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Kitchen Benchtop Materials: Picking the Right One for Your Home

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Anyone who has renovated their kitchen will tell you that choosing the right kitchen benchtop material is one of the most important decisions in the process. And rightfully so. No matter how perfectly you have put together everything, going wrong with the kitchen benchtop is a recipe for disaster!  

So, how do you make sure you choose the right benchtop material, when there are so many options to choose from? We’re here to help! We understand that the kitchen is not only a space where you can cook up something scrumptious, but also a place where you can bond with your family and friends. It is often called the heart of the home, and we think it deserves to be treated as such. That’s why we’re here to help you find the perfect benchtop material for your kitchen, one that suits your style, budget and needs. Benchtop resurfacing is an innovative solution that breathes new life into your kitchen or bathroom surfaces without the need for a complete replacement.  

From laminate to stone to timber and more, we delve into the durability, maintenance, cost, and aesthetic of each to help you compare the pros and cons and make the right choice. 

The most popular kitchen benchtop materials 

A benchtop is the hardest working surface in your kitchen, which is why it’s important to invest in the right one as durability plays a big factor. Here is a quick rundown of the most common materials preferred by homeowners, that you can also consider for your own kitchen. 

See below a comparison chart for Benchtop materials. 

Comparison of Benchtop Materials

Engineered Stone Benchtop 
Engineered Stone Benchtop

Engineered Stone benchtops stand out as the top preference amongst kitchen renovators. A significant advantage of stone benchtops lies in their exceptional durability and effortless maintenance. The non-porous surface makes the material highly resistant to stains and scratches, requiring no continuous upkeep. Engineered quartz stands as a brilliant choice for this category. Crafted by blending natural aggregates with resins, this material offers a broad spectrum of colours, ranging from radiant whites to deep greys. With an engineered stone benchtop, you have the option of selecting a solid hue or incorporating specks of diverse coloured stone to enhance its visual appeal. Creating a sturdy and enduring look is achieved by adding a baseboard to the edge, although the current trend favours a sleeker 20mm thick edge for a more minimalist and polished aesthetic.

Timber Benchtop 

While timber may seem a more traditional choice, incorporating timber into your kitchen design allows you to introduce a sense of warmth and personality, particularly when you’re using cooler materials like glass and stainless steel elsewhere in the kitchen. The extensive range of timber benchtop options available provides flexibility, enabling you to opt for the warmth of ash’s yellowish hues or create a striking contrast by pairing light-coloured doors with deeper shades of walnut. To preserve timber’s quality, it’s essential to apply a protective coating, either in the form of food-safe oil or polyurethane. To preserve the timber’s quality, it’s essential to apply a protective coating annually.

Timber benchtops are the third most affordable benchtop material and cost from $350 per square metre for cheaper timber (such as bamboo) and around $600 to $1200 per square metre for more premium material (hardwood timber such as Jarrah or Ironbark). 

Solid Surface 

Solid Surface

Crafted from an amalgamation of acrylic resin and alumina filler, solid surface benchtops exhibit remarkable durability and versatility.  A solid surface is a great option to integrate a moulded sink into the benchtop design eliminating potential spaces where debris could accumulate whilst maintaining a clean surface and space. These benchtops also boast UV resistance and in cases of significant damage, such as heat-induced scorching, manufacturers can undertake repairs without a complete benchtop replacement.

Stainless Steel Benchtop 
Stainless Steel Benchtop

Stainless steel offers a textural element that can harmonise your kitchen’s aesthetic with exceptional heat resistance and durability.  

Polished Concrete Benchtop 
Polished Concrete Benchtop

An alternative to timber or glossy cabinetry can be achieved by incorporating concrete onto your benchtops. This versatile material can extend across walls, creating a sleek backdrop for open shelves, or serve as an all-in-one island bench and top. Much like stone, concrete necessitates sealing for optimal performance but is not recommended for use in splashback areas.

Marble Benchtop 
marble benchtop

Marble stands as a stunning and organic stone often chosen for kitchen benchtops and splashbacks. Its timeless and refined appearance is undeniable, though it’s accompanied by a significant cost and demanding maintenance. Despite its aesthetic, there are effective strategies to maintain the pristine condition of marble benchtops.

Granite Benchtop 

Granite Benchtop

Granite stands as a captivating and long-lasting choice for your kitchen benchtop surface. Granite benchtops are often regarded as the second most costly material following marble. On a positive note, the selection of styles and colours available is breathtaking, and its durability ensures resilience against a range of demands. To maintain the lustre of granite, opt for warm water and soap when cleaning to uphold its radiant appearance. 

At  Granite Transformations North Shore & Sydney East, our exclusively-made engineered granite benchtops are a combination of the world’s finest materials. Be it resurfacing old benchtops or installing new ones, our lightweight 7mm engineered stone surfaces are perfectly suited for residential and commercial kitchen areas. Our warranty covers our benchtop workmanship for seven years, and 10 years for materials. Our stones don’t require the removal of existing benchtops or splashbacks, an option that significantly reduces the amount of building waste resulting from kitchen and bathroom renovations. 

