If you’re considering a countertop upgrade you’ll want to consider both granite and quartz. Let’s start comparing them with a brief rundown and then dive into some of the finer points.
Granite countertops are quarried directly from the earth as a single chunk. These counters are an all-natural stone that has been taken out as large blocks that can be later cut into individual slabs.
Quartz countertops contain crushed quartz mixed with resin in a ratio of 93% quartz to 7% resin. They are manufactured in a variety of different patterns and colors.
The benefits and drawbacks of granite:
Here are some of the most important drawbacks and benefits of granite that you need to know:
- The appearance is not uniform. These stones are coming right out of the earth and are not perfectly designed by nature. For some, this will be a benefit while others will consider it to be a drawback.
- Granite counter-tops will need to be sealed before they are used and this will need to be repeated year after year for as long as you own the counter-top. Granite is a porous stone and can only be considered to be stain-resistant if it has been sealed properly. While some people only seal their granite counter-tops every 3 years, it’s best to be safe and to do it yearly. If for any reason the sealant on the counter gets compromised, your counter-top can get stained.
- Counter-topsmade of granite are extremely durable but should not be considered to be indestructible. It is a natural rock and can break or chip if subjected to heavy abuse. For regular day-to-day activities though, and with proper maintenance, this is a countertop that can last for a lifetime and beyond.
- The stones are heavy and require a professional installation crew. Don’t even think of hiring your neighborhood handyman to put in your new counter-top to save a few dollars.
- It’s impossible to hide the seams in a granite counter. Expect the seams to show up once it has been installed.
- The samples that you see can slightly differ from the stone that you receive. Keep in mind that these are naturally occurring slabs so the samples cannot be a true 100% reflection of the stone you are ordering. There may be color variances or occlusions in the stone you receive that gives the slab a slightly different appearance. We highly suggest that you pick out your slabs in person and make sure you understand where seams, cut-outs, etc will be.
The benefits and drawbacks of quartz:
As with granite, quartz countertops also have their own sets of drawbacks and benefits that go along with them.
- Quartz counter-tops are just as strong as granite but have the added benefit of being more flexible. This makes it easier to work with during the installation process.
- Quartz is non-porous and does not require any sealing – ever. These stones offer a virtually no-maintenance material solution for counter-tops.
- These counters are also very durable but they cannot be considered indestructible either. They are stain-resistant as well so dropping a glass of wine on them simply requires a quick cleanup.
- One drawback that you should definitely take note of is these counters can discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight. If you have a part of your counter that receives some of the UV rays from the sun while another part doesn’t, over time you may see a color difference.
- These counter-tops need to be professionally installed and quartz is even heavier than granite.
- You can expect to see seams with a quartz counter but they will be less visible if you choose a slab that’s darker in color. As well, the seams are easier to hide when you choose quartz because the counter has been colored and manufactured. If you buy a quartz counter-top in a solid color, it’s much easier to hide the seam to a certain extent.
Let’s compare the cost:
This can be the biggest consideration when it comes to choosing between a quartz counter-top and one that’s made of granite. If you’re like most people you have a budget that you’re trying to stick to for your counter-top material.
Granite can often end up costing a bit more than quartz since it is a natural rock. This means that the complete slab needs to be excavated from the earth as one chunk of stone. This extraction along with the shipping of the product consumes a lot of energy, time, and ultimately money. When it comes to granite slabs, you’ll need to be willing to pay the price for a thicker piece. The thinner the granite is, the weaker it will be as well.
All in all, you may have to pay slightly more for granite, but the cost difference won’t be all that significant. The important thing is to choose a budget and then do your best to stay within it by choosing the quartz or granite stone that you think will look fantastic displayed in your kitchen.
So which one should you choose?
The one that you find the most aesthetically pleasing fits into your budget and highlight the mood and ambiance you are trying to create in your kitchen. Because when it comes down to it, there really is no wrong choice. There’s just personal preference.