February 6


Marble? Quartz? Granite? How to choose the kitchen countertop for you

By Brian McMonagle

February 6, 2019

Yes, choosing the right countertop for your life, family and kitchen can be difficult and expensive, but it can also be exciting! 

With more choices than ever you really can now select and design a countertop which isn’t simply somewhere to place your breakfast, it’s somewhere to help you enjoy breakfast. 

A well designed, carefully selected countertop will not only improve your house, but improve your home, your life and how you interact with the daily tasks which takes place in the kitchen. And was is life, if nothing but the little things in life!

In todays world of kitchen countertops there are dozens of different materials to choose from that are all suitable for a cooking, cleaning and a glass of wine. From marble to quartz, granite to glass, tile to even butcher block and concrete or you have many choices. 

I asked Karen Lavin, principal designer with McMonagles Marble & Granite, what are the best options for families, chefs and bakers, and on different budgets, too.

marble baking countertop


When you want that premium look and feel, people do tend to think marble. Especially within the commercial world of hotels. However, when it comes to the home and particularly the kitchen, marble may not be the ideal choice.

Marble is naturally porous and can require a small bit of regular sealing. It is a beautiful natural stone, but it terms of a strict comparison between marble, granite and quartz, one could argue strongly that quartz is the winner as a beautiful yet practical choice. 

When one thinks about foods such as red wine, beets or red meats the mixed composition of quartz is best. 

This is not to say of course that marble can’t be used in the kitchen at all. When it comes to baking rather than cooking, bakers tend to prefer marble countertops. 

Due to the natural surface of marble dough does not stick to it when kneading like quartz. So, if you’re a serious baker, having a marble baking station maybe a real asset.

quartz is best for clean kitchen


“What many of our customers don’t know about quartz when they come to us is that Quartz is manufactured,” says Karen Lavin

“This makes quartz an extremely strong material as it is a mixture of crushed quartz, adhesives, and sometimes colours. Because quartz is manufactured, it is usually a tiny bit more expensive than marbles or granites”

couple-drinking wine on quartz countertop

Because Quartz is manmade this makes it easier to take care of as it doesn’t require sealing like natural stone countertops.

Also, because of it is non-porous in nature, it is slightly more resistant to scratches, heat and stains and comes in a variety of patterns and colours to suit any lifestyle, budget and kitchen.



Granite is affordable, available and natural which continues to make it a common and attractive choice for many home owners kitchen countertops

With a great variety in price, colour and availability and as it is a dependable work surface granite is still a great choice for any kitchen. 

Also, many people love the polished sheen of granite which can give any home a real high end look and feel without breaking the bank.

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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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