Choosing the right countertop material for your kitchen can be a daunting task. Granite and quartz are two of the most popular options, but which one is better? There are pros and cons to both materials that are worth considering.
When it comes to durability, granite and quartz are both excellent choices that will stand the test of time.
Granite is incredibly hard and scratch resistant. It can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. Over time, the polish on granite may start to wear in high traffic areas, but the stone itself remains in great condition. Granite is unaffected by heat and can be used as a trivet for hot pans.
Quartz is made from ground quartz stone mixed with resins and pigments. This engineered stone is also highly durable and resistant to scratches, stains and heat. Quartz countertops are essentially maintenance free, keeping their beautiful shine for years without the need for polishing or sealing. The resin makes quartz more flexible, so it is less prone to chips or cracks compared to natural stone.
Winner: Tie – both granite and quartz offer superior durability for kitchen countertops.
Granite and quartz both come in a wide array of colors and patterns to suit any kitchen design aesthetic.
Granite is a natural stone, so no two slabs are exactly alike. It provides a beautiful, unique look. Granite offers countless color variations from solid tones to bold granular patterns. The natural patterning makes each granite countertop one-of-a-kind.
Quartz has an appearance similar to granite but offers more consistency. The pigments and resins create a controlled, uniform look. Quartz also comes in a diverse range of colors and realistic stone-like patterns. Without natural variations, quartz provides reliable uniformity across countertops.
Winner: Personal preference – granite for a one-of-a-kind look, quartz for consistent uniformity.
Maintenance is a key factor when choosing a countertop material.
Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains and damage from liquids. It should be cleaned with stone-safe cleaners and resealed every 1-2 years. Granite is also prone to etching from acidic liquids like wine or juice if not wiped up quickly. Professional polishing may be needed occasionally to restore the original shine.
Quartz is virtually maintenance free. It never needs to be sealed or polished. Simple cleaning with soap and water is enough to keep quartz spotless. The resin coating prevents stains and etching. This makes quartz an excellent low-maintenance option.
Winner: Quartz – the engineered stone is easier to keep clean and looking like new.
Cost often plays a role when selecting countertops. In general:
Granite is more affordable than quartz, with prices starting around $40 per square foot installed. Exotic granite can cost up to $100 per square foot.
Quartz has an installed price tag starting at about $80 per square foot and going over $100 for high-end varieties.
Winner: Granite – the natural stone typically has lower material and installation costs.
The ability to withstand heat is important for kitchen countertops.
Granite is excellent in terms of heat resistance. Pans can be placed directly on granite without worry of damage. It can withstand temperatures up to 1300°F.
Quartz is also resistant to heat damage. However, sudden temperature changes can potentially cause cracks. Hot pans should be placed on a trivet instead of directly on quartz.
Winner: Granite – the natural stone better handles hot cookware.
Kitchen countertops see a lot of use and the potential for stains is high.
Unsealed granite is porous, so spillages can be absorbed and cause stains. When sealed properly, granite has good stain resistance. Oils may still penetrate and cause dark spots if not cleaned promptly.
Quartz is non-porous, so virtually no liquid can penetrate the surface. The resin coating makes quartz highly stain resistant. Even wine, juice and oils are easily wiped away without staining.
Winner: Quartz – extremely resilient against stains.
A countertop’s ability to resist germs is vital in kitchens.
Granite is naturally antimicrobial, inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Routine cleaning and disinfecting eliminates most germs. Cracks in the surface can potentially harbor bacteria.
Quartz’s non-porousness also resists microbes. The smooth surface makes quartz inhospitable to bacteria growth. Quartz provides an extremely hygienic countertop.
Winner: Tie – both offer good sanitation when properly cleaned.
Is Quartz or Granite Better for Kitchen Countertops?
So is quartz or granite better for your new kitchen countertop? Here’s a quick recap:
- Durability – Both offer excellent hardness and durability
- Appearance – Granite provides unique natural beauty, quartz offers uniformity
- Maintenance – Quartz is nearly maintenance-free, granite needs periodic sealing
- Cost – Granite is the more budget-friendly option
- Heat Tolerance – Granite can handle hot pans better
- Stain Resistance – Quartz easily wipes clean without staining
- Sanitation – Both resist germs with proper cleaning
While quartz counters are low-maintenance and ultra-resilient, the unparalleled beauty of granite still makes it a top choice. Granite provides a high-end look that fits any style kitchen. With proper sealing and care, granite countertops will last for many years of beauty and performance.
Ultimately, choosing between quartz vs granite comes down to your priorities – convenience or natural sophistication. Either option will provide lasting service and enhance your culinary space. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to pick the right countertop for your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is granite or quartz better for kitchen countertops?
Granite and quartz both make excellent kitchen countertops. Quartz requires less maintenance while granite offers a more unique, high-end look. It comes down to personal priorities – convenience or natural beauty.
Does quartz stain easily?
No, quartz is non-porous and highly stain resistant. Spills and liquids will bead up and wipe away instead of soaking in. This makes maintenance much easier.
Is quartz better than real stone?
While quartz is engineered and not a real stone, its performance often surpasses natural stone. The resin quartz is made with improves stain and scratch resistance compared to granite. However, granite remains unrivaled in appearance.
Does quartz crack easily?
Quartz is less prone to cracks and damage than granite since it has some flexibility from resin. However, sudden temperature changes can cause quartz to crack. Avoid direct high heat on quartz.
Is quartz worth the extra cost over granite?
That depends on your priorities. If low maintenance and uniform appearance are most important, the extra cost of quartz may be justified. If budget is key and you prefer natural stone, granite is the better value.
Does quartz lose its shine?
Unlike granite, quartz retains its original factory shine and gloss essentially forever without the need for polishing. The resin surface resists wearing down over time.
Can you cut on quartz countertops?
Yes, quartz is durable enough for cutting and food prep. Use a cutting board to protect the surface and the edges of your knives. Never cut directly on the countertop.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
No. The resin binder creates a non-porous surface that never requires sealing or polishing. This makes quartz virtually maintenance-free.
Is quartz antibacterial?
Yes, quartz’s non-porousness inhibits bacterial growth. Standard cleaning and disinfecting provides hygienic, germ-free surfaces.
Granite and quartz both make statement countertops that provide long-lasting performance. For natural beauty that sets your kitchen apart, granite is tough to beat. If ease of maintenance is your top concern, stain-proof quartz eliminates hassles. Carefully weigh the pros and cons to select the best surface for your needs and budget. With either of these countertop superstars, you can’t go wrong elevating your kitchen’s style and functionality.