Do I Have Quartz or Granite Countertops?

Determining whether you have quartz or granite countertops in your home can be confusing at first glance. Quartz and granite are both popular options for kitchen and bathroom countertops, and they share some visual similarities. However, there are distinct differences between these two materials. Here is a helpful guide to identifying quartz vs. granite countertops.


Granite countertops are made from natural stone that is mined from quarries. This means that no two granite slabs are exactly alike – the stone has natural variations in color, pattern, and veining. Granite can come in different colors like black, white, gray, red, brown, and beige. It usually has visible swirling or speckled patterns.

Quartz countertops are engineered from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This allows quartz to come in a wide range of consistent colors and patterns. Quartz often looks like specks or flecks of color blended together in an even pattern. The overall look is more uniform than natural granite.

Flecks and Veining

Granite contains flecks of mica and feldspar minerals that catch the light to create a sparkling effect. It has natural veins running through it. These veins are typically darker mineral deposits that vary in thickness and direction.

Quartz sometimes has colored flecks blended in to mimic the look of natural stone. However, these flecks are small and evenly distributed with no natural veining. Larger quartz aggregates can also be used to create a “chunky” look.

Surface Feel

Granite has a naturally coarse texture with small pits and pores in the surface. It can feel slightly bumpy or grainy. The surface can be honed smooth or given a glossy polish.

Quartz has a smooth, glassy feel as a result of its non-porous surface. The texture is consistent and will not show markings from age and use over time. High-quality quartz is resistant to scratches and stains.


Granite is porous and requires periodic sealing to prevent stains from penetrating the surface. It can chip or stain if not cared for properly. Use coasters under glasses and avoid harsh cleaners.

Quartz is virtually maintenance-free due to its non-porous composition. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all that is required. Quartz does not need ongoing sealing or polishing.

Other Clues

  • Granite slabs come in a limited range of sizes based on how they are cut from natural stone.
  • Quartz can be fabricated in very large slabs to create seamless countertops.
  • Granite is cool to the touch, while quartz materials tend to stay warmed to room temperature.
  • Look underneath – granite will be heavy, solid natural stone while quartz countertops are thinner engineered composites attached to substrate.

How to Confirm for Certain

If you need to know conclusively if your countertop is granite or quartz, consider these options:

  • Check paperwork from original installation for the material specs.
  • Get an evaluation from the fabricator or installer who did the job.
  • For quartz, look along the edges for manufacturer branding or logos subtlety etched into the surface.
  • Use a granite/quartz testing kit available at hardware stores to chemically identify the composition.
  • Hire a professional stone inspector to come do an in-person assessment.

With a little sleuthing and these handy tips, you should be able to determine whether your countertops are made of natural granite or engineered quartz. Knowing how to tell the difference will help you properly care for and maintain your counters. And if you’re in the market for new counters, understanding these two materials can ensure you pick the perfect surface for your needs!

Frequently Asked Questions About Identifying Quartz and Granite Countertops

Is granite or quartz better for countertops?

Granite and quartz each have their own pros and cons. Granite is a natural stone that provides a timeless, elegant look. However, it requires more maintenance than quartz. Quartz is engineered to be extremely durable and practical while coming in a variety of modern styles. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and lifestyle factors.

How can you tell if a countertop is real stone or not?

Real natural stone like granite will have variations in color, veining patterns, speckles, and an uneven texture. It feels cool and solid. Fake stone, quartz, and other engineered materials often look too consistent and uniform. They are also warmer to the touch. Check under the counter – real heavy stone will be thick while laminates are thin.

What are the signs of low-quality quartz?

Lower grade quartz may have obvious seams, inferior polish, dull or inconsistent colors, lack of depth, and more pronouned brand markings. High heat damage and scratches that cannot be removed are also signs of poor quality quartz. The top brands use finer quartz aggregates and more resilient resins.

Can you get quartz countertops that look like marble?

Yes, many quartz manufacturers now offer marble-look collections. These contain swirls, detailed veining, and color variations designed to resemble natural marble. Quartz offers the same visual appeal without the maintenance needs and etching concerns of real marble surfaces.

Is a granite or quartz backsplash always needed?

A backsplash is not mandatory but is highly recommended to protect the wall behind a countertop from splashes, drips, and spills. Matching your backsplash to the countertop material creates a streamlined, upscale appearance. Quartz often includes matching backsplashes.


Identifying your existing countertop material can ensure you take proper care of it. When choosing a new countertop, being able to recognize the differences between granite vs quartz allows you to decide which material best suits your home. While they share some similarities, granite and quartz have distinct characteristics. Pay attention to the appearance, feel, maintenance needs, and other clues to confidently determine if you have luxury quartz or timeless granite countertops.