Choosing materials for kitchen benchtops, splashbacks and islands

Benchtops, splashbacks and kitchen islands have become stand-out design features in recent years and help to unify kitchens with dining and lounge areas in open-plan living. There is a large array of beautiful materials on the market, but it is important for kitchen surfaces to offer durability, longevity and performance.

Artedomus is an expert in kitchen surfaces, with a striking and comprehensive collection of natural stone, porcelain panels and ceramic tiles for benchtops, kitchen islands and splashbacks. Here are some considerations when choosing kitchen surfaces, and how Artedomus materials are up to the job.



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MAXIMUM Venato Matt 12mm to kitchen benchtops and splashback at Paddington House 3 by Plot Architecture. Photography by Brock Beazley.

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Maximum Pietra Grey Matt island, benchtops and splashback. Soko Sky Homes by Cottee Parker and Spyre Group

Benchtops are the most important decision you’ll make for a kitchen, as it will affect aesthetics, performance and the cleaning and maintenance required. When choosing a benchtop, ask yourself the following questions:

Function and performance: How do you use your benchtop? Do you like to place hot dishes, slice vegetables or roll dough straight on the benchtop? Do you host gatherings with potential for spills?

Cleaning, maintenance and durability: Is your benchtop exposed to UV light? Are you a fastidious cleaner? Will you have it rehoned as needed?

Aesthetics: Will your benchtop stand out or blend in? Do you want a large format benchtop and/or thin profile? What colour and finish are you seeking? What other materials will you team it with?

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Elba Honed

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Teragio Honed

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Tiberio Honed


Opus Honed


Vigo Lena Honed

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Sareva Honed

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Magnesia Brushed

Predia Honed

Predia Honed

Artedomus’ natural stone slabs and Porcelain Panels provide good looks, performance and durability for kitchen benchtops. Natural stone is much-loved for its classical elegance, and it goes beautifully with all cabinetry. Natural stone adds a strong sense of authenticity to a kitchen, with each slab having its own unique beauty, colour and veining.


Kitchen benchtops and splashbacks in Elba marble


Vagli Oro marble kitchen benchtops and splashback. Calabash Bay Lodge by Carole Whiting Studio

Artedomus goes to great lengths to identify and discover and introduce the most beautiful stones to the design market. Elba is a hero of the natural stone range, trademarked exclusive to Artedomus. Coveted for its cool grey tones with soft brown markings, Elba is a beautiful, hardwearing stone that continues to prove its versatility and longevity. Teragio has also been carefully selected for its visually distinctive veining and high strength properties.

Natural stone is a high-performance surface in the kitchen, but it does need to be looked after as regular physical contact and exposure to substances could affect its appearance. Make sure the stone is sealed before use, and have it resealed or rehoned as needed. Remove stains and spills as soon as possible and clean it regularly with a pH-neutral product.

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Cotto Manetti Litos Naturale Terracotta. Hendra Project by Wrightson Stewart. Photography by Kylie Hood. Styling by Lynda Owen

Cotto Manetti Naturale Terracotta. Hendra Project by Wrightson Stewart. Photography by Kylie Hood. Styling by Lynda Owen.jpg

Cotto Manetti Naturale Terracotta. Hendra Project by Wrightson Stewart. Photography by Kylie Hood. Styling by Lynda Owen

Artedomus’ Porcelain Panels, such as MAXIMUM and Artetech, offer the same striking looks as natural stone but with even greater performance. Porcelain Panels are an all-natural surface made the same way nature makes stone. Clay, sand, quartz and feldspar are crushed into a fine powder that’s mixed and pressed together and heated at 1,250 degrees Celsius to consolidate it into one mass. This strength means they are available in large-format slabs and in thinner profiles than other benchtops – 6mm and 12mm, as compared to the standard 20mm. They are practically impervious to damage, they don’t stain or etch, and are completely UV stable.

Fiandre Porcelain Panels are also available with Active 2.0, a revolutionary photocatalytic coating that is antibacterial, anti-odour and antiviral. It reduces indoor nitrogen oxide and VOC levels, and its self-cleaning properties ensure ease of maintenance.

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Maximum Calacatta Variation D (6mm & 12mm)

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Maximum Statuario Variation A (6mm & 12mm)

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Maximum Pietra Grey

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Royal Platinum

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Artetech Beton Rope

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Urban White 12mm

Kitchen islands

Kitchen islands are often the main event in the kitchen – where you prepare, serve and eat food; where friends and family gather; even where you work, or where kids do their homework. Choosing your kitchen benchtop will be the primary material for your island, and depending on the desired aesthetic effect, you might also clad the sides of the island with the same material, create a graphic effect or pair it with timber or other materials.


Maximum Fior Di Bosco and 12mm Artetech Beton Rope at North Bondi Residence. Photography by Joanne Ly

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Artetech Pietra Marrone porcelain panel kitchen island bench

Artedomus’ natural stone and Porcelain Panels can be used to clad the front and sides of a kitchen island. This can anchor the island in the kitchen and create a more solid volume. The large-format slabs and panels will create a seamless surface, free of joins, and the option of thicker or thinner profiles can offer different visual effects. Porcelain Panels will withstand any accidental knocks, and natural stone can be rehoned if needed. And because they’re lightweight, Porcelain Panels can also be used to clad kitchen doors.

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Arterrazzo Assisi Honed

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Arterrazzo Rosaio Honed


Splashbacks also make an impact in the kitchen and can blend into the backdrop or create an eye-catching feature. Splashbacks need to be easy to clean so you can wipe away splatters from the cooktop or sink.


Custom Wakai Tajimi scalloped tiles on kitchen wall. Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects


The subtle patina and lustre of the YB12 tiles create a focal point within the kitchen and call attention to the natural variation in the grain of the timber cabinetry.

Continuing the benchtop material, such as natural stone or Porcelain Panels, on the splashback creates a seamlessness in the design and cohesiveness throughout the kitchen, tying together the benchtop, island and splashback. It can also be used to clad the sides around the splashback and any joinery or rangehood.

Alternatively, a tiled splashback can be a design feature all its own, offering colour, texture and dimension. INAX offers a broad range of Japanese ceramics, mosaics and tiles to suit any interior style. The collection is sculptural, textural and colourful – perfect for creating geometric pattern, subtle dimension and soft colour variation. The unique quality of the glaze and colour sets the tiles apart from other products on the market, and they undergo a long, slow baking process to make them exceptionally hardwearing. They can even be used on the kickstrip or benchtop for another design feature.

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Yohen Border YB15B

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Cotto Manetti Terracotta Tumbled Square Mosaics 20×20mm shown here

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Sugie Series SU2031 Hanten

Travertine Roccia

Travertine Roccia with INAX 2×1 Inch SU-2031 Hanten Glaze (Grid Join), Agape Eclissi Mirror, Agape Sen Tapware and Agape In-Out 3/4 Height Washbasin

Artesserae Grigio Orsola Square Large

Artesserae Grigio Orsola 100mm Square Acid Etched

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Madoka MDK34

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Artesserae Herringbone

Making your selection

Your kitchen is an investment, and it should deliver many years of performance and enjoyment. Talk to an expert for advice on choosing kitchen surfaces and take samples away with you to look at in situ or with other elements from your material palette, and to test their durability. This way, you can rest assured about how it might look in different light or with other materials, as well as its performance.

To speak to an Artedomus representative, call or visit one of the four Artedomus showrooms across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Artedomus representatives work with leading designers across Australia, and have knowledge of not just the product, but how it will suit your interior look.