November 15


5 Best Kitchen Countertop Materials For Your Dream Kitchen

By Brian McMonagle

Galway, Granite, Quartz

When it comes to creating your dream kitchen, choosing the perfect countertop should be on top of the list

From homework to evening drinks, food preparation or a second dining area in an open kitchen, the kitchen countertop can become and (we would argue) should become the centre point of every kitchen.

When designed correctly a kitchen countertop can not only transform a kitchen, but how a home operates and comes together.

With all of this in mind, there are still many options in relation to material choices.

From laminates to solid surfaces, wood to natural stones below is an outline of the 6 most commonly selected kitchen countertop materials and what you need to consider when choosing.

laminate kitchen countertop

1. Laminates

How laminates are made can varying depending on manufacturer, however laminates in general are made from several layers of kraft paper boards and melamine resin. 

This results in laminates having some economical benefits.

  • Laminates one of the cheapest choices for your kitchen
  • Laminates have improved greatly over the years in emulating the look of more natural materials, such as wood and marble
  • Laminates are much stronger now and have improved at holding up to spills and stains because of its solid, non-porous nature.
  • Maintenance is easy and straightforward. To keep laminates in tip top condition all you need is warm water, soap and a gentle wipe down with a sponge or cloth

Although laminates have become stronger and more durable sharp objects can of course still greatly damage the material as well as prolonged contact with heat, which can result in chipping and melting respectively.

As much as the economical benefits of Laminates in the short term are enticing, these two issues very much hinder it is a choice for a kitchen with the action of a sharp object or heat coming in contact with the laminate being an inevitability rather than a possibility.

Looking for a budget-friendly option with many styles and hygienic?
A laminate countertop can be perfect.

granite countertop

2. Granite

Yes, quartz has becoming ever increasingly good at copying the veiny look of granite, BUT, it can copy the feel. The depth, warmth and natural feel of granite is hard to beat and I for one, love the feel when cooking.

Granite is slightly more porous than Quartz so has a slightly higher chance of holding deep stains over time but this is easily solved by having your granite countertop professionally installed or professionally sealed.

By doing either, you can make sure your beautiful kitchen granite countertop maintains its beauty for many years to come.

Want the real deal?
Get a granite countertop today.


3. Engineered Quartz

Engineered quartz countertops are made by mixing crushed natural quartz with a polymer resin. This unique combination offers the countertops extreme durability while also expanding the range of colour options.

Another great advantage of an engineered quartz surface over its natural counterpart is that they are non-porous. Once you purchase an engineered quartz  countertop you will never have to worry about tough-to-remove stains or bacterial growth because of water exposure.

While normal quartz is extremely solid holding a rate of 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. (Diamonds are the hardest at a rate of 10). Quartz should not be compared equally with its engineered counterpart. Engineered Quartz offers much more than simply a harder surface. Yes, engineered quartz would usually be more expensive than many other countertop options but they offer a lifetime level of high performance and a beautiful selection of unique styles to choose from.

Looking for a solid, maintenance-free, natural stone look?
Engineered quartz could be for you.

solid surface countertop 2

4. Solid Surface

The solid surface option is not the strongest or most durable, but what it lacks in durability it makes up for in style. A solid surface countertop made from thick layers of synthetic acrylic allows you to have a solid striking colour across your entire countertop and make for a bold statement in a house or business.

Solid surface materials can also be non-porous, germ-resistant and an overall great choice for homeowners or business owners who want a zero-maintenance countertop.

Now while they can chip or be damaged more easily, they are also easily repaired. With simple scrubbing or sanding, damaged areas can be made to look as good as knew if, the idea of a strong solid colour countertop was something you really wanted.

Want a strong, bright colour or are in an environment accident-prone environment?
Perhaps a solid surface countertop is the choice for you.

butcher block kitchen

5. Butcherblock Wood

Wood is beautiful. Who can deny this? So when choosing wood you must simply decide if its positives outweigh its weaknesses.

As a natural material its weakness is the same as granite or marble in so much it is a naturally porous material. However, unlike granite or marble sealing or protecting the wood is more of a necessity. A wooden countertop will become more damaged over time if it is not protected. Granite and marble are much tougher.

Butcherblock counters are so named for their use in butcheries.

Want a truly unique, distinctive, one-of-a-kind kitchen countertop?
A warm butcherblock wooden countertop may be just the countertop for you.

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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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