by Jeremy Troetti / October 31, 2019
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If you are looking to install a new kitchen countertop, you may be aware that you have many options in terms of material. If you have narrowed your search down to two options, quartz and granite, you may be wondering: What exactly is the difference between the two stones?
There are several factors to consider when looking to purchase either quartz or granite. This guide will help you determine the differences between the two and help you decide which option will be better for your new countertop.
Comparisons of Quartz and Granite
How is Quartz Engineered?
A main difference between quartz and other types of stone countertops is that quartz countertops are made of man-made stone. The countertops are created by combining roughly 90 percent of the quartz mineral with about 10 percent resins, polymers and pigments. These percentages can fluctuate slightly depending on the individual countertop.
Variations of Quartz
There are many different variations of quartz countertops, so your selection will certainly not be limited. Because the stone is engineered, it can be modified to have the look of natural stone you may desire. Marble.com has 85 different colors of quartz countertops for you to choose from.
How is Granite Formed?
Unlike quartz, granite is a naturally forming stone. It originates underground when magma cools, allowing for large crystals of minerals to develop. These crystals give the granite its color. The stone is frequently used in home remodeling projects. Most of those remodeling projects use granite for kitchen and bathroom countertops. White is the most commonly used color, though many color variations exist. The natural flecks and grains of the stone will create a distinctive and eye-catching look. If you are looking for something that is sure to grab attention, you should consider green, blue or red granite. Each slab has variation in color over its surface – which makes each unique. If you are looking to buy a granite countertop, Marble.com offers over 500 different options on its website.
Variations of Granite
As mentioned above, granite can be found in an endless amount of styles. Granite comes in many different colors – some presenting a more laid-back feeling, while others give off a bold feeling that will instantly turn the focus of your guests to your countertop.
Quartz has risen in popularity in recent years because of its appearance. The countertops can be engineered to look just like natural stone countertops. In addition to the ability to resemble natural stone, quartz countertops can be customized, which virtually ensures that you will find something you like in terms of appearance.
Granite will provide your home with a classic and stylish look, especially when used for a kitchen countertop. The natural stone is available in many different colors and will add appeal to your kitchen or bathroom countertop.
Because granite is a natural stone and has so many options to choose from, it has the advantage over quartz in terms of appearance.
If you are looking to buy a quartz countertop, you should prepare to spend somewhere in the range of $70 to $175 per square foot installed. Factors such as customization can cause prices to be on the higher end of the range.
Granite will roughly cost about as much quartz. The material can often be found in the range of $40 to $100 per square foot installed. As with quartz, various factors can cause the price to go up or down.
If you are looking for a better idea of the cost for quartz or granite, you can get an estimate online. As you can tell from the price ranges above, granite is a better option for your budget.
Because quartz is engineered, it is not porous. This can be extremely helpful when used in high traffic areas, such as in the kitchen. The primary difference in terms of maintenance between quartz and granite is that your quartz countertop will not need to be sealed. To clean the surface, all you need is soap and water. Despite the relative ease regarding maintenance of a quartz countertop, there is one significant drawback that you should know: Quartz countertops are not heat resistant. Do not remove a hot pot or pan from the stove and place it on the countertop. If you do this, the resin will burn and you will be left with a permanent mark on your countertop.
Granite is a very durable natural stone, which makes it a good choice for any kitchen. However, this is not to say that granite is indestructible. It is still necessary to take good care of your granite countertop if you do not want it to be damaged. You can clean the surface using warm soapy water. Never clean a granite countertop with vinegar, bleach or Windex.
Both quartz and granite countertops can last for a very long time if you take proper care of them.
To install your quartz countertops, you will need to hire a professional. It is not recommended that any homeowner, even those that are highly skilled, attempt to install a quartz countertop. Hiring a professional significantly decreases the chance of any damages occurring during the installation process.
Like the installation process for a quartz countertop, you will need a professional to install your granite countertop. This is not a project that you can do on your own. Having a professional do the job reduces the chance of any chipping or minor damages occurring when the countertop is being installed.
When it comes to installation, these two materials are pretty evenly matched. You will need a professional to install either one.
Quartz is a nearly indestructible countertop surface. Despite this, you should still always exercise caution to avoid any rare chance that damage occurs. As mentioned above, be sure not to place excessive heat on the surface of a quartz countertop. If you do, the countertop will sustain irreversible damages.
