Do I Have Granite or Quartz Countertops?

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials used in kitchens and bathrooms today. They are both natural stone materials that add beauty and value to any home. However, there are some key differences between granite and quartz that you need to consider when choosing countertops. This article provides a detailed comparison of granite and quartz countertops to help you determine whether you have granite or quartz in your home.

How to Tell the Difference Between Granite and Quartz Countertops

Telling granite and quartz countertops apart can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some tips for identifying granite vs quartz countertops:


  • Granite has a natural, unique appearance with visible veins, flecks, and grains in the stone. It comes in a wider variety of colors and patterns compared to quartz.
  • Quartz has a more uniform look, like granite but with less pronounced graining and veining. The color and pattern run throughout the slab.


  • Granite has a glossy, shiny surface when polished. It feels slightly porous and textured to the touch.
  • Quartz has a smoother, non-porous surface with little texture. It feels cooler than natural stone.

Marks and Scratches

  • Granite is more prone to scratching, chipping, and staining than quartz.
  • Quartz is extremely hard and resistant to scratches, chips, and stains.


  • Granite requires more frequent sealing to prevent staining. It needs to be cleaned delicately with non-abrasive cleaners.
  • Quartz is almost maintenance-free. It rarely needs sealing and can be cleaned with mild detergents.

Granite Countertops

Granite is a natural stone that is mined from quarries around the world. It is an igneous rock that forms when magma cools and solidifies. Granite contains crystals of quartz, feldspar, and mica that give it its unique coloring and veining.

Here are some key facts about granite countertops:

  • Extremely durable and can last decades with proper care
  • Available in a diverse array of natural colors and patterns
  • Resistant to heat and stains, but sealing is required periodically
  • Harder than marble, but softer than quartz
  • Porous surface requires diligent cleaning and disinfecting
  • Can chip or crack if subjected to blunt force
  • Relatively expensive natural stone option

Pros of Granite Countertops:

  • Timeless, classic beauty that fits any style
  • Adds value and elegance to kitchens
  • Vast selection of unique natural patterns
  • Withstands heat and is hygienic when sealed
  • More affordable than some upscale countertop options

Cons of Granite Countertops:

  • Requires resealing every 1-2 years
  • Prone to staining from liquids if not sealed
  • Can chip, crack, or scratch if mishandled
  • Needs frequent cleaning and disinfecting
  • Natural stone finishes require more maintenance
  • Heavy and may require cabinet reinforcement

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are engineered stone slabs made from quartz particles bound together with polymer resins and coloring pigments. The quartz provides strength and durability, while resins give the material its color consistency and make it non-porous.

Here are the main characteristics of quartz countertops:

  • Highly durable and low maintenance
  • Stain, scratch, chip, and heat resistant
  • Easy to clean and keep hygienic
  • Seamless appearance with uniform coloring
  • Manufactured in wide range of colors and styles
  • Non-porous so does not require regular sealing
  • Harder and less prone to damage than granite
  • Does not need frequent polishing or refinishing

Pros of Quartz Countertops:

  • Extremely strong, scratch and stain resistant
  • Low maintenance, no sealing required
  • Easy to keep clean and sanitary
  • Consistent color and styling
  • Long lasting with little upkeep needed
  • Large variety of styles to suit any decor
  • Non-porous surface inhibits microbial growth

Cons of Quartz Countertops:

  • Less natural look than granite
  • Limited number of patterns and finishes
  • Seams more visible than with granite
  • Not heat resistant without additional treatment
  • Slightly more expensive than natural granite
  • Can be damaged by excessive force or pressure

Granite vs Quartz Comparison Chart

| Factor | Granite | Quartz |
| Composition | Natural stone | Engineered stone |
| Appearance | Distinct veins and grains | More uniform solid colors |
| Texture | Glossy, slightly porous | Matte, non-porous |
| Stain resistance | Prone to staining | Extremely stain resistant |
| Scratch resistance | Can scratch | Very scratch resistant |
| Heat tolerance | High heat tolerance | Low heat tolerance |
| Maintenance | Requires periodic sealing | Little maintenance required |
| Durability | Durable but can crack or chip | Extremely durable |
| Cost | $$-$$$ | $$$ |

How to Tell If You Have Granite or Quartz

Now that you know the key differences between granite and quartz, here are some tips for identifying which one you have in your home:

  • Examine the surface – Granite has visible veins and grains while quartz has a more uniform appearance.
  • Do a splash test – Pour a bit of water on the countertop. If it is quickly absorbed, it is likely granite which is porous. If it beads up, it is likely quartz.
  • Look at the edges – Granite will have natural rough edges while quartz will have smoother finished edges.
  • Test heat tolerance – Quartz can tolerate less heat before becoming damaged.
  • Check for signs of sealing – Granite requires periodic sealing which will be noticeable near the edges and seams.
  • Try scratching delicately – A steel knifeblade or nail can scratch granite but not quartz.
  • Look underneath – The underside material can help indicate if it is natural stone like granite or engineered quartz.

