January 9


What Material Best Reflects You?

By Brian McMonagle

January 9, 2019

The heart of the home is the kitchen and the heart of that kitchen is the countertop; because the kitchen countertop is where daily life takes place!

What material will you place your hands on each morning to make your heart and the heart of your kitchen perfect?

From glass to wood, concrete to tile - what surface reflects your inner you?

Okay, so no we do not stock the below materials. Here at McMonagles we focus on refining and perfecting what we believe to be the best materials for a kitchen countertop, granite, quartz and marble.

However, that does not make us any less appreciative of the beauty and craftsmanship it takes to produce many other incredible kitchen surfaces. Here at McMonagles, we are lovers of design. We love craft, art, interior design and everything it takes to design, produce and build a beautiful kitchen. 

And while we focus on Marble, Granite and Quartz, below are 6 more beautiful, yet unusual kitchen countertop materials.

  • Concrete
  • Marble, Soapstone, and Limestone
  • Glass
  • Butcher Block
  • Stainless Steel
  • Tile
concrete kitchen

1. Concrete

Concrete is an unusual kitchen surface material as it doesn’t seem to last in terms style like granite. It has an ebb and flow to it and it seems to come and go around every decade or so following a surge in a minimalist style of cool, grey and black and white art.

concrete kitchen

Here at McMonagles we always believe that the heart of a home is a the kitchen and the heart of that kitchen is the countertop as it is where daily life takes place. Yes, concrete can look beautiful, but does it feel beautiful and give that warmth a family desires.

We do love the look and style of a concrete finish, but we will always prefer the warmth of a coloured and flecked granite countertop.

concrete kitchen

Concrete is durable, can withstand high heat and is highly resistant to scratches. If you do plan on buying a concrete kitchen countertop do remember to seal the concrete to prevent water damage.

soapstone kitchen

2. Marble, Soapstone, and Limestone

 We mainly deal with granite as it is the most durable natural stone, but it isn’t the only natural stone which can be used for a kitchen countertop. Limestone, marble and soapstone are also brilliant choices which do offer that natural stone feel and appearance. While they are not as strong or heat resistant as granite they while last if maintained and taken care of.

Soapstone offers some unusual colours and styles but can be scratched a little easier. However, if the stone is nicked you can  simply sand the stone and apply mineral oil.

soapstone kitchen 1
soapstone kitchen 1

3. Glass

Yes, glass countertops are very expensive but my god they can give off a striking look. The choice of colours when it comes to glass are of course endless and with the ability to now add dyes, materials and even personal objects into the glass they can highly personalised. 

glass countertop
glass countertop
glass countertop
glass countertop

Of course, this grandiose style is perhaps better suited for the corporate and commercial world as the daily use of a glass countertop in a family kitchen can result in a lot of wiping and cleaning to maintain that sparkle and shine.

Butcher Block countertop

4. Butcher Block

Take some beautiful wood and glue them together. Simple, strong and striking. When it comes to a natural look and feel one could argue wood is the best. It just falls down ‘a little’, when it comes to durability as they will tire, scratch and age with time.

Butcher Block countertop
Butcher Block countertop

Now in certain circumstances, this ageing can only add to the beauty that is wood, but when it comes to the kitchen, family and food, this is where perhaps granite and quartz pips it slightly. But, I myself, will have to admit I do love the look and feel of a wooden kitchen countertop. They can be endless in their style and beauty. Love, love, love them.

Butcher Block countertop

If you are considering a butcher block countertop do ensure to maintain them regularly by sanding down scratches, oiling them and protecting them from heat.

stainless steel countertop

5. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel; the only material that can stand up to granite and quartz in all objective benefits. When it comes to durability, hygiene, strength and cost, we can fault stainless steel as a kitchen countertop material. Yes, stainless steel can rust but at such a slow pace it is bound to outlast you 🙂 . It can of course also withstand very high temperatures. 

stainless steel countertop
stainless steel countertop

The only downside to stainless steel is that its stainless steel. It is one colour, one look and so you either like it or you you don’t. 

A tough style for many as our minds think back to the days we worked in a hotel kitchen 🙂 but if matched well to a modern, minimalist or industrial style, they can work and work well.

6. Tiles

Tiles! Who doesn’t love tiles. Tiles have a fun side to them don’t you think? With endless choices when it comes to patterns, sizes and colours tiles can be used to offer a very bold style indeed.

tiles countertop
tiles countertop

This is of course to their detriment. The bolder the choice, the easier it is for them to date or for the owner (after 10 years) to need a change. They are perhaps not timeless in their style, but they are unique and offers the buyer complete control over how they want their kitchen to look. 

From chic black and white kitchen to American diner red - Tiles give you the option to go crazy and have fun. 

If thinking tiles are for you, do note they are not indestructible and will crack overtime if not taken care of.

Whether countertop or backsplash get your kitchen renovation done right with some professional help! Get in touch today and we will assist you based on your budget and style.

Ready to Renovate?

Start meeting professionals today for a quote.

Brian McMonagle

About the author

Brian took over McMonagle Marble & Granite from his father Cathal in 2009. A family run business McMonagles was originally a fireplace distributer. Brian’s innovative steps has now expanded the company to over 20 employees, International markets and into the leading marble and granite fabricator of the North West of Ireland.

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