Is My Countertop Quartz or Granite?

Meta Description: This comprehensive guide helps homeowners identify whether their countertop surface is made of quartz or granite by examining visual cues like color, pattern, and finish.

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials used in kitchens and bathrooms today. They are both natural stone materials known for their durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal. However, there are some key differences between granite and quartz that can help homeowners discern which material their existing countertop surface is made from. This guide provides a detailed overview of how to tell if your countertop is quartz or granite.

Determining Countertop Material Based on Appearance

The most straightforward way to identify whether your countertop is quartz or granite is by examining its visual characteristics. Here are some tips on distinguishing between the two materials simply by looking at the countertop surface:


  • Granite comes in a wide range of natural colors from light tans and creams to deeper browns, reds, greens and black. It has an organic, varied visual pattern.
  • Quartz has a more uniform look, often with speckled chips of color throughout. Common quartz colors are whites, grays, beiges and black. Some have artificial colored pigments added.


  • Granite has natural, unrestrained variations in its mineral composition, leading to striking, one-of-a-kind patterns.
  • Quartz has an engineered, manufactured appearance, usually with subtle blended color variations or veining. Patterns tend to look more repetitive.


  • Granite has a glossy or matte finish depending on the type of sealant applied. The finish enhances the depth and movement of the natural stone pattern.
  • Quartz has a smoother, consistent matte finish that gives it a more uniform painted look compared to the depth and shimmer of granite.


  • Granite has natural pits, cracks, crystals and variations that give each slab a unique appearance. No two granite slabs are exactly alike.
  • Quartz has a fabricated homogeneous appearance and consistency from one area of the countertop to another.

By taking into account the color, patterning, finish and consistency of your countertop surface, you can make an accurate educated guess if your countertop material is natural granite or engineered quartz. Examining a small section near seams or edges can give you a good representative idea.

Identifying Origins and Composition

Beyond visual examination, learning more about the origins and chemical make-up of your countertop can provide definitive clues if the material is quartz or granite:

Natural Stone

  • Granite is an igneous rock formed from magma or lava, made up of quartz, feldspar, mica and other mineral deposits. It is mined from granite deposits in quarries.
  • Quartz is an engineered composite made from roughly 90% ground quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. It is fabricated in factories.

Temperature Resistance

  • Granite is heat-resistant up to temperatures of 2000°F making it suitable for kitchens.
  • Quartz is more prone to heat damage from hot pans and is not as heat-tolerant as natural stone.


  • Granite is mildly porous and needs periodic sealing to reduce staining.
  • Quartz is non-porous so does not need sealing.


  • Granite requires sealing along with cleaning using stone-safe cleaners.
  • Quartz requires less maintenance with simple soap and water cleaning.

If you know specifics about where your countertop slab originated from, how it reacts to heat, or its sealing and cleaning needs, you can more definitively determine if it is quartz or granite. This may require checking paperwork from your countertop installation or speaking to your contractor.

Consult an Expert

When attempting to discern your countertop material on your own proves difficult or inconclusive, it may be best to consult a stone industry expert. Some options include:

  • Stone Supplier – Check with the place where your countertop was purchased. Suppliers often keep records of jobs and can identify the exact material.
  • Countertop Fabricator – The fabrication company that installed your countertop has first-hand knowledge and documentation of the exact product used.
  • Stone Inspector – A professional stone inspector or geologist can analyze a small sample of your countertop and identify the material composition conclusively.
  • Home Inspector – If you are selling your home, a home inspector will evaluate all surfaces including countertops and include their composition in inspection reports.

Having an expert evaluate your specific countertop in person can remove all guesswork and provide a definitive identification in cases where self-diagnosis proves challenging or uncertain. Most experts can also advise you on appropriate care and maintenance of your quartz or granite surface.

Common Identifying Marks and Labels

Some key markings to look for that can identify quartz or granite countertops include:


  • Quartz often has a brand name and logo subtly integrated into the surface pattern. Popular brands include Cambria, Caesarstone and Silestone.
  • Granite will not be branded but may have a quarry or region name like “Uba Tuba” engraved underneath.

Serial Numbers

  • Most quartz slabs have serial numbers and product ID codes engraved near seams to identify the brand and pattern.
  • Granite lacks serial codes since each slab is unique with no mass product identification needed.

Certification Seals

  • Granite is a natural material but may be stamped with GreenGuard, CE Mark or other green certification seals.
  • Quartz often displays certification from organizations like GreenGuard, NSF, CE Mark confirming safety.

Look along the edges, seams or undersides of overhangs for any distinguishing marks that can help certify the material as quartz or granite. Most premium countertop materials will have some kind of identification or certification for quality assurance.

Signs of Wear Over Time

As your countertop ages, subtle changes over years of use can also indicate if the material is quartz or granite:


  • Granite’s natural colors stay relatively consistent over time. Some darkening of seals occurs.
  • Quartz can develop slight fading or color loss after prolonged UV light exposure.


  • Granite can develop minor scratches from kitchen tools that require buffing.
  • Quartz is more scratch-resistant and keeps its smooth polished look longer under heavy use.


  • Heat damage may cause granite to crack near hot pots and pans.
  • Quartz is less prone to thermal cracking but may show hairline cracks from other impacts.


