Which is Better for Countertop – Quartz or Granite?


When it comes to choosing a countertop material for kitchens or bathrooms, two of the most popular options are quartz and granite. Both offer unique visual appeal and durability, but they differ in texture, maintenance, and pricing. Understanding the key characteristics of quartz and granite countertops can help homeowners select the best material for their needs and budget. This comprehensive guide examines the pros, cons, costs, and comparisons between quartz and granite countertops.

Durability and Toughness

Durability and resistance to scrapes, stains, and cracks are essential qualities in a kitchen countertop material. Granite and quartz both deliver on this front, but in slightly different ways.

Granite Countertops

As a natural stone, granite is extraordinarily hard and rugged. Its crystalline structure allows granite to stand up well to knives, hot pans, and other kitchen stressors. Granite rates a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, with diamonds rating 10 in comparison. Properly sealed granite does not easily stain or etch under normal use. Small scratches may occur over time on the surface, but will not damage the structural integrity of the stone. One downside is that granite can chip if subjected to sudden hard impacts. However, small chips can often be repaired by professional technicians.

Key facts on granite durability:

  • Extremely hard and durable natural stone
  • Resists scratches, stains, heat, and etching
  • Can chip if subjected to hard impacts
  • Scratches and chips can often be repaired

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops achieve durability in a different manner. Rather than being cut from solid natural stone, quartz counters are engineered from quartz crystals blended with polyester resins and pigments. This makes quartz less prone to chipping and cracking compared to natural stone. Quartz registers at 7 on the Mohs scale, nearly as hard as granite. The resin binders make quartz more flexible and resistant to impacts. Quartz stands up well to most daily use in kitchens without showing signs of wear. Over time, excessive pressure at certain points can damage quartz.

Key facts on quartz durability:

  • Made from engineered stone composite
  • Very durable and resilient
  • Flexible resin helps prevent cracks and chips
  • Withstands normal wear and tear
  • Not immune to all damage from excessive force


Overall, both granite and quartz deliver the durability required for kitchen countertops. Granite offers timeless natural beauty, while quartz brings uniform styling with enhanced resistance to impacts. For busy kitchens prone to accidental drops and spills, quartz may hold up marginally better over decades of use. But both materials are far superior to less rugged options like wood, laminate, or tile.

Appearance and Styles

Along with durability, visual appeal is critical in choosing new countertops. From elegantly patterned natural granite to modern uniform quartz, both materials offer beautiful options.

Granite Countertops

The crystalline structure and mineral composition of granite results in a dazzling array of stone patterns and colors. Granite may exhibit dramatic veining, swirling grains, or uniform speckles across a background hue. While some prefer uniformly patterned granite, many homeowners love the artistic accents and unique detailing of exotic granites. No two granite slabs are exactly alike due to the variations inherent in natural stone. Granite comes in diverse base colors from warm beiges and browns to grays, blues, greens and more.

Key facts on granite appearance:

  • Entirely unique natural patterns and detailing
  • Exotic, artistic visual styles available
  • Broad palette of base colors and background tones
  • Matches well with other natural materials

Quartz Countertops

In contrast to granite’s natural artistry, quartz offers uniformity and modern styling. The manufacturing process allows quartz patterns and colors to be carefully engineered for consistency. Simple solid colors or subtle blended tones with faint veining or speckles emulate the look of natural stone. This can match well in contemporary or minimalist kitchens. For those desiring something more vivid, bold quartz styles mimic expensive marbles or granites but with more uniformity.

Key facts on quartz appearance:

  • Consistent, engineered appearance
  • Moderately varied styles emulate natural stone
  • Solid colors and minimal patterns
  • Vivid styles mimicking granite and marble
  • Matches well in modern or minimalist kitchens


The aesthetic choice between natural granite and engineered quartz comes down to personal preference. Granite provides a beautifully unique natural accent in traditional to eclectic kitchens. For contemporary rooms favoring consistency and clean lines, quartz makes a smart match. Both offer colors and styles suitable for any kitchen or bath design.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Keeping countertops looking like new requires regular cleaning and attention over time. Here’s how granite and quartz differ in maintenance needs.

Granite Countertops

Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains from penetrating the porous natural stone surface. Commercial impregnating sealers are applied once or twice per year. Local granite dealers can provide sealing service if desired. Routine cleaning uses mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleansers or acidic cleaners that can dull the granite finish. Disinfecting granite occasionally with a stone-safe cleaner is advisable, as natural stone can harbor bacteria. Watch for signs of wear in heavy use areas, and use trivets or hot pads under cookware to prevent etching.

Key facts on caring for granite:

  • Requires sealing every 6-12 months to repel stains
  • Use mild cleaners and avoid abrasive or acidic products
  • Disinfect periodically with a stone-safe cleaner
  • Use trivets or pads under hot pots and pans
  • Watch for signs of etching or wearing in high use areas

Quartz Countertops

Maintenance is simpler for quartz counters. The impervious resin binding resists moisture penetration, so quartz does not require regular sealing. For routine cleaning, mild soap and water or stone-safe cleaners are recommended. Avoid abrasive pads or scrubbing to prevent dulling the smooth surface over time. For stubborn stains, a diluted bleach cleaner may be used cautiously. Quartz can also be disinfected with most non-alkaline, stone-safe cleaners. Keeping quartz looking pristine long-term does require a bit of care, but it is a lower maintenance material compared to natural stone.

