Table Of Contents
Kitchen Benchtop Manufacturing
Kitchen benchtops are an essential part of the kitchen's design. Not only does it represent the epicentre of the kitchen's aesthetics, but it is also the place to do your work when in the kitchen. Installing a kitchen benchtop can be tricky and involves a lot of planning and consideration.
For instance, one of the significant factors that will likely determine if or not you can install your kitchen benchtop yourself is the choice of material you decide to go for. When considering setting up your kitchen benchtop, there are copious materials to pick from.
These include materials such as wood, stainless steel, concrete, stone, among others. In this article, we cover how you can make a simple laminate kitchen benchtop. We will also provide you with some vital information to keep in mind when planning the installation of your other types of benchtops.
How To Build A Laminate Kitchen Benchtop
Building laminated benchtops involves the following steps:
Step One: Take out existing fixtures
Remove any existing features, including sinks, under-counter appliances, backsplashes, piping, and worktops. Use a hammer, pry bar, utility knife, cordless driver, and putty knife while being careful not to damage the existing walls or tile.
Step Two: Find the benchtop and the fibreboard connection
Your old benchtops will serve as your new benchtop once you trace their precise dimensions and shapes. After using the old pieces as a pattern for the new MDF blanks, they may be thrown away.
Step Three: Use a circular saw and a jigsaw to cut the blanks
Hold your MDF in place with 2-by-4s, then use a circular saw and metal straight edge to carve off the blanks. Continue with the jigsaw inserts and different shapes. Then, fasten the MDF cleats in place using glue and screws.
Step Four: Reinforce pieced blanks with MDF cleats
Clamp the edges of the blanks together and wait for the glue to cure for a while. Working from the bottom, fasten MDF cleats across joints as reinforcement and along the forward edges to create a double-thickness lip with glue and countersunk screws.
Step Five: Transfer benchtop dimensions to the laminate
Transfer measurements of blanks to the laminate, and be sure to leave an inch (2.5cm) of overhang on both sides. Cut laminate panels for tops and thin strips for hidden edges using a tool with a carbide tip to score and break the laminate along the score line.
Step Six: Apply contact adhesive on both sides
Apply two rounds of contact adhesive to blank surfaces and one coat to the laminate, starting with hidden edges. The adhesive needs time to set. Place the laminate on the blank and press pieces firmly together with a J-roller.
Step Seven: Route the laminate edges from left to right
Remove excess material using a laminate trimmer or router. Keep the trimmer perfectly flat against the laminate and move it from left to right. Use the same pattern for the remaining upper panels.
Step Eight: Glue decorative edge to the benchtop
A dado is routed through the open edge of the benchtop, and the ends trimmed to fit the tongue made of wood. The dado and adjacent surfaces must be coated with adhesive before they are pushed into place.
Step Nine: Secure benchtop and waterproof joints
Fasten support brackets for the benchtop with screws—press backsplashes into place and secure with construction glue. Use white silicone caulk at the joint between the tile and backsplash and clear caulk between the tile and the benchtop. Use a squeegee to apply the caulk.
Step Ten: Replace the sink and reconnect the plumbing
Create a second, intersecting line 0.25 inches (0.6cm) from the first and use it as a cutting guide. Create the opening by drilling pilot holes in each corner and cutting away the material using a jigsaw. After that, reconnect the piping.
Changing Or Installing A Kitchen Benchtop
Consult a professional
The first step in preparing your countertops for replacement or installation is to speak with the professionals who will be working on them. It's polite to inquire if doing a certain level of preparation ahead of time will make their job easier.
Provide them with a clean place with enough room to work and set down their equipment. You don't need to take measurements. Don't become too engaged, or else you might get in the way, and the project could take longer to complete.
Is it still possible to use your kitchen?
If you typically spend a significant portion of your time in the kitchen working on the benchtop, make other plans for a few days while the contractors work. But, whenever schedule and temperature allow it, feel free to fire up the grills and prepare meals al fresco.
Cold snacks you can make beforehand to serve at work include sandwiches, salads, chips, or dips. If they're kept in a plastic container in the kitchen, you just grab what you need and be on your way.
Freezer meals, including pizza and TV dinners, are another option. You may even plan your meals to correspond with the contractors' lunch and departure times. Be sure to put everything back in its original state.
