The 3 Best Alternatives to Granite Kitchen Benchtops in 2023 waratahkitchensadmin November 26, 2023

The 3 Best Alternatives to Granite Kitchen Benchtops in 2023

Alot of our customers are in love with the luxe look and feel of natural granite kitchen benchtops, but when they start the kitchen design process they’re surprised to find out about some of the annoying drawbacks like being prone to staining, fading, needing constant sealing, limescale and more.  

Granite kitchen benchtops have become a popular choice among Australian homeowners, and for good reason. They have a unique, natural beauty making them a elegant option to add a touch of luxury to any kitchen or bathroom renovation. However, granite can be a pain to maintain, not to mention pricey. Thankfully, today there are some great alternatives to granite kitchen benchtops that give you the look of solid stone combined with other uber-practical perks that you’ll love.

In this article, we will explore the 3 best granite kitchen benchtop alternatives on the market. Each has its own benefits and price point and we’ll look at each so you can work out which best suits your needs and budget.

But, What Are The Pros and Cons of Natural Granite Kitchen Benchtops?

Granite kitchen benchtops offer a natural durability and unique and elegant look that is hard to beat. However, like any other material, granite has its pros and cons. Before we start comparing the alternatives, here’s a run down of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a natural stone like granite for your kitchen benchtops.

The Benefits of Granite Kitchen Benchtops


Granite is a natural stone known for its durability and strength. It is resistant to scratches, heat, and stains (if properly sealed), making it an ideal material for kitchen and bathroom benchtops that are subjected to daily wear and tear.

Aesthetic Appeal

Granite kitchen benchtops are available in a range of naturally occurring colours and patterns, giving them a unique and elegant look. They can easily complement any interior design, adding a touch of sophistication and style to your home and with all the many variations, you're sure to find a colour and pattern to suit your style.

Resale Value

Granite kitchen benchtops are a good investment as they can increase the resale value of your home. They are considered a luxury item, and potential buyers are willing to pay more for homes with granite benchtops.

The Drawbacks of Granite Kitchen Benchtops

Cost - High

Granite kitchen benchtops are definitely on the expensive end of the spectrum of benchtop options, especially if you choose a rare or exotic type of granite. Generally granite is the most expensive option after marble. Installation costs can also add up, as granite is a heavy material that requires professional installation.


Granite is a porous material. Because of this it can absorb liquids and stains if it's not sealed properly. Due to this porosity, granite which is not properly sealed (and regularly resealed) can begin to accumulate bacteria in the pores of the stone. You will need to seal granite kitchen benchtops regularly to prevent staining and keep the surface hygienic.


Granite is a heavy material, which means it may not be suitable for some kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities. You will need to ensure that your cabinets can support the weight of the granite before installation.


While granite kitchen benchtops are fairly easy to clean day to day with soap and water, they do require more care and different products than other benchtops. For example cleaning products that contain bleach, orange, lemon or vinegar are not good for the stone. More importantly, granite requires regular maintenance to keep it looking and performing its best. You will need to reseal your granite counters to maintain their shine and prevent staining. In most cases you'll need to reseal once a year to keep your stone protected.

Prone to Chipping

Although granite is a very hard, durable stone in general, it is susceptible to chipping and cracking in some circumstances. This is something to bear in mind when choosing grainte as a chip in your slab can be not only expensive to replace, but, being a natural product, it is often very hard to get a close match in colour and pattern down the track.

What Are The Best Granite Kitchen Benchtops Alternatives in 2023?

If you’re thinking of renovating your kitchen here are the three best granite benchtop alternatives in 2023.

#1 Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops have a unique and elegant look mimics the appearance of natural stone. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, from solid white or black to speckled and veined designs. The surface is smooth and non-porous, which makes it resistant to stains and bacteria. Overall, quartz countertops are a popular choice for modern kitchens due to their durability and aesthetic appeal.

What are quartz countertops made of?

Unlike granite kitchen benchtops which are mined and cut into slabs from whole stone, quartz is a man-made product. Also known as “engineered stone”, quartz countertops are made of a combination of natural quartz crystals and resin. The exact ratio of quartz to resin varies depending on the manufacturer, but it usually falls somewhere between 90% to 95% quartz and 5% to 10% resin. This mixture is then molded and baked into slabs creating a hard, durable surface that’s resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.

What are the common brand names for quartz countertops?

