Quartz and granite are two of the most popular countertop materials, and each has its own unique set of pros and cons. Here is an in-depth comparison of quartz vs granite countertops to help you decide which is best for your kitchen or bathroom remodel.
Durability and Longevity
Granite is known for its extreme durability and longevity. It is composed of natural stone that has been compressed over millions of years, making it nearly indestructible in a home kitchen or bathroom. Granite can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Quartz countertops are engineered from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and polymers. This makes quartz more flexible but not quite as impervious to damage as natural granite. Quartz will resist scratches, stains, and heat very well but is not invincible. With proper care, a quartz countertop can still last many years.
Granite occurs naturally, so no two granite slabs are exactly alike. The random mineral distribution gives granite its distinctive and unique visual appeal. Colors, patterns, and veining can vary dramatically between granite samples. Homeowners can choose a color palette that fits their personal taste.
Quartz has a more uniform appearance since it is engineered. While many color and pattern options exist, quartz lacks the natural variation of granite. However, the consistent patterning of quartz can appeal to homeowners who prefer minimal variation.
Winner: Tie (personal preference)
Granite slabs are individually cut from natural granite formations, making each slab unique. Due to the intensive quarrying and fabrication process, natural stone like granite tends to cost more than engineered alternatives. Expect to pay $60-$120 per square foot installed for granite. Exotic granite can cost even more.
Quartz fabrication methods are streamlined since the material is engineered. Pricing is typically in the range of $50-100 per square foot installed. More affordable options exist if you choose a common color and patterning. Overall, quartz delivers a lower average cost than granite.
Colors and Patterns
Natural granite is available in a vast spectrum of colors – from dramatic black Absolute to brilliant Azul Platino. Patterns vary widely between mottled, speckled, and veined looks. No other material can match the diversity of granite colors.
Quartz manufacturers offer a respectable range of colors and styles too. From white Fantasy Quartz to dark Nero Marquina lookalikes, quartz provides plenty of attractive options tailored to current homeowner preferences. The range isn’t quite as extensive as granite’s possibilities.
Maintenance and Care
Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains from penetrating the surface. Annual or semi-annual sealing is ideal depending on usage. Granite is somewhat porous, so liquids can potentially soak in over time without sealing.
Quartz has virtually zero porosity since it is non-porous. No sealing is required, which saves ongoing maintenance efforts. However, quartz still needs regular cleaning to keep the surface free of grime buildup. Overall, quartz is easier to maintain long-term.
As a natural stone, granite can withstand exposure to high temperatures. Pans or baking sheets can be placed directly on the surface without worry of damage. Granite offers excellent heat diffusion and thermal shock resistance.
Quartz has less resilience to sudden spikes in temperature. The resins can lose integrity when exposed to extreme heat. Quartz manufacturers advise against exposing the surface to temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Trivets or hot pads should be used.
Unsealed granite is somewhat prone to absorbing liquids, leading to staining. Foods like wine, coffee, and certain fruits can leave permanent discoloration if granite hasn’t been properly sealed. Once sealed, granite is nearly impenetrable.
Quartz repels liquids exceptionally well and won’t need sealing. The non-porous surface prevents staining from accidental spills. However, prolonged exposure can still lead to very slight staining. Overall, quartz offers excellent stain resistance.
Granite’s hardness makes it very scratch resistant for everyday kitchen use. Cutting directly on the surface typically won’t scratch granite. However, dragging a pot or pan across the surface can scratch unsealed granite. Keeping it sealed is key.
Quartz is impressively scratch-resistant too. The resins fill in any light scratches back to a smooth finish. quartz won’t scratch from normal kitchen tools. However, quartz can get scratched from sharp objects, so use cutting boards.
Since granite slabs are uniquely cut from natural formations, pieces can’t be replaced if substantial damage occurs. The entire slab would need replacement if multiple cracks or chips exist. Spot repairs can address minor damage.
Quartz offers more renewability. Since the material is engineered, manufacturers can remake specific sections. Quartz allows spot replacement of a damaged section, assuming spare pieces were initially retained after install.
Granite has a long-standing reputation as a luxury material which boosts home resale value. The natural stone beauty and perceived prestige of granite boosts interest. Upscale granite kitchens can provide high return on investment.
Quartz is a relative newcomer as an engineered countertop material. It may not enhance resale value to the same extent as granite. However, quartz’s popularity has grown substantially in recent years as more colors and styles are introduced.
Is Quartz or Granite Better for Countertops?
While granite offers unmatched durability, heat tolerance, and design variety, quartz counters are more budget-friendly, low-maintenance, and renewabl. There is no universally superior material. The right choice depends on your priorities and preferences. Homeowners wanting natural stone appeal and a showstopper kitchen gravitate toward granite. Those wanting convenience opt for quartz. Balancing your needs against pros and cons leads to the best decision.
Frequently Asked Questions about Quartz vs Granite Countertops
Here are some commonly asked questions about how quartz and granite compare for countertops:
Is quartz more expensive than granite?
No, quartz is generally less expensive than natural granite for countertop installations. The average cost of quartz is $50-100 per square foot installed, while granite averages $60-120 per square foot. Granite requires more intensive quarrying and fabrication.
What is higher quality, quartz or granite?
Granite is higher quality in terms of durability, heat resistance, and visual depth. The natural stone has incredible longevity and a prestigious reputation. However, quartz is easier to maintain and offers more consistent patterning. It comes down to personal preference.
Can quartz stain like granite?
Quartz has excellent stain resistance and requires virtually no sealing. Granite needs to be sealed periodically to prevent staining. With proper sealing, granite resists stains well. Unsealed granite can absorb stains more easily.
Is quartz better than granite?
It depends on your priorities. Granite offers stunning visual appeal and extreme durability thanks to natural stone. Quartz requires less maintenance, offers built-in stain protection, and is more affordable. Determine which qualities matter most to you.
Does quartz hold its value like granite?
Granite countertops may boost resale value somewhat more than quartz since granite has prestige as a luxury material. However, quartz has grown tremendously in popularity, so it too enhances home value for buyers who prefer its advantages.
While granite and quartz both make excellent countertop materials, notable differences exist between the two. Granite delivers unparalleled durability and visual depth as a natural stone. For homeowners who prioritize easy care and renewal, quartz makes a wonderful engineered alternative. Carefully weigh your own wants and needs, and you’re sure to end up with long-lasting countertops you’ll absolutely love.