November 15


The Best Kitchen Countertop for Your Money

By Brian McMonagle

November 15, 2018

Galway, Quartz, Worktops

Have you been dreaming of a new kitchen countertop?

We have had many customers come in confused as they always believed they would be choosing a granite kitchen countertop, but when they finally get around to planning their beautiful new kitchen they see a lot of "quartz" in many of the showrooms.

So, what exactly is quartz, and is it on oar with granite?

Quartz is engineered stone. A Quartz countertop is a manmade surface developed from mixing stone, resins and colouring.

Quartz should not be confused with "natural quartz" or "quartzite" which are actual solid-stone alternatives to granite.

Manufactured quartz is now the leading countertop material in Ireland. However, this figure is hard to gauge. We here at McMonagles would believe that this would not include granite countertops designed and built by professional designers.

Quartz V Granite

There are many reasons to choose Quartz over granite. 

  • Quartz is impervious to stains.
  • Quartz is very resistant to acidic foods
  • Quartz does not need to be sealed.
  • Quartz is very scratch and chip resistant.
  • You could argue Quartz is a better choice for the environment as it is made from combining waste stone. This means more stone does not need to be mined or shipped around the world; both of which are of course highly carbon-intensive processes for marble and granite.
quartz galway

Beautiful Quartz countertop, Galway

The usual complaint about Quartz is usually to do with its uniformity. As the stone is manufactured the patterns can become so consistent that the finished product (to some people) does not pull off the realistic look of real stone.

However, as with all things in todays faced paced technological world, advancements in how Quartz is manufactured is now offering the ability to add irregularities into the quartz making process resulting in more realistic, natural-looking stone, mimicking the inconsistencies of granite of the beautiful circles of marble. With this process constantly improving, soon we will all be able to enjoy the beauty of natural stone combined with the near indestructible material of quartz.

“Quartz is no longer about patterned flecks of colour across a countertop" says Karen Lavin of McMonagles Marble & Granite. “The design improvements of Quartz over the past few years has been astonishing. The patterns and veining look more and more like real stone every year. This allows us to offer our customers a real range of options when it comes to beauty, maintenance and price"

In terms of cost, when comparing leading world brands such as Silestone, Zodiaq, Cambria or Caesarstone, Quartz is generally in the middle between granite and marble.

When it comes to the preferences of our kitchen designers selecting their preferred kitchen countertop material below is a breakdown​.

Solid surface—43%
Butcher block—35%
Other wood—29%
Other stone—26%
Recycled countertops—22%
Stainless steel—17%

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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