kitchen design by insidesign sydney

Kitchen benchtops.
We have an issue. Or do we?

As of July 1st, 2024, engineered stone benchtops with any silica content will no longer be available in Australia due to safety regulations. While this might sound like a roadblock, it's actually an exciting opportunity to explore other stunning options for your dream kitchen!

designer kitchen detail


Beyond the familiar:

Originally, engineered stone might have been on your design wish list – after all it’s the material of choice for most Australian kitchens. While some manufacturers will develop 0% silica content options of parts of their range, there are fantastic alternatives to them:


Timeless elegance:

  • Natural stone: The classic natural stones granite, quartzite and marble offer a touch of luxury and timeless appeal – perfect for high-end homeowners. Can marble be used in the kitchen? Well, Italians have covered their floors with it for thousands of years… It will age, but that is the charm of it. Also, do seal it regularly.


Sustainable statement:

  • Recycled timber: I prefer recycled timber to freshly cut timber because it’s more stable and eco-conscious. Timber adds warmth and a cosy and rustic vibe to your décor. Timber does require some maintenance but it’s less than you would expect. For kitchen benchtops I would recommend raw timber with oil finish and then add more oil as required. For furniture I would recommend it to be finished.

Modern luxury:

  • Porcelain slabs: This cutting-edge material has exceptional durability and comes in a variety of sleek, large-format, thin profiles, complementing modern design styles. Unlike engineered stone it has the pattern printed only on top and is susceptible to chipping in edges unless they have been supported and reinforced. Note: porcelain slab cutting and installation require special tools and methods from the stonemason and it needs to be glued across the whole length to the cabinets below. The joiner will need to take that into consideration when building the cabinets.


Classic industrial:

  • Stainless steel: it’s practical and low-maintenance material with industrial / commercial kitchen vibe, and it allows integrated sinks. However, it is stainless only in name and will show splashes, rust marks and fingerprints.


Unparalleled performance:

  • Sintered stone (Lapitec, Neolith), Ultracompact porcelain (Dekton): These advanced materials offer a variety of stunning finishes with top-tier performance. They are resistant to scratches, heat, chemicals, and UV rays – ideal for busy kitchens that need to handle anything life throws their way. They can even be used in outdoor kitchens.


Functional versatility:

  • Solid surface (Corian): While not heat resistant, this material offers exceptional versatility with its moldable nature and resistance to chemicals. It can be joined seamlessly and even be repaired if damaged, making it a practical option for bathrooms, laundries and healthcare.

My recommendation?

While each option has its merits, Dekton stands out to me for its exceptional performance and design versatility. However, the final choice depends on your budget, style preferences, and lifestyle needs. Understanding your individual needs and preferences is the key and I'm here to guide you. Schedule a consultation with me to explore these exciting options and discover the perfect benchtop for your kitchen.

Remember, change can be an opportunity for creativity and innovation if you embrace it. Let's create a kitchen that reflects your unique style and makes cooking and entertaining a joy!

Personally, I'm excited about the possibilities that these options bring to the table (pun intended!)