• Stylish, honed-stone style now comes with Smartstone substance.
    bench top trends Take a look at some of the key kitchen benchtops and splashbacks directions in recent Australian renovations.

What’s cooking in kitchens? 

Let’s take a look behind the doors of Australian homes to reveal the hottest kitchen benchtop trends.

There’s no room in the home we obsess over quite like the kitchen, nor one that can potentially add as much value to a house through our choices of design, appliances, fixtures, cabinetry and kitchen benchtops. 

Having more bench space is, understandably, high up on Australian renovators’ dream kitchen wish-lists. In fact, in a renovators’ survey* the top three new kitchen elements are benchtops at 94%, followed by cabinets and tapware. We love a kitchen island bench in Australia too, with the top three new built-ins being a kitchen island at 46%, cabinets/pantry 41% and a breakfast bar at 40%. 

With our choice of kitchen benchtop materials, we’re seeing a consistent rise in popularity of engineered quartz at 34%, laminate 16% and granite at 15%. Sydney and Melbourne are Smartstone’s largest markets for its engineered quartz collections. And it’s not just in Oz that engineered stone kitchen benchtops are a leading surface choice. Some countries where they are even more popular than Australia include Canada at 48%, USA 43% and Ireland with 35%. Behind the rise of engineered quartz such as Smartstone as a leading choice in kitchen benchtops, is more than its beauty and style. It is also its numerous practical benefits, such as durability and resistance to heat, chipping, cracking and staining. 

Kitchen benchtops’ price is also important factor, with engineered quartz a more affordable option than stone kitchen benchtops such as granite and marble. At Smartstone, we’ve seen a huge increase in our marble-look collections which perfectly replicate kitchen benchtops in stone with the many benefits of quartz and with a more reasonable pricetag. Smartstone’s advanced engineering technology creates an incredibly natural looking veining in quartz – it’s hard to believe these surfaces not quarry cut – and there is a Smartstone marble style to suit everyone’s tastes. (Find out more about the benefits of Quartz vs Marble here).

While natural marble and veined quartz are on the rise, white benchtops are still the most popular choice (32%), being so readily adaptable to many on-trend styles, such as white-on-white, Hamptons and black-and-white kitchens. Kitchen splashback colours follow suit with white 37%, grey 15%, multi-coloured including veined surface and patterned tile kitchen splashbacks at 7%, blue 5% and black 5%. (For kitchen splashback ideas and inspiration for benchtops for kitchens, take a look at Smartstone’s inspiration page or follow us on Instagram.)

Australians are also prepared to pay to make their dream kitchen a reality. Our average spend on new kitchen larger than 10 sqm was $22,600, while a small kitchen less than 10sqm was $14,600. 

* Source: Houzz 2018 Kitchen Trends Study

Image courtesy of Mutual Homes