Whether you're looking to add value to your home or improve the interior, beginning with the kitchen is a no-brainer.
Simply changing a few things can give it both a brand new feel while modernising the design at the same time. And that will usually start with the colour scheme or a new kitchen benchtop.
Typically, the most popular surface is stone, granite or marble, and given it's sleek finish, it's no surprise it also comes with a hefty price tag. Marble has been on trend for years, and luckily it's simple look means you only need to give your cabinetry a paint job to update the kitchen.
With custom kitchens, prices will always differ. Having the benchtop made to fit will affect it's price - the kitchen size and height as well as the cut outs will affect the cost of the material while labour might cost you a fraction more if it's difficult to get it through the front door.
An increasingly simple yet elegant surface, stone benchtops have a price tag that reflect their first-class furnishes.
With classic stone benchtops, you're looking at between $700 and $2000 per square metre, and that includes installation.
A variation of a stone kitchen benchtop, granite is becoming increasingly popular due to it's hard-wearing surface.
In a similar price range to stone, you're looking at $700 right up to $1,700 per square metre for a new granite benchtop, including installation. However, custom cutouts to fit sinks can add on another $250 to the bill.
Remember the good old days, spent at a beach house, up or down the coast? Yeh, chances are you saw a lot of timber in the kitchen.
Only now are we seeing a resurgence of timber benchtops. The natural material coupled with modern finishes has made timber fashionable once again. Unfortunately, it will require a bit more maintenance.
For a typical square slab, including installation and cut outs, the damage is between $550 and $1600 - slightly cheaper than popular stones.
Anyone familiar with brutalist architecture will know how well concrete can bring a space together. Incredibly minimalist and easily manipulated both in shape and colour, concrete is a relatively safe choice.
Despite the low-cost material, putting together the benchtop is quite labour-intensive. Expect to pay at least four digits for this one - between $1000 and $1800, including installation and any custom fits.
Much like stone and granite, marble has been popular for years. Unfortunately, it's a bit more absorbent and requires a bit more preventative action such as sealing to ensure it sticks around.
Marble is one of the more expensive options where you can pay as little as $800 for a square slab but could be looking at $3000 after installation and custom cutouts.
Consider this stone on a budget. If you don't want to commit to an expensive top or you're on a seriously tight budget, this is definitely for you.
It's also easily modifiable - a range of colours, textures and styles are available.
While in some instances, a square metre can be as little as $150, in most cases, including labour, you're looking at around $600 - not bad, eh?
Engineered Stone Benchtops
Like laminate, engineered stone offers a cheaper substitute to popular stone variations.
When it comes to price, a square metre will cost around $400 to $600, not including installation.
Caesarstone is a type of engineered stone.
For this variation, expect to pay around $500 to $1000. However cutouts might add to that price.
Similar to stone variations, quartz is an extremely popular choice. Another variation of engineered stone, quartz is an affordable price point while bearing a resemblance to granite - it's actually partially made with crushed granite.
For quartz, prices can vary depending on the style and colour you choose. If you're hoping to get that marble look, expect to pay a premium. Typically, you're looking at $520 for the basic slab but up to $1500 for an expensive finish with cutouts.
Much like timber, bamboo has come back in fashion. Fit for a holiday beach house or a tropical kitchen, bamboo is another affordable option.
When it comes to price, expect to pay the same as most timbers. With installation and cut outs, the price range is between $500 and $1600.
A ceramic alternative, porcelain is a durable and environmentally friendly option. However, it's not the cheapest option.
If you're considering a porcelain benchtop for your brand new kitchen, it'll set you back between $1200 and $2000.