Important things to consider, apart from the price tag that fits your budget, is which surface will hold up best under the kitchen activity of your household. Read up on the pros and cons of the most popular countertop surfaces.

Granite:┬áThis natural stone has plenty of character with unique grains, beautiful mottling, and a rich and varied colour palette. Granite stands up well to splashes, knife nicks, heat and general wear and tear but it must be sealed every now and then to avoid stains. When properly sealed it’s one of the most durable options out there.

Marble: Marble is unrivalled for beauty, class and elegance. It stands up to heat well, and because it is always cool it’s a good choice for pastry and baking stations. However, marble does stain even with sealing and it can also scratch and chip.

Laminate: Laminate is a very affordable option and there is a wide range of customisable edges and finishes which offers options for any kitchen design. It is low maintenance and easy to clean but is difficult to repair if it gets damaged and is prone to scratching, burns and stains.

Stainless Steel: This is a popular design choice especially in contemporary and industrial style homes. It is very durable, non-staining and resists heat and bacteria. Although easy to clean, fingerprints show and scratches stand out. It can also dent. It is a good choice for hard-working kitchens that do not aspire to be perfect.

Concrete: Concrete is extremely versatile and can be cast in any shape and custom tinted any shade you can imagine. It stands up well to heavy use but with time and settling, small cracks can develop, Because it’s porous, concrete will stain if not properly, and regularly, sealed.

Tile: Tile is one of the few DIY countertop options, and is very affordable. Maintenance can be difficult with the grout so using a durable, dark grout is advisable. Stone and ceramic tiles are the most durable tile options available.

Photograph by Chris Allan

Photograph by Chris Allan