SEO meta description: comparing quartz and granite for bathroom vanity countertops – pros and cons of durability, appearance, pricing, maintenance, and other factors influencing the better material choice.
Selecting the right countertop material for a bathroom vanity is an important decision that impacts the look, functionality and maintenance requirements of this high-use area. The two most popular choices for bathroom countertops are quartz and granite. But which is better for a bathroom countertop – quartz or granite?
Both materials have their pros and cons in terms of appearance, pricing, durability, maintenance, and other factors. Understanding the differences between quartz and granite will help you determine which is the better fit for your bathroom countertops.
Quartz has become an increasingly popular choice for bathroom vanity countertops in recent years. Here’s an overview of some of the key advantages and disadvantages of quartz countertops:
Pros of Quartz Countertops
- Highly durable and resistant to scratches: Quartz is incredibly hard and scratch-resistant, making it a great choice for the high-use bathroom environment. It stands up well to daily wear and tear.
- Low maintenance: Quartz requires very little maintenance compared to other natural stone countertops. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all it needs.
- Stain resistant: Quartz resists stains much better than granite and other natural stones. It won’t be as prone to staining from makeup, hair products and other bathroom products.
- Consistent color and pattern: The color and pattern of quartz will be uniform throughout the slabs. This makes it easy to get a seamless look.
- Non-porous: Quartz won’t harbour bacteria or allow liquids to seep in like some natural stone surfaces.
- Wide range of colors and styles: Quartz offers immense flexibility in colors, patterns and finishes. This allows lots of options to match your bathroom’s decor.
- Can mimic look of natural stone: Many modern quartz slabs are engineered to replicate the look of marble or granite while offering more durability.
Cons of Quartz Countertops
- More expensive than granite: Quartz slabs tend to cost $80-120 per square foot installed. This is more expensive than some granite options.
- Limited options for very dark colors: Getting a true black or dark quartz can be difficult – lighter speckles are often still visible giving a salt-and-pepper look.
- Prone to impact damage: Dropping a heavy object on a quartz countertop can chip or crack it. Heat can also damage quartz.
- Seams more visible: The uniformity of quartz can make seams between slabs more visible. Careful installation is important.
- Some designs seem artificial: Busy faux-marble quartz patterns may look obviously engineered and artificial to some.
As a natural stone, granite has traditionally been the most popular choice for bathroom vanity countertops. Here are some key pros and cons:
Pros of Granite Countertops
- Vast range of unique patterns and colors: Granite offers one-of-a-kind veining, speckles and swirls. No two slabs are the same.
- Can achieve very dark colors: True black granite provides a bold, dramatic look that is hard to achieve with quartz. Emerald greens and deep blues also available.
- Natural beauty and prestige: For many homeowners, granite countertops add elegance and elevate the feel of a bathroom by providing a real-stone look.
- Durable and long-lasting: Granite is very hard and durable. Properly sealed, it can last for many decades with minimal wear or marks.
- Good value for price: Basic level granite slabs can cost as little at $40 per square foot. More exotic options range up to $100 per square foot.
- Easy to clean and sanitize: Granite won’t get damaged by common bathroom cleaners and disinfectants. Hot pans generally won’t damage granite either.
- Adds to home resale value: Granite is still highly preferred by many buyers. Upgrading to granite can increase a home’s resale value.
Cons of Granite Countertops
- Sealing required: Granite is porous and needs regular sealing to prevent stains and bacterial growth. Sealers need reapplication every 1-2 years.
- Can stain: Acids like wine or juice can permanently stain granite if not promptly cleaned. Makeup and hair products can also stain if allowed to sit.
- Chipping or cracking risk: Heavy impacts or dropped objects can crack granite, especially along sink cutouts and edges. Cracks allow liquids and bacteria in.
- Variation in slabs: Each granite slab is unique but adjacent slabs may not have enough consistency in pattern or color. Careful inspection of slabs before purchase is vital.
- Higher maintenance: Beyond regular sealing, granite needs frequent cleaning and disinfecting with stone-safe products to keep it pristine.
