Is My Countertop Granite or Quartz?

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials used in kitchens and bathrooms today. But with their visual similarities, it can be tricky to tell the difference between granite and quartz countertops at a glance. Here’s a detailed comparison of granite vs. quartz countertops to help you identify which material your countertops are made from.

Appearance and Patterns

Granite is a natural stone that’s mined from quarries around the world. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, like speckles, veins, and swirls. No two granite slabs are exactly alike. Granite’s random, natural patterning gives each countertop a unique look.

Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The manufacturing process allows quartz patterns to be more uniform and controlled. While not identical, slabs of the same quartz variety will have a consistent overall appearance. Quartz is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, including solid colors and simulated veining and mottling that mimics natural stone.

Is My Countertop Granite or Quartz? Visual Identification Tips:

  • Granite has more variation in coloring and patterning. Quartz tends to have a more uniform overall appearance.
  • Granite usually has visible flecks of mica throughout. Quartz does not contain mica.
  • Granite has natural pits, fissures, and small gaps as part of its texture. Quartz has a smoother, more consistent surface.
  • Quartz often has small visible bits of colored glass, metal, or minerals mixed in. Natural granite does not.
  • Veining in quartz tends to look more patterned and uniform. Granite’s veins are more organic and irregular.

If you’re still unsure, a close visual inspection coupled with a basic understanding of the manufacturing process behind each material is often enough to make an accurate identification.


Granite is generally harder and more heat resistant than quartz. Granite rates 7-8 on the Mohs hardness scale, while quartz rates around 7. This means granite can better withstand cuts and scratches from knives or heavy pans. Granite can also take more direct heat, such as hot pans, though both materials require trivets for extreme temperatures.

However, quartz is less prone to chipping along its cut edges. Its uniform patterning also tends to hide signs of wear better than granite. Overall, both offer excellent durability for countertops.


Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains from penetrating its porous surface. Quartz is non-porous, so it never needs sealing. This gives quartz a maintenance advantage.

While quartz resists stains on its own, both materials will need occasional cleaning with a stone-safe cleaner to look their best. Granite’s varied patterning tends to hide everyday dirt and grime better than solid-colored quartz countertops.


In general, installed quartz countertops range from $80-150 per square foot. Granite slabs tend to run $70-175 per square foot installed. Material cost is affected by the variety selected and other factors like edge treatments. In terms of budget, granite and quartz are reasonably comparable options for new countertops.

Is My Countertop Granite or Quartz? Key Differences:

  • Granite is a natural stone; quartz is engineered.
  • Granite has more pronounced veining and patterning.
  • Quartz often contains visible bits of glass or minerals.
  • Granite is more porous and requires periodic sealing.
  • Quartz has a more uniform appearance slab-to-slab.
  • Granite is harder and more heat resistant.
  • Quartz is less prone to chipping and usually costs a bit less.

How to Tell if You Have a Granite or Quartz Countertop

Here is a simple process to determine whether you have granite or quartz countertops:

1. Examine the surface:

  • Granite hasvisible flecks of minerals and mica throughout. Quartz does not.
  • Granite has some pits, cracks and irregularities. Quartz has a more uniform look.

2. Check the edges:

  • Granite can have slightly uneven, chipped edges. Quartz edges are crisp.

3. Look at the seams:

  • Seams are generally more visible in quartz countertops than granite.

4. Feel the surface texture:

  • Due to its manufacturing process, quartz has a smoother, glassier feel than the natural texture of granite.

5. Test stain resistance:

  • Drip a small amount of water on each surface. Water will bead and sit on top of quartz, while it may temporarily darken and sink into granite.

6. Heat resistance:

  • Quartz can lose its shine and color with excessive direct heat exposure. Granite is less prone to damage from hot pots and pans.

Following these tips, along with understanding key composition and visual differences between granite and quartz, will allow you to correctly determine what material your countertops are made of. Being able to make this identification yourself helps ensure you care for and maintain your countertops properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my countertop granite or quartz?

Look closely at the surface – granite has natural pits, cracks, and mica flecks while quartz is smooth. Check the edges – quartz edges are crisp while granite can be uneven. Granite has more pronounced veins while quartz looks more uniform. Applying water can also help determine which you have, since granite is more porous than quartz.

How do you tell the difference between granite and quartz visually?

Visually, granite has a more random and varied pattern with distinct veining and flecks throughout. Quartz usually looks more uniform in color and patterning. Granite also has some natural surface irregularities that quartz lacks. Quartz may contain visible bits of glass, metal or minerals that are absent in natural granite.

What’s the best way to determine if you have granite or quartz?

The best way is to check multiple visual cues – surface appearance, edging, seams, texture, heat/stain resistance. Understanding how each is made is also helpful. If still uncertain, have a professional installer or stone supplier identify the material for you.

Can you tell if its quartz just by looking?

It is possible to identify quartz just by visual examination in many cases. Indications that a countertop is quartz include a very smooth surface with no pits or natural indentations, uniform veining patterns, visible additions like bits of glass/metal, and crisp seams and edges. A close inspection coupled with an understanding of quartz’s man-made nature can confirm the material.

What’s an easy way to know if you have quartz or granite?

An easy way is to drip a small amount of water on the surface. If the water beads and stays on top, it is likely quartz which is less porous. If the water is absorbed or leaves a dark mark, it is likely natural stone granite which is more porous. Quartz has a smoother, glassier look while granite has a more textured, natural appearance.


Determining whether your countertop surface is granite or quartz is a useful skill for homeowners. By understanding the key differences between these two popular materials, being able to identify them visually, and using simple hands-on tests, you can accurately tell whether you have granite or quartz in your home. This allows you to care for, maintain, and repair your countertops properly. Both offer distinct advantages – granite brings natural beauty, while quartz provides lower maintenance. With this knowledge, you can pick the right countertop to suit your needs.