Granite is one of the most durable natural surfaces you will be able to find. Although it will damage any sharp knives you use on the surface, it is still recommended that you do not cut directly on the countertop. The countertops are also heat resistant, meaning a hot pot or pan will not cause damages. Although the stone is very hard, you will need to exercise caution when handling heavy objects around your granite countertop. The countertop will chip or break if a heavy object falls on it – especially on the corners.
It is hard to find a material that is more durable than granite. Although quartz comes close, granite has a slight advantage.
Quartz is one of the most stain resistant countertop materials you can have. However, it is still a smart idea to clean up any stains that might occur.
For a natural stone, granite is one of the most stain resistant options you can choose. If sealed properly, stains should not be an issue. As with quartz, it is advised that you do clean any stains that may happen.
Both materials are great options if you are looking for stain resistant countertop materials.
Quartz is non-porous, which makes it a moisture resistant surface. However, while it is moisture resistant, you should still clean up any spills that may occur on the countertop.
Granite must be properly sealed. When it is, the material will be resistant to moisture and staining. However, if you spill something on the surface and it is not properly sealed, the spilled liquid may penetrate the surface of the stone, which will compromise your countertop.
Because you do not need to seal quartz, it has a slight advantage over granite in this category.
Exercise extreme caution with heat around a quartz countertop. The material is not heat resistant, and the resin will melt if subject to extreme heat. Always use trivets or hot pads to avoid any damage from hot kitchen items.
Granite is one of the most heat-resistant countertop materials you will find. Hot pots or pans placed on the surface will not cause any damage the countertop. Despite this, you still want to exercise as much caution as possible when placing any hot items on your countertop. To be safe, you should use trivets or hot pads if you can.
This category is not a close matchup; granite is by far your better heat-resistant choice.
Quartz rarely sustains any damages, so it is unlikely that you will need to do any repairs. This is not to say that a quartz countertop can never be damaged. If you do have any minor damages to your quartz countertop, it can be repaired relatively easily.
You can find granite repair kits for fixing small chips or cracks in the surface of your countertop. An advantage to having granite is that its natural flecked pattern will help hide any minor chips or cracks. Keep in mind that a granite countertop needs to be re-sealed about once a year.
Both quartz and granite are easy to repair, so there is no clear advantage in this category.
Quartz is attractive to prospective buyers because of its ability to be easily maintained. Having a quartz countertop can be a major selling point when trying to persuade a potential buyer.
Having natural stone will always provide value and give your home more appeal. Granite is no different – many homeowners desire to have the material in their houses. A granite kitchen countertop is especially appealing. In addition, granite can provide a financial benefit, as homeowners typically recover 100 percent or more of the installation costs when selling their home. However, one factor that will work against you is that granite is becoming more common in households, meaning that it is beginning to lose its appeal of rarity. Also, if you have granite that is an unusual color, it may hold less value if it goes out of style. That being said, natural stone still appeals more to many homeowners.
If you are looking for a countertop material that is best for the environment, quartz will be your best option. Quartz tends to leave less of a carbon footprint than natural stone such as granite.
Granite is quarried and then shipped across the world to various manufacturing sites. However, since granite exists in many locations worldwide, finding granite that was quarried in the United States should not be difficult. Purchasing granite from the United States will cut down on air pollution from transportation.
Quartz has a clear advantage over granite in terms of environmental impact.
Where Should I Have Quartz?
There are endless amounts of places in the house where you can utilize quartz. Quartz may hold the most appeal when used in your kitchen, as the inevitable spills on the countertop can be cleaned up with relative ease. Another factor that makes quartz particularly suitable in a kitchen is that the material is very sanitary.
Where Should I Have Granite?
Granite also works well in numerous places around the house. Granite, like quartz, works particularly well in the kitchen, as it will be able to handle any kitchen wear and tear. The main factor that makes granite a smart choice for the kitchen is the material’s heat and stain resistance. Granite can also be used as a table material, and is suitable to prepare food, eat and drink on.
Why Quartz Countertops vs. Granite?
Quartz is the way to go if you want a countertop that is even less maintenance than you will have with granite. Keep in mind though that you will have to avoid hot items contacting the surface.
Why Granite Countertops vs. Quartz?
Granite is the option to choose if you want to go with a durable and beautiful natural stone. One difference from quartz is that you will need to re-seal granite, although you will not have to do this very often.
Installing quartz or granite in your home offers many benefits. These benefits include elegant looks and easy maintenance. Regardless of which material you decide on, this guide will provide you with the necessary information you will need before deciding on quartz or granite.