Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials used in kitchens today. Both offer durability, style, and easy maintenance, but they differ in appearance, composition, and price. So which is the better choice for your home – quartz or granite countertops? Here is a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of each to help you decide.
Overview of Granite Countertops
Granite is a natural stone that is mined from quarries around the world. It is an igneous rock that forms when magma cools slowly beneath the earth’s surface. Granite’s mineral composition gives it a hard, durable surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.
Some key characteristics of granite countertops include:
- Extremely durable and long-lasting, can last decades with proper care
- Available in a wide range of natural colors and patterns
- Resists stains, scratches, and heat very well
- Can be polished to a shiny or matte finish
- Sealed granite repels liquids and makes cleaning easier
- More unique – no two slabs are exactly alike
- Can increase value of home for resale
The main downsides of granite are:
- Expensive – higher upfront costs than quartz
- Needs periodic resealing to protect surface
- Some porous granites can stain if not sealed properly
- Slightly more maintenance required than quartz
- Can chip or crack if subjected to blunt force
So in summary, granite is a great choice for beauty and bragging rights. The natural stone offers one-of-a-kind aesthetics unrivaled by man-made materials. But it comes at a higher price point and requires proper sealing and care.
Overview of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and color pigments. The mixture is molded into slabs, making quartz more consistent in pattern and color than natural granite.
Here are the pros of quartz countertops:
- Affordable – lower cost than natural stone countertops
- Requires very little maintenance, no sealing needed
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant
- Resists stains, heat, cracks and chips very well
- Easy to clean and keep clean
- Non-porous so liquids don’t seep in
- Wide variety of colors and styles
- Consistent pattern and color throughout the slab
The cons of quartz countertops include:
- Less unique than granite – man-made material
- Can develop a hazy film over time
- Fewer color and finish options than granite
- Lacks the prestige and resale value of granite
- Joints are more visible between slabs
Quartz provides an easy-care alternative to granite but lacks the natural beauty. The engineered stone makes up for its deficiencies through rock-solid durability, stain resistance, and affordability.
Granite vs. Quartz Comparison
| Factor | Granite | Quartz |
| Cost | $$$ More expensive, starting around $50/sq.ft installed | $$ Affordable, starting around $40/sq.ft installed |
| Durability | Extremely durable, can last decades | Extremely durable, can last decades |
| Maintenance | Requires periodic sealing to repel stains | Little maintenance required, no sealing needed |
| Heat Tolerance | Resists heat very well | Resists heat very well |
| Scratch Resistance | Resists scratches well when properly sealed | Very scratch resistant |
| Stain Resistance | Can stain if not properly sealed | Highly stain resistant |
| Appearance | Natural, unique aesthetic with variation | Consistent pattern and color throughout |
| Resale Value | Can increase a home’s resale value | Less impact on home’s resale value |
Which is Better for Your Kitchen: Granite or Quartz?
So which is the better choice for your kitchen countertops – granite or quartz? Here are a few factors to consider when deciding:
Budget – Quartz is more budget-friendly upfront. Granite costs up to 50% more but may recoup some value upon resale.
Maintenance – Quartz requires virtually no maintenance. Granite needs periodic sealing.
Appearance – Granite offers an unparalleled natural look. Quartz provides uniformity.
Durability – Both materials are extremely durable and can last for decades.
Resale Value – Granite countertops may add more value for home resale than quartz.
Here are a few guidelines for choosing between them:
- If you’re on a tight budget, opt for quartz. You’ll get looks and durability for less.
- If you want a low maintenance countertop, go with quartz. It requires minimal upkeep.
- If you prefer the prestige and beauty of natural stone, choose granite. No two slabs are alike.
- If durability is your top concern, both granite and quartz will serve you well.
- If maximizing resale value is important, lean toward granite. It just edges out quartz in added value.
Frequently Asked Questions about Granite and Quartz
Which is more durable and scratch-resistant?
Both granite and quartz offer excellent durability and scratch resistance. However, quartz is slightly more resistant to scratches and chips.
Which material is easier to keep clean?
Quartz is the lower maintenance option. Its non-porous surface makes cleaning simple. Granite requires sealing to prevent staining.
Can you set hot pans on granite or quartz countertops?
Yes, both granite and quartz can withstand heat very well. Using trivets is still recommended to be safe.
Which material costs more, granite or quartz?
Granite countertops are almost always more expensive than quartz. The natural stone commands a premium price over engineered quartz surfaces.
Does quartz stain easily like granite?
No, quartz is highly stain-resistant and does not require sealing like more porous granite. Stains sit on the surface and can be removed.
Which has more color, pattern and finish options?
Granite wins when it comes to variety. Natural granite has more color variation and unique patterning compared to quartz.
When choosing between quartz and granite countertops, there’s no one right answer. Your budget, lifestyle, and design preferences should dictate which material is better for your kitchen. Granite brings natural beauty, while quartz offers an affordable, low-maintenance alternative. Either option provides a durable, stylish countertop that will enhance your home for years to come. Consider the pros and cons of each carefully, and you’re sure to end up with a beautiful new countertop you’ll love.