant materials. Stone doesn’t chip and scratch easily, and it is temperature and impact resistant, which make it a perfect choice. Natural stone is also biodegradable, which means you can simply recycle your benchtop when you no longer need it.
However, as the central piece of the room, kitchen benchtops can have an important decorative purpose as well, and this is another characteristic to factor in when deciding on a specific material. Replacing your old benchtop can lead to a spectacular transformation of your entire kitchen, irrespective of whether you choose to leave it plain or have it decorated. In fact, many natural and engineered stones exist in a variety of patterns, so you can opt for a more subtle kind of decoration for your countertop.
Some of the materials you can choose from
Granite is more widely used for kitchen benchtops because it won’t get ruined by water and variations in temperature. It has a granular texture with colors ranging from deep black, grey, blue and red to orange, yellow, beige and pale pink. With various patterns, granite is equally suitable in a traditionally decorated kitchen, as in a contemporary modern one. Check out more about kitchen design in Melbourne
Marble is smooth and bright, and it reflects light making the room look truly stylish. However, marble is more difficult to maintain than granite: it stains more easily because its porous texture absorbs liquids spilled over it, such as coffee, wine, tea, fruit juice, oil, ketchup.
A less expensive alternative is onyx, a translucent mineral that gives any kitchen a modern, luxurious feel. Agate is similar to onyx – it is hard and acid-resistant, and can embellish benchtops with its array of colors (white, grey, blue, orange, red, black).
Slate has a natural, rustic appearance, and it is rather easy to maintain. Slate is acid-resistant, for instance, when you accidentally squirt lemon on it, and usually coating slate benchtops with mineral oil is enough to prevent or fix any scratches. Look for custom made kitchens in Melbourne
Another way to go natural is by choosing travertine, a type of limestone that requires the action of hot springs to form. Travertine varieties include coral red, yellow, grey, tan, and white color options. This natural stone has holes in it that give it its natural look, so it is ideal for rustic kitchens. When polished, it can mimic marble, if you prefer a more elegant benchtop that costs less.