Granite vs. Quartz Countertops
Granite countertops are in high demand in Statewide due to their durability and beauty. Quartz countertops, also sometimes called engineered stone countertops, are similar in how they perform and look, but they are very different in their makeup.
Is there a clear choice between the two?
Both types of countertops have their fans.
The key to deciding between them is understanding them more completely. When you do, you'll know exactly which one is best for you.
Solid Stone vs. Engineered Stone
Granite countertops come from pure stone mined from the Earth. The stone is then sawed into slabs or cut into tiles, and then polished before installation. Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz mixed with coloration pigment and a resin for a binder. Typically, the quartz content in quartz countertops is between 92% and 94%.
If you're looking for authentic stone countertops for your home, granite is your choice.
The Appearance of Granite and Quartz
Both granite and quartz are beautiful. Granite shows natural variations in the stone, with colors ranging from earth tones, roses, greens, and blues. Quartz's coloration is more consistent, and you can get countertops in a wider range of colors since pigment is added to the quartz during manufacturing.
So which is "better"? Ultimately, you have to make that choice. Both are beautiful. As you look at your options, you'll be able to tell which is better for you.
The Issue of Durability
Natural granite is striking and beautiful, but there are weaknesses. The stone has to be sealed before installation and re-sealed regularly during its lifespan. Quartz, on the other hand, doesn't need this same level of care. Granite, because it's a natural stone countertop, can stain easily. Proper sealing can help resist stains, but quartz is more resistant than granite for staining.
In addition, granite is more vulnerable to chipping and cracking compared to engineered stone. Both have a general lifespan of 25-50 years, depending on how they are used and the level of care provided. Overall, quartz has the edge over granite in terms of durability.
The Cost of Granite vs. Quartz Countertops
There isn't too much difference between the two in cost. Quartz ranges in cost from $80 to $140 per square foot (installed), while granite ranges from about $80 to $175 (depending on quality).
The Greener Building Material
Granite countertops have fewer carbon emissions when produced compared to quartz countertops. However, neither emits a significant amount of compounds. As a result, granite has a slight advantage over quartz as an eco-friendly building material.
More Reasons to Consider Granite
After reading through these categories, are you still unsure about which is the best choice fo your home when comparing granite countertops and quartz countertops?
If so, here are some extra things to think about by homeowners who chose granite instead of quartz for their countertops.
There's Nothing Like the Real Thing: nothing Beats the Real Thing: This is the approach of those who like having natural materials as part of their home decor. If that resonates with you, you'll appreciate the natural beauty and durability of granite, attributing its "flaws" as character.
This is really one of the main reasons granite is selected, along with limestone, slate, or other natural stones instead of quartz. While some say that quartz is mostly natural because it contains up to 94% crushed quartz, others argue that it's not so because of the heavy processing that takes away the natural feel of quartz countertops.
When you look at natural stones, you see striations and color change that add to its uniqueness. The design is real. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, feature manufactured designs. If you're a fan of natural materials, granite gives you a chunk of stone, cut from the earth, adorning your home. Quartz countertops, are created in a factory and artificially colored.
Your Bottom Line: If you pick natural stone, make the commitment to have it sealed properly on a regular basis, either yourself or by a professional. Keep a clean, white dish rag handy to clean stains immediately. Don't leave wet or dirty objects on the countertops. Take the extra care that will help maintain the natural beauty of these countertops for your home.
More Reasons to Consider Engineered Stone
It's important to examine the merits of quartz countertops, as well. Here are some additional benefits to consider based on those who have selected quartz countertops for their homes.
Quartz Is Easier to Keep Germ-Free: Since quartz is engineered, it's not porous like granite or other natural stones. Porous materials absorb liquids and bacteria. This can not only lead to staining, but can breed bacteria and viruses.
The non-porous surface of quartz countertops won't collect contaminants, so quartz is easier to keep clean. Natural stone that has been sealed properly can do a good job keeping out germs, but if the sealant is not maintained or breaks down, there can be problems.
It’s important to remember that a few manufacturers of quartz countertops, like HanStone and Silestone, treat their countertops with a coating that helps fight germs and enhances hygiene. In addition, germs can be easily wiped off surfaces with mild cleansers.
Quartz countertops are easier to maintain, especially in cleanliness, which is one of the main reasons these countertops are preferred by parents with children as well as the elderly who may be more vulnerable to germs.
Your Bottom Line: If you don't have a preference between engineered and natural stone, and you want more color options and lower maintenance, quartz countertops are a durable, good-looking, and stain-resistant choice for you.