quartz kitchen countertop

Quartz vs Granite – How to choose the perfect countertop?

When you consider countertop materials, it is very crucial to think not just about the look but also about the maintenance and durability, which shall suit your lifestyle the best way. Quartz and Granite are both stylish and sensible options for bathrooms or kitchens that are used daily, and therefore choosing between them can be a difficult decision to make.

Granite is a hard and 100 percent natural stone. This stone is mined from quarries and reduced to a manageable size and thereafter polished to a great finish. Quartz is a little bit different and it is not 100% natural. Countertops are manufactured with 95% natural quartz and 5% polymer resins.

Quartz vs Granite is not apparent because both are considered by their manufacturers as being natural, hard as stone, and straight from the earth. Let us have a look at the pros and cons of both materials depending on the following factors:

Composition

Granite is a purely natural stone, which comes from stone quarries directly, and then these are cut into thin slabs, fabricated, and polished into countertops. Quartz is an engineered product, which may have a huge percentage of natural quartz, however, might have other materials too. However, these are not quarried stones but are formed from the by-products of stone, which are grounded and formed into slabs.

Appearance

While comparing quartz vs granite countertops, one benefit granite has compared to quartz is that granite has a slightly different color and pattern. It means the countertop shall be unique. As an engineered product, the quartz countertop is uniform in appearance but it is available in different unique patterns and colors including those that do not look like granite.

Here the personal preference plays a major role. If you want the look of a natural stone, then you can choose a natural product such as granite. However, many people find quartz countertops provide different looks and look better compared to natural stone.

quartz kitchen countertop

Pricing

Both quartz and granite are high-dollar and premium countertop materials. However, if you are on a budget then these countertop materials are not for you.

If you purchase granite from a wholesaler you can save money. Though you can do preliminary work yourself yet the actual installation and fabrication of countertops might be left to professionals. The average cost of quartz depends on the quartz quality and edging style. You can save money by doing preliminary work. As engineered quartz is heavier compared to other surfaces, professional installers should do the job.

Quartz is widely available and has become very popular and thus the prices of the basic countertops have reduced with unique colors and designer style commanding higher prices.

The prices of both countertops differ as both are sourced overseas. The products are shipped in containers across oceans and are dependent on the prices of petroleum. Tariffs and other factors impact pricing too.

Environment-friendly

Both countertop materials are made of natural materials, however, granite countertops are a bit ahead as they are made of 100% stone and quartz is made of 93% natural materials. The remaining comprises polymer resins and color pigments, which the materials together. The production process of granite gives fewer carbon emissions compared to quartz.

Granite countertops on the other hand need earth quarrying and quartz countertops are made from remaining stone by-products without any quarrying needed.

A few years ago there was a fear among people regarding radon emissions from these granite countertops, however, according to recent studies, there is no or little radon that comes from granite or quartz. However, as quartz is an engineered stone, it is more environmentally friendly when you use locally manufactured fabricators and stone. It will minimize the distance of the materials that should be transported.

Maintenance

Granite countertops should be cleaned daily with water and soap or a household cleaner. Acids and oils can stain it so avoid using them. If you want a longer life then get it resealed once annually.

Both both materials are durable, quartz has an advantage over granite. As granite is more porous than quartz, it needs periodic sealing. Granite slabs might have an inherent flaw, which makes them prone to cracks. On the other hand, quartz does not need sealing because of the resins used for fabricating the slabs. This material is throughout the uniform. It means it will crack rarely.

The resin in this engineered stone makes it more resistant to stains than granite. Quartz is less prone to bacteria because of the resins that make its surface less porous.

Durability

Granite is a highly durable material and resistant to heat and other kitchen elements. It has a porous nature and thus there can be stains if liquids are spilled over and there can be damaged if the countertop gets a big blow.

In quartz vs granite, Quartz is harder compared to granite and therefore more durable. Quartz is almost indestructible. As it is not porous like granite, you can keep the countertops bacteria-free. However, you should be careful regarding cooking pans. Quartz can get damaged due to excessive heat and so try to use heating pads.

Granite is not hard like quartz and might chip when struck very hard. It is reasonably durable and is comparatively stronger and harder countertop than marble.

DIY Suitability

granite countertop
Granite

Granite and Quartz are not products, which make themselves available for DIY installation except for bathroom countertops. Quartz and Granite are heavy materials and a small 36-inch countertop can weigh almost 100 pounds. Professionals should install the countertops. If you opt for DIY both can be installed in the same way. When you are spending money on the installation of these costly materials, there is no sense to opt for DIY installation.

Real Estate Value

Both quartz and granite are top-end building materials, which can impress potential buyers. While comparing quartz vs granite vs marble, both quartz and granite shall improve the real estate value of homes. Some buyers might give a little advantage to granite as it is a more natural material.

Granite Pros

  • Every granite slab is unique because granite is mined as a large and single slab, which is 100% natural stone and there are no sheets that are alike.
  • Some granite colors are available in big slab sizes. If you have a spacious kitchen, it might be the answer. There are hundreds of colors/shades of granite slabs. They are impressive and beautiful.
  • Generally, granite can be used normally well though it might dull the knife blades. Granite is used outdoors. As it is a natural mineral, it can withstand the elements. It will not fade due to the sun’s exposure.
  • Granite is available in a different price range. Though the low-end and inexpensive granite can be $55 per square foot, the high-quality and exotic ones can be $150 square feet.
  • If granite is not sealed properly by a professional, the granite countertops might soak up liquids and be stain-resistant.
quartz countertop
Quartz

Quartz Pros

  • It is an abundant material found on the planet. These are man-made.
  • Quartz countertops comprise crushed quartz that is mixed with resin with 93% quartz material and 7% resin binder
  • It has a wide range of patterns and colors, which are 100% synthetic.
  • Quartz is crushed and blended with a binding agent or resin. The finished stone is rich.
  • These are manufactured in different colors and patterns. There are a lot of options for colors and monotone colors, which have a lot of variation.
  • Quartz countertops do not need any maintenance. It is stainless and it does not need a seal. These countertops can handle tomato, oil, coffee, wine, juice, and sustainable products.
  • Quartz is heavier than granite. Quartz is more flexible and thus stronger than the two.

Final Thoughts

Both quartz and granite are premium countertop materials and they add real estate value to homes. Granite appeals to homeowners who prefer natural materials and quartz provides better durability and easy maintenance. When engineered stones work well as your natural stone but you want more color options that need less maintenance, then quartz countertops are stain-resistant, durable, and good-looking preference. You will be confident that you are not getting germs and dirt.

When we remodel our homes, we want the best materials. Regarding the final choice of quartz vs granite countertops, there is no wrong option, only personal preference. You cannot go wrong with any countertop, whether quartz or granite.

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