Our engineered stones are precisely cut, durable, extremely hygienic with no grout to clean, can be laid directly over any existing surfaces for fast application and are ideal for a range of applications, including kitchen benchtops, splashbacks, bathroom vanities, walls, floors and even on furniture.

Porcelain Benchtop

Porcelain benchtops are experiencing a surge in popularity due to their combination of durability, adaptability, and cost-effectiveness. These surfaces have impressive resilience against high temperatures, scratches, and stains. Moreover, their minimal porosity enhances hygiene, making them an exceptionally sanitary choice.

Bamboo Benchtop 

Bamboo emerges as an environmentally conscious and cost-effective option for benchtops, capable of complementing kitchens ranging from rustic to modern in style. Typically, bamboo surfaces are treated with oil (requiring periodic reapplication) or polyurethane (displaying enhanced stain resistance). A notable advantage is that damage can be rectified by sanding down the benchtop and applying a fresh finish. 

Ultra-compact Surface Benchtop 

Ultra-compact Surface Benchtop

Ultra-compact surfaces are crafted from natural elements like glass, porcelain, and quartz. These materials can undergo intense heat and pressure to yield an exceptionally robust product. Essentially, this high-tech process mimics the effects that Mother Nature takes thousands of years to achieve with natural stone, condensed into a significantly shorter time frame. The resulting surface is notable for its remarkable strength, resistance to staining, scratching, and heat, as well as its non-porous nature, rendering it a dependable and enduring option for kitchen countertops. 

Laminated Benchtop 

Laminated Benchtop
If you’re working within a limited budget, a laminated benchtop is a great choice. Laminate offers an extensive array of colours and patterns that mimic pricier materials like wood, stone, or even concrete.  While laminate is resistant to staining, it is not as durable as other options such as stone, concrete or timber. It is also vulnerable to scratches and scorch marks. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a cutting board and exercise caution with hot cookware. 

Choosing the right benchtop material for your kitchen

Choosing the right material for your kitchen benchtop may be daunting, especially after exploring a variety of options. No worries, we got you covered, here are some tips when considering the right benchtop for your kitchen: 

  1. Budget: Depending on how much you are willing to invest, it will help narrow down your options while choosing benchtops. It’s best to have a set budget in the beginning to help slim down your picking process. 
  2. Function: Think about what you use your kitchen mostly for. It could be cooking, baking, or you just like it to be clean. These factors determine the type of material you might need in terms of functionality. 
  3. Size: After considering the material, think about the size, different materials may come in different shapes, sizes, and thickness. So, think about what fits your kitchen best.  
  4. Aesthetics: Last is aesthetics, though some people might think this is a major factor, it would be best to think about the other three factors first, to narrow down your options before seeing how it looks.  

How much does it cost to replace a kitchen benchtop?

The cost to install or replace kitchen countertops and benchtops ranges from $4,500 – $25,000 on average. The cost depends on your desires, including countertop and benchtop materials and the size of the countertop/benchtop you require. 

The biggest influences on countertop costs are: 

  • Material: Natural stone materials have the highest price tag, while laminated or synthetic materials tend to be cheaper. 
  • Countertop size: The larger the material, the higher the cost. 
  • Countertop shape: Odd-shaped countertops can be much more expensive as they require more labour and manufacturing costs for customisation. 

It’s crucial to note that kitchen benchtop prices are influenced by multiple factors beyond the material alone. These considerations are essential to keep in mind during the budgeting process. If you’re planning to replace the kitchen benchtop, expenses will be higher than just installation, encompassing labour charges for removal and disposal of the old material in addition to replacement costs. Labour rates typically fall within the range of $50-$250 per hour. All in all, for a standard new benchtop, the total expenditure is estimated at around $500-$1,000. If you are interested in learning more than just upgrading your benchtops, here are a few tips we have on kitchen renovations.  

What is the best benchtop for kitchens?

The best benchtop for kitchens depends on your priorities, how you wish to use it, how you want it to look, the colour, durability and how much you wish to spend. 

Engineered stone and Quartz are practical and popular choices available in various colours and finishes, including matte, honed, rough, concrete and polished. It is resistant to scratches, cracks and spills, reasonably priced and known for its consistency in colour. Engineered stone finishes include polished, matte, honed, concrete and rough. It is often referred to as Caesarstone. However, there is a wide range of brands on the Australian market, such as Quantum Quartz, Silestone, Smartstone and Essastone. 

What is the cheapest benchtop for kitchens?

Laminate benchtops are a budget-friendly choice, it is the most affordable benchtop material and costs around $10-$40 per square foot.  

A better and more durable alternative is our engineered stone is only 6.5mm thick. It is durable in fact that it can also be used for commercial flooring. Its price is comparable with, and often cheaper than, other engineered stones on the market. It will also save you money by not having to remove your existing benchtop or splashback. 

However, if you do not wish to change your benchtop completely, you can opt for benchtop resurfacing, which costs around $3 to $7 per square foot. Benchtop resurfacing is a cost-effective alternative to countertop replacement and is cheaper than all the benchtop materials combined. 

