What Are the Pros and Cons of Quartz vs Granite Countertops?

When choosing a material for kitchen and bathroom countertops, two of the most popular options are quartz and granite. Both have their advantages and disadvantages in terms of appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost. This comprehensive guide examines the key differences between quartz and granite countertops to help you determine which is better suited for your needs.

An Introduction to Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, have grown in popularity in recent years as a sleek and modern alternative to natural stone surfaces like granite. Here’s a quick rundown of what quartz countertops are all about:

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polyresin binders under high pressure. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%, with the rest consisting of polymer resins and pigments that allow for a wide array of colors and patterns.

Pros of Quartz Countertops

  • Durable and scratch-resistant surface
  • Stain, heat, and acid resistant
  • Requires very little maintenance
  • Non-porous so doesn’t require sealing
  • Consistent pattern and color throughout the slab
  • Large variety of colors and styles
  • Can mimic look of natural stone
  • Seamless appearance if installed properly
  • Hygienic and does not harbor bacteria
  • Can be fabricated into integrated sinks
  • Long warranty periods (10-15 years typically)

Cons of Quartz Countertops

  • Not as heat resistant as granite (can damage at sustained temps over 300°F)
  • Can chip if subjected to heavy impact
  • Sealants may need reapplication after many years
  • Higher cost than laminate countertops
  • Limited custom edge profile options
  • Can be prone to damage if not installed correctly

Cost of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops range from $80-150 per square foot installed. The exact price depends on the brand, color/pattern, edge treatments, and local labor costs. While more expensive than options like laminate, quartz counters are competitive with mid-range granite.

An Introduction to Granite Countertops

As a premium natural stone surface mined from quarries worldwide, granite remains highly desired for its elegance and timeless beauty. Here is a brief overview of granite countertops:

What is Granite?

Granite is an igneous rock made up of compressed quartz, feldspar, mica, and other mineral crystals. It forms over millions of years underground and is mined in large blocks for countertop fabrication. Granite derives its signature speckled appearance from its mineral composition.

Pros of Granite Countertops

  • Excellent hardness and durability
  • Scratch and chip resistant
  • Heat resistance up to several hundred degrees
  • Adds high-end look to kitchens
  • Available in many colors and patterns
  • Can be cut and polished for unique custom edgework
  • Natural material tends to retain its value well
  • Can last decades with proper care
  • Adds resale value to homes

Cons of Granite Countertops

  • Requires periodic sealing to prevent stains
  • Can chip if subjected to heavy impact
  • Susceptible to damage from acids
  • Porous surface more prone to harboring bacteria
  • Expensive compared to most other countertop options
  • Matching pattern and color batches can be difficult
  • Finish can etch or cloud over time with improper cleaning
  • Higher installation complexity than materials like quartz

Cost of Granite Countertops

Due to its status as a premium natural stone, granite countertops range from $60-150 per square foot installed. Exotic and rare granite can cost over $200/sq. ft. The total expense depends on stone origin, color/pattern, edge profile, and fabrication.

Direct Comparison of Quartz vs Granite Countertops

Now that we’ve covered the basics of each material, here is a direct side-by-side comparison of some of the most important factors in choosing between quartz and granite:


  • Granite offers a natural beauty unmatched by engineered quartz. With unique colors, patterns, and veining throughout each slab, no two granite countertops will ever look the same.
  • Quartz provides more uniformity in color and pattern. While styles are designed to imitate natural stone, the consistency can be desirable for some. Quartz also comes in a wider range of colors.
  • Both materials can be fabricated into beautiful countertops. Granite brings more originality, while quartz offers cutting-edge styles. Ultimately, appearance is a matter of personal preference.

Durability and Longevity

  • Quartz and granite are both extremely durable and can last a lifetime with proper care. Neither material is clearly superior in hardness or scratch resistance.
  • Quartz is less prone to chipping on the edges and corners. Granite can chip if subjected to heavy impacts.
  • Heat tolerance is better with granite. Sustained heat over 300°F can damage quartz surfaces.
  • Over time, the polish on granite may slowly etch due to exposure. Quartz maintains its glossy look longer.
  • With routine sealing, granite can develop a patina but won’t easily stain. Unsealed granite is more prone to staining.

