Granite vs Quartz: Which is Better?
Photo by Erin Hervey
Originally Posted On: https://countertopadvisor.com/granite-vs-quartz/
Quartz vs Granite, which is best for your countertop project? Which is more expensive quartz or granite? Stone and engineered stone countertops are all the rage these days. Unfortunately, when it comes to granite vs. quartz, the debate over which countertop is better can become quite heated. Whether you’re getting a new home built or remodeling your current home and you are having difficulty deciding between the two, we are here to help. We have gathered all the information that you need to make an informed decision from cost comparison to routine maintenance.
Granite Vs Quartz: Characteristics
Granite is an extremely hard natural stone. This igneous rock is made up of a variety of minerals, including feldspar, quartz, amphiboles, and mica. The mineral composition in granite determines the colors in the stone. Once mined, granite is polished to a beautiful finish.
Quartz is an engineered stone consisting of approximately 95 percent natural ground quartz combined and 5 percent polymer resin. Because quartz is engineered, it can come in a variety of colors. Quartz can be produced to look like granite or marble. Quartz countertops can be manufactured to look like they are natural; however, they are engineered.
Granite and quartz countertops provide homeowners with years of enjoyment, performance, and beauty; however, each type of countertop has its weaknesses, appearances, and costs that should be considered when purchasing either granite or quartz countertops for your home.
Granite Vs Quartz: Cost Comparison
Whether you’re remodeling or building a house, one of the primary considerations is the cost of the materials and installation. When it comes to granite vs. quartz costs, there is no clear winner. The cost of granite ranges from $30 to $200 per square foot, including installation. Quartz, on the other hand, costs between $45 and $175 per square foot, including installation. Some additional costs you may see are cutting boards made from your countertop material, lazy susans made from your countertop material, kitchen sinks, vanity sinks, etc. Most granite and quartz countertop companies have plenty of extras that you can tack on.
Granite and quartz countertops are more expensive than other types of countertops, including solid surface countertops, tile countertops, laminate countertops, and butcher block countertops; however, the numerous advantages that they offer far outweigh the difference in cost.
Pro Tip: If you are updating a smaller vanity it is a good idea to mention you want to see available remnants at your local granite provider.
Granite Vs Quartz: Color Choices
Granite comes in almost every color combination imaginable. The pattern and color of granite depend on how the granite was formed in the earth. Molten materials, including quartz, mica, and feldspar, combine to produce the characteristics found in granite. As these materials cool, distinctive colors and markings form naturally. Granite typically has natural variations in the stone with colors ranging from greens, reds, whites, blacks, browns, and blues. Each piece of granite differs slightly in color and pattern, providing you with a unique countertop.
Because quartz countertops are engineered, they are available in a host of color options. Quartz looks like stone; however, it can be customized to the unique color scheme in your home. Furthermore, manufacturing techniques involved in producing quartz ensures the coloration in the countertop is more consistent. Quartz manufacturers add pigment to the quartz and resin to create almost any color imaginable.
Choosing between quartz and granite is a personal choice. If you prefer the appearance of natural stone, it may be wise to choose granite. If, on the other hand, you prefer a more uniform look, it may be best for you to choose quartz.
Granite Vs Quartz: Durability
Both granite and quartz countertops look amazing, but do you wonder if one surface is more durable than the other? The countertops in your kitchen take a lot of abuse. Countertops must stand up to almost daily usage of cutting fruits, vegetables, and proteins, hot pots and pans, heavy mixing bowls, and small appliances, such as crockpots, toaster ovens, blenders, and stand mixers, which is why you need a countertop that will withstand the demands of a kitchen.
Heat Durability Against High Temperatures
Granite is formed from molten minerals, which means it is naturally impervious to damage from high temperatures. However, the sealant used on the granite can become damaged from hot pots; therefore, it is best to use a trivet for your hot pots and pans.
Quartz is produced using resins that help provide the shape and flexibility of quarts. Unfortunately, quartz can melt or warp when exposed to high temperatures. Certain low-quality brands have discolored underneath an electric skillet or crockpot.
How To Protect Quartz Countertops From Heat
Protecting your quartz countertops from heat is very important and easy to do. The use of trivets will aide in protecting your quartz countertops. When you are planning your quartz countertop project it is a great idea to ask your countertop provider to make a small 10 x 18 cutting board made from the same material as your quartz countertops. This is a piece of quartz that really serves a purpose for transferring hot pans, cutting vegetables, and taking all of the abuse instead of your countertops.
Durability Against Scratches
Granite is a stone that can withstand the abuse of a kitchen. You can cut directly on granite without worrying about scoring or scratching the surface. However, you should be aware that the stone will dull knives; therefore, always using a cutting board when cutting. If scratches do occur on your granite, they are typically more noticeable.