Get rid of gadgets and clutter
The kitchen counter doubles as a desk and a cupboard for most people. Toasters, coffee makers, dish racks, and blenders all have a home in the kitchen appliance drawer. Just get rid of anything listed above before the installation crew arrives. Put away anything you don't need right now while work is underway.
On the other hand, when you have a coffee maker or other appliance that you use frequently, you could find it convenient to create a coffee station at your dining table. You shouldn't just pack up your appliances and leave the kitchen; there are a few frequently used items that should also go.
As a result, you won't be able to come and go from the room as the counters are being reset. You should put away the dishes, cutlery, and glasses used for eating and drinking. If you order takeout, eat at the table so that you do not go to the kitchen.
Factors When Choosing A Kitchen Benchtop
Kitchen countertops are continuously used, so investing in a high-quality, long-lasting material is critical. Naturally occurring materials such as marble and granite and artificial materials such as quartz, metal, and glass have their distinct properties.
Updating your kitchen with a new benchtop is a significant investment, but it can have many benefits. Here are some beneficial things to keep in mind while planning to change your existing benchtop or install a fresh one:
Consider how you use the kitchen to determine which countertop material is appropriate. Do you prepare meals every day? What is the primary function of the kitchen? Do you have enough time to clean the kitchen regularly? These are some critical considerations while selecting a material for the benchtop. Before making your kitchen choices, carefully consider your demands.
Ease of care
The countertop dominates a large portion of the kitchen. Countertop materials should be stain-resistant for your kitchen to seem clean. Popular countertop materials like marble and granite must be sealed to protect them from germs and stains. Instead, go for quartz or stainless steel, which are non-porous and simpler to clean.
The countertop's appearance is just as vital as its functionality. It must match and enhance the overall aesthetic of the interiors. Marble is known for its wide range of hues and simple beauty. Stone and wood give your house a natural feel, while artificial materials like solid surfaces, stainless steel, plastic laminates, and concrete add a modern and stylish touch.
This is the most significant consideration if you are planning a long-term installation. If you want a heavy-duty kitchen at home, use materials that are resistant to heat, scratches, burns, and chipping. Engineered stone worktops are incredibly durable and ideal for high-traffic kitchens. Granite and marble are also scratch-and heat-resistant, but they must be sealed often.
Bacterial and fungal development is expected in the kitchen, and your choice of countertop material and its upkeep affect cleanliness. Avoid counters with grooves because they can trap dirt and bacteria if not properly cleaned. This is a significant reason to avoid tiling.
When choosing materials for the benchtop, keep the price range in mind to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. Prioritise your needs over your budget to be happy with the investment. Natural materials may be pretty challenging to maintain and costly, but they are a sensible investment in the long term. Granite is well-known for its strength.
When you do a lot of cooking and serving at home on special occasions, your kitchen countertop gets centre stage. As a result, it's critical to select high-quality materials that will endure a long time. Considering the above-mentioned aspects, you can choose the ideal alternative for your kitchen.
What Are The Prices Of Kitchen Countertops?
Knowing the complete cost of your kitchen benchtop is critical since it affects the entire price of your kitchen makeover. A few thousand dollars here and there pile up rapidly. This is especially important if you want a lot of room in your new kitchen. Here are some estimated figures to expect, excluding installation.
Laminate is the most affordable kitchen benchtop material. Expect to pay the following:
- A budget benchtop costs about $120 per square metre.
- A higher-end surface costs approximately $350 per square metre.
Benchtop in timber
Timber benchtops can range in price depending on the species.
- It costs, on average, $350 per square metre for a less expensive wood such as bamboo.
- Hardwood timber such as Jarrah or Ironbark costs between $600 and $1200 per square metre.
- Stainless steel costs $950 per square metre.
Engineered or quartz stone
An engineered stone benchtop will cost between $390 and $550 per square metre, plus installation.
Stone is sold as Caesarstone slabs of size 3000 x 1400 mm, and they are priced as follows:
- A regular 20mm polished slab costs roughly $1,549.
- Buttermilk, a luxury 20mm polished slab, costs around $1,899.
- Taj Royale, a supernatural 20mm polished slab, costs less than $2,699.
- Calacatta, a marble-like quartz polished block, costs around $3999.
Consult A Home Improvement Expert
Most benchtops require experts to install them. Benchtops such as stainless-steel benchtops and those made from engineered stones will need you to talk to an expert to help you get them installed properly in your kitchen. So, if you are planning on changing your benchtop or installing a new one, it's essential to involve a professional, especially when installing the benchtop on kitchen islands.