Quartz countertops were first invented in the late 1960s by an Italian company named Breton. The company developed and patented a process called “Bretonstone” that combined crushed quartz with resin and other materials to create a hard, non-porous surface. This process revolutionized the countertop industry by offering a highly durable and easy-to-maintain alternative to traditional materials like granite and marble. Since then, quartz countertops have become increasingly popular and are now widely used in both residential and commercial applications. Some of the brand names for quartz countertops include Cambria Quartz, Caesarstone, Silestone, Corian Quartz and HanStone.

Benefits of Quartz Countertops vs Granite Kitchen Benchtops


Quartz benchtops are made of one of the hardest materials on earth, making them durable and resistant to scratches, stains and chips. When compared to granite kitchen benchtops and other natural stone slabs, which may have flaws in the stone which can lead to cracking, quartz is man-made and uniform, making cracking much less likely.

Low Maintenance

Quartz bench tops are non-porous, which means they do not require sealing like other natural granite kitchen benchtops. They are also easy to clean with just soap and water, making them a low-maintenance option for busy homeowners.

Wide Range of Colours

Being a man-made material, quartz comes in a wide range of colours and patterns, making it easy to find a style that fits your kitchen or bathroom design. It has a sleek, modern look that can elevate the overall aesthetic of your space. Natural granite kitchen benchtops on the other hand, are more unique in pattern, which makes it a beautiful statement piece, however, this also means less colour choice and can also mean it is harder to match multiple slabs if you decide to fit out cabinetry throughout your home, or if you need to replace or repair a section down the track.


Because Quartz benchtops are non-porous, they are resistant to bacteria and other microorganisms. This makes it a hygienic option for use in food prep areas. Natural stone such as granite is porous and requires sealing to keep bacteria and stains from lodging in the pores.

The Drawbacks of Quartz Countertops

Cost - Med/High

Quartz bench tops are more expensive than many other materials. They typically come in a little under the cost of solid granite kitchen benchtops and more expensive than laminate, solid surface and Granite Transformations benchtops. 

Very Heavy

Quartz is a heavy material, which means it requires professional installation to ensure the benchtop is properly supported.

Sensitive to Chemicals

Strong chemicals that contain ammonia or bleach can damage the surface and shine of quartz benchtops. If your countertops get exposed to these chemicals accidentally, neutralize their effect with water.

Susceptible to Heat

While the quartz particles themselves are resistant to heat, the resin that holds them together is not, so you need to be careful not to place hot pans, etc, on the surface as this can result in a discoloured area or dull spot on the benchtop that cannot be repaired. Comparatively, granite kitchen benchtops can withstand higher temperatures than quartz.

#2 Solid Surface Bench Tops

Like quartz, solid surface countertops are man-made or engineered countertop materials designed to mimic the appearance of natural stone. It will often have a more uniform appearance compared to quartz or granite. From a little distance, it may be hard to notice the difference between solid surface bench tops and quartz, however, upon closer inspection there are some important differences which could make one a better choice over the other depending on your needs.

What are solid surface bench tops made of?

As with quartz, solid surface countertops are a man-made product composed of a type of acrylic polymer or a blend of acrylic polymers and mineral dust. One of the first solid surface countertops is Corian, which is composed of approximately 33% acrylic resin (PMMA) and around 66% natural minerals. The most prevalent mineral found in Corian is a derivative of bauxite called aluminum trihydrate (ATH).The exact composition can vary by brand, but these materials are designed to be durable, non-porous, and resistant to stains and scratches. They can also be seamlessly joined together for a smooth, continuous surface.

What are some of the well known brands that make solid surface countertops?

There are several well-known brands that make solid surface countertops. Some of the most popular ones include Corian, LG HI-MACS, and Wilsonart. Other notable brands include Formica Solid Surfacing, Hanex, and Meganite. These brands offer a range of colours and patterns to choose from, so you can find a solid surface countertop that matches your style and needs.

Benefits of Solid Surface Countertops vs Granite Kitchen Benchtops

Nearly Completely Non-porous

No surface is totally non porous, but like quartz, solid surface countertops come pretty close, which means that they are incredibly resistant to absorbing liquids and stains. This helps to keep bacteria away, making them a clean and hygienic choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Mimics the Look of Stone

Although they may not look exactly like natural stone, solid surface countertops are designed to simulate the look and feel of stone through the use of natural minerals mixed into the resins.


Solid surface countertops can be a more affordable choice compared to other popular options such as quartz, marble and granite kitchen benchtops. People who are on a tight budget may want to consider this option.


If you accidentally scratch or damage your solid surface countertop, there are repair options that don't involve throwing away all or part of your bench tops. For example, scratches can often be repaired with an orbital sander and fine-grain sandpaper, making it a convenient and cost-effective choice for homeowners.

