When it comes to choosing a countertop for your kitchen or bathroom, two of the most popular options are quartz and granite. But which one is the better choice? There are pros and cons to both materials to consider.
Quartz countertops, often referred to as engineered stone, have become increasingly popular in recent years. Here are some of the benefits of choosing quartz:
Quartz is an extremely strong and durable material that stands up well to heavy use in the kitchen. It does not easily scratch, scorch or etch. Quartz countertops are resistant to stains, bacteria and heat. This makes it an ideal choice for busy kitchens.
Unlike natural stone, quartz requires very little maintenance. It does not need to be regularly sealed. Simple cleaning with mild soap and water is all that is required to keep quartz looking like new.
Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns to suit any design aesthetic. From solid whites and grays to glittery crushed glass or graphic patterns, the options are endless. The appearance remains consistent over time.
Quartz is non-porous, so spills and messes cannot penetrate the surface. Bacteria and mold have nowhere to grow. This makes quartz a very hygienic option.
Since quartz is engineered in a factory, every slab has an consistent appearance. Natural stone can have more variation from one slab to the next.
Granite is a classic natural stone that has been popular for countertops for many years. Here are some positives of granite:
With its crystalline patterns and flecks of color, granite has a timeless, natural beauty. No two slabs are exactly alike due to the variations inherent in natural stone. Granite makes a gorgeous and unique focal point.
Of all the natural stones, granite is one of the most heat resistant. While you should still use trivets for extremely hot pans, it can withstand heat better than most options.
Granite is very hard and durable. It does not scratch easily like some natural stones. Over time, the polish may dull in high use areas, but can be restored through honing.
Granite comes in very large slabs, making it possible to have fewer seams in a countertop. The large pieces highlight the grandeur of granite.
Granite countertops potentially add value to a home. Natural stone is regarded as a luxury material and sought after by buyers.
Quartz vs Granite: The Bottom Line
When choosing between quartz and granite countertops, there are good arguments to be made for both options. Here are some key comparisons:
- Maintenance – Quartz requires essentially no maintenance, while granite needs occasional sealing.
- Durability – Both materials are highly durable in different ways. Quartz withstands scratches better. Granite resists heat better.
- Appearance – Quartz offers consistent color and pattern. Granite provides unique natural beauty.
- Cost – Quartz is often a bit less expensive than granite, but prices can overlap.
- Resale value – Granite may recoup more money in a home sale.
- Hygiene – Non-porous quartz resists bacteria growth better than natural stone.
Both quartz and granite make excellent choices for countertops. Quartz may be preferable for low maintenance needs, while granite offers classic natural stone beauty. Consider your own priorities in terms of budget, style and practical needs before deciding which is the better fit for your home. Consult with a kitchen designer if needed to determine which material is right for your space. With proper care, either option can provide years of beauty and performance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz and Granite Countertops
Is quartz cheaper than granite?
Quartz countertops are often slightly less expensive than granite. However, premium quartz can cost about the same as mid-range granite. There is significant overlap in pricing.
Is quartz heat resistant?
Quartz has good heat resistance, but not as much as granite. Quartz can typically withstand brief exposure to temperatures up to 300°F before potential damage. Always use trivets and hot pads.
Does quartz stain easily?
Quartz is non-porous and does not readily stain. Spills can often be wiped away with no trace. However, prolonged exposure to strong chemicals/dyes can potentially cause discoloration that is difficult to remove.
Is granite still in style?
Granite remains a very popular choice and has classic, timeless appeal. Its natural beauty and elegance never goes out of style. Granite works well in almost any design aesthetic from modern to traditional.
Does granite need to be sealed?
It is highly recommended to seal granite countertops once a year to prevent staining and etching. More frequent sealing is needed for light colored or heavily used surfaces. Quartz does not require sealing.
Is granite better for resale value?
Granite is often viewed as a more high-end material, which can potentially recoup more money in a home sale compared to engineered quartz. However, resale value depends on many other factors as well.
While quartz arguably requires less maintenance overall, both it and granite are excellent choices that provide beauty and durability. Get a sense of each material in person when making decisions. Consider the style you want and how the space will be used. With proper care, you are sure to be happy with either quartz or granite countertops that become a cherished part of your home for many years. Consult a kitchen designer if needed, read reviews and weigh all the pros and cons before settling on the right countertop to meet your needs and budget.