Quartz and granite countertops are two of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Many homeowners find themselves trying to decide between these two beautiful natural stone materials when upgrading their homes. Understanding the key differences in cost, appearance, maintenance, and performance can help guide your decision when choosing between quartz vs granite countertops.
Cost Comparison Between Quartz and Granite Countertops
The cost is often one of the biggest factors when deciding between quartz and granite. Here is an overview of what to expect:
- Total Installed Cost: $80 – $120 per square foot
- Material Only Cost: $50 – $80 per square foot
Quartz slabs are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The manufacturing process makes it more affordable than natural stone. The total installed cost takes into account material, fabrication, and installation.
- Total Installed Cost: $80 – $185 per square foot
- Material Only Cost: $40 – $100 per square foot
Granite is a natural stone that is mined from quarries. It has more variability in cost depending on the stone’s availability, popularity, and intricacy in veining patterns. Exotic granites can cost up to $185 per square foot installed.
On average, quartz runs $10-15 less per square foot than granite for material and installation. Quartz provides a more consistent price point while granite varies greatly.
How Much Are Quartz Countertops Compared To Granite: Appearance
Quartz and granite each have their own unique visual appeal:
- Uniform appearance since it is engineered
- More color and pattern options like sparkly aggregates
- Does not have the natural veining, speckles, or movement found in granite
- Natural stone with striking veins, speckles, and movement
- More limited color palette usually in grays, tans, blues, greens
- Radiant crystalline sparkle from embedded minerals like quartz and mica
Granite offers an authentic natural stone look that quartz cannot replicate. However, quartz allows more flexibility in colors and patterns. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Visit showrooms to see slab samples in person.
Maintenance and Durability Comparison
An important consideration for countertop materials is how much maintenance they require and how well they hold up:
- Extremely low maintenance
- Resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and water
- Does not need annual sealing like granite
- warranty typically 15-25 years
- Requires annual sealing to prevent stains
- Tough but can chip if subjected to hard impact
- Resistant to heat but can crack from sudden temperature changes
- Warranty ranges from 1-10 years
Quartz’s non-porous surface makes it very stain resistant and low maintenance. Granite requires sealing but is unlikely to chip or crack with normal use. Both offer good durability.
How Much Are Quartz Countertops Compared To Granite: Performance
Here are some considerations when evaluating quartz vs granite in terms of performance:
- Non-porous so resistant to staining
- Can safely cut food on surface without damage
- Requires minimal cleaning just with soap and water
- Some quartz contains polyester resin making it susceptible to heat damage
- Needs to be sealed to prevent staining
- Food preparation directly on surface can damage granite over time
- Prone to etching from acidic foods and cleaners if left to sit
- Very heat resistant unless subjected to sudden temperature change
Quartz’s stain resistance gives it an advantage over granite in the kitchen. Granite can handle heat better as long as it is gradual exposure. For cutting and preparing food, quartz or stone surface cutting boards are recommended for both countertop materials.
Pros and Cons of Quartz vs Granite
| Quartz Countertops | Granite Countertops |
|Pros|- More affordable- Uniform appearance- Extremely stain resistant- Requires little maintenance- Durable and scratch resistant |Pros|- Natural beauty with striking veining- Unique stone with radiant sparkle- Can be restored by polishing and resealing- Very durable if cared for properly|
|Cons|- Limited color and pattern options- No natural stone appearance- Can scorch if exposed to high heat |Cons|- Higher and more variable cost- Requires annual sealing- Can stain, etch, or chip if mistreated- Needs to be resealed over time|
When deciding between quartz vs granite, weigh the pros and cons of each carefully. Factors like appearance, maintenance, and budget will help determine the best choice for your home. Quartz offers an affordable low-maintenance option with striking colors and consistency. Granite provides a genuine natural stone look with more variation in visual appeal. Understanding the key differences allows you to make the most informed decision about whether quartz or granite best fits your countertop needs and lifestyle. Reach out to professional fabricators and installers to get quotes on your specific project.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz vs Granite Countertops
Is quartz cheaper than granite?
Yes, on average quartz countertops are cheaper than granite. Quartz costs $80-120 per square foot installed compared to granite which ranges from $80-185 per square foot installed.
Which is better, quartz or granite, for kitchen countertops?
It depends on your priorities. Quartz requires less maintenance, resists stains, and has more color consistency. Granite offers a striking natural look but needs annual sealing. Granite can withstand heat better as long as the change is gradual.
Does quartz stain easily?
No, quartz does not stain easily due to its non-porous nature. It does not need to be sealed and is highly resistant to stains. However, prolonged exposure to certain materials can stain quartz.
Is quartz cheaper than Corian?
Yes, quartz tends to be cheaper than Corian solid surfaces. The total installed cost of quartz averages $80-120 per square foot compared to $70-150 per square foot for Corian.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
No, quartz countertops do not require regular sealing like granite does. The resin binders make quartz non-porous so it does not absorb stains. However, sealing is an option to add an extra layer of protection.
Is quartz toxic?
No, quartz countertops are considered non-toxic and safe for food prep when made from pure quartz crystals bound with polymer resins. Some cheaper quartz products contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde but high quality brands test their materials to ensure they are non-toxic.
Can you set hot pots on quartz?
It is not recommended. While quartz is heat resistant to an extent, subjecting it to high direct heat can damage the solid surface over time. Using trivets or hot pads is best to avoid cracking, discoloration or bubbling of the countertop.
Is Caesarstone a quartz?
Yes, Caesarstone is a popular brand of engineered quartz countertops. It consists of upwards of 90% ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments that make up the remaining portion.
What’s better Caesarstone or Silestone?
Caesarstone and Silestone are both high quality quartz countertop brands. Caesarstone offers a bit more scratch resistance while Silestone provides more diversity in colors and patterns. However, both are excellent options that will give you a durable low-maintenance countertop.
Does quartz hold its value?
In general, granite holds its value better than quartz as a home upgrade. However, both granite and quartz are unlikely to provide a full return on investment the way renovations like a kitchen or bathroom remodel can. The value is in the beautiful and functional countertops you get to enjoy.