Seamless Joins

Unlike natural granite kitchen benchtops and quartz, solid surface benchtops are relatively soft, which means they can be cut with ordinary power tools (good for DIYers). The cut seams are then bonded with adhesive and are almost imperceptible, creating a seamless finish.

Drawbacks of Solid Surface Countertops vs Granite Kitchen Benchtops


Homeowners who opt for solid surface countertops need to exercise caution when using sharp utensils as the surface is relatively soft and prone to scratches. It is recommended to use cutting boards to prevent any damage.

Heat Damage

Solid surface countertops can typically withstand decent heat such as boiling water, but caution should be taken as some solid surfaces may start to deform, scorch or crack at temperatures close to 120 C. Avoid placing hot, dry pans or pots of boiling water on the surface to prevent damage.


Difficult for DIY Projects

For those who prefer to take on home improvement projects themselves, solid surface material may be a more manageable option than natural stone or quartz countertops, but it can still pose a challenge and requires some skill to create the seamless joins.

#3 Granite Transformations Granite Kitchen Benchtops Overlay

Granite Transformations is a unique engineered stone benchtop overlay product that is designed to look like stone, granite or marble. The 7mm engineered stone veneer is installed over your existing benchtops to give the look of solid stone benchtops. It can also be used in new builds or to extend or change the shape and layout of your existing kitchen.

What is Granite Transformations made of?

Granite Transformations is made of a combination of quartz, recycled glass and other naturally occurring minerals and a special polymer resin that makes it durable and resistant to stains and scratches. 

Who makes Granite Transformations Granite Kitchen Benchtops Overlay?

Granite Transformations is the original granite kitchen benchtops resurfacing company. They have a network of licenced partners throughout Australia and are often featured on TV shows like Selling Houses Australia and Space Invaders. Waratah Kitchens is a proudly licensed partner of Granite Transformations, based in North Rocks, Sydney and specialise in Granite Transformations both as a stand alone upgrade and as part of any kitchen renovation or makeover project.

The Benefits of Granite Transformations Granite Kitchen Benchtops Overlay

Easy Installation

Granite Transformations can be installed quickly and easily, without demolishing or removing existing countertops. (You can learn more about how resurfacing overlays work and their many benefits here.

Fast to Install

Because Granite Transformations is installed over the top of your existing benchtops, it can be installed in as little as one day, so your kitchen won't be out of action for an extended period of time. The stone you select is permanently attached to your current benchtop or splashback (even if it's made of tile) this way, you avoid the hassle, expense, and time of removing and discarding your current materials.

Wide Range of Stone and Marble Colours

Granite Transformations offers a wide range of colours and styles, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences. Available in the Classic Collection, which offers a wide range of options that look like engineered stone and a Marble Collection with a range of striking slabs that feature beautiful marble inspired veining.

Non-porous and Hygienic

Unlike traditional granite kitchen benchtops, Granite Transformations surfaces are non-porous, making it a hygienic surface that won't absorb any bacteria found in meats or be susceptible to mould or mildew caused by water absorption.

Low Maintenance

Granite Transformations is manufactured with diamond polishing, which permanently seals the surface and eliminates the need for ongoing surface sealants. This means that you never have to worry about staining or limescale, which are common problems for solid granite. Granite Transformations requires very little maintenance, as it is highly resistant to scratches, heat, and other wear and tear.


Granite Transformations is an environmentally friendly option, as it is made from recycled materials and requires fewer resources to produce than traditional granite kitchen benchtops and creates less waste than replacing existing bench tops.

The Drawbacks of Granite Transformations vs Granite Kitchen Benchtops

Not Suitable for DIYers

Granite Transformations can only be installed by skilled installers so this option is not for those who prefer to take on home improvement projects themselves.

Limited Edge Profiles

Granite Transformations benchtop overlays have limited edge options compared to natural granite countertops, which can be honed to various profiles. Granite Transformations provides a modern square edge which works for most modern and classic kitchen designs, however, this may be a factor if you're going for an ornate French Provincial kitchen, for example, and you may want an intricate bevelled edge on your benchtops.


Summing Up...

In conclusion, if you’re looking for the best alternatives to natural granite kitchen benchtops, you should consider quartz, solid surface or Granite Transformations benchtop overlay. These options offer practical, beautiful alternatives to granite with unique benefits to suit different projects and aims. With the right benchtop, you can transform your kitchen or bathroom into the space of your dreams.

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