Care and Maintenance

  • Quartz requires very little maintenance. Soap and water is enough to keep it clean. It does not need regular sealing or polishing.
  • Granite must be sealed every 1-2 years to prevent staining and damage from liquids. Proper cleaning solutions and techniques need to be followed.
  • Quartz resists scratches, but cutting directly on the surface should be avoided. Use a cutting board instead.
  • Granite can handle cutting, but knicks and scratches from sharp knives are still possible over time. Use a cutting board to be safe.

Cost Differences

  • Purchase and installation costs are similar overall between quartz and granite. Mid-range options for each are in the $80-150 per sq. ft. range installed.
  • More exotic granite can cost significantly more than high-end quartz. But very inexpensive granite is also available at lower price points than quartz.
  • Quartz requires less maintenance and sealing, saving long-term costs compared to granite. But granite offers potentially higher resale value down the road.

Hygiene and Food Safety

  • Quartz resists staining and etching from food preparation. Its nonporous surface makes it very hygienic and resistant to bacteria growth.
  • Granite can harbor bacteria in the tiny pores if not properly sealed and disinfected. Proper cleaning technique is required for best food safety.
  • For homeowners concerned about germs and foodborne illness, quartz may provide better peace of mind than natural stone.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Granite is a natural material, but mining does carry some environmental impacts in certain areas. Responsible sourcing is important for sustainability.
  • Quartz uses abundant natural quartz but also depends heavily on plastics and resins. However, recycling programs are improving the eco-friendliness of engineered stone.
  • Both materials can be excellent green options. Consumers should research manufacturers and country of origin for best environmental practices. Upcycled granite from demolition sites is also an option.

Which is Better for Resale Value?

  • Natural granite may appeal to more potential homebuyers. But quartz has become so popular that it also boosts resale.
  • In recently remodeled kitchens, quartz and granite add comparable value. Outdated surfaces will detract value regardless of materials.
  • Area housing trends have an influence. Granite remains highly preferred in some markets. Modern designs may favor quartz in others.
  • Overall resale value depends much more on kitchen design, cabinetry, appliances and other factors. Countertop material is just one piece of the puzzle.

Pros and Cons Summary Table

| Comparison Points | Quartz | Granite |
| Initial Cost | $80-150 sq.ft. installed | $60-200 sq.ft. installed |
| Appearance | Consistent patterns and colors | Unique natural patterns and veining |
| Durability | Extremely durable, but can chip on edges | Very durable, but can slowly etch over time |
| Heat Resistance | Can withstand moderate heat only | Excellent heat resistance |
| Scratch Resistance | Very good | Very good |
| Stain Resistance | Excellent | Good with sealing, poor without |
| Maintenance | Nearly maintenance-free | Requires sealing every 1-2 years |
| Hygiene | Non-porous and antimicrobial | Porous with more potential for bacteria |
| Sustainability | Uses abundant natural quartz | Natural but energy-intensive mining |
| Resale Value | Adds value, but granite still preferred by some | Adds value, seen as a classic upscale material |

Factors to Help Choose Between Quartz vs Granite

With their similarities and differences in mind, focus on the following factors as you decide between quartz and granite:

Style Preference

Consider your own tastes and sense of style first. Granite brings personality, while quartz offers uniformity. Weigh your color preference as well. Cool modern whites and grays? Or warm natural earth tones? This can help steer you toward quartz or granite.

Usage and Traffic

For busy kitchens that will see heavy usage, granite and quartz both hold up well. But quartz may be better for clumsy cooks prone to spills or drops that can chip natural stone. The extra heat resistance of granite also suits avid cooks using very hot pans.

Maintenance Tolerance

If you dread sealing, polishing, or babying your counters, quartz is the lower-maintenance option. Quartz simply needs an occasional wipe-down with soap and water. Granite requires more careful cleaning habits and periodic sealing.


