Do you want a quartz countertop or granite countertop for your kitchen renovation? While the two stones have a lot of similarities at first glance, they both have their pros and cons.
Both are premium stones you can use in your home. One stone is less heat resistant, while the other requires more maintenance. To help you choose between quartz vs granite countertops, we provided a list of pros and cons for both stones.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUARTZ AND GRANITE?
Before diving into the different pros and cons of granite and quartz countertops, here are a few things you should know about those countertop materials.
WHAT IS QUARTZ?
Quartz is a natural stone formed by crystalized silicon. It is the second most abundant material on Earth behind feldspar, making it an eco-conscious choice when remodeling. Natural quartz is known as quartzite, but most quartz countertops are made of engineered quartz consisting of crushed quartz bound with resin.
WHAT IS GRANITE?
Granite is a highly resistant natural stone formed by cooling magma. It contains different minerals, including quartz and feldspar, giving its surface a unique aspect. It is mined in large slabs for countertop materials.
QUARTZ VS GRANITE COUNTERTOPS: AN OVERVIEW
Here are some of the qualities of granite vs quartz.
APPEARANCE AND COLORS
THE MOST NATURAL LOOKING: GRANITE
Engineered quartz, made of a mix of crushed quartz and polymer resins, is a versatile material since it can be dyed any color. It can be crafted to resemble granite or marble or more unusual shades for a unique home improvement project. This engineered product offers a more consistent appearance that allows hiding seams better, especially for DIY installation. However, engineered quartz often looks less natural, so if you prefer the look of natural materials, it may not be the countertop material for you. Quartzite has a rougher texture that gives the slabs a more rustic look.
Since granite is a natural stone, each piece is unique, and you must carefully select the slabs to match each other when setting up your granite countertop. Granite countertops feature a wide variety of patterns based on the Earth’s whims and volcanic events that happened millions of years ago. Natural stone countertops may show seams, and you may need to compromise on the exact patterns and colors you envision or shop around to find the perfect candidate.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
THE EASIEST TO MAINTAIN: QUARTZ
Engineered stone countertops like engineered quartz are as close to a maintenance-free surface as you can find. It is a non-porous surface and resists minor scratches thanks to the sturdy resin. It can be wiped clean with all-purpose cleaners or mild soap for a germ-free home and does not need to be sealed regularly. However, dark liquids may cause stains if they are not wiped clean rapidly. Quartz countertops have some heat resistance but will stain permanently when exposed to high temperatures, so it is best to use hot pads to protect them.
One of the differences between quartz and granite countertops is that the latest is a porous surface. Although a granite slab is a resistant surface, it requires some maintenance. This natural material must be sealed regularly to protect its beautiful appearance and durability. The surface must be polished without using harsh chemicals to avoid going through the sealing. If well maintained, your countertops using natural materials can last a lifetime.
THE MOST DURABLE: GRANITE
Both quartz and granite provide a durable countertop material for your house, and most quartz manufacturers offer a warranty for up to 10 years after installation. Since quartz is a non-porous surface, it is not as subject to staining. Besides, an engineered stone like granite countertops quartz is more flexible and less subject to breaking than natural materials. So-called engineered stone countertops can withstand everyday use and can be repaired with a special resin.
Granite countertops have some heat resistance and are scratch resistant enough to avoid chipping from everyday use. However, since it is a porous surface, there may be staining unless spillages are cleaned with a specific cleaner. Granite slabs that are sealed regularly and well-maintained can last up to a hundred years, but since it is a natural stone, it may chip or crack.
THE MOST AFFORDABLE: QUARTZ
Quartz countertops are considered to be a luxurious material since it is custom designed to the specifications of your house. Adding quartz countertops as a home improvement project can increase the resale value of your house, but it comes with a high cost. Quartz countertops start around $80 per square foot installed, but most cost around $110 per square foot and up to $150 for higher quality quartz granite.
There is a reason why granite countertops often appear on home buyers’ wish lists. This home improvement project adds to the resale value of your house and often pays for itself. When choosing between granite vs quartz, granite is the most cost-effective and usually costs around $130 per square foot installed, with a range between $80 and $180 per square foot plus installation.
