Which Countertops Are Better: Quartz or Granite?

Choosing new countertops for your kitchen or bathroom remodel? Quartz and granite are two of the most popular options on the market today. But which one is right for you? Here’s an in-depth comparison of quartz vs granite countertops to help you decide.

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, have risen in popularity over the past decade. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of quartz:

Pros of Quartz

  • Extremely durable – Quartz is non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and water.
  • Low maintenance – Requires very little upkeep compared to natural stone. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all you need.
  • Color consistency – The color runs throughout the slab so chips and cracks are less visible.
  • Stylish options – Available in a wide array of colors and patterns to suit any design aesthetic. Popular styles mimic natural stone and concrete.
  • Non-porous – Doesn’t require sealing to prevent stains.
  • Resists heat damage – More resistant to heat damage from hot pots and pans than natural stone.

Cons of Quartz

  • Expensive – Quartz is one of the pricier countertop options, costing $80-$100 per square foot installed.
  • Some limitations – Although durable, quartz can chip if subjected to heavy impact. Not fully heat or scratch proof.
  • Lacks natural variation – The uniformity of color that’s a pro can also be a con for those wanting a more unique, natural look.
  • Requires professional installation – Not a DIY-friendly material. Seams are visible, so precision cutting is a must.

Overall, quartz makes an excellent choice for busy kitchens and baths needing a low-maintenance, stylish, and super durable surface. The manmade composition gives quartz an advantage over natural stone in durability and maintenance.

Granite Countertops

As a classic natural stone, granite remains beloved for its timeless beauty and uniqueness. Here are the main pros and cons of granite countertops:

Pros of Granite

  • Unique natural beauty – With its varied mineral composition, granite has striking color variations and veining that no two slabs are alike.
  • Great value – Less expensive than quartz, starting around $40 per square foot installed.
  • Heat resistant – Granite can withstand heat up to 700°F making it ideal for avid cooks.
  • Adds resale value – Natural granite is still highly desired by home buyers.
  • Durable – Though porous, granite is very hard, making it scratch and chip resistant. Proper sealing prevents stains.
  • Environmentally friendly – As a natural material, it’s more eco-friendly than engineered quartz.

Cons of Granite

  • Requires sealing – Granite is porous so sealing is needed every 1-2 years to prevent stains.
  • Can stain, chip or etch – While durable, granite can be damaged if not properly sealed and maintained.
  • Higher maintenance – Sealing and cleaning with stone cleaner needed regularly.
  • Pattern variations – While uniqueness can be a pro, color variations can also clash with your design elements.
  • Professional installation required – Not a DIY project. The stone is fragile and difficult to cut and install properly.
  • May harbor bacteria if not sealed properly – Unsealed granite can absorb bacteria but sealed properly this risk is minimized.

Granite is ideal for those who enjoy the natural beauty and uniqueness of genuine stone and don’t mind the added maintenance required. The range of prices and massive selection of colors and patterns make granite an accessible option for most.

Key Differences Between Granite and Quartz

To summarize the key differences:

  • Granite is a natural stone while quartz is engineered from natural materials and resins.
  • Quartz is non-porous and more stain, scratch, and heat resistant while granite must be sealed to prevent stains.
  • Granite offers unique natural designs while quartz has uniform patterns and colors.
  • Quartz requires very little maintenance compared to granite’s regular sealing needs.
  • Granite is usually much less expensive than quartz.

Which is Better: Quartz or Granite?

So which is the better choice – quartz or granite? The answer depends on your priorities:

Choose quartz if you want:

  • Maximum durability and low maintenance
  • A contemporary, stylish look
  • Resistance to stains, scratches, and heat
  • Consistent colors and patterns

Choose granite if you want:

  • A classic, timeless natural stone look
  • Unique colors, patterns, and veining
  • Excellent value for money
  • Superior heat resistance

Both offer excellent performance as countertop materials. Quartz requires less regular maintenance while granite offers a timeless natural beauty. Your personal style, budget, and how you use your kitchen should dictate whether engineered quartz or natural granite best fits your home.

Additional Factors When Choosing Countertops

Beyond the comparison of quartz and granite, be sure to consider:

  • Use – How will the counters be used? Frequent food prep and cooking favors quartz. Granite can take the heat but requires more caution with hot pans.
  • Budget – Granite is generally less expensive than quartz. Determine what fits comfortably in your countertop budget.
  • Design – Match countertop colors and patterns to your overall kitchen or bath design scheme.
  • Edge styles – Both materials can be cut in a range of edge profiles from square to rounded to decorative.
  • Backsplash – Will you do a full backsplash or small focal area? Coordinate with countertop colors.
  • Maintenance – Quartz is lower maintenance long-term, but granite needs annual sealing. Factor in time commitment.
  • Professional installation – Both require experienced installers, so include costs in your budget.

Doing your homework on quartz vs granite will ensure you select the right material to suit your home, lifestyle and budget long-term. Carefully evaluate your priorities before deciding on a new quartz or granite countertop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions to further help compare quartz and granite countertops:

Is quartz or granite better for resale value?

Granite is still highly preferred by home buyers and can add slightly more value. But well-kept quartz countertops can also boost resale. Recent trends show more buyers appreciating low-maintenance quartz.

Is quartz or granite more durable?

Quartz is generally more durable due to its non-porous composition. It resists scratches, stains, chips, cracks and heat better than granite. But granite is still highly durable with proper sealing and care.

Which material is heat and stain resistant?

Quartz is more resistant to both heat and stains. Granite can withstand brief heat exposure but is prone to staining without proper sealing and maintenance.

Does quartz or granite cost more?

Quartz is almost always more expensive than granite, sometimes significantly so. Price can vary based on the colors, patterns, and brands chosen. Expect to pay $80-120 per square foot for quartz and $40-70 per square foot for granite.

Which requires more maintenance?

Granite requires much more routine maintenance with annual sealing and cleaning with stone cleaners. Quartz simply needs occasional cleaning with soap and water since it resists stains and water.

Which countertops add more value to a home?

Natural granite countertops generally add slightly more value for their timeless appeal. But newer homes often favor quartz for its modern style. Properly maintained high-end quartz counters can also boost value.

The Bottom Line

Granite and quartz both make excellent choices for countertops with their own sets of pros and cons. For Minimal maintenance, extreme durability, and resistance to water, stains, and heat, engineered quartz carries the advantage. Granite offers an unparalleled natural beauty, timeless elegance, and added home value for those willing to perform regular sealing and maintenance. Consider how you use your kitchen, your priorities, and your budget when deciding between granite and quartz countertops. With proper care, either can serve you well for many years of everyday use.