Quartz is more apt to scratches due to the makeup of the countertop. Avoid damaging your quartz countertops by always using a cutting board. Furthermore, avoid moving heavy appliances on your counters as this can cause scratches. Rather than scooting something across your countertop, lift and place it where you want it.
Can you Put Hot Pans on Granite
Yes, you can place a hot pan on granite countertops. Granite will not fade or discolor with high temperatures. Granite is naturally created from extremely hot temperatures under the Earth’s surface. It is important to remember that granite can stain, and the use of trivets are recommended due to that fact. Pans collect grease which will dull the finish of your granite countertops. This grease will soak into the pours of your countertops causing a grease stain which is not very pleasant.
Granite Vs Quartz: Repairs
Accidents will happen. A dish could fall out of a cabinet, or you could drop a hot pot, or whack the corner or edge of a counter, resulting in a chip. Chips are challenging to repair; however, it is possible to repair chips to a granite countertop. Visit any home improvement store and find a granite repair kit to fix it yourself.
Conversely, quartz is more challenging to repair. Although there are repair kits available for quartz chips, the repairs are more complicated. When a chip occurs in quartz and a repair is made, the repair is typically harder to polish out and more noticeable.
Granite Vs Quartz: Maintenance
Quartz is manufactured using resins and ground quartz. The adhesives used during quartz countertop production creates a non-porous, stain-resistant countertop, which results in a low maintenance countertop. Although quartz is resistant to stains, it is not entirely stained proof, and the risk of discoloration and damage from heat is increased.
Granite is more susceptible to household stains due to its composition. Luckily, you can minimize the risk of stains by sealing your granite countertops one or two times per year. The sealants used for granite decreases the risk of stains; however, it also results in an increased risk of heat damaging your countertop.
Caring for Your Countertops
Caring for your granite or quartz countertops is a breeze. If spills occur, wipe them up immediately to avoid staining or damaging your countertops. Both surfaces should be cleaned daily using either a mild household cleaner or soap and water. Rinse using clean water and then dry with a soft towel and buff to ensure a beautiful sheen.
Does Granite Stain?
All natural stones including granite do stain. The reason granite can stain is that it is porous. The colored liquid will soak into the pours of the granite or other natural stone and almost attach permanently. For this reason sealing your granite countertops is of extreme importance. It is also important to clean up spills almost immediately after happening. Sealing granite is not going to remove the possibility of staining completely, but it does allow more time to clean up spills, and protects your surfaces much better.
Does Quartz Stain?
It is possible for a quartz countertop to stain, however, it is highly unlikely. It is also much easier to prevent staining your quartz countertops and it is much easier to remove a stain from quartz countertops. Quartz has zero porosity which is one huge reason it is so popular in a busy home. Quartz will stain with colorful liquid if it is left on for extremely long periods of time. To remove a stain you will need a quartz safe product made specifically for quartz.
Granite Vs Quartz: The Environmental Factor
Many shoppers assume that quartz is the most environmentally friendly countertop because it can be manufactured near where it is sold. Additionally, many manufacturing facilities boast that recycled materials and water conservation makes quartz an environmentally friendly countertop option. However, the quartz powder must be quarried and then crushed. Finally, non-organic resins and pigments are mixed with the crushed quartz.
Granite is produced deep within the earth. Miners then cut blocks of granite out of the ground. These blocks are then sawn into slabs and finally polished to create the sheen enjoyed with granite countertops. However, granite can emit small amounts of radon gas. The amount released does not pose any threat to humans or animals.
Granite Vs Quartz: Direct Sunlight
You want a bright and cheerful kitchen, right? Getting the kitchen of your dreams means including large windows to allow sunlight to stream into your living spaces. How does sunlight affect granite or quartz countertops?
Granite is a stone slab that does not fade when exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. You will often see slabs of granite stored outdoors. Quartz, on the other hand, will fade quickly when exposed to direct sunlight, especially if the quartz is a darker color. If your kitchen gets plenty of natural sunlight, you may want to avoid installing quartz countertops in your kitchen.
Granite Vs Quartz: Installation
There are many kinds of countertops that you can install yourself; however, unless you are installing a very small bathroom countertop, you should leave granite and quartz countertop installations to the professionals. Granite and quartz are extremely heavy. A 36-inch countertop is approximately 100 pounds. Imagine trying to install a long run of countertop yourself; you could be looking at hundreds of pounds of weight. Furthermore, the risk of damaging your new granite or quartz countertop is too risky to do it yourself. Professional Advice: We suggest leaving it to the professionals.
