Your kitchen's benchtop material will affect the entire look of your kitchen; one that is too dark can make a kitchen seem closed-in, and one that doesn't offer any contrast to your cabinets can simply blend into the background and make your kitchen seem dull and drab. While appearance is important, so is the durability and longevity of the benchtop material you choose. When you're ready to have new benchtops installed, note a few considerations for choosing the right material.


Metal is a good choice for dark kitchens as it reflects light and can brighten a space. It's also very durable so if you do a lot of food prep in the kitchen, it can be a good choice. If also offers a nice contrast to lots of wood cabinets and dark appliances. Metal is also very eco-friendly as you can find recycled metal pieces to use and know that the metal itself can be recycled in the future.


Wood has the advantage of being easily repainted or stained when you want a fresh look in the kitchen. You can often do this job yourself as well, which saves you the cost of having a contractor come in and refinish the kitchen. However, it does need constant sealing so it doesn't absorb moisture, so be sure you figure this cost in your budget if you choose wood.


Stone slabs, such as granite, limestone, and quartz, aren't always as durable as many homeowners think. They can crack under heavy weight and they too need consistent sealing to protect them from damage. They can also be very heavy, so your kitchen's subfloor might need added bracing. If cared for properly, these stone slabs can last for many years if not decades so they can be a cost-effective choice in the long run, since they may need less replacing than other materials.

Custom materials

Some materials are not readily available for benchtops but can be custom made; this might include copper, which isn't often used because of its expense, or an engineered stone made from real stone and resin. While these can give your kitchen a unique look, remember that it can be difficult and expensive to replace custom materials if a section of the benchtop should get damaged in the future. Be sure you're also using something that will be appropriate for food prep; porous tile might hold more germs and bacteria than is safe, and some materials may crack or discolor under the slightest heat, such as when you put down a warm pan on the benchtop.