Bench Top Choices

Confused about Bench top choices? Take a look at our graph below to find out which bench top is right for you.

MaterialAdvantagesDisadvantages

High Pressure Laminate



Formica, Wilsonart, Laminex, Duropal
The most cost effective product.
Huge Colour selection (over 300).
Bench top arrives with kitchen cabinets so no delay in installation.
More prone to heat and impact damage compared to other products.
Can be perceived as a cheap alternative in more expensive homes.

Stainless Steel

Reasonably priced if used in straight runs.
Available in a range of different finishes.
Very impact and heat resistant.
Can become an expensive alternative if site joins (welds) are required.
Brushed and polished stainless are reflective and show scratches.
There is a time delay between cabinet and bench installation.

Natural Granite

Some colours are very competitively priced.
A good colour selection.
Good heat and impact resistance.
Some colours are expensive.
Light colours can show stains if not regularly resealed.
Some people find surface too hard to work on.
There is a time delay between cabinet and bench installation.

Engineered Stone



Caesarstone, Silestone, Smart Stone
Depending on thickness price can almost compete with laminate.
A good colour selection.
Reasonable heat and impact resistance.
Gives a contemporary look.
Thick tops can be relatively expensive.
Less heat and impact resistance than granite and stainless.
Dark colours can look flat when compared with granite.
There is a time delay between cabinet and bench installation.

Acrylic



Corian, Hi-Macs, Infinity
Similar in price to granite and engineered stone.
Has no visible joins so long bench tops are possible.
A good colour selection.
Can be repaired and repolished.
Scratches easier than stone and concrete bench tops.
There is a time delay between cabinet and bench installation.

Concrete

Similar in price to higher priced stone.
Good heat and impact resistance.
Can be coloured to suit.
Gives a contemporary industrial look.
Can be expensive compared to granite.
Can stain if not resealed on a regular basis.
Can develop small cracks that are cosmetic rather than structural.
There is a time delay between cabinet and bench installation.

Solid Wood

Gives a warm natural look.
Can be used as a highlight when mixed with other bench top materials.
Expensive compared to most other alternatives.
Timber surface bruises easier than most other products.

Download or print the PDF version of our Jag Kitchens Bench Top Comparisons spreadsheet here.

At Jag Kitchens, we offer custom-sized bench tops to your specifications as part of your overall kitchen build.

We don't offer singular bench top orders, but if it’s a kitchen makeover you're after, then here are the reasons why you should consider using Jag.

Having our own bench top factory has allowed us to halve the industry-standard wait time for a stone bench top to five working days after your cabinet installation.

When advising you on bench top options, we need to start with a discussion about your lifestyle and likely budget.

A family with active young children has very different needs in terms of durability than a couple whose grown-up children have left home. A young couple starting out in their first home are likely to have a lower budget to work with than someone building or renovating a high end property.

One of the questions we will ask you is whether you are likely to be selling your home in the short to medium term. Intending buyers have definite expectations about what materials a kitchen should be constructed from depending on the value of the house they are purchasing.

A rule of thumb is that once a property is selling for more than $800,000 buyers are likely to expect that a stone top of some type is included.

Once the price exceeds $950,000 the cabinet doors would usually be upgraded to acrylic, lacquer or a wrapped vinyl finish.

The most cost effective combination of materials is melamine cabinets and a laminate bench top. Most customers choosing to upgrade from this combination tend to spend additional money on upgrading to a stone bench top.

While it might seem unusual, cabinet door finishes tend to become less durable as you spend more. In contrast, bench tops tend to become more durable as you spend more moving up from laminate to stone.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss the various bench top options available for your kitchen makeover, please call into Jag’s Showroom in the Botany Town Centre (right next to The Warehouse) or phone or email for a design appointment.