Ask An Expert: Which is better for kitchen counters quartz or granite?
I’m doing a kitchen remodel, and I’m torn between quartz and granite for the countertops. Both have their pros and cons that I want to find out about before making a decision.
These two stone varieties are man-made materials made from crushed rock mixed with resins, pigments, and fillers. The manufacturing process takes less time than natural stone, which can take up to five years to form in nature before it is ready for cutting and shaping into slabs. This is largely why these two types of stone have become so popular in kitchens over the past 20 years or so compared to natural stones such as marble or limestone.
Another important factor in popularity has been price; even though quartz costs more than granite per square foot, it’s usually significantly less than many types of natural stone.
Although both quartz and granite are durable enough to be used in kitchen countertops, you must keep in mind that they can chip or scratch if not treated properly. Also, each type of stone has slightly different care needs, so check with your dealer for the correct products for cleaning and sealing these materials.
Granite is a naturally occurring igneous rock consisting of quartz crystals and dark minerals such as pyroxene, biotite, plagioclase feldspar, etc. When cut into slabs or tiles, it can contain veins or patches of other colors, which are impurities that sometimes occur within the formation process which cannot always be completely controlled during the manufacturing process. Granite is one of the oldest materials used as countertops and has been prized for its beauty throughout history. Granite is mined from quarries around the world, and some of the best quality granite is imported from Brazil, China, India, Italy, and Portugal.
On the other hand, quartz can be made anywhere in the world and doesn’t have to travel more than a few blocks from the manufacturing plant to your home, so it’s usually considerably less expensive than natural stone. It’s also available in many colors, which cannot be said about most types of granite.
The most popular quartz colors include white marble-looks, black granite-looks, gold or brown veining looks like tiger eye, wispy grey patterns look like mokara marble, green veining that resembles emerald or malachite stone. Keep in mind these are just the most popular colors; there are literally hundreds of other patterns, each with its own special look.
Although quartz is more resistant to scratching than granite, it cannot withstand extreme heat or sudden temperature changes. Also, it has a relatively low tolerance for wear and tear compared to natural stones, so it can scratch or chip if something falls onto the countertop, something sharp is dragged across the surface, etc.
Granite is hard but porous, which means it needs to be sealed regularly to protect against staining from water penetration or spills that may seep into the stone’s pores. It’s not necessary for quartz to be sealed, but it can also absorb spills which can cause discoloration.
So both of these materials are beautiful and functional, but they do have different care requirements that must be considered when choosing one or the other for your kitchen countertops.
The Pros and Cons of quartz countertops
Countertops made out of quartz offers many benefits, including They are virtually indestructible – this material will not chip, crack or scratch easily when subjected to heavy wear or impact. They are well suited for moisture high traffic areas, including the kitchen and bathroom. They are available in a variety of colors, patterns, textures, and finishes.
There are some cons to quartz countertops, however. They can be more costly than other options, such as laminate or solid surface countertops. Installation can also be more difficult, requiring an experienced installer. Also, care should be taken when selecting the right product for sealing your quartz countertop because there are several different types that require particular products for this purpose.
The Pros and Cons of granite countertops
Granite is a natural stone. Therefore it’s no surprise that for many people, having these kinds of materials in their homes will give them peace of mind knowing that they’re truly living at home with nature. In addition, many homeowners who have opted to have this type of kitchen countertops know that the material used to make these counters are extremely durable. Depending on how well you take care of your counters, they can last several years or even decades. This is definitely something to consider if you’re looking for new material for your kitchen countertop because not all materials can last as long as possible, like this one.
Granite countertops can be a bit expensive. However, you have to remember that they’re basically an investment, so once you purchase these materials for your home, chances are pretty high that you won’t have to worry about changing them for a long time. But the problem is not every granite countertop brand is created equal, which means some can last longer compared to others. If you really want to know how much these counters will cost, make sure to compare costs from different brands first before making any final decisions.
Finding the right company or manufacturer who can provide granite countertops should also be one of your priorities if you wish to save money in this department. Doing research and asking around either through word of mouth or online reviews should allow you to know which company offers top-quality materials at a lesser price. Most people never think of doing their own research before making any purchases, but this is actually one of the best things you can do if you wish to save money in general. If you’re not sure how much these countertops are, ask for a quote first so that you’ll be able to have an idea of what to expect.
What is the difference in appearance between granite and quartz countertops?
The difference in appearance between granite and quartz countertops is that granite is a piece of natural stone, while quartz is a synthetic product made from sand and resins.
Granite is an igneous rock that comes in many colors and has veins, called fissures. It can be black, brown, pink, green or yellow. Granite countertops are durable and long-lasting. They also add beauty to the room due to their varying color and patterning: some pieces may have streaks or mottling while others may appear solid.
On the other hand, quartz countertops come in only one color: white (or off-white), although they can otherwise resemble granite if there is no visible distinction between them. Most people cannot tell at first glance whether a kitchen has quartz or granite countertops, as both materials are visually similar. However, they can be told apart by touch: quartz is smoother than granite due to the resins used in the manufacturing process.
Granite countertops cost more than those made of quartz because it takes much longer and costs much more money to produce a slab of granite than it does to make one from quartz. Granite also requires special care to keep its surface gleaming and scratch-free: oiling and sealing procedures must be performed periodically so that water and other liquids do not damage the stone’s coloration beyond repair. In addition, quartz countertops may, over time, look less vibrant if there are harsh cleaners utilized on them that contain bleach or acids.
Does a quartz countertop have a lifespan longer than that of a granite countertop?
Although both materials are hard and durable, granite is harder than quartz. Quartz can chip or crack with the application of too much force, whereas this would cause only a small nick in granite. And while both materials are considered non-porous, quartz is by far more resistant to stains than granite. Granite tends to absorb fluids over time, requiring more frequent sealing than quartz countertops do.
Quartz countertops are stronger than granite even though they look like granite because quartz is made from resins instead of stone dust, so there’s no room for movement, making it shatterproof, but also breakable if exposed to severe temperature changes that could lead to cracking. The color does not fade over time due to hardening through polymerization, which makes it solid and durable. It can be easily repaired if it suffers a break or crack and will not require the replacement of the entire countertop.
Granite, on the other hand, is made from crushed stone dust that is mined out of the ground, which means that there is more room for movement within the particles, making them weak and less prone to chipping, but also requiring more regular sealing procedures to keep the surface undamaged by water and oils. In addition, granite is porous, meaning that liquids such as wine may absorb into it over time without proper care. If left unattended, stains can become permanent and require sanding down and re-sealing of the granite.
Both materials will resist high temperatures making them suitable for cooking purposes (without metal utensils that can scratch the surface), but granite is more resistant to extreme temperatures of direct flame.
What is the cost of quartz and granite countertops?
The total cost for your quartz countertops will depend on which materials are selected, how much material is needed, and the project requirements. The average price for this type of countertop material is $60-$80 per square foot installed for granite look-alikes. Granite can be three times more expensive than this alternative. Quartz does not need sealing or polishing since it has a high level of durability, which helps reduce the overall cost.
By comparison, the average cost to install granite countertops starts at about $65-$150 per square foot, depending on whether they are being installed in a residential or commercial space.