Granite and quartz continue to be two extremely popular choices for countertops in both the kitchen and bath. Both offer plenty of color variations, which means you can probably find something that works with the other finishes you’ve chosen and your overall design aesthetic.
But once you’ve decided that you want a certain look and color, what are the differences between granite and quartz? Here’s a short breakdown.
Granite is a natural stone that is sliced from large pieces of quarried rock. It continues to be the most popular choice for countertop material, although quartz and other engineered stone products are gaining more fans.
In its favor, granite is considered the most durable natural material you can use for countertops. It will resist cracking and chipping and stand the test of time and daily use in your kitchen. Since it’s not man made, granite has one-of-a-kind patterns that are sure to start conversations in your kitchen. Since it became the darling of high-end design in the 1990s, people have continued to fall in love with granite’s uniqueness and its variety of earthy shades and interesting designs. Granite countertops are a design feature that home buyers look for, so upgrading will definitely add to your home’s resale value.
Even though it is durable, granite requires sealing when it is installed, and repeated sealing each year to resist staining from red wine, coffee and other spills. Because it is a cut and polished slab, it could also be susceptible to weak spots that could form cracks later on, especially if it is cut thin.
Because it is created by nature, granite isn’t the choice for someone who wants a uniform look to their countertops. The patterns in the stone will vary throughout.
Quartz countertops contain at least 90 percent natural quartz that has been crushed and mixed with pigments and resins. So quartz is considered an engineered stone. It matches granite in durability, and the resin used in its production means that it never needs to be sealed. For someone who isn’t sure they’ll remember to seal their countertops every year, quartz is a good choice to avoid staining.
Because it is man made, quartz offers a wider variety of more colors and patterns than granite. If you want a more uniform color or pattern for your counter without visible seams, quartz is a viable option.
From an environmental perspective, quartz is considered to be more sustainable than granite because it is made from stone recycled from other uses, although the bulk of both granite and quartz used for countertops comes from overseas.
Both granite and quartz are heavy, and difficult to install and repair, if you happen to really crack or damage your countertop. And both materials cost about the same — average prices per square foot will begin in the $60-$70 range, depending on thickness.
In the end, you’ll most likely be pleased with your countertops whether you choose granite or quartz. Either option can give your kitchen or bath a high-end look that fits well with any room’s overall design.