- Avoid direct undermount sink contact: Granite exposed directly to sinks and water can lead to staining and erosion. A rim or small ledge is recommended with undermount sinks.
Now that we’ve compared some of the pros and cons of quartz vs granite countertops, let’s analyze some key deciding factors in more depth:
Appearance Comparison: Quartz vs Granite
The visual appeal of your new bathroom countertops may be one of the most important deciding factors between quartz and granite. Here’s how they compare aesthetically:
Colors: Both materials offer a vast spectrum of colors – from pure whites to deep blacks and vivid blues, greens, golds, grays and more. Granite provides true exotic blacks and emerald colors that quartz has difficulty achieving. But quartz offers more control over uniform coloring.
Patterns: Granite’s natural beauty comes from its random, unique veining and crystal speckles. Quartz relies on engineered aggregate patterns but can mimic some granite and marble looks. Busy granite-like quartz patterns can seem obviously faux.
Consistency: Single granite slabs have great internal consistency but adjacent slabs may not match well. Quartz has uniform coloring and patterning slab-to-slab for a seamless look.
Trendiness: Granite patterns range from traditional to contemporary. Some quartz designs lean trendy. classic marble-look quartz options are available too though.
Edges: Quartz and granite can both have polished, rounded, or squared-off edges. Granite can also be finished with rough, chiseled edges.
Finishes: Granites come in polished or honed (matte) finishes. Quartz can be polished or made to look like concrete, leather or woodgrain.
Seams: Seams are generally more visible in uniform quartz slabs. Granite’s randomness helps camouflage seams. Careful installation minimizes the effect for both.
For those desiring a timeless, elegant and luxurious natural-stone look, granite remains unrivaled. But quartz offers more predictability and control over the finished aesthetic. Your design tastes will dictate whether granite’s unique beauty or quartz’s uniformity is more appealing.
Cost and Pricing: Quartz vs Granite
Pricing is often a major factor when selecting countertop materials. Here is how quartz and granite compare cost-wise for the bathroom:
Quartz pricing: Expect to pay $80-$120 per square foot installed for quartz. More complex designer patterns and colors range up to $140/square foot.
Granite pricing: Mid-range granite starts around $50/square foot. Exotic slabs with rare patterns can cost up to $100-150/square foot. Basic granites cost as little as $40/square foot installed.
Total cost range: A typical 25 square foot bathroom vanity could therefore cost $2000-$3000 for quartz, or $1000-$2500 for granite. Granite generally provides better value overall.
Fabrication factor: Quartz is easier to fabricate so fabrication labor may be less. Granite requires more cutting expertise.
Budget option: Basic level granite remains the most budget-friendly option for those simply wanting an attractive, durable natural stone countertop.
Long-term value: Upgrading from laminate to granite can increase home resale value by as much as [data needed]%. Quartz won’t necessarily add as much value.
Both materials provide years of enjoyment and equity for their cost. But if stretching your budget as far as possible, basic granite counters will give you the most stone look and feel for your dollar. If cost is less important than aesthetics and convenience, quartz provides worry-free long-term use.
Maintenance and Durability Comparison
Due diligence during research prevents headaches later! Evaluating and comparing the durability and maintenance needs of quartz vs granite will help set proper expectations about living with your new bathroom countertops.
Durability: Granite and quartz are both extremely durable. Neither will easily scratch, chip or crack during normal use. But quartz is less prone to impact damage from dropped objects.
Heat tolerance: Granite can handle hot pots and pans, with some discoloration possible. Quartz can be damaged by excessive heat so trivets should always be used.
Scratch resistance: Quartz’s superior hardness makes it very scratch resistant. But well-sealed granite also resists scratching under normal use.
Stain resistance: Quartz is less prone to staining than natural stone. But well-sealed granite also performs well against common bathroom stains with prompt cleaning.
Maintenance needs: Granite requires frequent sealing and cleaning. Quartz simply needs an occasional wipe down with soap and water, with no sealing required.
