The kitchen may be the most used and abused room in the house, and the benchtop surfaces need to be strong and durable to withstand that daily abuse. This is why it's vital that you choose the best material for your kitchen's benchtops, meaning something that not just looks good, but will also avoid showing chips, water damage, and other wear. Note a few tips for choosing the right benchtop for your home's kitchen.

Natural stone

Natural stone is very durable and holds up well against heat, water, and nicks and cuts. It also offers a beautiful appearance that can enhance the look of your kitchen and even increase your home's resale value. You can find stone in a wide array of tones and colours; granite can be a dark colour with gold flecks or a natural brown or reddish tone, or you can opt for white marble or slate. The colour of this stone won't fade over time, and the stone should last the lifetime of your home.

Engineered stone

Engineered stone is a type of artificial mix that is meant to look like natural stone; it's typically made with quartz, pigments, and resin to hold it all together. Engineered stone can be shaded any colour, but it may not be as durable as natural stone, as the quartz along with the pigments and resin isn't as dense as natural stone. However, it can be lighter than natural stone so it may be good for older homes where the subfloor isn't as strong and cannot hold up the weight of large, natural stone benchtops.


Laminate materials are glued over a benchtop and they may have the same colour and texture of natural stone, or of timber or other materials. Laminate is very lightweight and very affordable, so it can fit just about any home and any budget.

However, because laminate is glued onto a surface, it may need more maintenance over time than natural or engineered stone. This glue can eventually harden and become brittle and then lose its adhesion, especially when exposed to high heat and lots of moisture and humidity, as is common in a kitchen. You can have loose strips and sections of laminate glued to the surface once again, but this can mean costly repairs over time. The surface of laminate may also be less durable against nicks, cuts, and scratches, so you would need to exercise more caution with food prep when you choose a laminate benchtop.