Granite and quartz are two of the most popular materials for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Choosing between them can be difficult, as they both have attractive features and benefits. Here is an in-depth comparison of granite vs quartz countertops to help you decide which is best for your home.
Durability and Maintenance
When it comes to durability, granite is the clear winner. Made from natural stone, granite is incredibly hard and scratch resistant. It won’t scorch from hot pans, and resists staining and etching from acidic foods like lemons or tomatoes. Granite countertops can last for decades with proper care.
Quartz countertops are also highly durable, but not quite as indestructible as granite. Quartz is engineered from natural stone and resin, making it stain, scratch, and heat resistant. However, quartz can be damaged by excessive heat and heavy impacts.
For maintenance, quartz counters only need occasional cleaning with soap and water. Granite needs to be sealed every 1-2 years to prevent staining and etching. So quartzcounters are lower maintenance overall.
Granite has an elegant, natural beauty with unique colors, patterns, and veining that no two slabs share. It provides a rich, high-end look. However, the downside is that imperfections may exist in the natural stone.
Quartz offers a wide array of consistent, uniform colors and patterns. Engineered quartz allows more creative flexibility in design. But the manufactured appearance lacks the depth and radiance of natural granite surfaces.
So for a traditional, one-of-a-kind aesthetic, granite excels. But for contemporary or minimalist styles, quartz provides more options.
Quartz countertops tend to cost less than natural granite. The price of granite varies greatly based on the stone’s rarity, quality, and color. Unique granite slabs are more expensive.
Quartz has more controlled production costs, keeping prices in a lower range. Overall, quartz counters will be the more budget-friendly choice for most homeowners.
Heat and Scratch Resistance
As a natural stone, granite is nearly impervious to heat. You can place hot pans from the oven or stove directly on granite without worry of damage. Granite resists scratches better than most kitchen knives can impart.
Quartz can withstand moderate heat, but sudden temperature changes or excessive heat could cause cracking. Quartz resists scratches from everyday use, but is not scratch-proof. Over time, quartz may show signs of wear, especially on darker colors.
So for busy kitchens prone to heavy usage and accidents, granite is the wiser option. Quartz can handle normal wear and tear, but granite is more forgiving.
Quartz counters are essentially non-porous, making them highly resistant to stains, mold, mildew and bacteria growth. Spills can be easily wiped away. This makes quartz an excellent choice for sanitary food prep areas.
Granite is naturally porous, which means sealing is required to prevent staining and bacterial growth in etched areas. Unsealed granite can harbor bacteria and pose a potential health hazard. Proper sealing and care reduces, but does not eliminate, this disadvantage of natural stone.
If maximizing sanitation is important, quartz is the safer bet over granite surfaces.
Installation and Repairs
Quartz countertops are easier for do-it-yourself installation. Large quartz slabs are rarely used. Instead, it comes in smaller pieces that are adhered together. Less heavy-duty work is required compared to granite.
Granite must be cut from solid heavy slabs and professionally installed. The installation process is more complex than quartz and typically requires hiring contractors. If anything chips or cracks, repairs can be difficult and obvious.
Quartz offers a simpler and more forgiving installation than granite slabs.
Beautiful and rare granite types can greatly increase the value of a home. Natural stone conveys an upscale impression that buyers favor. Due to its longevity, granite adds property value that endures over decades.
Quartz counters may add a modest amount to resale, but not to the extent of high-end granite. Engineered composites like quartz are still considered less valuable than natural stone. Over time, quartz may appear more dated compared to timeless granite.
So for investment value, granite wins as it retains and appreciates in equity over future years.
Is Granite or Quartz Better for Countertops?
In summary, granite and quartz each have their pros and cons:
- Granite is unbeatable for heat resistance and long-term durability, but requires more maintenance.
- Quartz offers wider design flexibility and is cost-effective, but lacks the prestige of granite.
- Granite provides a stunning natural look that adds home value, while quartz provides more uniformity.
- Quartz is better for sanitation and DIY installation, but granite excels for busy kitchens.
The right choice comes down to your priorities and needs:
- For classic beauty and longevity, go with granite.
- For lower maintenance and cost, quartz makes an excellent choice.
- If maximizing hygiene is vital, quartz is better.
- For heavy-use kitchens, granite’s durability shines.
There is no definitively “better” option. By weighing the pros and cons of granite versus quartz, you can decide which stone best suits your lifestyle and design aesthetic. Whichever you choose, be sure your countertop installation is done properly to maximize durability and long-term satisfaction. With proper care, both granite and quartz can serve you well for many years in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about granite and quartz countertops:
Is granite or quartz more expensive?
Quartz is generally the more affordable option. Granite pricing varies greatly based on the type and color of stone. Unique granites can be much pricier than the average quartz slab.
Which is better for the kitchen – granite or quartz?
For busy kitchens seeing heavy usage, granite is better. It’s nearly indestructible against heat damage, scratches, and stains. Quartz can handle normal wear and tear but is not as resilient as natural granite.
How long do quartz countertops last compared to granite?
Granite countertops can potentially last a lifetime, 50 years or longer. Quartz has an expected lifespan of around 15-20 years with proper care before needing replacement.
Does quartz require more maintenance than granite?
No, quartz requires very little maintenance – just occasional cleaning with soap and water. Granite needs to be sealed every 1-2 years to prevent staining. Quartz is the lower maintenance option.
Is quartz healthier than granite?
Yes, quartz has a non-porous surface that resists bacteria growth. Granite can harbor bacteria if not properly sealed. For food prep, quartz offers better sanitation.
Can you set hot pans on quartz?
It’s best to use a trivet or hot pad to protect quartz from sudden temperature changes. Granite is more heat resistant and can handle hot pans directly.
Which material is better for bathroom countertops?
Quartz resists moisture very well, making it idea for humid bathroom settings. Some very porous granites can be prone to damage if exposed to too much water over time.
Whether you opt for the prestige and durability of granite, or the convenience and design flexibility of quartz, you can’t go wrong with either of these beautiful and functional countertops. Consider how you use your kitchen or bathroom and what factors matter most – appearance, maintenance, or budget. This will steer you towards granite or quartz as the ideal surface for your home. With some thoughtful planning upfront, your new counters will provide lasting enjoyment and value for many years to come.