When choosing a countertop material for your kitchen or bathroom, durability is often a top concern. Two of the most popular options, quartz and granite, both offer excellent durability, but which one is ultimately more durable? There are several factors to consider when comparing the durability of quartz and granite.
In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the durability of quartz and granite countertops by looking at:
- Scratch resistance
- Stain resistance
- Heat resistance
- Impact resistance
- Maintenance requirements
- Appearance over time
- Warranty coverage
By evaluating all of these factors, you can determine which material – quartz or granite – will stand up best to the demands of your home and lifestyle. Read on for an in-depth look at the durability debate between these two top contenders for countertops.
Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz mixed with resin and pigments. This combination results in an incredibly hard surface that resists scratches well. Quartz rates around 7-8 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means it can withstand knives and most abrasions with ease.
Granite is a completely natural stone that ranks from 6-8 on the Mohs scale, so some granite can be slightly softer and more prone to scratches than quartz. Over time, small nicks and scratches in the surface can accumulate.
Winner: Quartz is generally a bit more scratch resistant due to its consistent hardness throughout. So for countertops that need to stand up to heavy daily use without showing wear and tear, quartz may be the better choice.
Quartz countertops are non-porous, so liquids and stains have difficulty penetrating the surface. Even oil, wine, and acidic substances that can stain natural stone can often be wiped away without issue. However, some darker quartz colors may be more prone to permanent staining.
Granite is quite stain-resistant as well, but since it is a natural stone it can be somewhat porous. Liquids may soak in and cause discoloration if spills are not cleaned up promptly. Annual sealing is recommended to help granite better resist stains.
Winner: Quartz is generally the winner in terms of stain resistance. Its non-porous quality means stains have little chance to soak in and cause permanent marks. However, prompt cleanup of any spill is still important for both materials.
Quartz can withstand moderate heat, but sudden temperature changes or exposure to very high heat can damage the solid surface and resin binding agents. Quartz manufacturers recommend using trivets under hot pans and keeping heat limited to about 150°F.
Granite is highly heat resistant due to its natural composition. Hot pans, boiling water, and baking at high temperatures are not a problem. Granite can easily handle heat up to 900°F without issue.
Winner: Granite is the clear winner when it comes to heat tolerance, thanks to its stone composition and high heat resistance. Those who frequently bake or cook at very high temperatures may want to opt for granite.
Quartz countertops are very resilient against impacts, like objects being set down heavily. The quartz and resins create a surface that is highly shock-absorbent so it can stand up well to regular use without cracking or chipping.
Granite does not hold up quite as well against impacts because it is brittle as a natural stone. Dropped objects and heavy impacts can lead to cracks, chips, or outright breaking if it is struck just right.
Winner: Quartz takes the lead for impact resistance due to its shock-absorbing qualities. While granite is still very durable, quartz will be much more likely to come away unscathed from impacts during everyday use.
Quartz requires very minimal maintenance to keep it looking like new. Simple cleaning with soap and water keeps the surface fresh. No sealing or polishing is required.
Granite needs to be sealed every 1-2 years to prevent stains from setting in the stone’s pores. It also may need occasional polishing to maintain its glossy finish as the surface slowly wears down over many years. More routine cleaning is required vs. quartz.
Winner: Quartz wins for easier maintenance. Granite requires more frequent sealing and polishing to stay looking its best, while quartz simply needs basic cleaning.
Appearance Over Time
Quartz maintains its flawless, uniform appearance for many years of use because the quartz and resin materials do not change or erode over time. The color and glossy surface look like new for over a decade with proper cleaning.
Granite develops a natural patina as it ages, slowly showing wear through small scratches and dulling. While many appreciate this patina and “living” quality of natural stone, granite will not keep its flawless polished look as long as quartz.
Winner: Quartz better retains its like-new appearance and color with minimal signs of aging. Granite develops a worn, patinaed look that some love but can make the stone appear older.
- Quartz countertops often come with a 10-15 year warranty from manufacturers that covers defects, defects in workmanship, and performance of the material. Coverage for stains or damage is limited, but repairs needed for manufacturing flaws are covered.
- Granite has more limited warranties, if any. Typical coverage may be 1-2 years for material defects only. Damage from everyday use would not be covered. Most granite installers offer no warranties at all beyond their own workmanship.
Winner: Quartz offers longer and more comprehensive warranties from manufacturers to cover issues down the line. Better warranty coverage provides more peace of mind.
Verdict: Which is Ultimately More Durable?
When all these factors are taken into account, quartz emerges as the countertop material that offers better durability overall. Key advantages of quartz include:
- Better scratch resistance
- Less staining and porosity
- More resilience against impacts
- Superior heat tolerance
- Easier maintenance needs
- Minimal signs of wear over time
- Longer warranties for defects
However, granite does have the upper hand when it comes to heat resistance. For homeowners who frequently expose countertops to very high direct heat from pots/pans, granite may be the wiser option.
Otherwise, quartz proves itself to be exceptionally durable under demanding daily use. Its consistent performance across so many categories makes it a top choice for long-lasting countertops that stay looking new for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz and Granite Durability
Still trying to decide between quartz and granite? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about each material’s durability:
Is quartz more durable than granite in kitchens?
Yes, quartz generally outperforms granite in most durability categories and is the more durable choice for kitchen countertops. Its superior scratch, stain, and impact resistance means it can handle heavy daily use better.
Is quartz or granite better for bathroom countertops?
Quartz is the more durable vanity top option for bathrooms as well, offering better resistance to water, impacts from dropped bottles, and typical wear and tear. Its non-porous surface also provides excellent stain resistance.
Which material is less likely to chip – quartz or granite?
Quartz is much less prone to chipping or cracking than natural granite. Its resin binding makes it very impact absorbent and shock-resistant so chips rarely occur.
Can very hot pots and pans damage quartz?
Exposing quartz to sudden high heat could potentially damage the solid surface over time. Granite is better able to withstand direct high heat exposure from pots/pans. Always use trivets with quartz.
Does quartz stain more easily than granite?
No, quartz is actually less prone to significant staining because liquids cannot easily soak into the non-porous material like they can with natural granite. However, dark quartz colors may show some permanent staining if not cleaned promptly.
Does quartz need to be sealed like granite?
Quartz never needs sealing due its non-porous nature. Granite requires sealing every 1-2 years to prevent stains from penetrating the stone’s pores and causing discoloration.
When selecting a durable countertop, both quartz and granite have merits. But quartz ultimately prevails as the more indestructible choice in nearly all categories. Its consistent scratch, stain, impact and heat resistance makes it exceptionally durable for demanding daily use. With proper care, quartz countertops maintain their flawless beauty for over a decade. For homeowners who want durable, low-maintenance countertops that can handle years of wear without showing signs of damage, quartz is the top choice.