When it comes to choosing countertop materials for kitchens and bathrooms, two of the most popular options are quartz and granite. Both offer durability, style, and value, but they differ in some important ways. This article examines the pros and cons of quartz vs. granite countertops to help you determine what is best for your home remodel or new construction project.
Durability and Maintenance
Granite is an extremely hard natural stone that resists scratches, stains, and heat. However, it is somewhat porous so sealing is required periodically to prevent staining. Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz bound together with resin. It is non-porous so it never needs to be sealed. Both materials are highly durable, but quartz requires less maintenance over time.
Quartz does not need ongoing sealing and is un affected by acids or alkaline cleaners. It retains its polished finish even after years of use. Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent staining. Quartz is virtually maintenance free.
Styles and Colors
Granite is only limited by what colors and patterns are found naturally in quarries around the world. Quartz has an enormous variety of styles because colors and patterns can be engineered in factories. Granite brings unique natural beauty, while quartz offers consistent quality.
Both offer tremendous design flexibility. Granite provides one-of-a-kind natural patterns. Quartz allows for consistent, custom colors. There are hundreds of color/pattern options for both materials.
Quartz countertops are typically less expensive than granite. The starting price for basic quartz is around $40 per square foot installed. Granite starts at about $60 per square foot installed. High-end exotic granite can cost over $200 per square foot.
For most homeowners’ budgets, quartz provides more affordable upscale countertops compared to granite. Of course costs vary by region and supplier.
Heat and Scratch Resistance
Granite is better at handling hot pots and pans without damage. The natural stone can withstand heat up to 1,200°F before any issues may occur. Quartz is engineered with resins that start to break down around 300°F which can lead to discoloration or yellowing under extreme heat. Neither material scratches easily, but quartz does better resisting minor abrasions from knives or tools.
Advantage: Granite for heat, Quartz for scratches
Granite is the clear winner for kitchens that will see a lot of hot cookware on the counters. Quartz holds up better to incidental scrapes and scratches during daily use.
Sanitation and Cleanliness
Quartz’s nonporous surface makes it incredibly hygienic because it stops bacterial growth. Granite requires diligent cleaning because food and oils can seep into tiny pores in the natural stone. For those wanting easy-to-clean antibacterial surfaces, quartz is the better choice.
Many homeowners prefer quartz in kitchens because its seamless surface prevents messes from accumulating and breeding germs. Granite requires thorough cleaning and disinfecting to prevent issues over time.
Common Pros and Cons
| Quartz | Granite |
| Engineered with resin for consistent quality | Natural stone with unique patterning |
| Affordable, starts around $40/sq.ft installed | More expensive, starts around $60/sq.ft installed |
| Requires no ongoing sealing | Needs periodic sealing to prevent staining |
| Hundreds of style and color options | Unlimited natural styles available |
| Seamless, hygienic surface | Porous, requires diligent cleaning |
| Withstands scratches but not excessive heat | Handles hot cookware but can scratch |
Choosing What’s Best for You
When deciding between quartz vs granite countertops, consider your budget, style preferences, and how the space will be used. Here are some final tips:
- Opt for quartz if you want worry-free maintenance without sealing.
- Choose granite if heat resistance is vital for your stovetop area.
- Quartz offers more consistency, while granite provides unique natural patterns.
- Quartz costs a bit less on average but both offer durability and luxury.
The best material comes down to your priorities. Both granite and quartz make excellent choices for kitchens and bathrooms. Consult with a designer to weigh the pros and cons for your home improvement project. With good care, either of these beautiful natural stone or engineered countertops can serve you well for decades.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quartz or granite better?
There is no definitive “better” option. Quartz requires less maintenance and is more scratch resistant. But granite can withstand more heat and offers unique natural beauty. It depends on your priorities.
Is quartz or granite more expensive?
Quartz is generally the more affordable choice. Basic quartz starts around $40 per square foot installed. Granite starts around $60 per square foot, but exotic granite can be over $200 per square foot.
Which is more durable quartz or granite?
Both materials are highly durable and can last for many decades. Granite is naturally stronger but quartz resists scratches better. Their durability ratings are similar but granite may have a slight edge.
Does quartz stain like granite?
No, quartz does not stain because it is nonporous. Granite can absorb stains if not properly sealed. Quartz never needs sealing and is stain resistant.
Can quartz crack or chip?
Quartz is engineered to be more flexible than natural stone. It does not crack or chip easily under normal use. However, quartz can be damaged by excessive force or pressure. Granite is more prone to chips and cracks if subjected to blunt force.
When choosing between natural granite vs engineered quartz for countertops, there are excellent options with each material. Quartz requires less maintenance and offers antimicrobial properties. Granite brings unmatched natural design with superior heat resistance. Carefully weigh the pros and cons for your home needs and preferences. With proper installation and care, both quartz and granite countertops can provide timeless beauty and durability for many years in your kitchen or bathroom. Consult with knowledgeable professionals to ensure you get the right material for your lifestyle, cooking habits, and design tastes.