Finding the perfect material for your kitchen countertop might seem easy but with all the great options available out there, coming up with a final decision can be a little difficult.
You have to choose the right one that not only satisfies your aesthetic preferences but also suits your lifestyle. Whether you are redoing your kitchen or planning a complete renovation, you will most likely face the ultimate countertop dilemma: quartz vs granite. If you find it hard to make up your mind, we honestly can’t blame you.
Quartz and granite are the most popular options for kitchen countertops in the market today and for good reason. Both of them are highly durable and aesthetically pleasing. They are almost similar in appearance as well as performance yet the two are completely different when it comes to their makeup. So what’s the difference between quartz and granite and which countertop material is better?
Read on to hear from Precision Stone Design experts on ways to resolve the struggle.
Quartz Countertops vs Granite Countertops
Composition and appearance – Quartz countertops are manufactured products made out of 95% crushed quartz and 5% binding agents with color pigments. Because they are engineered, the patterns are synthetic. Granite countertops, on the other hand, are mined from pure stone. These stones are either sawed into large slabs or cut up into smaller tiles before they are polished to a fine finish. They are 100% natural and each surface pattern is unique, which makes them a great centerpiece for your kitchen.
Since quartz countertops are engineered products, all the pieces are uniform, making them easier to handle during installation. Installers can just cut up and line multiple slabs to achieve a streamline effect. This is difficult to do when working with granite since each slab is unique, which makes it nearly impossible to make seams invisible.
Durability and maintenance – Both of them are considered to be highly durable materials. In fact, according to tests conducted by Consumer Reports, both materials are able to withstand attacks from two steak knives that were attached to a slicing rig that hits the countertop at 25 slices a cycle. Both materials also emerged unscathed after bearing a 400° F saucepan full of heated shortening and both surfaces showed minimal wear after facing 25 back-and-forth strokes of 100-grit sandpaper.
However, granite’s surface is porous in nature. That means it can absorb liquid spills and is more vulnerable to staining. To make it more resilient, it needs to be sealed at installation and resealed regularly to prevent chips and cracks on its surface. Quartz doesn’t require this upkeep. They come in pre-sealed and won’t need to be resealed over time. Additionally, the resin used to bind the quartz is non-porous which means it does not absorb spills and is more resistant to stains.
Since granite is completely made out of natural stone, it can be installed on the outdoors. It won’t weather and fade when exposed to the elements. On the other hand, quartz is strictly for indoor-use and installing it in an open area will void its manufacturer’s warranty. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause quartz countertops to discolor and warp.
Value – When compared to other stone countertops, quartz and granite will add to your home’s real estate value since both of them are considered to be high-end building materials. However, some buyers will find granite countertops a bit more valuable because it the more natural option.
Environmental issues – Both countertops are made out of natural materials but since granite countertops are made from 100% stone and their production process produces less carbon emissions, they are considered to be the greener and more environmentally friendly alternative.
Cost – The final cost of your countertops will depend on several factors but generally, you will pay less with granite countertops. Granite starts at about $40 whereas quartz starts at $50. The difference might not be significant but it can really add up if you are redoing a big kitchen.
DIY installment – Quartz and granite countertops are extremely heavy materials. Even a relatively small countertop can weigh up to 100 pounds! Having said that, they will require professional input in their fitting and installation.
Why Choose Quartz?
Out of the two, quartz is the easier to maintain since it doesn’t need to be resealed regularly to keep it from wearing out, unlike granite that needs to be resealed at least once a year. Additionally, most manufacturers seal their quartz countertops with antimicrobial treatment to help make your countertops germ-free which makes them a popular choice for families with young children.
Quartz countertops are also more resistant to stains according to the tests conducted by Consumer Reports where they wiped half-inch splotches of potential staining agents onto each surface and recorded the effects after 20 hours. Quartz earned a rating that is 2.3 points higher than granite’s.
Why Choose Granite?
A lot of homeowners still prefer to have natural materials in their home. Since granite countertops are made out of 100% stone, the colors and patterns on each slab is unique which adds to the natural beauty of your kitchen. Granite countertops can withstand the elements better and does not discolor when exposed to sunlight. They are more environmentally friendly and are considered to be the least expensive option between the two.
The Bottom Line: Which one should you choose?
If you are someone who doesn’t like to do a lot of maintenance, quartz is the option for you since it requires very minimal upkeep. On the other hand, if you prefer a natural feel in your home, then granite is the right choice. Quartz has an edge when it comes to practicality while granite takes center stage due to its natural charm (but be sure you commit to resealing your countertop to maintain its natural integrity).
There is really no wrong choice when it comes to quartz and granite – it all boils down to personal preference. Now that you are presented with these facts, you can now make an informed decision when choosing the material for your new kitchen countertops.