How Do Quartz Countertops Compare to Granite?

With so many options for kitchen countertops these days, it can be tough deciding between quartz and granite. Both have their pros and cons in terms of appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost. Here’s a detailed comparison of quartz vs granite countertops to help you choose the right material for your home.



Granite is a natural stone that’s mined from quarries around the world. It’s formed over millions of years under extreme heat and pressure, giving it a distinctive, speckled appearance. No two granite slabs are alike – the color and veining patterns vary widely from one piece to the next.

Granite comes in many different colors like black, white, gray, brown, reddish pink, blue, and green. The variation in veining also differs – some types of granite have very faint veins while others have prominent, striking patterns. This diverse range of looks allows for lots of customization in your kitchen design.

The natural beauty of granite is hard to match. The dazzling colors and veining make it a luxurious and timeless choice.


Quartz countertops are engineered from crushed quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This allows manufacturers to create a wide array of consistent colors and patterns.

The most common quartz patterns mimic natural stone with flecks of color and subdued veining in neutral hues like white, gray, and beige. But you can also find quartz made to mimic granite, with bold speckles and swirls. There are also solid-colored options if you prefer a minimalist, sleek look.

The appearance of quartz is more uniform than natural granite. While granite counters are unique, quartz offers predictable, consistent aesthetics. If planning a large kitchen, this color continuity can give a pleasant, cohesive look.



As one of the hardest natural stones, granite is extremely durable and able to withstand heavy use. It’s resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. But it’s also brittle, so a heavy impact can potentially chip or crack it.

Over time, the polished surface of granite may develop a patina as the gloss wears down in high traffic areas. But this natural aging can add character. Re-polishing granite can restore the original shine.

With proper care, a granite countertop can last a lifetime. It won’t wear down easily under normal kitchen use.


Quartz countertops are also highly durable. In fact, quartz is even harder than granite, making it almost impervious to scratches. It can withstand hot pots and stains from spills remarkably well.

The resin binders mixed with the quartz make these counters more flexible than natural stone. So quartz is less prone to chipping or cracking from an accidental impact.

Quartz maintains its polished factory finish extremely well. It won’t develop a patina like granite does over time. The consistent surface shine lasts for many years of heavy day-to-day use.



Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains from penetrating the porous surface. It’s recommended to seal granite every 1-2 years. If the sealant wears off, liquids like wine or fruit juice can potentially cause stubborn stains.

For cleaning, granite should be wiped down with a damp microfiber cloth and a gentle pH-neutral stone cleaner. Acidic cleaners like vinegar or harsh chemicals should not be used, as they can damage and dull the granite over time.

While granite itself is quite heat resistant, some sealants may not withstand excessive heat. Using trivets for hot pans is recommended to prevent damaging the sealant.

Overall, granite countertops are relatively low maintenance – just regular cleaning and occasional resealing. But they do require a bit more care than quartz.


Since quartz is non-porous, it never needs to be sealed. Simple cleaning with soap and water is enough to keep it looking like new.

Quartz is unaffected by acids or alkaline cleaners, so you don’t have to worry about using the wrong products on it. It can also withstand heat very well.

There’s no ongoing maintenance required for quartz counters. The little cleaning they need is quick and easy.


Granite and quartz have similar price ranges, starting around $50 per square foot installed. Here are the main factors affecting the cost:


  • Stone variety – Rare granites like black galaxy granite cost more than common types like Uba Tuba granite.
  • Veining patterns – Highly sought-after granites with striking veining and movement command higher prices.
  • Edge treatments – Decorative edges like bevels, ogees, and eased edges increase costs over standard squared edges.
  • Thickness – 3 cm slabs are thinner and cost less than full 2 cm slabs. Thicker countertops are recommended for kitchen islands and heavily used areas.
  • Fabrication – Complex designs, special cutouts, and extra installation labor add to the total costs.


  • Color – Neutralquartz colors like white are generally the most affordable options. Unique colors and patterns cost more.
  • Brand – Premium designers like Caesarstone are pricier than standard brands.
  • Thickness – A standard 3/4″ thick quartz countertop keeps costs lower than a 1 1/4″ thick version.
  • Fabrication – Straightforward countertop layouts are less expensive to fabricate and install. Complex projects with intricate cutouts, edges, etc. have higher labor and material costs.

Bottom Line

When it comes to kitchen countertops, both granite and quartz make excellent choices. Granite brings natural beauty, while quartz offers consistency. Granite needs occasional sealing, but quartz requires no maintenance. Both materials are quite durable in the busiest kitchens.

The decision often comes down to your style preferences. If you want a luxurious, one-of-a-kind look, granite is hard to match. If you prefer uniformity and low maintenance, engineered quartz counters are the way to go. Either option will give you many years of beauty and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is granite or quartz better?

There is no definitive “better” option – each material has advantages and disadvantages. Granite is more unique looking but requires sealing. Quartz is hassle-free but lacks the natural charm. It comes down to which qualities matter most for your kitchen.

Is quartz worth the extra cost over granite?

In terms of upfront cost, quartz counters are typically on par with mid to high-end granite. The added cost of quartz pays for itself over time thanks to the lack of ongoing maintenance required. So whether it’s “worth it” depends on your budget and willingness to seal granite periodically.

Can quartz get stained like granite?

Quartz is essentially non-porous, so it resists stains far better than natural stone. Spills and liquids don’t penetrate into the material. However, prolonged exposure to certain substances (like wine, oil, or dyes) can potentially stain quartz. But it takes a lot more effort than with porous granite.

Is quartz HEAT resistant?

Yes, quartz has excellent thermal properties and can withstand brief exposures to temperatures up to 300°F without issue. However, prolonged direct heat could potentially damage the solid surface over time. Using trivets or hot pads is still recommended to be safe.

How thick should a quartz countertop be?

The standard thickness for quartz counters is 3/4″. This provides adequate strength for most applications. Some manufacturers offer 1 1/4″ thick quartz for heavy duty areas like kitchen islands. Anything under 3/4″ is prone to cracking over time.


Granite and quartz each have their pros and cons for kitchen countertops. Granite provides a sense of luxury with its natural beauty and uniqueness. Quartz offers zero maintenance and a consistent look. For most homeowners, the decision comes down to personal preference on the aesthetics and practical considerations like maintenance. Either one can be an excellent choice for countertops that will last for many years to come.