Top de­sign choice

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES & SERVICES - Janita Singh

IF A kitchen is the heart of the home, the bench­top is the cen­tre­piece.

Choos­ing a bench­top is one of the most im­por­tant de­ci­sions in any kitchen, says Gil­lian Rugg of Gran­ite Trans­for­ma­tion Car­ing­bah.

Get it wrong and you’re look­ing not only at a poor de­sign over­all but com­pro­mis­ing your work­ing station and so­cial­is­ing space.

The large sur­face area also means that the colour and ma­te­rial will dom­i­nate the kitchen and need to tie in with your cup­boards, along with the style and colour scheme of the rest of your home.

Bench tops are pri­mar­ily places to work, so the im­por­tance of prac­ti­cal­ity can’t be un­der­played, Rugg says.

It needs to be func­tional and highly durable (you want it to with­stand knives, hot spills, oily ring marks, food spills and other chal­lenges we throw at it).

“Choose a bench­top that is not only func­tional and easy to main­tain but re­flects your style and lifestyle, for ex­am­ple in­clude a break­fast bar (for added eat­ing space),” Rugg says.

“The type of ma­te­rial used is of para­mount im­por­tance too. Some ma­te­ri­als can be very high main­te­nance.”

Op­tions to con­sider in­clude lam­i­nate (not the type you saw in your grand­mother’s kitchen), tim­ber (for a nat­u­ral, rus­tic look), stain­less-steel (in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar), en­gi­neered stone (great if you’re look­ing for some­thing solid), nat­u­ral stone (adds tex­ture) and gran­ite (gen­er­ally more ex­pen­sive but bet­ter qual­ity en­gi­neered stone).

You can also opt for tiles, glass and even con­crete.

“Con­sumers should select ma­te­ri­als that are heat, scratch and stain re­sis­tant, easy to clean and do not need seal­ing,’’ Rugg says.

“The cur­rent trends are stone bench­tops with match­ing splash­backs.” gran­ite­trans­for­ma­tions.

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