Wooden tabletop with free space for product montage or mockup against blurred white kitchen with cutting board and plant in scandinavian style in morning light

How much does it cost to get a new kitchen benchtop? With so many materials available, making a decision can be difficult. Plus, you’ll want to know how it affects the overall kitchen renovation cost.

This article breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of different benchtop materials, installation options, and gives you an approximate cost for your project.

You might also read:

Types of kitchen benchtop materials

The most common materials used for kitchen benchtops in Australia include:

  1. Laminate: These benchtops are popular because of their affordability, variety of designs, easy installation, and low maintenance. However, they can be vulnerable to moisture and heat.
  2. Timber: Hardwood timbers are favoured in more traditional kitchens, providing character and warmth. They are usually sealed for durability and waterproofing, although this has limitations.
  3. Stainless Steel: This material, once common in commercial kitchens, is now popular in homes due to its durability and hygiene. However, it can be noisy and prone to scratching.
  4. Engineered Stone: Brands like Caesarstone and Essastone offer alternatives to natural stone with surfaces that are more durable, though not completely immune to damage.
  5. Natural Stone: Granite and marble are still popular choices, offering a unique, organic feel to any kitchen. However, they can chip, stain easily, and are heavy.

rolling pin, cutting board and eggs on kitchen counter

How long does it take to install a kitchen benchtop?

The answer depends on the material you’re using and the complexity of the job.

After your benchtops are installed, the installer will come into the template, using light timber or a laser. They’ll also need dimensions for the cooker and/or sink, and obtain templates for these cutouts. The lead time for your benchtops will vary depending on the material. Natural stone or engineered stone (like Caesarstone) could take up to a week or more to deliver after templating. Laminate typically has a shorter wait time.

Hiring a kitchen benchtop installer

If you’re tackling a DIY kitchen project, you might be able to assemble flatpack cabinets and hang overheads yourself. But installing benchtops requires more skill. Without proper cutting tools and techniques, you risk ending up with poorly cut edges, even with materials like laminate and timber.

When it’s time to hire a professional to install your benchtop, it’s crucial to ask the right questions to ensure they’re the right fit for the job. Some important questions to consider include:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Are you insured to work in my home?
  • How long will the job take?
  • Can you provide a written quote?
  • Do you have references I can contact?
  • Can I see examples of your previous work?

Do kitchen benchtop installers need to be licensed?

It depends on where you live. For instance, in NSW, if you’re installing a stone benchtop, you’ll need a builder’s license, minor trade work license, or stonemasonry license. If your kitchen builder is managing everything, they’ll need the appropriate licensing or employ qualified contractors.

In short, check with your local licensing authority or council before obtaining quotes.

Overhead View Of Couple Looking At Laptop In Modern Kitchen

How much do kitchen benchtops cost?

Understanding the cost of your kitchen benchtop is crucial, as it directly impacts your overall renovation budget. Even small differences in price can add up quickly, especially if you’re aiming for ample workspace in your new kitchen.

Here are some approximate costs for different types of benchtop materials, excluding installation:

Laminate benchtop

  • Budget material: $120 per square metre
  • Higher-end surface: $350 per square metre

Timber benchtop

  • Cheaper timber like bamboo: $350 per square metre
  • Hardwood timber like Jarrah or Ironbark: $600 to $1200 per square metre

Stainless steel benchtop

  • Stainless steel: $950 per square metre

Engineered or quartz stone benchtop

  • Engineered stone: $390 to $550 per square metre
  • Caesarstone (for example):
    • Nimbus (standard 20mm polished slab): $1,549
    • Buttermilk (deluxe 20mm polished slab): $1,899
    • Taj Royale (supernatural 20mm polished slab): $2,699
    • Calacatta (marble-looking quartz polished slab): $3,999

Natural stone benchtop

  • Granite: $650 to $2,000 per square metre
  • Marble: $800 to $2,200 per square metre

Smartstone vs. Caesarstone

Caesarstone benchtops typically range between $416 and $1,190 per square metre, but they are usually sold in slabs. Here’s a breakdown of Caesarstone benchtop prices per slab with 20mm thickness:

  • Osprey (standard): $1,749
  • Buttermilk (deluxe): $2,199
  • Alpine Mist (supernatural range): $2,999
  • Calacatta Nuvo (supernatural ultra range): $4,999

Smartstone offers a 15-year Limited Warranty on all their products and competitive pricing. Here’s a price list for a standard 3000mm x 1400mm x 20mm slab:

  • Almendra (essentials range): $1,499
  • Nero Astral (essentials range): $1,699
  • Nieve White (premium): $1,899
  • Calacatta Blanco (luxury): $3,599

Essastone benchtops start from about $188 per square metre, making them a more affordable option. Silestone benchtops range between $1,475 and $3,069 per slab (3250mm x 1590mm x 20mm).

Front view of happy Caucasian family preparing vegetable salad in kitchen at home

IKEA stone benchtop price

IKEA offers a variety of affordable engineered stone benchtops. Quartz or ceramic benchtops range in price from $679 to $1,079 per square metre.

Porcelain benchtop cost

Porcelain benchtops resemble stone but are made from a mixture of powdered clay and pigments bonded together with high pressure and high temperature. You can opt for thinner slabs than other stone benchtops. Brands like Caesarstone and Smartstone offer porcelain slabs, which typically cost about $1,200 to $2,000 in total.

If you’re considering a black stone benchtop, it’s wise to compare prices and appearance between natural granite and engineered stone. Absolute black granite, for instance, is one of the priciest natural stones due to its uniform black colour. In such cases, an engineered stone product might be a more cost-effective choice. Granite tends to be the most expensive, but some types can be comparable in price to higher-quality engineered stone benchtops.

Getting quotes for stone benchtop installation

Still wondering about the cost of a stone benchtop? Whether you’re eyeing marble, granite, or engineered stone, it’s essential to shop around and gather multiple quotes for your kitchen renovation project.

Instead of relying on a stone benchtop price estimator, we recommend comparing at least three quotes from local benchtop installers to understand the local market rates for both materials and installation.

If you’re keen on a black granite benchtop, it’s wise to compare granite kitchen benchtop prices with those of engineered stone. Absolute black granite is one of the priciest materials for benchtops, so opting for engineered stone could give you a similar look at a more affordable price.