Materials Matter: Kitchen Countertops

When it comes to your home, the kitchen makes the biggest statement, and is often the most memorable room in the house. Countertops make up a huge part of that statement, being both functional and aesthetic, useful and visible.

Choosing the right material to make your countertop an asset rather than a pain is essential to any kitchen design. There are five materials that we use most commonly, each with their own pros and cons: quartz, granite, marble, and concrete. Which one is right for you? It depends on a lot of factors.


Pros: This manufactured material can be created in any colour to match any decor. Quartz has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is quite a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily. It doesn’t have the same hardness in the feel that some people find unpleasant.

Like other hard surface countertop materials, quartz is non-porous so it resists staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other sources of stains in the kitchen. For cleanliness, a non-porous surface means that it will not harbour bacteria or viruses.

Cons:  Quartz doesn’t stand up to heat as well as granite, and the seams of manufactured stone can be less attractive to some buyers. The biggest disadvantage is the price, however the durability means it won’t have to be replaced for a very long time, making it an economical advantage in the long run.

Granite countertop


Pros: There is a rich beauty to granite countertops that no other material can match. Seamless and heat resistant, granite countertops are functional and will take any high-end kitchen to the next level.

Cons: Since granite is a natural stone, buyers are limited to the colours and styles found in nature – including imperfections and patterns. Also, granite is porous and requires sealing. The most concerning problems can occur when the countertops are not sealed correctly or the sealant wears off without the counters being resealed. This means that unsealed or poorly sealed counters can absorb wine, juice or oil, producing a stain that might be impossible to remove. A poorly-sealed countertop can also harbour bacteria in its pores.


Pros:  Marble countertops offer spectacular beauty. This igneous stone comes in a wonderful display of colour and shade. No two slabs are alike, so you’ll be assured of having a unique countertop for your home. Marble countertops can withstand heat, and stand up well to pots and pans.

Cons: Marble is porous, and requires sealing every few years to avoid liquids being absorbed causing stains that are virtually impossible to get out. It is also the least durable material on the list, being prone to chips from knives or even coffee mugs. Due to its delicate nature, marble is often saved for the bathroom where there is less chance of overuse.

ConcreteConcrete Main

Pros: Concrete countertops can be absolutely beautiful, with pigments allowing buyers to create nearly any desired shade. With staining, you can give your countertops the look of granite or other natural stone. Concrete is extremely durable, perfect for the wear and tear of a busy kitchen or active family. It won’t scratch and is very heat resistant.

Cons: Concrete prices are on the higher end, and they require sealing upon installation and resealing every 1-3 years. When not sealed correctly, concrete is susceptible to staining, a weakness it shares with granite and marble.