Episode 38: Kitchen Design Essentials-Benchtop Criteria and Materials – Part 2

In this episode, Frances continues the benchtop discussion outlining an additional 10 benchtop materials to consider. She also outlines the criteria to assist in deciding what benchtop material is going to be the best for your kitchen.


In the last episode of the Kitchen Design Essential (episode 36), 3 key materials were discussed with Laura from Cosentino;

  • Dekton
  • Reconstituted Stone
  • Natural Stone

In this episode, Frances cover other benchtop materials including Recycled glass, porcelain, Paperock, Timber, Solid acrylic surface (Corian), Concrete, stainless steel, laminate.

Key criteria for choosing your benchtop;-

  • Budget






High Low

Paper Rock



Medium Low

Stainless steel

High Medium

Solid acrylic surface (Corian)


Polished Concrete


100% recycled glass


85% Recycled glass

Medium High

  • Durability
  • Type of cook and you are
  • How else you use your kitchen –
    • Type of entertaining
    • Homework
    • Casual eating
  • Aesthetic
    • How it fits in the home
    • How aesthetic will reflect the kitchen you have
  • Details that are important to you – no joins, thickness – 40mm or more
  • Maintenance
  • Durability
  • Material size – Standard slab size: 2800-3200mm x 1000-1200mm
  • Overhang
    • Overhang on island bench – 300-400mm – not all materials allow for overhang more than 300mm (eg, Dekton), so check.
  • Waterfall edges
    • Good for durability – hardier material as gets knocked into a lot with kids.
  • How thick do you want the benchtop?
    • May like thinner and have shadow lines
    • Solid acrylic surface can be as thick as you like it – no limit
    • Laminate – difference thicknesses with square or rolled edge (bullnosed)
    • Concrete – no limit and cast to suit requirements like solid acrylic
    • Reconstituted stone – 20mm and then thicker is achieved with a piece added to the face.

Benchtop materials – Part 2

  • 100% recycled glass– Newish Product available in the market.
    • Heat-treated
    • Compacted and looks like stone
    • Sustainable

More expensive than a reconstituted stone

  • Only available in limited colors
  • 85% Recycled glass– It is bound with bio-resin so the glass particles are visible – like a terrazzo.

Can be mixed with different colored glass or one colour, and you can make it a big feature.

  • Porcelain– a ceramic material made by heating materials
    • Can have a thin profile – 6mm thick
    • Very durable and resistant to wear and tear
    • Stronger than granite – can be compared to Dekton – but not made of minerals.

Not made of minerals but a porcelain product

  • They come in big slabs so they can be tricky onsite
  • Paperock– layer upon layer of renewable paper sources and bonded with resin and heat/pressure cured.
    • It is a remarkably strong composite building material suitable for wet areas
    • Sustainable
    • Most cost effective than stone
    • Timber –
    • Sustainable
    • Natural product
      • Needs maintenance- sanding, and sealing. Special sealer available via Ecotimber than makes suitable for wet areas.
  • Solid acrylic surface -It is made with a mold, can make any shape or thickness.
    • Great for curved benchtops and illuminating
    • Has technology to create charger in benchtop
    • No joins
    •  Repairable
    • Non -porous and hygienic
      • The darker color are more susceptible to the scratches being visible compared to a lighter color.
      • A little bit more expensive than a reconstituted stone.
  • Concrete- freeform concrete is often made on site. It is made with a mold so it can be any color or shape
    • Any shape or colour
    • No joints
    • Very durable
    • Will chip and crack – can be fixed
    • Not completely stain resistant
  • Stainless steel-
    • Anti-bacterial
    • Stain resistant
    • Heat and fire resistant surface
    • Easy to clean
    •  Timeless
      • Can scratch and smear when cleaned
      • Not a cost -effective option
  •  Laminate
    • Cost-effective – lots of different finishes mimic stone, concrete
      • Different edged finishes
      • Not heat resistance and can stain
      • Not water resistant if water gets into particle board under surface – it will expand
      • Can’t have undermount sink with it.

There are so many choices for your benchtops. We encourage that you do your research and ensure you have the right benchtop to suit all your needs. Look at your objectives, the things that are important to you, and any sustainable criteria.

Engaging with an interior designer might help you determine what’s best for you, when there is so much choice available.

Available Resources:

Overwhelmed by the number of decisions that need to be made when creating a stylish, functional, and durable Kitchen? What materials to select, what colours will co-ordinate together, what design is going to best suit the space, and your requirements.

We offer several kitchen design packages to assist with your kitchen design – be it a makeover, renovation or new kitchen. Click the link here to find more:

If you’re thinking about renovating or building your own “Forever Home”, get in touch with Frances directly, by booking a chat with her.


We have a full calendar of Webinars throughout the year, so be sure to view our Events page to find out about upcoming events.

Related Resources:

Episode 36: Kitchen Design Essentials – Benchtops part 1

Episode 14: Forever Home LIVE- Joinery Drawings and Why Do Them Early On

Episode 30: Kitchen Design Essentials -Kitchen Design Layouts and Location

Episode 32: Kitchen Design Essentials – The Builder’s Insight 

How to Choose the Right Bench Top

Top 5 tips for selecting benchtops 

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