How to Tell if You Have Quartz or Granite Countertops

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials used in kitchens and bathrooms today. While they have some visual similarities, there are distinct differences between granite and quartz countertops. Here is a detailed guide on how to tell if you have quartz or granite countertops.


Granite and quartz countertops are made of natural stone and engineered stone respectively. Both offer an upscale, stylish look for kitchens and bathrooms. However, they differ in composition, maintenance, durability, appearance, and cost.

Understanding the key characteristics of quartz and granite will help homeowners identify which type of countertop they have. This guide covers the following topics:

  • Main differences between quartz and granite
  • Ways to distinguish quartz countertops
  • Ways to identify granite countertops
  • Quartz vs granite comparison chart

Knowing whether your countertops are quartz or granite allows you to care for them properly and make informed decisions if you ever need to replace or repair them.

Main Differences Between Quartz and Granite Countertops

Here is a quick overview of how quartz and granite countertops differ:


  • Engineered stone made from crushed quartz combined with resin and pigments
  • Consistent color and pattern
  • No natural veining or variations
  • Non-porous – does not need to be sealed
  • Resistant to stains, scratches and heat
  • Easier maintenance
  • More affordable than granite


  • Natural quarried stone
  • Unique natural veining and patterns
  • Needs to be periodically sealed
  • More prone to staining and etching
  • Can withstand heat
  • Higher price point than quartz
  • Available in a wider range of colors/patterns

These key differences arise from the fact that quartz is engineered in a factory, while granite is a product of nature. Keep these distinctions in mind as we explore how to evaluate your specific countertops.

Ways to Distinguish Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops have some clear giveaways that set them apart from granite. Here are the main ways to identify quartz:

Consistent Color and Pattern

One of the hallmarks of quartz is its uniform color and pattern. Engineered quartz lacks the natural variations of granite. While it may have flecks of color sprinkled throughout, quartz maintains the same consistent tone and appearance throughout the entirety of the countertop. If your countertop shows no unique markings or variations, it is likely quartz.

Lack of Veining

Natural granite contains mineral deposits that create vein-like patterns across its surface. Quartz has no natural veining since it is engineered, not quarried. If your countertop lacks any apparent veins or distinctive markings, there’s a good chance it’s quartz.

No Visible Pitting or Fissures

Granite is prone to natural pits, fissures and imperfections since it is quarried from mountainous rock formations. Quartz is mixed in a factory setting, so it results in an ultra-smooth surface with no natural pits or imperfections across the material. An even, flawless appearance indicates engineered quartz.

Matte Finish

While granite can take on a polished sheen, quartz more commonly has a matte or brushed finish. The resin gives it a smooth, even surface, but quartz lacks the high-gloss polish of granite surfaces. A muted, matte look suggests a quartz countertop.

Feel Cool to the Touch

Quartz is non-porous so it does not absorb heat or cold. Quartz countertops feel noticeably cool when you touch them, even on hot days, due to their engineered composition. Granite’s natural stone material absorbs ambient temperature. If your countertop feels cool and not room-temperature, quartz is the likely material.

By keeping these distinctive visual and tactile elements of quartz countertops in mind, homeowners can confidently determine if their countertop is indeed quartz.

Ways to Identify Granite Countertops

Granite has its own set of distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from engineered quartz. Look for these traits to determine if your countertop is real granite:

Unique Veining Patterns

As a natural stone, granite contains mineral deposits that form striking veining across its surface. Sometimes called spider veins, these patterns are completely unique to each granite slab. No two granite countertops will have the exact same veining. Distinct veins indicate a real granite countertop.

Variations in Color

Granite’s natural origin means it will have some color variations across its surface. While the predominant background color remains fairly consistent, areas of darker or lighter hues create visual depth and dimension. Engineered quartz has a uniform appearance, while granite has more color fluctuations.

Evidence of Pitting or Imperfections

Small pits, crystals, or divots in the surface point to natural granite, since these imperfections arise during its formation. The natural stone look includes minor flaws. Quartz has a flawless engineered surface, so any small pits or cracks signify genuine granite.

Temperature Acclimation

Since natural stone readily absorbs ambient temperature, granite countertops will feel room-temperature when touched. Quartz maintains a cooler feel. If your countertop is at room temp, that indicates the natural material properties of granite.

Possible High-Gloss Finish

Granite can take on a glassy, shiny finish when polished, especially darker granites. Quartz has a naturally matte look. A polished, reflective sheen is a good indicator of high-end granite with a professional finish. The glossier the surface, the more likely real granite comprises your countertop.

With knowledge of granite’s key characteristics, homeowners can analyze their countertops to determine if the material is authentic natural granite versus engineered quartz.

Quartz vs. Granite Comparison Chart

Here is a helpful visual summary comparing the traits of quartz and granite countertops:

| Trait | Quartz | Granite |
| Composition | Engineered stone; crushed quartz + resins/pigments | Natural quarried stone |
| Patterns | Consistent, uniform appearance | Unique veining, crystalline formations |
| Color Variations | None | Yes, within overall color tone |
| Feel | Cool to the touch | Room temperature |
| Porosity | Non-porous | Semi-porous, needs sealing |
| Durability | Resistant to scratches, stains and heat | Prone to etching/staining from acids |
| Maintenance | Easy, requires little maintenance | More intensive maintenance needed |
| Cost | $80-140 per square foot installed | $60-175 per square foot installed |


Determining if your countertop is quartz or granite is easy once you know the distinguishing characteristics of each material. Key traits like veining, surface imperfections, texture, temperature and appearance clearly set quartz and granite apart. Armed with the knowledge from this guide, homeowners can readily identify which type of countertop they have in their kitchen or bathroom. Being able to differentiate between quartz and granite allows you to properly care for and maintain your countertops.