Benchtop Materials To Consider For Your New Kitchen

When planning a new home, you'll have a free rein to create virtually any look you desire. Particularly, in the kitchen, you can mix and match your favourite materials to create a beautiful and homey atmosphere. One major decision you'll need to make is what benchtop material to choose. Here are several options to consider.

Natural Stone

Marble and granite are a couple of the most popular stones for kitchen benchtops. Marble has a lovely luminescent quality with delicate veining scattered across the surface and is available in a range of hues like black, white, green, and pink. Being relatively porous, this stone allows liquids to settle within its tiny holes, which can lead to staining; thus, it's essential to seal regularly. Marble is particularly sensitive to acidic foods and drinks such as orange juice and wine, so wipe up any spills promptly before your benchtop has a chance to etch. 

Granite is harder and more robust than marble, not so prone to staining or scratching with sharp knives. However, it's still best to take care of spills and use a cutting board. Also, remember to place hot pots and pans on trivets. While granite can often withstand extreme heat, it can crack on the odd occasion. Granite often displays a lively speckled patina in hues such as browns, golds and tans.


Laminate benches consist of layers of plastic laminate that cover blocks such as particleboard or MDF. The laminates on counters use decorative papers, available in a wide range of colours and designs. Patterns can mimic the veins and streaks within natural stone or form more abstract artistic graphics. Otherwise, you could choose a solid colour for a clean look. If your kitchen has a splashback in natural stone or patterned ceramic tiles, pick out one of the multitone hues for your laminate counter. This way, you'll blend the two while adding visual interest with a solid colour and pattern contrast. 

Laminate uses cellulose, a plant and wood substance, and so it can shrink in dry temperatures and expand in humid conditions. If you're installing a laminate counter, try to minimise the joins and arrange them discreetly to be quite unnoticeable. Cutting boards and trivets will protect your benchtop from damage.


To incorporate a warm aesthetic into your kitchen, you might consider a timber benchtop, which can consist of several things. It might be a solid slab of wood, glued layers of thin timber (plywood), or a timber veneer on the exterior of particleboard or MDF, for instance. Different species of hardwood offer numerous hues: blondes, reds or dark chocolates. Thus you can match your counter to your kitchen's style, be it, Scandi, contemporary or industrial. Using locally sourced timbers — like blackbutt, jarrah or blue gum — will be more environmentally friendly than overseas woods, as they'll require less energy for transport. Your home builder can advise on available hardwoods in your area.

Talk to your home builder to discuss your the benchtop options for your new build.