Who can help with your kitchen benchtop resurfacing?

Can you resurface laminate benchtops? 

Yes, laminate benchtops can be resurfaced! It is a cost-effective way to create a new-looking, fresh kitchen without the expense of a brand-new benchtop or the need for benchtop installation. Replace your old kitchen with the kitchen of your dreams at lower costs by kitchen benchtop resurfacing and with a lot less hassle than a complete demolition and rebuild. 

How much does it cost to resurface a laminate countertop? 

It costs about $3 to $7 per square foot to resurface a laminate countertop. It is a cost-effective alternative to laminate countertop replacements that cost $10-$40 per square foot for just the materials alone, without installation. 

The cost of laminate countertop resurfacing also depends on the job’s size, complexity and specifications. Some people choose to alter the size and shape of their current benchtops or utilise our exclusive engineered stone for a stylish splashback for a designer feel without a designer cost. 

Laminate countertop resurfacing also helps cut back on the hidden costs such as replacing grouting or creating a breakfast bar by replacing your high-top servery, cutting the costs of getting a new kitchen layout or buying a separate breakfast bar. 

Resurfacing your laminate countertop will also save money by not removing your existing benchtop or splashback. Resurfacing costs less than replacing your old kitchen and can transform your kitchen into the kitchen of your dreams with lower prices and a lot less hassle than complete demolition and rebuild. 

We recommend that you do not always go with the cheapest laminate resurfacing and do your research. It could cost you down the line with poor workmanship and cheaper materials. 

What are the other benefits of laminate benchtop resurfacing? 

Laminate benchtop resurfacing allows you to: 

  • Change the shape and size of your benchtop. 
  • Use the benchtop as a beautiful seamless splashback. 
  • Keep the existing benchtop in its place. No need to remove it, saving you money. 
  • Place any size sink and cooktop anywhere you want. 
  • Flattened Bullnose edges. 
  • Remove your high-top servery and extend the benchtop into a breakfast bar. 
  • Change the shape and size of your benchtop 
  • You can install this product even in a new kitchen 
  • You can install it in your shower recess – no grout lines to keep it clean. 

How long do resurfaced countertops last?

A resurfaced countertop lasts between five to seven years. However, how long a resurfaced benchtop lasts depends on how much you use, maintain, and what you use your surfaces for. Some resurfaced countertops can be used for longer than the average five to seven years if a more durable and hard-wearing resurfacing material is used. Special care, such as using cutting boards, avoiding abrasive cleaners and cleaning up acidic liquids, can help your resurfaced countertop last longer. Just like anything in life, things generally last longer with extra love. 

What should I consider whilst designing a kitchen?

There are many factors to consider whilst creating the kitchen of your dreams. Whether that is budget, function or even aesthetics, different people might think differently when it comes to their benchtops. 

We know that with a variety of options, it might be confusing to consider all of these on your own, that’s why at  Granite Transformations North Shore & Sydney East, we are your one-stop shop for bathroom renovations. From designing and sourcing all materials to the engagement of all trades including electricians, builders & plumbers, we can project manage your bathroom renovation seamlessly while you sit back and relax.  

At  Granite Transformations North Shore & Sydney East, our superior stone is suitable as a flooring surface and is durable and practical. Installed directly over existing flooring with no need for removing tiles. 

Why choose benchtop resurfacing?

Replace your old kitchen with the kitchen of your dreams with lower costs and a lot less hassle than a complete demolition and rebuild.  

At  Granite Transformations North Shore & Sydney East, we can alter the size and shape of your current benchtops utilising our exclusive engineered stone and add a stylish splashback to give your kitchen a new designer feels in as little as 1-2 days, without any demolition required. We offer: 

Superior engineered stone 

Brilliantly engineered stone surface with heat, stain and scratch resistance. Exclusive Italian design, hygienic, non-porous and maintenance-free. 


You’ll be impressed by the workmanship and attention to detail of our meticulous stonemasons.  

Dedicated design team 

Our experienced design consultants guide you about your kitchen design and work with you on every detail of your project, from start to finish. 

Time-saving process 

All of our kitchens are custom-made locally in-house in Sydney, giving us full control over every step of the build. 

Highest standard 

We use only the highest quality, trusted materials and fittings that meet and exceed Australian standards. 


We only use materials that are extremely durable. Our warranty covers 7 years for our workmanship and 10 years for materials. 

Our Process 

STEP 1 – No fuss 

Our experienced craftsmen carefully measure and template your project. 

STEP 2 – No mess 

Your new Benchtops are handcrafted for an exact fit and bonded to your existing benchtop. 

STEP 3 – No comparison 

Enjoy your beautiful, maintenance-free Benchtops with a 10-year warranty. 

From makeovers to new kitchen designs, Granite Transformations North Shore & Sydney East will bring your perfect kitchen to life. Get the ultimate relaxing and functional space your family deserves. 

Kickstart the process of creating your dream bathroom today.  

Vicki Chung

Project Manager & Designer