Both materials offer broad pricing spectrums. In general, granite and quartz start around the same midpoint cost. Exotic high-end granite can climb much higher in price than premium quartz. If on a budget, take the time to price shop different stone yards for best deals.


Homeowners concerned about sustainability will want to investigate manufacturers’ practices for each material. While not the most important factor for many, environmental impacts may guide some buyers toward quartz or granite.

FAQs About Choosing Quartz or Granite Countertops

Is quartz more durable than granite?

Quartz and granite have remarkably similar durability in terms of hardness, scratch resistance, and overall wear and tear. Granite can chip more easily on the edges while quartz can sustain heat damage more quickly. For practical purposes, both materials are extremely durable in a home kitchen.

Does quartz require sealing?

Unlike granite, quartz does not require any sealing, polishing, or waxing to maintain its look and prevent stains. This is because quartz is non-porous, so liquids do not easily penetrate the surface. One of the major advantages of quartz over granite is its virtually maintenance-free nature.

Is quartz healthier than granite?

With its nonporous surface that resists bacteria growth, quartz is generally regarded as the healthier and more hygienic option compared to natural stone granite. Granite can harbor bacteria within its porous structure if not properly sealed and disinfected. Proper cleaning technique is required for granite.

Which material is best for busy kitchens?

For busy kitchens seeing constant use, either granite or quartz can be an excellent choice. Quartz offers increased stain protection and resilience against drops and impacts that could chip natural granite. But granite can withstand very high heat. As long as you seal and care for it properly, granite can be highly durable in kitchens that get a workout.

Is quartz more modern than granite?

Many homeowners view quartz as the “newer” and more modern material since it is engineered and lacks natural variations. But well-designed granite counters can still deliver a very up-to-date look. Ultimately, visual style depends more on colors, patterns, and overall kitchen design rather than the material itself. Both granite and quartz can suit modern or classic kitchen motifs.

Does quartz increase home value more than granite?

Realtors report that both materials boost resale value comparably when installed as part of an updated kitchen remodel. Natural granite still carries prestige and may appeal to more buyers, but quartz has joined granite as a premium countertop option. Overall home value depends much more on kitchen layout, cabinets, and appliances than the surface material.

Can quartz crack or chip?

Quartz is extremely durable, but not fully indestructible. Cracks or chips are rare with quartz but can happen under excessive force or impact, especially on cut-out edges. This is why professional installation according to manufacturer guidelines is recommended. Quartz is less prone to impact damage than granite, but hairline cracks are still possible under the right circumstances.

How often does quartz need to be sealed?

Quartz never requires sealing. It is non-porous, so sealing agents cannot penetrate or absorb into the surface. One of quartz’s major advantages compared to natural stone is that it remains stain-resistant and waterproof without any sealing necessary. Simply cleaning with soap and water is enough.

Is quartz cheaper than granite?

There is significant overlap in price ranges between quartz and granite. Broadly, mid-range options for both materials installed will cost between $80-150 per square foot. There are very high-end exotic granites over $200/sq. ft. but also inexpensive granite around $60/sq. ft. Overall, quartz and granite pricing is competitive in the same tiers of quality.

The Bottom Line

Quartz and granite both make excellent choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops. While granite offers classic natural beauty and heat resistance, quartz provides lower maintenance needs and more uniform modern styles. For most homeowners, the decision between the two materials comes down to personal preference on aesthetics, budget, and how much countertop maintenance they are willing to undertake. From a practical standpoint, quartz and granite are both durable options that can last for decades under normal use. Consider your own needs and style carefully, examine installation quality of potential fabricators, and make an informed selection between these two premier countertop materials.


When choosing between quartz and granite countertops, carefully consider the pros and cons of each material in terms of appearance, durability, maintenance requirements, costs, and other factors highlighted in this guide. Granite brings timeless elegance, while quartz offers cutting-edge style. Both can enhance your home’s beauty and value for decades to come. Weigh your options and priorities before deciding between quartz and granite. With proper care, you are sure to be satisfied with either of these top-tier countertop materials.