Sealing: Granite sealing must be redone yearly. Improperly sealed granite will stain and harbour bacteria. Quartz never needs sealing.
Cleaners: Harsh cleansers strip granite’s protective seal. Quartz can handle strong bathroom cleaners with no worry of damaging its surface.
Undermount sink considerations: Granite adjacent to undermount sinks can stain or erode over time. A small gap is recommended with granite. Quartz has no such concerns.
For busy homeowners who want to keep maintenance to a minimum, quartz’s advantage in stain resistance and lack of sealing requirements makes it the lower-effort option long-term. But sealing and cleaning granite is not an overly arduous process for those willing to put in the small amount of extra care needed.
Which is Better for Bathroom Countertops: Quartz or Granite?
Now that we’ve explored some of the key differences, similarities, pros and cons surrounding quartz vs granite bathroom countertops, which is the better choice overall?
The right decision depends on your priorities and preferences:
If natural stone beauty is paramount: Granite can provide an unparalleled elegance and visual pop that synthetic quartz cannot match. If a true stone look matters most, granite wins.
If a low-maintenance countertop is critical: Quartz will retain its beauty with minimal upkeep. The extra sealing and cleaning required for granite can become tiresome over decades of use.
If a worry-free bathroom countertop is needed: Quartz’s superior stain proofing and durability gives peace of mind against kids, guests or future owners damaging it. Granite requires more precautions.
If you favor trendy, modern aesthetics: Quartz’s engineered look works well for contemporary styled bathrooms. Granite leans traditional, although modern options exist too.
If your budget is tight: Basic, mid-range granite counters still provide the best value way to get natural stone into your bathroom within budget constraints.
If consistency across the bathroom is important: Quartz will give uniformity between slabs. Granite’s randomness may not seamlessly match from one slab to the next.
If you like being unique: No two granite slabs are ever alike. Its rarity and uniqueness simply can’t be manufactured. Quartz aims for uniformity.
If you’re selling soon: Granite remains regarded as a premium feature by many home buyers. Quartz is less established, so granite may boost resale value more.
The best bathroom countertop ultimately comes down to aligning your priorities to the strengths and weaknesses of each material. Both quartz and granite can create a high-end, luxurious feel for a bathroom. Take your time deciding which material’s characteristics are the optimal fit. The countertops you choose will impact your enjoyment of the space for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most popular colors for bathroom countertops?
For both quartz and granite, whites, light grays and beiges are prevalent bath vanity colors as they keep spaces feeling clean and bright. But dark broody colors like black, charcoal, emerald and sapphire bring dramatic sophistication too.
What thickness should I get for bathroom countertops?
3 cm (just over 1 inch) is the recommended thickness for bathroom vanity countertops of either granite or quartz. This provides adequate durability while keeping material costs reasonable.
Can quartz or granite countertops crack from dropped objects?
Both materials are quite impact resistant. But quartz is more prone to chipping or cracking from heavy impacts. Inspect quartz closely after impacts. Granite would typically only crack if it already contained minute flaws.
Do quartz or granite countertops emit dangerous radon gas?
Granite is a natural stone that contains trace amounts of uranium. This uranium can decay into radon gas. However, quartz and granite countertops do not release dangerous radon levels into home environments.
Can you cut directly on quartz or granite countertop surfaces?
Neither material will easily scratch or mark from cutting. But using a separate cutting board is still advisable to protect from both scratching and germ transfer.
How long do quartz and granite bathroom countertops last?
With proper care, granite and quartz can both easily provide decades of service life in the bathroom. Their longevity makes them an investment that pays off for years to come.
Whether you opt for the natural beauty of granite or the high-tech durability of quartz, upgrading to stone bathroom countertops is an investment that pays dividends daily through added luxury and visual appeal. Taking the time to carefully analyze both options against your own needs will ensure you select the optimal material to thrill you for decades to come.
With their comparable elegance, prestige and durability, either quartz or granite offer major improvements over dated laminate countertops at a reasonable cost. Bring your bathroom into the modern age with countertops made to impress and built to last.