Currently, there are a number of choices for stone countertops, but two materials clearly dominate the market: quartz and granite. Both are natural materials, both are tough and durable, and both have almost the same price.
Choosing one over the other is merely a matter of personal preference, but to serve as a guide, here are the basic differences of the granite and quartz countertops:
While both quartz and granite are tagged as natural stone, one is actually called engineered stone. Quartz is actually not made out entirely of quartz. Most ones that are out in the market range from 90-97% made of crushed quartz. The crushed quartz are processed in factories until you get that wonderful piece of stone on your countertop.
Granite, on the other hand, is literally a stone slab. Huge pieces of granite are taken from quarries and broken and smoothed until the pieces fit the shape of your countertop. Granite countertop installation is pretty much the same as quartz, so the material doesn’t really affect the installation process.
Speaking of installation, as mentioned above, there isn’t really much of a difference between granite and quartz. Any granite or quartz countertop contractor will tell you that both could easily be installed in no time. The difference would only be that quartz would be a heavier material than granite (surprisingly, because stone is the more natural one, but there’s an explanation for that coming in a while), so exercise caution. Also, granite requires an initial seal after installation, for the prevention of bacteria and mold buildup.
One major difference between quartz and granite is their porosity. Granite is all natural stone, so it’s a porous material. This means you have tiny little holes on your countertop, and these holes are where bacteria and mold could build up. For countertop cleaning tips, granite needs to be cleaned and dried ever so often. Moisture should not stay on it, unless you want the durability to quickly deteriorate.
Quartz, on the other hand, because it’s engineered, is a less porous material. This quality adds durability on its part. The risk of molding and bacteria build up is way smaller than that of having granite. If your quartz countertop contractor installs your quartz countertop right, then you don’t have to worry about these problems.
Because granite is 100% made by nature, its appearance is completely unique. You‘ll never know what kind of pattern, swirl or color streak you’ll get so it’s very exciting. You also will never have to worry about your countertop looking exactly the same as your neighbor’s. Granite also offers a seamless look, so it’s beautifully smooth surface is really enchanting.
Quartz, on the other hand, is seamed. They come in tiles and the divisions clearly show up. If you are going with quartz, pick one with a pattern or design so the seams would be invisible. Also, quartz is manufactured, so their designs come in many different colors and patterns. Granite will grant you a fixed design, while quartz offers variety.
Regarding maintenance, quartz trumps granite easily. Although both are very strong and durable and could easily last at least 30 years, granite requires more maintenance to keep up in those 30 years. For starters, as mentioned above, after your granite countertop installation, you will need to seal your countertop. Then, you have to do this every single year after that because you want to maintain that bacteria and mold-free environment. Quartz countertops don’t need to be resealed every year.
Now, for countertop cleaning tips, granite needs to be cleaned and dried more often than quartz. Again, mainly because you don’t want moisture to be trapped in there. Granite has a particular weakness for wine, so make sure you don’t spill any. Wine stains quite badly on granite countertops. Quartz, on the other hand, is quite more stain proof. However, there will be discoloration on quartz if it’s overexposed to sunlight.
On this end, quartz again beats granite countertops. Granite, because it is natural stone, could be very prone to scratches. No matter how many seals and reseals you make, granite will eventually show some wear and tear, like any other stone in nature. On the other end, quartz does not share this quality, and this is probably one of the top reasons most homeowners opt for it.
8. Eco-friendly meter
Last but not least, granite scores higher on the eco-friendly meter. Not just because it’s 100% stone and all-natural, but because the creation of quartz countertops require factory chemicals and some of these factories use materials that are harmful for the environment.