Mar 5, 2014

A Kitchen Make-Over Need Not Break the Bank

Renovating your kitchen does not have to mean tearing it all apart and spending a fortune for a complete renovation. If you want to update to something more modern and create a whole new look, you can simply replace the kitchen benchtops also known as counter tops.

You want to have a special and inspiring place where families and friends gather and have lively conversations and dinner parties.  Benchtops are the first visually dominating element that you and everyone else sees when entering the kitchen.

Two major factors that will influence your choice of colors and patterns are what appeals to you personally as well as the necessity of staying within a budget. Different materials can vary greatly in price, and it is also necessary that you choose a material and colors that match the existing flooring, walls, cupboards and drawers.

It is also important to know what the structural soundness is of your existing kitchen and if it is possible to lay a heavier benchtop than that which originally existed. Additionally, you will be limited to the existing layout of the kitchen, so replacement of the kitchen counter tops is an option that works best when you simply want to update.

Granite is chip and scratch resistant and is very durable. You can put hot items directly on the surface as well as use it for food preparation. However, be aware that, since granite is porous, it will need to be sealed about once a year.

Marble has many of the granite qualities. Because it is a smooth surface, it is favored by many bakers for the preparation of pastries and doughs. It, too, is porous and will require sealants to be applied even more often than granite.

Corian is a blend of natural and acrylic minerals and allows for a seamless finish. It is non-porous, hygienic, and resists heat and stains. It comes in a variety of colors; and the finishes are matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss.

Quartz is the most durable. It has a natural stone look and is non-porous, is resistant to staining, has low maintenance, and is very hygienic.

Concrete benchtops must be pre-cast in a mold or cast on the premises. Concrete is rising in popularity but needs to be sealed to resist water damage and stains.

Hardwood, or “butcher blocks”, are constructed of maple pieces that have been stacked and glued together. These are highly favored by serious cooks and chefs.

Tiles, while more commonly used as trim or a splashback, can be used as kitchen benchtops if they are strong. Tiles have raised, painted or inset designs and are made from ceramic, glass, porcelain or natural stone.

Laminated benchtops are the most common and traditional and are an economical alternative. Laminated benchtops are made up of layers that have been pressed together. Although laminate does not have the durability of stone, it is still highly versatile and is available in a wide variety of textures, finishes, contemporary colors and designs including elegant timber-inspired wood grains.

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