Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials on the market today. Many homeowners find themselves trying to decide between these two attractive and durable options when renovating their kitchens or bathrooms. One of the key factors that influences this decision is the weight of the materials. So are quartz countertops actually heavier than granite?
Overview of Granite Countertops
Granite is a completely natural stone that is mined from quarries around the world. It is an igneous rock that forms when magma cools slowly beneath the earth’s surface. Granite contains high percentages of quartz and feldspar minerals which give it hardness and strength.
Some key facts about granite countertops:
- Available in a wide variety of natural colors and patterns. No two slabs are exactly alike.
- Extremely durable and heat resistant. Can withstand hot pots and pans.
- Requires periodic sealing to prevent stains.
- Resistant to scratches but can chip if subjected to heavy impact.
- Dense and very heavy material. Weights vary but average is 15 lbs per square foot.
So in summary, granite is a heavy natural stone that provides a beautiful and rugged surface for kitchen and bath countertops. The weight comes from the dense mineral composition.
Overview of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops provide an alternative to natural stone. Instead of being mined, quartz slabs are engineered in factories. Natural quartz crystals are combined with resins, polymers and pigments under intense heat and pressure.
Here are some key facts about quartz:
- Available in wide range of colors and patterns. Appearance can mimic natural stone.
- Non-porous so does not require regular sealing. Resists stains.
- Extremely hard and durable surface. Resists scratches, heat and impacts.
- Does not need polishing over time like natural stone.
- Weighs less than granite. Average weight is 7.5 lbs per square foot.
So quartz provides the aesthetic beauty of stone without some of the maintenance. And it is considerably lighter than granite.
Direct Comparison of Weight
When compared directly, quartz consistently weighs less than granite. Here are some key weight comparisons:
- Average granite slab weighs approximately 15 pounds per square foot.
- Average quartz slab weighs approximately 7.5 pounds per square foot.
- Granite weighs nearly twice as much as an equal-sized piece of quartz.
- A 30 square foot granite countertop weighs roughly 450 pounds.
- A 30 square foot quartz countertop weighs roughly 225 pounds.
So clearly granite is the heavier material based on weight per square foot comparisons. The exact weights can vary slightly based on stone thickness and density but granite consistently outweighs quartz by a wide margin.
Why is Granite Heavier than Quartz?
The key reason granite is so much heavier than quartz is because of how the materials are made. Granite forms naturally in the earth at very high pressures. This produces a very dense stone. Quartz is engineered in a factory with lighter weight polymers and resins.
Here are some other factors that contribute to the weight difference:
- Granite density: Granite contains heavy minerals like feldspar, quartz and mica that add weight.
- Thicker slab: Granite is often cut thicker (3cm) than quartz (2cm).
- Reinforcement: Quartz contains polymers/resins that decrease overall weight.
- Less maintenance: Quartz doesn’t need heavy sealers applied periodically.
So in summary, granite’s completely natural makeup and thick cut produces a much heavier slab than engineered quartz.
Impact on Installation
The weight difference between the two materials becomes very apparent during installation.
Granite countertops require more workers to transport and install due to the heavy weight. Special braces may be needed to reinforce cabinets. Professional grade adhesives are required.
Quartz countertops can be moved and installed by fewer workers. The lighter slabs put less strain on wall cabinets during installation. Standard countertop adhesives are typically sufficient.
So quartz’s lighter weight makes installation simpler and requires less reinforcement of cabinets. Homeowners may save on installation costs compared to granite.
Which is Better for Your Home?
When choosing between granite and quartz, the weight of the materials is just one consideration. You also need to look at appearance, maintenance, durability, and cost.
Here are some guidelines for choosing the best option for your home:
- Granite is better if you want a classic, natural stone look.
- Quartz often costs a bit less than natural granite.
- Quartz requires very little maintenance compared to granite.
- Both offer excellent durability for heavy use in kitchens.
- Quartz is easier to install due to its lighter weight.
Many homeowners choose quartz for bathrooms and granite for kitchens to get the best features of each material. Consult with an experienced countertop provider to choose the right surface for your home renovation.
Are Quartz Countertops Heavier Than Granite? – Conclusion
In direct weight comparisons, quartz countertops are consistently lighter than granite countertops. Key takeaways:
- Granite weighs nearly twice as much per square foot as quartz.
- Quartz only weighs about 50% as much as granite due to man-made composition.
- Lighter weight makes quartz much easier to transport and install.
- Granite is heavier because it is cut from naturally dense, thick stone.
- Both materials offer durability but quartz is easier to maintain.
- Choose quartz or granite based on appearance, use, maintenance and cost.
So if you are deciding between these two great countertop options, keep weight in mind. Granite offers a classic elegance but requires heavy reinforcement. Quartz provides modern convenience with its lighter composition. Carefully weigh all the factors to make the best choice!