Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials today. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s very important to familiarize yourself with both before you make a decision. Along with picking our the right kitchen cabinet style, these two materials can change the look of your entire kitchen.
Here’s a quick guide that will help you pinpoint the perfect countertop material for your kitchen.
While granite and quartz countertops are similar in appearance and performance, there’s a big difference in how they are made. Granite, for one, is mined from pure stone. The mined granite is then turned into slabs or tiles and polished for installation.
Quartz counters, on the other hand, are made from crushed quartz. Pigments are then added for coloration, while resin is used to bind everything together.
The quartz content in these countertops is usually at around 92% to 94%, while granite countertops are made from 100% granite. Granite wins hands down in terms of purity, making it the better option if you want your kitchen to be made only of natural materials.
Since pigments are used in the manufacturing of quartz countertops, they typically offer a wider range of available colors compared to granite.
The coloration of granite countertops depends largely on the stone they were mined from; these natural colors can range from subdued earth tones to slightly more vivid blues, greens, and reds. Its natural variations also give it a unique aesthetic beauty and character that can’t quite be replicated by quartz.
Quartz is also known as engineered stone, which makes sense when you consider the fact that its flaws have been engineered out. Unlike granite, quartz has no striations that can lead to cracks. The resin used to bind the quartz particles together also makes quartz countertops non-porous, making them more resistant to stains. Some quartz countertop manufacturers also treat their countertops with anti-bacterial coating, making them even more hygienic.
As a 100% natural countertop material, granite is quite the opposite. As with any natural stone material, granite is porous and can suck up liquids and harbor infectious bacteria and viruses. Each slab also has its own flaws and imperfections which can cause it to chip and crack faster than quartz. Note that a granite countertop that has been sealed using a resin-based sealant will be more damage resistant compared to plain granite, although not to the same level as quartz.
You’d think that stone countertops would be maintenance-free, but they’re not. Granite is strong and durable, true, but to get the most out of them granite countertops require regular resealing in addition to being sealed at installation. If you want your granite countertop to really last, you’ll need to be quick with a dishrag to mop up stains.
Quartz already comes pre-sealed, so it doesn’t require any resealing at all. Cleanup is also an easier affair with quartz. You can wash germs off of quartz using only a mild cleanser; granite, on the other hand, will require much stronger solutions. As an easy-to-maintain countertop material, quartz is best suited for homes with children or anyone susceptible to germs and infections.
Granite and quartz are very similar when it comes to costs. Quartz typically costs about $80 to $140 per square foot installed, while the costs of granite can range from $80 to $175. Granite’s price can go higher if you opt for high-end material, however.
The trick to deciding which countertop material is best for your kitchen lies in first identifying your wants and needs then comparing them to the benefits and drawbacks we have listed here. If you want something that is all-natural and leaves a lower carbon footprint during the manufacturing process, then granite is the material for you. If ease of maintenance and a flexible color palette are more important considerations, then quartz is the way to go.