Key facts on caring for quartz:

  • Does not require regular sealing like natural stone
  • Use mild cleaners and avoid abrasive pads
  • Can use diluted bleach cleaners for tough stains
  • Disinfect periodically with non-alkaline stone cleaner
  • Lower maintenance than granite but still requires care over time


Quartz counters eliminate the periodic resealing required for granite, lightening maintenance duties. Granite needs more frequent cleaning and care to keep its polished finish looking like new. Both require avoiding harsh cleansers that can damage the surface. Homeowners that want to minimize regular upkeep may favor quartz for its simpler maintenance. But diligent cleaning and sealing allows granite to retain its luxurious appearance with just moderate effort.

Heat Tolerance

The kitchen is a hot environment, so comparing granite vs quartz heat resistance is important. Both offer adequate tolerance, but the differences are worth noting.

Granite Countertops

As an earth-formed stone, granite can withstand significant heat. Using standard trivets and hot pads is always advised. But momentarily setting down a hot pan, whether accidentally or out of convenience, generally does not damage granite surfaces. Prolonged direct heat exposure in one spot can potentially etch or crack granite. But for most kitchen tasks, granite offers plenty of heat and fire resistance. Just keep in mind that like any material, granite has its limits.

Key facts on granite heat tolerance:

  • Excellent thermal mass retains and distributes heat
  • Can briefly tolerate hot pots and pans on surface
  • Prolonged heat exposure in one spot may cause damage
  • Use trivets and pads as a precaution for very hot items

Quartz Countertops

Quartz is heat-resistant to an adequate degree but does have limitations. The resins binding quartz particles together can gradually lose integrity when subjected to high heat or rapid temperature swings. This means quartz can be damaged by excessive direct heat exposure from pots, pans, and other appliances. Using hot pads and trivets is highly recommended, especially for very hot cookware fresh from the stove or oven. Quartz should be able to handle brief contact from hot items in most cases, but it does not have the heat tolerance of natural stone.

Key facts on quartz heat tolerance:

  • Has adequate heat resistance for typical use
  • Prolonged direct heat can damage resin binders
  • Use trivets and pads, especially for extra hot items
  • Does not have the heat capacity of natural stone
  • Can sustain damage from excessive heat exposure


Granite offers a clear advantage for heat tolerance compared to quartz. While quartz can withstand typical cooking tasks, granite is less prone to damage from hot items or UV heat. For avid home cooks and bakers, granite provides confidence that the countertop can take the heat in a busy kitchen environment. Both materials merit using trivets and pads, but granite is more forgiving for the inevitable slipped pot or forgotten trivet.

Price Differences

Budget is a key factor when selecting new countertops. Both quartz and granite provide quality and beauty at different price points.

Granite Countertops

Natural granite is priced in a wide range, depending on stone origin and rarity. Domestic granites tend to cost $40-$70 per square foot including basic installation. Imported exotic granites with dramatic patterns and colors range from $80-$150 per square foot installed. Complex projects with extensive shaping or cutouts will sit at the higher end. Multi-level kitchens also drive up the total price. Typical costs for a 10×10-foot simple granite kitchen countertop install would be around $2,500-$4,000 depending on chosen stone.

Key facts on granite pricing:

  • Total costs depend heavily on granite type
  • Simple domestic granite $40-$70 per sq. ft. installed
  • Exotic imported granite $80-$150 per sq. ft. installed
  • Average 10×10 kitchen about $2,500-$4,000

Quartz Countertops

Quartz offers more predictable pricing since it is engineered, not sourced from natural quarries. The total price considers the brand, colors, and patterns. Simple solid quartz colors start around $80 per square foot installed. High-end designer quartz can range from $100-$140 per square foot. The average 10×10 quartz countertop will be $3,500-$5,500 with installation. Complex projects run higher.

Key facts on quartz pricing:

  • More consistent pricing than natural stone
  • Entry-level quartz $80-100 per sq. ft. installed
  • High-end quartz $100-$140 per sq. ft. installed
  • Average 10×10 kitchen $3,500-$5,500 total


On average, quartz runs around 25% higher in price than granite for an equivalent quality level. There is significant overlap, however. Lower-end quartz can match up with mid-to-high-end granite. And the most premium exotic granites exceed the costs of all but the most expensive quartz. Ultimately, both granite and quartz provide appealing options at various budgets. Homeowners should examine pricing for the specific materials they find most visually appealing.

Environmental Sustainability

Eco-conscious homeowners may want to compare granite vs quartz in terms of environmental impacts. Both come with certain sustainability concerns.

