Is Granite or Quartz More Expensive for Countertops?

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular materials for kitchen and bathroom countertops. They are both natural stones that are attractive, durable, and low-maintenance, but they differ in appearance, composition, and price. Here is a detailed comparison of granite vs quartz countertops to help you determine which material is more expensive.

Overview of Granite Countertops

Granite is a igneous rock that consists of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other trace minerals. It forms deep in the earth’s crust under intense heat and pressure, giving it a very dense and durable composition.

Benefits of Granite:

  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Available in a wide variety of natural colors and patterns
  • Can last many years with proper care
  • Resistant to heat, stains, and bacteria
  • Adds value to homes due to its luxurious appearance

Cost of Granite:

  • $40-$150 per square foot installed
  • More expensive than engineered quartz
  • Price depends on thickness, edge styles, patterns, and local labor costs

Granite remains one of the most elegant and luxurious countertop materials, although the high price point may put it out of reach for some budgets. Expect to pay a premium for the natural beauty and longevity of real granite stone.

Overview of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are engineered stone slabs made from approximately 90% ground natural quartz combined with polymer resins and pigments. The result is a man-made material that mimics the look of natural stone but has increased durability and consistency.

Benefits of Quartz:

  • Extremely hard, non-porous surface resistant to scratches
  • Available in wide range of colors and patterns
  • Does not need ongoing sealing or polishing
  • Resists stains, heat damage, and bacteria growth
  • Consistent coloring throughout slabs

Cost of Quartz:

  • $55-$100 per square foot installed
  • More affordable than natural granite stone
  • Price depends on brand, colors, edge styles

With quartz, you can get the aesthetic appeal of granite and other natural stones along with enhanced durability and lower maintenance needs. The manufacturing process gives more flexibility in colors and patterns as well. Overall, quartz provides an excellent combination of beauty, performance, and value.

Factors Affecting Price Differences

There are a few key reasons why granite generally has a higher installed price per square foot than quartz:

  • Natural stone vs. engineered material – Granite is mined from limited natural deposits, so supply is more constrained compared to manufactured quartz.
  • Uniqueness – No two granite slabs are alike due to natural variations. Quartz has more consistency in patterns and colors.
  • Fabrication techniques – Granite is very hard and requires special cutting/polishing tools. Quartz is easier to fabricate.
  • Installation – Granite countertops require more precise installation and seam placement. Quartz is more forgiving.
  • Maintenance – Granite needs periodic sealing to prevent stains. Quartz is nearly maintenance-free.

While basic builder-grade granite and quartz may have similar prices, high-end granite will almost always exceed premium quartz in cost due to its rarity and natural origins. However, quartz delivers unmatched performance and hassle-free care.

Which is Better – Granite or Quartz?

There is no definitively “better” choice between granite and quartz. The optimal material depends on your priorities:

Granite is best if you want:

  • A classic, high-end natural stone aesthetic
  • Unique colors and veining patterns
  • Prestige/status of real granite
  • Ability to complement other high-end finishes

Quartz is best if you want:

  • Consistent, low-maintenance surface
  • Lighter colors and contemporary styles
  • Great durability and stain/scratch resistance
  • Better overall value for the cost

Both materials are excellent choices that will enhance your kitchen or bath with beauty and luxury. Quartz gives you more bang for your buck, while granite remains the gold standard for upscale natural stone appeal. Carefully weigh your options, budget, and needs when deciding between them.

Granite vs. Quartz: Frequently Asked Questions

Which material is more durable and scratch-resistant?

Quartz is slightly harder and more scratch-resistant than granite. Both materials are very durable for countertops, but quartz will better resist surface damage from knives, pots/pans, and other kitchen tools.

Which requires more maintenance?

Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains and must be polished occasionally to keep its luster. Quartz is non-porous so it never needs sealing and won’t lose its shine over time.

Which material offers more variety in colors and patterns?

Granite has endless variations since it is a natural material with unique veining and speckles. Engineered quartz has a wide range but more consistency between slabs.

Does granite or quartz add more value to a home?

Granite may add slightly more value due to its premium status. But quality quartz also increases resale value and appeals to most buyers looking for stone countertops.

Which material can withstand heat better?

Both granite and quartz are highly heat resistant. But quartz is less prone to cracks/burns from hot pans due to its engineered composition.

Is installation and fabrication easier with granite or quartz?

Quartz is easier to cut, install, and work with compared to very hard granite that requires special tools. Quartz also does not need precise seam placement.

Bottom Line

When choosing between granite and quartz countertops, consider your budget, aesthetics, and priorities like maintenance needs and heat resistance. Both can provide a lifetime of beauty and performance if properly cared for. While granite may cost more upfront due to its luxury status, the lower maintenance of quartz makes it more affordable long-term. Weigh all the factors carefully as you invest in new surfaces for the heart of your home.