Quartz vs. Granite Countertops
In nearly any modern kitchen today, chances are high that the countertops will be either quartz or granite. Both materials are highly praised as both practical and functional for many areas throughout the home including kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, outdoor bars and so many more.
Most homeowners are willing to invest in quality countertops that will last for years to come. So, what should you know before you move forward with one material over another? We’ll break down what you need to know about quartz vs. granite countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a man-made material made from roughly 90-95 parts ground-up quartz material and 5-10 percent resin material to bind it and give it color. Some quartz varieties even contain small amounts of recycled glass or metallic specks to make it even more visually appealing.
While natural stone slabs are mined, quartz countertops are engineered in a factory. This allows for a large variety of slab sizes and shapes in addition to a variety of quartz countertops colors . From creams and pinks to blues and purples, quartz slabs can be left in their natural beauty or further enhanced to achieve a certain look.
What is Granite?
Granite is 100 percent natural with no additional materials. As an igneous rock, granite forms when molten lava cools. The process takes centuries to complete and it creates different specks and striations that add character and flair to each piece. Different minerals provide granite with differences in color and unique characteristics.
Once the granite is harvested from the quarry, it is cut and sent to the supplier where it is polished and prepared. The slabs are cut to size depending on the project measurements.
Quartz and Granite Difference
Quartz Stone Benefits
Quartz is one of the most popular countertop choices for good reason. Here are some of the main upsides of choosing this material.
High Durability & Flexibility
Because quartz is such a durable material, it makes for a great kitchen countertop material. Because the stone is permanent and a man-made material, it can last for a lifetime with the proper care.
In addition to being so durable, quartz countertops are naturally more flexible than granite countertops due to its composition. This increased flexibility makes quartz kitchen counters easy to install. Don’t mistake flexibility for weakness, however, as quartz is stronger than most natural stones including marble and granite.
Investing in kitchen countertops only to be disappointed by how much upkeep is required can be an ongoing frustration. The resin in quartz countertops helps make it low maintenance. Quartz also doesn’t need to be sealed on an annual basis to prevent stains and because the rock is non-porous, any exterior spills will not seep down and cause damage.
It’s ideal to take a sponge with warm water to your countertops on a regular basis to help wipe down any crumbs or grime.
Another quartz benefit is its consistency in pattern across each piece. While mismatched patterns are appealing to some, many people prefer quartz because of its uniformity.
Cons of Quartz Countertops
Cannot Be Used Outside
Those who are considering quartz to be the perfect addition to their patio may want to consider other materials, as the sun can cause discoloration after prolonged exposure.
Because it has the potential to change colors due to sunlight exposure, homeowners may want to keep this in consideration when choosing the countertops in an extremely sunny area of their home.
Can’t Handle High-Heat Appliances
Quartz cannot tolerate heat as well as granite can, and anything over 300 degrees will likely cause the stone to crack or become discolored. If you have teens who may not be as diligent or careful in the kitchen yet, you may consider granite around your stove.
The manufactured look of quartz can result in a cookie-cutter appearance that is unattractive to some homeowners. Many slabs look exactly the same and can cause kitchens to have similar appearances.
Granite Countertop Pros & Cons
Benefits of Granite Countertops
100% Natural Material
One major pro of granite is the fact that it’s 100 percent natural stone instead of relying on resin fillers. There is not any type of alteration made to the stone before it is cut and fit to the countertop size.
Granite countertops are typically more desirable for buyers looking to invest in their forever countertops. It exudes a rich beauty that is difficult to mimic.
Heat resistance, especially in the kitchen, is a major upside to granite countertops. Unlike quartz, you can set a pot or pan directly on the granite without causing any damage. We recommend doing this only when you need to instead of on a consistent basis.
Tolerates Chemicals Well
Chemicals such as cleaning solutions or other acid-based liquids will not cause any damage to your granite countertops. However, although there isn’t immediate damage caused, be mindful that chemicals can break down the seal of the granite over time.
Cons of Granite Countertops
If your granite countertops aren’t sealed the right way, this can result in bacteria harboring beneath the surface and causing damage to your investment.
The seals can come off at weak points such as along the counter. This may result in bacteria or other viruses wreaking havoc on your counters.
The porous material is also more prone to chipping and other surface-level damage.
Annual Reseals Necessary
Granite countertops typically require annual reseals with a professional in order to protect them from chips, stains, fractures and other damage.
Each piece of granite is unique, however, this results in more noticeable seams between pieces. It is more difficult to match veins and directional movement in the granite.
Which is Better: Quartz or Granite?
Both quartz and granite are premium countertop materials that can add beauty and functionality to your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and more.
Decide what aspects are the most important to your space and use those guidelines to choose between the two materials.
There isn’t a right or a wrong choice when it comes to quartz or granite, as both offer pros and cons that should be considered beforehand. As long as you do your due diligence to keep your countertops clean and avoid putting hot pans on your counters, both materials will serve you well for years to come.