THE BEST RESALE VALUE: GRANITE
Quartz and granite are both high-end materials, but when it comes to quartz vs granite countertops, quartz is still a relative newcomer on the home improvement scene and does not have the same appeal. However, property hunters are becoming more interested in quartz countertops since this low-maintenance material does not need to be polished and resists staining better than natural stone.
The reputation of granite vs other materials such as wood, laminate, or engineered stone does not need to be made. Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials on the market and is a favorite among homeowners compared to other minerals when remodeling for resale for good reasons. When it comes to granite vs quartz for resale value, granite is a clear winner.
PROS OF QUARTZ COUNTERTOP
#1. STRONG, DURABLE, AND FLEXIBLE
Quartz is one of the most reliable materials consumers use for countertops. It is a permanent stone that lasts a lifetime for customers.
Additionally, quartz is also a flexible material that is easier to install. The strength, durability, and flexibility are due to a composition of 93% quartz and 7% resin. In fact, quartz is stronger than natural stones like granite and marble.
Another benefit of the resins is they make quartz low-maintenance. Quartz does not require annual sealing to prevent stains. The non-porous rock prevents spills from entering the interior of the rock.
The most significant maintenance chore you need to do is a quick cleaning with a sponge and warm water to keep your quartz counter fresh.
#3. COLOR PATTERNS CONSISTENT AMONG SLABS
Because quartz is a manufactured stone, there is more consistency across the pieces. Granite slabs do not always offer this uniformity. Mis-matched pieces lead to visible sealing marks in natural stone where colors and patterns do not match.
CONS OF QUARTZ COUNTERTOP
#1. CANNOT USE OUTSIDE
Quartz will have discoloration after prolonged exposure to the sun. You can only use quartz for rooms like your kitchen or bathroom.
While not a grave concern for many owners, this affects people looking to use quartz countertops for an outside deck or patio. Also, you might not want to have it near a sunny area in your home.
#2. NOT HANDLE HIGH-HEAT APPLIANCES
Quartz is not as heat resistant as granite. Anything over 300° causes discoloration and possible cracking of the stone.
Therefore, consider using granite near your kitchen stove. Especially if you have elementary and middle school age cooks, who might not think twice about placing a searing hot pan on your counter.
The instant change in temperature can harm the counter.
#3. BIT COOKIE CUTTER
Since quartz is manufactured, they might have a cookie-cutter feel to them. The reproduced slabs tend to create materials that look alike.
Granite does not have this problem because the stone is naturally beautiful.
PROS OF GRANITE COUNTERTOP
#1. 100% NATURAL GRANITE
As we stated above, use natural stones. They do not rely upon resins. They are more desirable for refined buyers looking to purchase a quality countertop.
Granite gets explicitly mined to be a counter. They do not make any alterations besides for cutting, edging, and polishing the stone.
The natural design gives granite a rich beauty with a timeless aura and appeal.
#2. RESISTS HIGHER LEVELS OF HEAT THAN QUARTZ
Granite countertops do not melt when exposed to 300° of heat. You can place a pot or pan on the countertop without discoloring or cracking. However, it would be best if you did not do this consistently.
#3. RESISTANT TO CHEMICALS
High acids and bases do not harm granite countertops. The stone is resistant to these elements. However, acids and bases could wash away the seal over time. Since the interior is porous, this leads to longer-term problems.
CONS OF GRANITE COUNTERTOP
#1. POROUS MATERIAL
Poorly sealed countertops can harbor bacteria. Usually, the seals come off around the counter or some other weak point.
These bacteria lead to viruses and other nasty side effects on your counter.
Besides, the porous nature of granite makes it more likely to receive chips and fractures when subjected to sharp objects at high impact.
#2. ANNUAL RESEALS NECESSARY FOR MANY COUNTERTOPS
Granite often requires yearly appointments with a professional to reseal the countertop. The resealing protects the porous rock from stains, chips, and fractures.
#3. CLEAR SEAMS IN COUNTER
Because of the uniqueness of each slab of granite, seams in between the pieces are more noticeable. It becomes difficult to match up the veins and directional movements of the slabs.
GRANITE VS QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS: THE BOTTOM LINE
Both granite and quartz countertops are high-value materials, but each has pros and cons. Do not hesitate to check out our selection of quartz countertop specials in Chicago and our granite countertop sale to find the most cost-effective materials for your next remodeling project.
If you have further questions about whether a quartz countertop or granite countertop is best for you, contact us for a free countertop consultation.