Granite Countertops

Natural granite is an abundant resource, but quarrying stone does entail some consequences. Granite quarries displace existing land and habitat. Producing large stone slabs requires energy and transportation from remote quarries. There are also air and water impacts near quarrying sites, along with greenhouse gas emissions from granite manufacturing. Using local granite minimizes transport miles and offsets some impacts.

Key facts on granite sustainability:

  • Quarrying displaces natural habitat and land
  • Air/water pollution near quarrying sites
  • High energy use processing dense stone slabs
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from production
  • Using local stone reduces transport impacts

Quartz Countertops

Quartz counters are engineered from raw quartz, resins, and pigments. Material intensity depends on the resin formulas used in different brands. Polyester and epoxy resins have moderate environmental footprints for impacts like greenhouse gases. Quartz production energy can be offset somewhat by recycling content. But sourcing high-purity quartz does involve mining similar to natural stone. Overall, quartz has comparable sustainability issues to granite.

Key facts on quartz sustainability:

  • Production has greenhouse gas and energy impacts
  • Resins used in manufacturing have eco-footprints
  • High-purity quartz mining carries habitat disruption
  • Recycled content lowers environmental impacts
  • Ultimately similar eco-profile to natural stone


There is no truly eco-friendly option between quartz and granite countertops. Each material is intensive to source and manufacture. When purchasing either material, looking for recycled content, local sourcing, and efficient manufacturing can help. Any non-renewable natural material will come with environmental trade-offs. Homeowners have to weigh looks, durability, and costs with sustainability factors.

Cost Comparison Table

DurabilityHard, durable natural stoneVery durable engineered composite
AppearanceUnique natural patterns and colorsConsistent man-made styles
MaintenanceRequires annual sealingNo sealing needed
Heat ToleranceExcellent, resilient to heatAdequate, some damage risk
Price Range$40-$150 per sq. ft. installed$80-$140 per sq. ft. installed
Avg. 10×10 Kitchen Cost$2,500-$4,000$3,500-$5,500
SustainabilityModerate eco-impact from quarryingComparable to granite in manufacturing impact

Pros and Cons Comparison

Granite Countertop Pros:

  • Gorgeous natural stone patterns and colors
  • Extremely durable and heat tolerant
    -Matches stone, tile, wood, and eclectic designs
    -Wide range of pricing options

Granite Countertop Cons:

  • Moderate maintenance with regular sealing
  • Prone to chipping from hard impacts
  • Requires greater care than quartz
  • Less consistent than engineered surfaces

Quartz Countertop Pros:

  • Highly durable and resilient
  • Consistent modern styles and colors
  • Lower maintenance than granite
  • Heat and scratch resistant

Quartz Countertop Cons:

  • Lacks the beauty of natural granite
  • Not immune to damage from excess force
  • Lower heat tolerance than natural stone
  • Higher average price than granite

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some common questions about quartz and granite countertops.

Is Quartz Completely Maintenance Free?

No, quartz still requires occasional cleaning like any surface. But it does not need regular sealing to prevent stains. Just use mild cleaners and avoid abrasives.

Can You Repair Damage in Quartz?

Small nicks or scratches in quartz can often be buffed and re-polished by a professional. But excessive damage may require full replacement.

How Often Should Granite Countertops Be Sealed?

Sealing granite every 6 to 12 months is recommended to maintain stain resistance. High traffic kitchens may need to seal more frequently.

Is Heat Damage Covered in Quartz Warranties?

Verify with the manufacturer, but excessive direct heat exposure can void warranties for quartz countertops in most cases.

Do Quartz or Granite Countertops Add Home Value?

Both granite and quartz are premium materials that can increase resale value. However, natural stone like granite may have a slight edge in buyer appeal.

Is Quartz Cheaper Than Granite Overall?

On average, quartz runs 25% higher in price than granite for comparable quality levels. But there is significant overlap in pricing ranges.

Which Material is More Eco-Friendly?

Neither material can be considered truly eco-friendly, but some brands use recycled quartz and minimize their manufacturing footprints.


When choosing between quartz or granite, key considerations include budget, styles, ease of maintenance, and heat resistance for your particular kitchen needs. Granite brings natural beauty unrivaled by manufactured surfaces. Quartz offers cutting-edge styles and practical performance with less upkeep. For most buyers, visiting showrooms and comparing price quotes for each material will help determine the better option. With appropriate care, both natural granite and engineered quartz can provide a lifetime of beauty and durability as kitchen countertops.

Which is Better for Countertop – Quartz or Granite?

Quartz and granite are both excellent choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Which one is better ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. Here is a detailed comparison of quartz vs granite countertops to help you decide.



  • Natural stone with artistic, exotic styles
  • Unique veining, patterns, and speckling
  • Colors range from white to black to blue, green etc.
  • No two slabs are exactly the same


  • Engineered for uniformity and consistency
  • Speckled or solid color styles
  • Subtle patterns mimic natural stone
  • Contemporary, streamlined appearance

Granite brings natural beauty and uniqueness to any kitchen. For a consistent, modern look, quartz has the edge.



  • Extremely hard and scratch resistant
  • Tough enough to withstand daily wear and tear