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Kitchen

Which benchtop is best for you?

This week we spoke with Ming-Aen of the Laminex group to find out their insider tips for choosing the best kitchen materials.

Q. What are your top tips when selecting your benchtop?

A. What sort of use will it get? Lots of cooking and entertaining? Lots of kids? Hectic lifestyle? All these things mean that your benchtop will get higher use (and maybe a little accidental abuse). In general:

  • Light to mid tones are better than dark colours for general wear and tear.
  • Natural or matt, lower gloss finishes are better than high gloss for superficial scratching (however, Laminex DiamondGloss surfaces and Formica GlossPlus have enhanced scratch resistance than traditional gloss laminates)
  • Printed patterns are more forgiving than solid colours

So an ideal combination for a kitchen benchtop that gets a tough daily workout is a light to mid-toned pattern in Natural or Velour finish.

If you don’t have a particular colour scheme in mind, start with the surfaces that are the most difficult to change or most expensive to install. For example, start with the floor if that won’t be changed. Everything else must work with that. Next comes the kitchen cabinets because they occupy such a large proportion of surface area that they can dominate the space. Next comes the benchtop, followed by tiles/splashback then finally painted surfaces.

Q. What is your most popular product?

Well, putting aside WHITE which is everyone’s most popular colour and not just in Australia……..

Laminex and Formica laminates are still by far the most popular benchtop products, representing as they do a fantastic value-for-money proposition and huge choice.

Essastone engineered stone is becoming increasingly popular. Combining the best of nature and technology to give resilient, durable surfaces that look beautiful, too.

For splashbacks, Laminex Metaline really is making a splash as a beautiful yet functional alternative to other splashback materials.

In terms of colour for benchtops, generally there are two extremes:

  • Black and near-black stone reproduction HPL (Nero Assoluto is ubiquitous globally)
  • Low contrast tone-on-tone natural or engineered stone looks.
Q. What does your showroom/selection centre have to offer which will help people make a decision?

A. The complete range of The Laminex Group decorative surfacing materials that shows a selection of possibilities.

  • Display kitchens and furniture so that you can see how some combinations work.
  • Colour Consultants, who are qualified Interior Designers or Stylists, who are on hand to assist with colour and design decisions for free. They can also put you touch with trade professionals who can help you realise your home renovation dream.

Visit the Laminex Group website for more information on product.