If you are still uncertain, the best way to know for sure is to contact your countertop installer or supplier. They should be able to confirm which type of material was used based on your purchase records. Knowing whether you have granite or quartz is important for properly caring for and maintaining your countertops.

How to Care for Granite Countertops

Caring for granite countertops involves regular sealing, cleaning, and being cautious to prevent chips or cracks. Here are some tips for maintaining granite:

  • Seal granite every 1-2 years using a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from liquids. Reapply whenever the stone appears dry or absorbent.
  • Clean frequently with a mild pH-neutral stone cleaner and warm water. Disinfect periodically with diluted bleach.
  • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning to remove any soapy residue which can cause buildup.
  • Blot spills quickly to prevent staining of the porous surface. Don’t use abrasive scrubbers.
  • Use trivets and hot pads under hot pots and pans to prevent cracking or burning.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals like acids, alkaline cleaners, and abrasive pads which can damage the finish.
  • Protect edges by installing edge trim to cushion impact from bumps. Round edges also help.
  • Check sealant around sinks and backsplashes to prevent moisture ingress. Reapply caulk when dried or cracked.

With proper sealing and gentle care, granite countertops can remain beautiful for decades in any home.

How to Care for Quartz Countertops

Caring for quartz countertops requires far less maintenance than natural stone surfaces. Here are some tips for keeping quartz pristine:

  • Clean regularly with mild soap and water. Occasionally disinfect with diluted bleach.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners that can dull the surface. Stick to non-abrasive products designed for stone.
  • Blot spills quickly to avoid any possible staining, especially from wine, coffee and oil.
  • No sealing required. The non-porous surface does not need periodic sealing.
  • Prevent thermal shock by using trivets and pads under hot items. Sudden extreme temperature changes can damage quartz.
  • Avoid direct sunlight which can potentially cause uneven spotting over time.
  • Check manufacturer care guidelines as some quartz may have specific cleaning requirements.
  • Use a cutting board to avoid directly cutting on the countertop which can scratch the surface.

With minimal care, quartz countertops will retain their like-new beauty for many years. The easy maintenance requirements are a leading reason many homeowners choose quartz over granite or marble.

Frequently Asked Questions About Granite and Quartz Countertops

Is granite or quartz better for kitchen countertops?

Both materials make excellent kitchen countertops that will enhance your space. Granite offers a timeless, natural stone look while quartz provides extreme durability and easy care. Quartz tends to work better for busy kitchens as it is almost stain and scratch proof. Granite is better for those wanting a beautiful natural stone surface despite the added maintenance.

How much do granite and quartz countertops cost installed?

Installed costs typically range*:

  • Granite: $60-$100 per sq.ft. installed
  • Quartz: $80-150 per sq.ft. installed

*Costs vary based on slab quality, edge treatments, and installation complexity.

Can quartz countertops stand up to hot pans?

Quartz has relatively low heat tolerance compared to granite. Hot pots and pans can potentially damage the solid surface resin. Always use trivets or hot pads for hot cookware. Modern quartzes have improved heat resistance but still require caution.

How long do quartz and granite countertops last?

With proper care, both granite and quartz can last decades. Granite is more prone to staining or cracking over time while quartz maintains its durability. Both should provide at least 20 years of beauty and service in the average home kitchen.

Is quartz more expensive than granite?

In general, quartz countertops tend to cost slightly more than granite. However, prices can vary based on the quality of materials chosen. Expect quartz to range from $80-150 per square foot installed compared to granite at $60-100 per square foot installed.

Do quartz countertops need to be sealed?

No, quartz does not require any sealing. The polymer resins make quartz non-porous so liquids cannot penetrate the surface. This means quartz will resist stains without needing periodic sealing required by natural stones like granite.

Can you repair quartz countertops?

Minor damage like superficial scratches may be repaired by a professional quartz fabricator using polishing and refinishing techniques. However, deep scratches, chips, cracks, and stains can be difficult or impossible to eliminate. Avoiding damage is easier than repairing it.


Identifying whether your countertops are natural granite versus engineered quartz comes down to examining the visual appearance, texture, durability and maintenance needs. Granite requires more care but provides timeless beauty. Quartz offers near maintenance-free convenience. Both can provide decades of satisfaction when properly cared for. Understanding how to maintain your specific countertop material properly is key to enjoying lasting beauty in your kitchen or bath.