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Quartz, granite and marble are three of the best and most popular countertop options on the market. Granite countertops have risen top popularity over the past few decades, while marble countertops have been a focal point of homes for years on end. And then there is quartz countertops, which have also risen in popularity in recent years as a viable alternative to both granite and marble options. But how do these three countertop materials compare to each other? That is the question that this guide will answer.
Granite Countertops: Characteristics
Granite countertops are some of the most beautiful and tough surfaces you can find. You will have a seemingly endless array of colors and styles to choose from when it comes to this amazing natural stone. Granite is very durable, which makes it an ideal countertop material for any home.
No matter where you install a granite countertop, it will look amazing. The only downside to granite – if it can even be considered a ‘downside’ – is that you must make sure to keep up on sealing. That said, having to apply sealer to your countertop roughly once per year is not any kind of major inconvenience.
Considering that granite countertops are stain resistant, heat resistant and scratch resistant, installing these surfaces in the home seems like an easy choice. The positive and negative qualities of granite are listed in the table below.
|Brings natural beauty to the home||Requires yearly sealing|
Marble Countertops: Characteristics
Marble is truly a timeless classic when it comes to building materials. This is evidenced by the fact that the natural stone has been used to build everything from some of the world’s most famous statues to kitchen and bathroom countertops. While there are a plethora of countertop materials that are beautiful, many homeowners simply feel that there is no material as beautiful as marble. With numerous colors and styles available, many of which include elegant veining, it is surely hard to match the beauty of marble countertops.
While much of marble’s appeal lies in its appearance, the material is also relatively durable. However, you must keep up on maintenance if you want to keep your marble countertops in good shape. Because marble is more porous than granite, the stone countertops will require re-sealing more often. You will have to re-seal marble countertops about a few times per year.
Marble is a terrific option for elegant countertops. There is no denying the beauty that this stone can add to your space. Below is a table that lists out the positive and negative qualities of marble.
|Timeless appeal||Needs frequent maintenance|
|Variety of colors and styles available||Acidic substances and harsh cleaners can cause damage|
Quartz Countertops: Characteristics
Quartz countertops are engineered surfaces that are made from a combination of roughly 90 percent ground natural quartz and about 10 percent polyresin. These specific percentages can slightly differ based on brands but will always be in the same area.
Although quartz countertops are engineered, the surfaces are incredibly attractive. Due to the fact that they are manufactured, quartz countertops can be customized to produce virtually any style – including styles that look like granite and marble. Another benefit that results from these surfaces being engineered is that they are non-porous, which separates them from both granite and marble. This means that quartz countertops do not require the sealing that granite and marble countertops do.
One thing you must watch out for is not exposing quartz countertops to excessive heat. High levels of heat can melt the resin and cause a permanent burn mark on the surface. Never set down hot pots or pans on a quartz countertop. Heat resistance is one of the only areas in which quartz does not match or surpass other countertop options.
Homeowners often turn to quartz as an alternative to not only granite and marble, but materials such as solid surface as well. While quartz can closely compare with granite and marble, it is of better quality than solid surface countertops. The table below displays the positive and negative qualities of quartz.
|Beautiful||Cannot withstand high levels of heat|
|Many color and style options|
How Do the Costs Compare?
The table below will give you an idea on how the typical costs compare between these three countertop options.
|Granite||Between $35 to $75 per square foot|
|Marble||Between $40 to $100 per square foot|
|Quartz||Between $50 to $120 per square foot|
Quartz, Granite or Marble: Which Should You Choose?
When the time comes to purchase new countertops, you want to make a decision that will leave you pleased both now and in the future. Installing kitchen countertops or bathroom countertops can put the finishing touches on any home remodel. While you will have to make the final call on which is right for your home, this section will help you along the way to making that decision.
If you are looking for a material that offers a variety of colors and styles, is durable and is low maintenance, granite is an ideal countertop choice for you.
If you want a countertop that holds timeless appeal, comes in a variety of colors and styles, and is durable, marble is a great choice. As long as you do not mind maintaining it (which includes re-sealing once every few months) and are willing to exercise the proper amount of caution to prevent acidic spills, marble is a terrific option.
Perhaps the sealing that is required with natural stone (although not difficult) does not appeal to you. If you want a beautiful engineered stone countertop that is low maintenance, quartz will be a great fit for your home. It can even work well as a backsplash that complements your countertop. As long as you are careful and avoid scorching the surface with excessive heat, there are many benefits you will receive from quartz.
Regardless of which of the three materials you choose for your new countertops, you will be getting one of the best options you can use in your home. By evaluating the different factors listed and explained above, you can know which material is the best fit for your home.