How much do kitchen benchtops cost?

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By Donna Webeck

Kitchens are called the heart of the home for a very valid reason – its where the family congregates, friends gather and where unforgettable memories are made. It also stands to reason then that the kitchen is always a key focus for renovators, propelling this hub of the home back into the modern era.

While it is, of course, critical to lock down important decisions regarding layout, colour scheme and appliances, it’s the hero of this highly-popular room which needs the most attention: the not-so-humble kitchen bench.

With a myriad of options available to renovators, starting from lower end laminates, through to mid-range stone and beyond into the ultra-luxurious marble and granite finishes, there are a variety of kitchen benchtop choices to suit every Australian’s budget. Ranging from as little as $120 per square metre for laminate, through to approx. $4,000 for a slab of superior marble, we’ve broken down your choices by basic, mid-range and high-end, to help solve your kitchen benchtop renovation queries.

How much is a basic kitchen benchtop?

“A laminate bench top still provides the most cost-effective solution for those customers on a budget,” confirms Refresh renovation expert, Nielen Prince. “Laminate benchtops come in a vast range of selections and are an affordable option, plus all installation requirements can be dealt with on-site, further saving time and money.”

A trusted choice for decades, this cost-effective material comes in an extensive array of colours and patterns, and, at times, is even mistaken for stone. Starting from approx. $120 per square metre it ranges through to $350 - $650 per square metre for higher end laminates.

If you are seeking the warmth of a timber finish for your kitchen, why not opt for a bamboo benchtop? At approx. $350 per square metre, it will be far friendlier on your hip pocket than its wood counterparts, Jarrah or Ironbark, which range from $600 to $1200 per square metre.

For those who dream of dressing up their kitchen with the modern trend, stone, the good news is there is a manufactured type which sneaks into the basic benchtop budget. Known as engineered stone, it comes with an average price tag of $400 per square metre and is a good value alternative to natural stone.

How much is a mid-range kitchen benchtop?

Caesarstone is no-doubt a well-known choice in kitchen benchtops, falling into the mid-range budget. Sold in slabs of 3000mm x 1400mm, expect to pay approx. $1,500 for a standard 20mm polished slab or an estimated $1,900 for a deluxe Caesarstone polished slab.

Nielen also suggests installing modified acrylic such as MiroStone for mid-range benchtop budgets. “MiroStone provides the higher end look of a solid surface product without the associated costs of natural products,” he advises. “It’s also suitable for on-site installation and cutting, which again saves time and money.” 

Another Refresh expert giving Mirostone solid surface benchtops a tick of approval in the mid-range is Paul Cree. “This is cheaper than engineered stone, but looks and feels like stone, it is heat resistant and stain resistant and has lower installation costs than stone,” he confirms. Bought per slab, Mirostone starts from $415 for 2 x 600m products.

Finally, there is also a new trend surfacing in mid-range benchtop budgets - stainless steel. Making a move from its traditional home – the commercial kitchen – at approx. $1000 per square metre, this delivers a durable and hygienic finish.

How much is a high-end kitchen benchtop?

“With high-end benchtops, you are always getting something very unique, and with that, they add character and style to the kitchen,” confirms Paul. Both he and Nielen agree Granite is a popular choice in this price range. “The reason for this is mainly down to product reliability, and high-end look and feel,” he confirms. 

A naturally occurring stone which boasts a striking façade and resilience, the cost of Granite includes factors such as thickness, colour, kitchen size and height, as well as the number of cut-outs required (for a sink, taps, etc.). You could be looking at a price tag around $2,500 per square metre.

Polished concrete benchtops are another popular choice in the high-end price bracket. Super solid and adored by those who boast an industrial influence in their homes, it can be fabricated with a wide variety of textures, colours, shapes and inlays to add a unique feel to your kitchen. And while concrete itself is an inexpensive material, due to its labour-intensive creation process, expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $1,750 per square metre for this benchtop finish.

Renowned as the epitome of high-end benchtop finishes, marble presents as a prestigious selection for those seeking a natural stone surface in their luxury kitchen. Although its price can vary, depending on the grade of the stone, it's scarcity and shipping costs (for example, Carrara Marble is sourced from Italy) and if it is book-matched, will bump up the price. You can expect to pay up to $2,200 per square metre for a marble benchtop, depending on size, cut-outs required and depth, while some superior slabs, such as Calacatta can cost approx. $4,000.

 

You might be interested in reading: How much does a kitchen extension cost?

 

 

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