Do decorators install granite over quartz countertops?

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Both offer durability, style, and easy maintenance, but they differ in look, feel, and price point. So which is better – granite or quartz? And can decorators install granite over an existing quartz countertop? Let’s explore the pros, cons, costs, and installation considerations to help you decide.

Overview of Granite and Quartz Countertops

Granite is a natural stone that’s mined from quarries around the world. It’s an igneous rock that’s extremely hard and dense, making it very durable and scratch-resistant. Granite forms over millions of years in a variety of colors and patterns, so no two granite slabs are alike.

Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This makes quartz non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. The manufacturing process allows quartz to mimic the look of natural stone or granite but with more uniform coloring and patterns.

The main differences between granite and quartz:

  • Appearance – Granite has a more natural, unique look while quartz often appears more uniform.
  • Price – Quartz is typically less expensive than granite. Exact costs vary by type and color.
  • Maintenance – Both are low maintenance, but quartz requires less sealing than porous granite.
  • Durability – Quartz resists scratches better than granite but is not indestructible.

Can You Install Granite Over Quartz?

Installing granite over an existing quartz countertop is possible but not always recommended. Here are some important considerations:

  • Weight – Granite is extremely heavy, weighing 15 to 18 pounds per square foot on average. The existing quartz and substrate must be able to support the added weight without sagging or structural issues.
  • Thicker slab – A thicker slab of granite will be required to span over the quartz below. Standard granite is 3cm thick but a 5cm slab may be needed, increasing costs.
  • Seams – Seams between granite slabs will likely not align with seams in the quartz below. This can cause uneven surfaces.
  • Installation challenges – It takes extra skill, time, and effort to install granite over quartz compared to new cabinetry. The granite must be precisely cut to fit the quartz shape and edges.
  • Height – Adding another layer increases the countertop height which may impact sinks, appliances, backsplashes, etc. The finished height should be considered.
  • Cost – There will be significant additional costs for thicker granite, extra fabrication, installation labor, plus new sink/faucet modifications.
  • Resale value – Installing granite over quartz rather than replacing the quartz completely may decrease resale value of the home.

Many experts recommend removing the existing quartz rather than installing granite directly over quartz. This avoids the potential installation problems and gives a better finished look.

Should You Go for Granite or Quartz?

If choosing between granite and quartz for a new kitchen or bath, consider:

Benefits of granite:

  • Unique natural beauty and patterns
  • Prestigious, high-end appearance
  • Excellent durability if properly sealed
  • Resists heat and stains
  • Variety of colors and finishes

Benefits of quartz:

  • More consistent coloring and patterns
  • ‘Man-made’ appearance some prefer
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Greater stain, scratch, and heat resistance
  • More affordable than granite
  • Easy cleaning with soap and water

In summary:

  • Granite brings natural stone beauty at a higher price point. It requires periodic sealing.
  • Quartz offers an attractive, no-maintenance surface that mimics granite for less cost. It lacks the natural look that some desire.

Carefully weigh your budget, design goals, and maintenance preferences when choosing granite or quartz countertops. Consult with experienced countertop installers to ensure proper installation and avoid potential problems installing granite over existing quartz. With good planning, both granite and quartz can provide years of beauty and durability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put granite directly on top of quartz?

It is possible to install granite over quartz but not recommended. The weight of granite can cause stress and cracks in the quartz. It’s best to remove the quartz first for proper support and ideal finished look.

Is quartz cheaper than granite?

Quartz countertops are generally 20-50% less expensive than granite. exact pricing depends on the stone colors, patterns, and thickness. More exotic granite is costlier than basic quartz.

Does quartz hold up better than granite?

Quartz resists scratches, stains, and heat better than granite. But granite is also very durable when properly sealed and cared for. Both can last for many years with proper maintenance.

What are the problems with quartz countertops?

Quartz is not prone to many issues, but heavy impact can damage the surface. The main downsides are the higher cost vs other materials, limited colors/patterns, and manufactured appearance.

Does quartz increase home value more than granite?

Granite and quartz can both boost resale value. Granite is preferred by some buyers for its natural beauty while others appreciate the low-maintenance of quartz. Overall they offer comparable value.


Installing granite over an existing quartz countertop comes with challenges but can be done in some situations. To avoid potential problems, it is often wise to remove the quartz first. When choosing a new countertop material, both granite and quartz are excellent options that provide durability and style. Carefully consider your budget, design preferences, and maintenance tolerance when selecting between these two great surfaces for your home. With proper installation, both granite and quartz can serve you well for many years.