  • Granite requires ongoing sealing to prevent oil or food stains from penetrating the stone.
  • Non-porous quartz resists staining without sealing, keeping its clean appearance longer.


  • Granite can chip along the edges or seams if subjected to heavy impacts.
  • Quartz can become damaged too but usually just shows surface scratches rather than chipping.

Carefully inspecting your countertop for any telltale signs of wear after years in your home can reveal key performance differences between quartz vs granite. Consider having a stone restoration specialist help evaluate any visible deterioration issues as well.

Ask Previous Homeowners

If all else fails, track down the previous owners of your home to inquire if they recall or have any documentation indicating if the countertops were originally installed as quartz or granite.

Some tips:

  • Check property records for previous owner contact information.
  • Look for clues in any paperwork left behind like appliance manuals.
  • Reach out to your real estate agent to help contact the sellers.
  • Social media searches may help find previous homeowners willing to provide details.

While not guaranteed, the people who lived in your home before you may have helpful insight into the countertop materials, especially if they were the ones who did the original kitchen or bath renovation.

When to Consider Countertop Replacement

Trying to determine whether you have a quartz or granite countertop is often the first step in deciding if replacement is ultimately needed:

  • Upgrading aesthetics – You may wish to replace granite with newer on-trend quartz colors and patterns or vice versa.
  • Improving functionality – Swapping out quartz for more durable and heat-resistant granite or vice versa.
  • Fixing damage – Excessive cracking, chipping, staining may make replacement more practical than repair.
  • Redesigning layout – A kitchen or bath remodel may call for ripping out and replacing the current countertops with new layouts.

Knowing your existing countertop material helps inform the replacement decision-making process. Whether switching materials or staying with the same, a licensed contractor can provide recommendations to transform your space with updated, functional countertops that stand the test of time and match your lifestyle.

In summary, a combination of visual examination, origin analysis, expert input, product labeling and wear signs over the years can typically provide a conclusive answer to the question “is my countertop quartz or granite?”. When planning kitchen or bathroom renovations, positive material identification is a key first step before deciding on potential countertop replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions About Identifying Quartz vs Granite Countertops

Use these frequently asked questions about quartz and granite countertop identification to expand your knowledge:

Is quartz more expensive than granite?

Quartz countertops tend to cost $80-100 per square foot installed compared to granite which runs $60-80 per square foot installed. The engineered nature of quartz along with rising demand contributes to its higher price point compared to abundant natural granite. But both materials are considered premium and have overlapping price ranges.

How thick are quartz countertops?

A standard quartz countertop is 1.2 cm (about 1/2 inch) thick. Thicker options of 2 cm (about 3/4 inch) or 3 cm (about 1 1/4 inches) are also available at an added cost. Thicker quartz is more resistant to cracks and damage.

What are the veins in quartz made of?

Veining in quartz countertops mimics the look of natural stone but is an engineered fabrication. The veins are typically made from polyethylene or polyester resin that is artfully blended into the countertop pattern. Veining provides added visual depth and dimension.

Does quartz stain like granite?

Since quartz is non-porous, it resists stains much better than natural stone granite. Quartz lacks the tiny pits and absorptive quality of granite that allows oil and liquids to penetrate and discolor the surface over time. Annual sealing is recommended for granite.

Is Caesarstone a quartz?

Yes, Caesarstone is one of the most popular premium engineered quartz countertop brands on the market. Their signature product consists of about 90% ground quartz aggregate combined with pigments and binding resins to create a durable, attractive countertop material.

How can you tell the difference between granite and quartz?

Quartz has a smoother, consistent appearance in terms of coloration and patterning compared to the random organic veining and depth of granite. Granite also requires more frequent sealing due to its natural porousness which quartz does not. Examining the visual characteristics is the easiest identification method.

Is quartz porous?

No, quartz has a non-porous surface making it very resistant to stains. Liquids remain on the surface rather than soak in as they might with natural stone. This also eliminates the need for routine sealing as is required with porous granite countertops. The polymer resins fill in the space between quartz particles.

Do quartz countertops need to be sealed?

Quartz does not require sealing to prevent stains and damage. In fact, after installation most manufacturers recommend avoiding sealants as that could void warranties. The non-porous, stain-resistant nature of quartz makes sealing an unnecessary step that most experts advise skipping entirely.

How often should you seal granite countertops?

Sealing frequency depends on use, but annual sealing is recommended for granite countertops. High traffic kitchen counters may need resealing every 6 months. Acidic liquids like wine or fruit juice and oils can penetrate granite so keeping it properly sealed is vital for stain prevention and easier cleaning.

What are the best quartz brands?

Top quartz manufacturers include Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone, MSI, LG Viatera, and DuPont Zodiaq. Many smaller boutique brands also offer high-end quartz. Going with an established brand ensures quality, durability, and style options. Be sure to register your warranty after install.

Identifying Your Countertop Material – Conclusion

Determining whether an existing kitchen or bathroom countertop surface is made of quartz or granite requires a careful examination of the visual qualities, composition, wear patterns and other factors outlined in this guide. While the two premium materials share some similarities, key differences in appearance, performance and maintenance requirements set them apart. Being able to positively identify your current countertop material provides helpful insight when considering potential replacement or remodeling projects in your home. With some careful sleuthing, you will be able to solve the mystery of “is my countertop quartz or granite?”.