Granite vs Quartz: Countertops Pros and Cons
Granite and quartz both offer beautiful design, consistency and durability, but there are pros and cons of both granite and quartz. You have to decide which is best for your home or project based off actual facts of each material. The use of your kitchen or project area will determine these values. Keep reading below to see pros and cons of granite and quartz.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Quartz Countertops
Quartz, one of the most plentiful minerals on our planet, is used to create beautiful countertops. Quartz countertops are made using a variety of manufacturing techniques. This beautiful man-made counter offers numerous advantages as well as disadvantages. Let’s look at the multiple benefits and drawbacks that quartz countertops provide.
- Seams – If your kitchen requires a long span of countertops, you could be facing needing to seam together multiple pieces of quartz countertops together. With quartz, you can expect to see these seams. Seams are especially noticeable with darker quartz countertops and those with different colors or a pattern because the seams can be more challenging to hide. You can minimize the appearance of these seems by choosing a lighter colored counter.
- Nonporous Surface – Due to the resins used in the production of quartz counters, the countertop is nonporous and will not require any type of sealing. Cleanup is a breeze, and the risk of staining is minimized with quartz countertops. Additionally, nonporous surfaces like quartz protect against germs and bacteria.
- Fading – One disadvantage to quartz is the risk of discoloration when the counter is exposed to direct sunlight. Quartz can fade quickly. Unfortunately, if one part of your quartz counter is exposed to sunlight, and another part is not exposed, over time, a color difference may be noticed.
- Maintenance – Quartz countertops do not require the homeowner to reseal the counter ever, which means once quartz countertops are virtually maintenance-free. Quartz counters do not require regular polishing to maintain their sheen.
- Durability – Quartz counters are incredibly durable, yet flexible. Quartz does not contain any striations that can increase the risk of cracking or chipping. Excess heat from hot pots and pans and electrical appliances can warp, discolor, and damage your quartz counters. Always protect your quartz counters from excess heat by using trivets. Finally, use a cutting board to protect your knives and countertop from damage.
- Color Options – Quartz counters are made by combining ground quartz with pigments and resins, meaning your color options are virtually limitless. Additionally, because the counters are manufactured, all counters will be uniform in color and pattern.
- Cost – Quartz countertops are typically more expensive than other countertops. Quartz counters must be installed by a professional because quartz is extremely heavy. The average starting price for a quartz countertop material is $45 per sq. ft. starting price.
- Manufacturing – Quartz countertops are produced by taking crushed quartz and adding different pigments, depending on the required coloration. After these are mixed, they are combined with resin, which binds the particles together. With a quartz countertop, you can expect to get 92 to 94 percent quartz content with the remainder made up of pigments and resin.
- Uniformity – Because quartz counters are manufactured, you can expect to get the same pattern and color with every counter that you order. The consistency of quartz counters means that the countertops in your kitchen can match your bathroom counters impeccably.
- Size – Quartz is manufactured using two different sizes. A standard size piece of a quartz countertop is 55 inches by 120 inches. A jumbo size piece of quartz countertop measures 63 inches by 128 inches. Quartz slabs come in two thicknesses – three-quarters of an inch or 2 cm and one and a quarter-inch thick or 3 cm. Because the quartz countertops are manufactured, the thickness is standard across the countertop.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Granite Countertops
Granite is a natural stone found in kitchens around the world. This natural stone offers gorgeous coloration, durability, and warmth in your kitchen. Let’s look at the advantages and drawbacks that granite counters offer today’s homeowner.
- Seams – Drive by any stone yard or home improvement store, and you may see enormous slabs of granite. These large slabs allow for long runs of granite countertops; however, in most kitchens, the granite will need to be seamed. Luckily, due to the variations found in granite, the seams will be less visible than the seams found in other countertops.
- Porous Surface – Granite is a natural stone that can be porous, which means it can harbor bacteria and germs and soak up liquid; however, sealing the granite countertops creates a nonporous surface. To decrease the porosity of a natural stone like granite, the counters must be sealed once or twice a year. Thankfully, any homeowner can seal their counters. The process is quick and typically takes less than one hour to complete.
- Fading – Because granite counters are natural stone, they are fade resistant. Fade-resistant counters mean that you can place granite counters in both direct sunlight and shade without worrying about the fading of one portion of your counters and not fading of another portion of your counters. Granite counters are the clear winners when it comes to kitchens with a lot of natural sunlight.
- Maintenance – Granite counters do require annual or semiannual resealing. Although it does not take long and is not difficult to do, the resealing requirements may be something busy homeowners are not willing to undertake.
- Durability – Because granite counters are stone, they are extremely hard and durable. The granite can withstand the hot temperatures found in a kitchen; however, you should continue using trivets for hot pots and pans to prevent damage to the sealant. Granite comes with imperfections and flaws that can cause it to chip or crack.
