How to Tell if My Countertop is Granite or Quartz

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular materials for kitchen and bathroom countertops. They are both natural stones that are durable, stylish, and easy to maintain. However, there are some key differences between granite and quartz that you can use to tell them apart. Here is a detailed guide on how to tell if your countertop is granite or quartz.

Examine the Appearance

The most obvious way to tell granite and quartz apart is by looking at their appearance:


  • Granite has a natural, unique pattern with swirls and veins throughout. No two granite slabs are exactly alike.
  • It comes in a wide variety of colors like black, white, gray, brown, pink, blue, green, gold, and red. Multi-colored granite with various flecks is also common.
  • The surface is glossy but also has some matte areas. It has a textured, non-uniform look.
  • Natural pits, cracks, crystals, and deposits are visible in granite.


  • Engineered quartz has a uniform look, without dramatic patterns or color variation.
  • Popular quartz colors are white, gray, black, and cream. Solid colors or subtle speckled patterns are common.
  • The surface has a smooth, consistent, polished look.
  • Imperfections like pits and cracks are minimal since quartz is engineered.

Check the Edges

In addition to the surface, look at the edges of the countertop to identify the material:


  • Granite has visibly uneven, bumpy edges. The thickness may vary slightly.
  • The edge is typically polished to a smooth finish. A beveled edge is also common.
  • There is often a lippage where the countertop meets the edge.


  • Quartz has clean, straight edges for a uniform look.
  • The thickness and width are consistent.
  • The edges have a polished, beveled appearance.
  • It should sit nearly flush with the countertop, with minimal lippage.

Test the Durability

You can also test the durability of the countertop to determine if it is granite or quartz:


  • It is very hard and scratch-resistant. Try scratching the surface with a knife – you likely won’t leave a mark.
  • Granite is heat-resistant, but extremely hot pans can potentially cause superficial burns.
  • It is somewhat prone to staining from spills like wine or tomato sauce. Sealant is needed.


  • Quartz is extremely tough and non-porous. Scratching or staining is rare.
  • It is unaffected by heat and acid. You can place hot pans directly on it.
  • Spills and stains wipe right off the surface with no trace. No sealing needed.
  • While durable, quartz can be chipped or cracked by heavy impact.

Check Under the Countertop

For an installed countertop, look underneath for identifying markers:


  • There may be a granite fabricator’s label attached below with details like the granite type, finish, and thickness.
  • Unpolished granite has a bumpy, gritty texture on the underside.
  • Polished granite appears smooth under the countertop as well.


  • You may find a label identifying the brand, color, and dimensions of the quartz slab.
  • The underside typically looks smoothly finished.
  • There are likely 1-2″ strips of wood/plastic attached underneath for support.

Consult an Expert

If you are still uncertain whether your countertop is granite or quartz, consult a stone fabrication and installation company. They can identify the material, provide details on it like the granite variety or quartz manufacturer, and recommend proper maintenance. A builder, kitchen designer, or interior decorator may also be able to confirm the countertop type.

With this guide, you should now be able to accurately determine if your countertop is natural granite or engineered quartz. Pay attention to the appearance, feel, durability and edges of the countertop. And when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call in an expert for a definitive assessment. Knowing your countertop material will ensure you take proper care of it for a lifetime of beauty and performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between granite and quartz?

The main differences are that granite has a natural, variegated pattern while quartz has a more uniform look. Granite needs periodic sealing but is very durable. Quartz rarely needs sealing and is non-porous, but can chip/crack. Granite is heat-resistant while quartz is unaffected by heat or acids.

Is quartz cheaper than granite?

Quartz used to be pricier than granite, but costs have come down in recent years. Today, mid-range granite and quartz cost about the same per square foot installed. High-end quartz may exceed premium granite.

How thick should granite or quartz countertops be?

For residential use, 3 cm (1 1⁄4”) is the standard thickness for both granite and quartz countertops. Thicker options like 2 cm (3⁄4”) or 5 cm (2”) are available too. Thicker material is heavier and more durable.

Can you cut directly on granite or quartz countertops?

It’s best to avoid cutting directly on stone countertops. Use a cutting board instead to prevent dulling knives or damaging the surface. Both granite and quartz are extremely hard and can dull blades.

Do granite and quartz countertops add value to a home?

Yes, both granite and quartz are premium countertop materials that can significantly increase the value of a home. They are desirable options for home buyers and set a kitchen or bath apart.

How do I clean and care for granite vs. quartz?

Granite needs yearly sealing and gentle cleaners to avoid staining. Quartz only needs mild soap and water since it resists scratching and staining. Disinfect quartz with hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution if needed.


Identifying whether your countertop is natural granite versus engineered quartz does not have to be a mystery. There are visible differences in their appearance, durability, edges, and underside that allow you to tell them apart. When examining your countertop, look for granite’s variegated patterns versus quartz’s uniformity, the telltale signs of granite’s natural pits and fissures, the bumpy edge profile typical of granite countertops, and the engineered support strips under quartz counters. With this guide’s tips, you can determine if you have luxurious granite or resilient quartz adorning your home. Knowing precisely what your countertop is made of means you can properly care for it and preserve its beauty for many years.