Budget Planning for Your Kitchen: Part 2

Your kitchen is the most used room in the house. It’s the room where all members of your family congregate first thing in the morning, after work and school, mealtimes and even more frequently on weekends. It is where discussions are had, decisions are made, homework is done, food is cooked and shared, and reluctantly, where a million dishes are washed!

So, the question most often asked when considering a kitchen upgrade or renovation is how much does it cost to create a space your whole family can be happy in? There is no clear-cut answer, and the price variance can be quite large.

Depending the size of your kitchen, the finishes you’re after and the style you want, it can generally cost as little as about $12,000 or upwards of $50,000 or $60,000! It would seem obvious that the larger the kitchen, the more expensive it is, as it takes more cabinets to fill it. However, it is possible for a small kitchen to also become quite costly if top-of-the-range finishes and appliances are used to fill it too!

You’ve chosen the material, style and colour of your cabinetry, the next step is to decide on your benchtops. For the budget conscious, laminate benchtops offer a wide range of colours and styles to suit any kitchen. However, with more and more people preferring the contemporary style and wanting to increase the value of their kitchens, stone benchtops are becoming ever more popular. This material does come with a little more a price tag and perhaps not for those on a budget. Although, ‘stone’ for your kitchen benchtops does come in a variety of colours and finishes and can therefore vary in price. Here is a breakdown of the materials you can choose:

$$$$$ Porcelain

Porcelain is the most expensive form of stone, the most hardwearing and non-porous. The finishes can be made ultra-glossy to matt and can be made to duplicate textures such as wood, stone, and even metal.

If you want the top of the line benchtop that will survive stains and your two-year old making music on it with a saucepan, then porcelain is the answer. It is a stunning product, and the number of compliments you will receive from visitors should eventually numb the pain of how much it cost!

$$$$ Natural Stone

Natural stone is a completely natural product where each piece is unique. Popular varieties include marble and granite.

Natural stone is strong and durable, however ensure that liquid spills of lemon, vinegar, wine or juice are wiped up immediately as they can discolour the stone. For a design point of view the uniqueness of each piece of natural stone is definitely a plus.

$$$ Reconstituted Stone

For the more affordable variety of stone, reconstituted is the way to go. These include products like Silestone and Caesarstone. It is made from a mix of mostly crushed quartz and other stone held together with resin, making it durable and easy to clean. As they are sold by the slab, joins need to be considered for large islands or benchtops. Reconstituted stones are available in a wide range of colours and finishes to suit any taste.

$$$ Solid Timber

For a classic or country style kitchen, solid timber benchtops definitely add charm and warmth to your kitchen. Solid timber is similarly priced to reconstituted stone. As with solid timber cabinets, the benchtops will need to be sanded, sealed and stained regularly to prevent water stains and bacteria growth. Care needs to be taken with liquid spills to prolong the life of the wood and to keep it looking amazing.

$ Laminate

If stone and solid timber are still proving to be too expensive (or too much maintenance), laminate is the cheapest benchtop material. The positive to laminate is the wide range of colours and styles you can choose from to mimic stone or wood, from matt to gloss or textural finishes.

Laminate is easy to care for and resistant to stains, however be careful with knives as it can scratch or chip, and ensure hot pots are not placed directly on it as it can burn.

Your kitchen is now looking amazing with its gorgeous cabinets and benchtops, stay tuned for our next post on the different hardware inclusions you have to choose from!

AJ’s Cabinets offers a seven-year warranty on all of the above finishes, plus a ten-year warranty on all our workmanship of the newly installed products.

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