Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials on the market today. With their sleek appearances and durability, it’s no wonder why. But which one is the better choice for your kitchen or bathroom remodel? We’ll examine the pros and cons of both to help you decide.
Granite has long been the gold standard when it comes to natural stone countertops. Here are some of the benefits of choosing granite:
With its crystalline patterns and veining, granite offers a timeless, elegant look. No two slabs are alike, allowing you to have a truly unique countertop. Granite comes in diverse color options from bold blacks and rich browns to soft beiges and creamy whites.
Granite is nearly impossible to chip or crack under normal use. It stands up well to heat, scratches, and stains too. With proper sealing and care, granite countertops can last a lifetime.
While granite is more expensive upfront than materials like laminate, it adds considerable value to a home. Granite countertops can recoup over 70% of their cost in added resale value.
Basic care like wiping up spills and annual sealing are all that’s needed to keep granite pristine. It never needs polishing or refinishing. Granite won’t etch from citrus or wine like some materials either.
Of course, there are a few potential downsides to weigh as well:
- Porosity – Granite is somewhat porous and requires yearly sealing to prevent stains.
- Weight – Granite is heavy, which can make installation tricky. Some cabinets may need reinforcement.
- Cost – Natural granite is one of the pricier countertop materials. Expect to pay $60-150 per square foot installed.
- Limited colors – While granite has many options, bold colors and patterns are less common. For a bright, colorful look, other materials may be better.
If low maintenance and contemporary styling are your priorities, quartz counters are worth considering. Let’s examine some of the pros:
Quartz mimics the look of natural stone with more uniform patterning. Vibrant solid colors and Agglomerated quartz styles with glass and metal flecks provide modern options you won’t find in granite.
Quartz is resistant to stains because it’s non-porous. It never needs sealing either.
Quartz is extremely hard and durable. In fact, it’s nearly indestructible under normal kitchen use. It won’t scratch, scorch or etch easily.
A simple wipe down is all that’s needed to keep quartz spotless. You’ll never have to seal or polish it either.
Quartz counters are price competitive with granite, starting around $70 per square foot installed.
With quartz, be aware of:
- Less Resale Value – While beautiful, quartz may not increase home value like natural stone.
- Fewer Style Options – There are fewer color/pattern choices than with granite. Quartz lacks the unique veining of natural stone.
- Manmade Material – As an engineered surface, quartz lacks the prestige and exclusivity of natural granite.
- Visibility of Seams – The seams between quartz slabs are often more visible than with granite.
Granite vs. Quartz: Which is Better for Countertops?
So when comparing granite vs quartz, which comes out on top? Here are a few key considerations:
If you prefer the graceful, timeworn appearance of natural stone, granite can’t be matched. No two granite slabs are alike. Quartz has a more uniform look since it’s engineered.
Both materials are amazingly tough and durable for countertops. Granite is nearly impossible to damage under normal use. But quartz is even harder and more resistant to scratches and chips. It’s arguably the tougher material overall.
Quartz is the clear winner when it comes to easy care. It never needs sealing or polishing. Granite requires yearly sealing to remain stain-resistant.
The costs are similar for both materials. Expect to pay $60-150 per square foot for granite and $70-120 for quartz. Granite may have greater long term value though.
Granite comes in more color variations with distinctive natural patterning. For a unique custom look, it provides more options. But quartz offers more consistency and can mimic granite fairly well.
Granite is a natural material, making it inherently more eco-friendly than engineered quartz. But some quartz brands use recycled materials and environmentally-sound practices.
Overall, it’s hard to declare definitively whether granite or quartz is the better choice. Each has advantages and disadvantages. For many homeowners, the visual appeal of granite outweighs the low maintenance benefits of quartz. But others favor the durability and easy care of quartz.
When selecting between the two, consider which qualities are most important for your home and lifestyle. Consult with knowledgeable countertop installers as well to determine which material best suits your space. With proper care, you’re sure to find happiness with either of these top-tier countertop materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is more expensive, granite or quartz?
Granite and quartz have similar installed costs, averaging $60-150 per square foot for granite and $70-120 for quartz. Granite requires a bit more maintenance which adds to long-term costs. But it may also have greater resale value.
Does quartz stain like granite?
No. Because quartz is non-porous, it resists stains far better than natural stone. Granite can absorb stains if not properly sealed. Quartz never needs sealing.
Is quartz stronger than granite?
Quartz is slightly harder and more resistant to chips, scratches and cracks than granite. But granite is still extremely durable for countertops under normal use.
Does quartz lose its shine over time?
No. A big advantage of quartz is that it retains its like-new gloss and appearance for many years. It never needs polishing or refinishing like some materials.
Which material is best for the environment?
Granite is a natural material, so it has less environmental impact than engineered quartz which uses manufacturing processes. However, some quartz brands use recycled materials and eco-friendly practices to offset this.
Both granite and quartz make excellent choices for countertops that are durable, stylish and add value to your home. Granite brings natural beauty and uniqueness with more intricate patterning. Quartz offers cutting-edge style, extreme durability and fuss-free maintenance.
Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each against your own needs. Talk to experienced countertop fabricators as well. With some smart planning, you can end up with a gorgeous new granite or quartz countertop that will provide lasting enjoyment for years to come.