When it comes to choosing between granite and quartz for your kitchen countertops, there are pros and cons to consider for each material. Here is an in-depth look at how granite and quartz compare on factors like appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost to help you decide which is better for your needs.
Granite countertops are valued for their natural beauty and unique patterns. Granite forms deep within the earth’s crust, resulting in an igneous rock that displays a remarkable array of mineral deposits when cut into slabs. No two granite countertops are exactly alike due to the variations in mineral composition. Granite comes in diverse colors from rich blacks and browns to vivid blues and greens. The natural patterning has an organic, earthy aesthetic.
Quartz countertops offer a more uniform appearance than natural stone. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments, quartz has a consistent color and patterning. The aggregate gives it a sparkly, stone-like look without the pronounced veining and mottling of granite. Quartz comes in a wide selection of colors from solid hues to patterns mimicking granite and marble. The controlled process results in a smooth, attractive finish.
Granite’s natural beauty is ideal for those wanting a one-of-a-kind earthy look. Quartz offers more predictability in color and patterning. Both offer design versatility, but granite has more dramatic visual impact while quartz provides more consistency.
As a natural stone, granite is extremely hard and durable. It can withstand cuts and scratches, high impacts, and extremes in temperature. Granite rates a 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it suitable for heavy day-to-day use. Heat resistance is excellent, so hot pots and pans can be placed right on the surface. Granite is not prone to cracking or chipping.
Quartz is engineered to be tougher than granite. The resin binds the quartz crystals into a tile that is extremely hard and scratch-resistant. It rates 7-9 on the hardness scale, slightly above granite. Quartz withstands cutting and abrasions exceptionally well and endures heavy use without showing wear and tear. It handles heat well also and is highly resistant to chips and cracks.
Both granite and quartz offer superb durability for countertops. Quartz rates slightly higher in toughness tests, but both materials can handle years of wear in the busiest kitchens. For resilience against scratches, cuts, impacts and heat, quartz and granite are neck and neck.
Simple care is needed for granite countertops. Soapy water easily removes spills and messes. More thorough cleaning is required less often. Annual sealing is recommended to prevent staining from liquids. Harsh cleaners and abrasives should be avoided as they can damage the surface. Overall, granite is low maintenance due to its nonporous nature and hard composition.
One of the biggest appeals of quartz countertops is the ease of care. Quartz resists staining, etching and absorbing moisture. Quartz requires no sealing due to its nonporous surface. Simple wiping with a damp cloth keeps quartz spotless between deep cleanings. Quartz tolerates most household cleaners well. Maintenance is minimal.
Quartz narrowly edges out granite in maintenance requirements. The extra step of sealing granite means slightly more upkeep. Both materials wipe clean easily day-to-day. For busy kitchens where minimal fuss is preferred, quartz saves time and hassle. But granite’s care is still straightforward compared to many other countertop materials.
Pricing depends on the granite color and finish, but expect to pay $60-$150 per square foot installed. More exotic granites can run higher. Total costs for a full kitchen will often fall in the $3,000-$5,000 range. Granite offers high value, with years of beauty and durability for the investment.
Quartz countertops range from $80-$140 installed per square foot. The total expense for a typical kitchen is $3,500-$6,000. Higher-end designer quartz lines can be pricier. The longevity of quartz makes it a smart investment given how well it withstands heavy use.
Granite and quartz are competitively priced, with similar installation costs and total kitchen remodeling budgets. Quartz is marginally more expensive on a per square foot basis. Overall affordability is comparable between the two countertop materials. You get excellent return on investment over the many years of service from either granite or quartz countertops.
Granite vs. Quartz: Which is Better for Countertops?
When choosing between these two top contenders for countertops, weigh your priorities:
- For bold, natural stone beauty, granite is unmatched.
- For ultra-durable surfaces that require minimal maintenance, quartz is ideal.
- If a streamlined, contemporary look is desired, quartz offers more uniformity.
- For those who want an eco-friendly material, granite is sustainably sourced.
- Home cooks wanting to place hot items directly on the counters may favor granite’s heat resilience.
- Busy kitchens and families will appreciate quartz’s simplified care.
Both granite and quartz make excellent choices for countertops. Granite brings stately stone style while quartz offers cutting-edge durability. Measure your lifestyle needs and design goals, and you can confidently select the best stone surface for your home from these two outstanding materials.
FAQ About Granite and Quartz Countertops
Is granite or quartz better for kitchen countertops?
It depends on your priorities. Granite brings natural beauty and style. Quartz offers superior durability and practicality. Both are great options that will enhance your kitchen.
Is granite or quartz more durable?
Quartz rates slightly higher in durability testing but both materials are extremely resilient. Granite and quartz can withstand years of heavy use. Either is a sound choice for long-lasting countertops.
Does quartz need to be sealed like granite?
No. One perk of quartz is that it never needs sealing due to its nonporous surface. Granite requires yearly sealing to prevent staining.
Is quartz easier to clean than granite?
Yes. Quartz resists stains and needs little more than wiping with a damp cloth for daily maintenance. Granite requires careful cleaning with stone-safe cleaners to avoid etching.
Is quartz cheaper than granite?
The costs are similar, but quartz is marginally more expensive, averaging $80-$140 per square foot installed vs. $60-$150 for granite. Total kitchen installation prices are comparable.
Does quartz have a high resale value like granite?
Quartz and granite both retain their value well and will enhance resale. Granite may have a slight edge as a natural material, but quartz’s longevity also keeps its value high over time.
Will heat damage quartz countertops?
No. Like granite, quartz has exemplary heat resistance. Both materials allow hot pans directly on the surface with no problem.
Granite and quartz offer distinct but equally impressive advantages as kitchen countertops. For some, granite’s bold style and eco-friendly origins may be the deciding factor. For others, quartz’s superior durability and minimal upkeep may be the main attraction. Carefully weighing the pros and cons of each against your needs makes choosing between these two premier surfaces much easier. With their unique strengths, you can feel confident that both granite and quartz make smart, functional and beautiful additions that will enhance your home for years to come.