- Color Options – The colors found in granite are developed over centuries and depend on the mineral makeup of the rock. Colors of granite counters range from blues, browns, reds, blacks, and greens. Granite countertops bring a sense of warmth to the kitchen thanks to its colors found in nature.
- Cost – Granite countertops have a starting price of about $30 per sq. ft. The cost depends on the chemical makeup of the granite, the rarity of the colors and popularity. Furthermore, granite from certain regions of the world is more expensive due to the uniqueness of the granite and the transportation costs.
- Manufacturing – When granite is mined, large stones are removed from the earth and then cut into slabs or tiles. Then, the manufacturer polishes the granite to create a beautifully warm and glossy finish. Granite countertops provide 100 percent granite.
- Uniqueness – Each slab of granite used for counters are unique. Massive slabs of granite are mined and then hewn and polished, which means that no two pieces of granite will be identical. Furthermore, a variety of colors can be found in a large slab of granite, depending on the chemicals found in the stone.
- Size – The average size of granite slabs is nine and a half feet long and five and a half feet wide. Most slabs are one and a quarter inches thick or 3 cm. The thickness can vary across the slab of granite; therefore, installers may need to shore up areas of the slab to ensure the granite is properly supported.
Granite and quartz countertops are durable and will last a long time; however, if an item is dropped or the corner is hit with force, a chip or crack can occur. Repairing a chip or crack is possible; however, it can be challenging to make a repair that is not noticeable. If a chip or crack occurs, it is best to leave the repairs to a professional to ensure a flawless finish.
Granite Vs Quartz: Edges
Quartz countertops are created using a technology that mimics the formation of natural granite under the Earth’s surface. Because of this, quartz is very durable and hard allowing it to be used as a stone. Both granite and quartz can be fabricated with the edge you want.
The edge of your countertops set the stage for your entire kitchen design, which is why granite and quartz countertops offer a variety of edges, including:
- Flat Edge – This edge profile provides a clean and classic feel, perfect for contemporary kitchens.
- Bevel Edge – This edge profile features a subtle 45-degree angle, perfect for contemporary kitchens.
- Bullnose Edge – A bullnose edge features a rounded edge for a timeless and classic look.
- Quarter Round Edge – A quarter round edge features a round edge on the top of your counter for a sleek, yet traditional look.
- Double Quarter Round Edge – A double quarter-round edge features a round edge on the top and the bottom of the countertop for a traditional feel.
- Double Bevel Edge – A double bevel edge features a 45-degree angle at the top and bottom of the counter. This angle catches the light on both the bevel on the top and bottom.
- Minted Drop Apron Edge – A mitered drop apron uses two pieces of countertop. The top of the counter features a flat edge that continues down to the bottom of the countertop.
- Dupont Edge – A Dupont edge features a convex radius that is perfect for traditional kitchens. This edge features a thin flat edge that rounds downward to the bottom of the countertop.
- Ogee Edge – The ogee edge counter uses a concave radius. The ogee features a flat thicker edge that gently slopes towards the bottom of the countertop.
- Double Ogee Edge – The double ogee features two concave radiuses; however, the concave radiuses are shallower than a standard ogee.
- Triple Pencil Edge – The triple pencil edge features three-quarter rounds that are layered on top of one another.
- Chiseled Edge – A chiseled edge is perfect for those looking for a more natural or rustic feel. The edge of the counter is left raw to showcase the beauty of the countertop.
Granite Vs Quartz: Resale Value
Granite and quartz both have great value and having granite countertops or quartz countertops will definitely increase your home value. The resale of quartz countertops in your home is most likely to be much higher compared to granite due to the fact that quartz countertops are the more popular option currently. As with any trend this can change, so I think it is important to use what ever material you like the most so that you enjoy the look in your own home. If you like the material you use then it is likely that someone else will too. Enjoy a beautiful countertop and an increase in your home value.
Granite Vs Quartz: Conclusion
When it comes to choosing granite vs quarts when shopping for countertops, many things should be considered, including the durability of the surface, the necessary maintenance, and the location that the countertop will be installed. Both quartz and granite counters are available at several price points. The cost of the material is based on the quality of the material, where the product was mined and/or manufactured, and the rarity of the coloration.
Your personality and habits should dictate the countertop material you choose for your kitchen. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, but both are equally beautiful and stylish. If you are an avid cooker who is used to setting hot pots or pans on your countertop surface then you should likely steer toward granite countertops or work towards changing some habits so that you will not harm your quartz countertops. If you aren’t someone who wants the maintenance of granite countertops, which requires sealing them two times per year then you should probably go with a quartz material for your countertops.
There is no real winner here. It is all down to habits, preference, style and you.
What are your thoughts on the two countertop material options…granite or quartz? Leave a comment below.
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