Quartz vs. Granite: Which is Better?
If you’re having difficulties trying to choose between quartz and granite for your kitchen countertops, this guide lays out the pros and cons of each material to help you decide.
When homeowners are choosing countertop materials for their kitchen or bathroom, many prefer the appearance and resilience of stone over other options, like wood, tile or laminate. Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, stone countertops are highly valued, with granite and quartz being two of the most popular options. A consistent top pick for countertops, granite is a natural stone that is mined, cut and polished previous to installation. Quartz is considered an engineered stone despite occurring naturally, due to its surface being made using pulverized quartz crystals that are mixed with pigments and resin for binding. The resulting composite material looks like real stone and is gaining popularity as an option for countertops.
Granite and quartz both provide enduring durability and gorgeous texture for kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Unsure about which is best for your home and lifestyle? This simple guide will help inform your decision. Find out the differences in appearance, price, durability and maintenance.
Visual differences between quartz and granite, like any other material, are simply a matter of taste. While some prefer the unique and natural appearance of granite, others like the larger variety of colors and patterns provided by quartz. Granite countertop colors are generally made up of 10 basic categories: white, beige, brown, black, gray, green, blue, burgundy, red, and yellow. Black is the most popular, while the least common colors are blue, green and red.
Quartz has a much broader range of color and pattern. Since it is manmade, quartz countertops can even be found in patterns resembling high-end marble, but at a much lower price.
There is a reason why stone countertops are so popular in kitchens. Granite is said to be the most durable natural countertop material around and has a reputation for repelling chips and cracks. Because quartz is a manmade material, it ranks a little higher on the hardness scale and is a bit more resistant to harm.
Both materials, however, can be cleaned with just soap and water. Quartz can also handle gentle cleansers, but some all-purpose cleaners may be too much for granite. Instead, plan on using a cleanser purposely formulated to protect granite. To prevent stains, be sure to take care of any spills as soon as they occur. Quartz is very resistant to stains, but if they do happen, glass cleaner and a sponge will usually remove them. For staining on granite, use a designated granite stain remover that will lift the stain — no scrubbing necessary.
Maintenance & Repairs
Granite is a porous material so will require resealing every year. When properly sealed, granite countertops resist stains very well. In addition, minor chips and scratches in granite can be filled with resin or epoxy in a matching color (typically found at your local home improvement store). That being said, any cracks bigger than an ice cube should be handled by professionals.
Quartz countertops are considered nonporous, which means the surface will repel stains without sealing. When quartz sees damage, it is harder to repair and always requires the services of a professional, which should be factored into its overall cost.
Installation & Pricing
Exceedingly heavy and hard to handle, both quartz and granite countertops should be installed by a professional. They are both priced similarly for installation, each starting at approximately $80 per square foot. Top quality quartz can cost as much as $140 per square foot, while granite can cost up to $175 or more. Pricing depends on several variables, including color, pattern and any surface treatments the stone undergoes. In either case, you can save a lot of money on a small countertop by investing in slab remnants.