Natural stone benchtops are a popular choice that look timeless and elegant in any kitchen.
With classic stone benchtops cost anywhere from $700 to $2000 per square metre, and that includes installation.
Granite is a type of natural stone that 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. Custom cutouts to fit sinks can add another $250 onto the bill.
Remember the good old days, spent at a beach house, up or down the coast? 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. The downside is that maintaining marble is a high-maintenance affair, particularly if you're a heavy-duty cook.
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.
Engineered Stone Benchtops
Like laminate, engineered stone offers a cheaper substitute to popular stone variations.
Unlike natural stone, engineered stone alternatives tend to be hard-wearing, chip and stain resistant and, subsequently, require a lot less effort to maintain.
When it comes to price, a square metre will cost around $400 to $600, not including installation.
Caesarstone is a type of engineered stone that is great if you want to achieve the natural stone look without the hefty price-tag. In addition to being a lower-cost alternative, Caesartstone benchtops are also non-porous, scratch resistant and is available in large slabs that can be cut to suit any kitchen configuration.
Expect to pay around $500 to $1000, although keep in mind that cutouts might add to that price.
Quartz is one of the most durable kitchen benchtop materials. 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 is 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.