If you are renovating your kitchen and bathrooms, one of the most important decisions (and one of the more exciting) relates to choosing the benchtops. Not only are benchtops a high usage area but they are also on display for your family and your guest, so you want them to look great! So what sort should you choose, and can you use the same material in both the kitchen and bathrooms?

While there’s nothing wrong with using the same bench material when designing all your wet areas, even the laundry, it simply comes down to your budget and style. Some homeowners decide to use the same colour palette in all these areas, but change the material, whilst others use the same material but use a different colour. Then there’s people who use the exact same material and colour in all their wet areas, for a consistent look and feel throughout the house.

kitchen bench

The common factor is that the materials need to be durable, waterproof and fit in seamlessly with your design style. To help you make your decision, here some of the factors to consider when selecting your new benchtops.

Common bench materials

  • Granite: A natural stone that with regular maintenance continues to look amazing for many years. It’s a very popular choice with homeowners and comes in a large variety of natural colours and designs.
  • Marble: For luxury, you can’t go past the decadence of marble, as it makes a stunning impact wherever it’s installed! It does, however, require more maintenance than granite and due to its porous nature, it can be easily stained, scratched or cracked.
  • Engineered stone: An extremely popular option is engineered stone as it includes a mix of natural materials (usually quartz or marble) with resins or polyesters. This trendy material is an easy favourite because it’s highly durable, requires little maintenance and looks fabulous!
  • Timber: A great option to add warmth to an area, but it requires regular maintenance. That’s because it’s easily scratched and stained, and when treated like a butcher’s block is easily damaged by knives and choppers.
  • Laminate: For affordability and practicality, laminate ticks all the boxes. It requires hardly any maintenance and isn’t easily scratched, however, if it is damaged, is difficult to repair. With the massive range of colours and designs that are available, laminate is one of the most popular materials for benchtops, especially in bathroom renovations.

Designs and colours

When it comes to the design and colour of your benchtops, and regardless of the material you select, you really are spoilt for choice. Whether you want a different design or style in every room or you want a consistent flowing design throughout, you will have no problem finding the right benchtop materials. The biggest decision you will likely need to make is whether you want a light or dark material, because dark benchtops with dark cabinetry can be a difficult mix to get right.

Shapes and sizes

Regardless of the type of material for your benchtops, you need to consider the size of your kitchen, particularly if you have an island. This is very important because if you want to use the same material throughout your wet rooms you may be limited by the available dimensions of the material. That’s because natural stone can come in many different sizes.

You may also be constrained by the natural shape of these materials. So, if you want a non-standard size and shape benchtop, you might need to speak to the experts who can suggest the best way to achieve your design.

At the end of the day, renovating your kitchen and bathrooms is a very exciting time and whatever material you select for your benchtops will be perfect!