How New Benchtops Can Revamp your Kitchen |
Which Material Should You Choose?
If you want to change one thing about your kitchen and you’re after the biggest bang for your buck, you might want to consider upgrading your kitchen benchtops Brisbane.
But how do you decide which type of benchtop surface is right for your kitchen? Below we’ll compare two of the most popular benchtop surfaces: laminate and engineered stone.
- Why these two materials are so popular in Australian kitchens
- The features and maintenance requirements of laminate; and
- The features and maintenance requirements of engineered stone
What Makes Laminate & Engineered Stone Benchtops so Popular?
Let’s start with laminate. It’s an extremely affordable product that comes in a HUGE range of designs and colours. Laminate can effectively mimic timber and stone – in fact the quality is so high, that it can be hard to tell the difference. Laminate is easy to install and, if you decide to completely revamp your kitchen in 5 years time, you can simply remove the laminate and change designs.
Engineered stone also comes in a range of designs and colours. It has a significant advantage over natural stone in that various pigments can be added to it to produce different colours, including blues and greens. Stone benchtops add value to your home and engineered stone represents an environmentally low impact option, because the stone used is quartz, which is abundant globally.
Laminated Benchtops: Features and Maintenance
If you’re looking for new kitchen benchtops in Brisbane, and you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a quality product. Laminate has a lot of advantages. Let’s take a closer look.
In Australia, laminate benchtops manufacturers must adhere to the strict standards prescribed in AS/NZS 2924.1. These standards specify that laminates must be durable, fire resistant and possess antimicrobial properties. A quality Australian-made laminated benchtop can last 10 to 20 years, and beyond, if it’s well taken care of. When choosing laminate surfacing for kitchen benchtops in Brisbane, make sure the laminate is sourced from Australia to ensure durability.
Laminate benchtops are relatively quick and easy to install as they can be cut onsite. At Express Kitchens we can install new laminate kitchen benchtops in Brisbane in a single day, along with the rest of your new kitchen too.
Now you wouldn’t normally use a sharp knife without a cutting board on any benchtop, and this is particularly important if you have laminate. Be warned, the surface can and will get scratched if you go about stabbing it with a butcher’s knife. Similarly, while laminate is heat-resistant, if you plonk a saucepan straight from the stove on it, laminate can scorch, leaving ugly burn marks. Your laminate benchtop can also swell if it’s left soaked in water, the area around the sink edge is particularly prone to this problem. Interestingly, it’s not the laminate itself that’s swelling, but the soaked wood product underneath.
MAINTENANCE & CLEANING
Laminate is very low-maintenance, as long as you factor in the above-mentioned vulnerabilities. The only thing you really need to do is keep it clean. See Express Kitchen’s information page for advice on cleaning products for laminate and melamine. Our main recommendation is to avoid harsh, abrasive, cleaners, otherwise laminate is very user friendly. It’s an option well worth considering if you are looking for new kitchen benchtops. You’re always welcome to visit our Brisbane showroom for inspiration in this area.
Stone Benchtops: Features and Maintenance
Stone benchtops look absolutely beautiful and add style and charm to any home, but they are also a very practical product too. Let’s take a look at the material’s features.
Engineered stone is a durable, tough product and can last for decades.
Unlike laminate, stone obviously needs specialised cutting equipment, and therefore can’t be cut onsite. For this reason, cabinetry must be installed first, and measured precisely, before the stone can be cut, and the process therefore takes longer. If you are looking for stone kitchen cabinets in Brisbane, contact Express Kitchens to discuss timeframes.
Engineered stone is about as hard as granite; which is one of the hardest natural stones used on benchtops. Stone is scratch and cut resistant, and, although it’s not recommended, you can even get away with putting down the odd hot saucepan or baking tray fresh from the oven. The one real vulnerability of stone is the possibility of cracking or chipping. This problem is mostly pretty easy to avoid so long as your benchtops are properly installed. And, avoiding designs which feature narrow strips of stone, like the spacing between your double sinks, as these sites are more prone to cracking.
MAINTENANCE & CLEANING
Stone is a low maintenance product. It is non-porous, meaning stains and water won’t soak in, and, unlike some natural stone surfaces, you don’t need to seal it to retain its stain-resistant properties, the factory seal should last the product’s lifetime.
When you select your stone product, it’s a good idea to find out what cleaning products will best suit the surface, but gentle soapy water is always an easy option.
If you’re looking for kitchen benchtops in Brisbane we recommend you consider laminate or stone because of the many benefits they offer.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT TYPE OF KITCHEN BENCHTOP WILL SUIT YOUR BRISBANE HOME
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