Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials used in kitchens and bathrooms today. They are both natural stones that are highly durable, scratch-resistant, and add beauty and value to a home. However, potential homeowners often debate which material is less prone to scratching – quartz or granite. Let’s explore the scratch-resistance qualities of both countertops to determine which is easier to scratch.
Durability and Scratch Resistance of Granite Countertops
Granite is an igneous rock that forms deep within the earth’s crust under intense heat and pressure. It is composed primarily of quartz and feldspar minerals, which give it incredible strength and durability. Here are some key facts about granite’s scratch resistance:
- Granite is one of the hardest natural stones available, rating 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. This high hardness makes it very scratch-resistant in general.
- The mineral composition gives granite excellent abrasion resistance. It does not easily scratch from knives or pots and pans.
- Granite countertops can last 50 years or more with proper care and maintenance. The hard surface resists scratches well over time.
- Minor superficial scratches can occur, but they tend to blend with the natural patterns in the stone.
- Deeper scratches and chips are possible but unlikely with normal kitchen use. Extreme force is required to cause significant damage.
- Polished granite finishes better resist scratches compared to honed or leathered finishes.
- Annual re-sealing helps protect the stone from etching that can make it more susceptible to scratching.
Overall, granite is a highly scratch-resistant material due to its dense crystalline structure. Minor surface scratches may occur, but significant scratches are unlikely with careful use.
Scratch Resistance of Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from crushed quartz particles combined with resin and pigments. The resin binds the material into a hard, non-porous surface. Here are some key facts about quartz’s scratch resistance:
- Quartz rates around 7 on the Mohs scale, making it very hard and scratch-resistant like granite.
- The resin coating creates an impervious surface that resists scratches from sharp objects.
- Quartz is harder than many materials in the kitchen like metal pots and utensils that can potentially scratch granite.
- The lack of pores in quartz makes it resistant to etching that can increase susceptibility to scratching over time.
- Minor scuffs and scratches may occur, but the color and pattern consistency hides marks well.
- Cuts and nicks from extreme force are unlikely, though still possible on quartz surfaces.
- As an engineered material, quartz can be designed to maximize scratch resistance through the resin and curing processes.
- Quartz requires less frequent re-sealing than granite, maintaining scratch protection longer.
Overall, quartz rates similarly to granite for hardness and scratch resistance. The resin binder and lack of pores provide an added level of durability and abrasion resistance.
Which is Easier to Scratch?
When it comes to scratch resistance between quartz and granite, neither material has a clear advantage. Both stones are among the hardest countertop materials available. Here are some key comparisons:
- Granite and quartz have nearly equal hardness ratings on the Mohs scale. Both resist cuts, nicks, and scratches from normal kitchen use.
- Quartz is slightly more resistant to abrasions from pots, pans, and utensils due to its non-porous resin layer.
- Polished granite finishes may show superficial scratches sooner than aquartz surface. Honed granite is more susceptible to marking.
- Quartz requires less frequent sealing than granite to maintain scratch protection. Unsealed granite is more prone to etching.
- Neither material will be “scratch-proof”, but significant damage takes considerable force. Expect minor scuffs and scratches over time.
- Darker colors and busier patterns hide scratches better for both countertops.
The bottom line – Quartz and granite have near equal scratch resistance due to their hardness. Quartz may have an advantage for abrasion resistance from daily use. Ultimately minor scratches will occur on both, but significant damage is avoidable with proper care. Consult an installer to pick the right color and finish. Both countertops provide excellent durability.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scratching Quartz and Granite
How do I prevent scratches on my quartz or granite countertop?
Use cutting boards, trivets, and hot pads to protect the surface. Immediately clean spills, especially acidic substances like lemon juice. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads. Apply sealants regularly.
Can quartz or granite be refinished if scratched?
Light scratches can be buffed and re-polished by a professional for both materials. Deeper scratches may require refinishing the section or replacing the slab.
Does routine cleaning scratch quartz or granite?
Routine cleaning with mild soap and water will not scratch either surface. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive pads that can damage the finish.
Do quartz or granite scratch as easily as other countertops?
No, both materials are significantly harder and more scratch resistant than laminate, solid surface, tile and wood countertops. Only diamonds and sapphires are harder.
How deep can an object scratch into quartz or granite?
Minor scratches only cut into the surface finish, not the material underneath. Deep scratches penetrating the stone require extreme pressure and force.
Should I use a cutting board on quartz or granite?
Yes, use a cutting board for food prep and hot pads for cookware. This protects from both scratches and staining. It also preserves the sharpness of knives.
How can I remove a deep scratch from my quartz or granite?
Repair options include polishing, epoxy fillers or resurfacing for minor scratches. Large gashes may require replacing that section of the slab. Consult a countertop professional.
In conclusion, both granite and quartz offer excellent scratch resistance and durability for kitchen countertops. The quartz resin may give it a slight advantage against daily abrasions, but both materials resist significant scratches equally. With reasonable care and maintenance, either natural stone surface can stay beautiful for decades. Consider the patterns available in each when choosing between quartz versus granite based on scratch resistance needs.