When considering a countertop for your new kitchen or bathroom, you’ll want to consider both granite and quartz. By comparing the features and benefits of granite and quartz, you’ll be able to select the right material to meet your family’s needs.
Granite countertops are quarried directly from the earth as a single chunk. These counters are all natural stone that have been taken out as large blocks that can be later cut into individual slabs.
Quartz countertops are a man-made product containing 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 to resemble natural stone.
Granite tends to have much more variation in its appearance than quartz. Quartz counter tops are fairly uniform in color and pattern, while granite has random markings that are unique to each piece. Some buyers prefer the natural beauty of granite while others prefer the consistency of quartz. When it comes to counter tops, quartz sections are easier to match up at the seams, while granite can show variation due to its natural design.
Granite is naturally hard and strong, and offers a high level of heat resistance. Because quartz is engineered, it tends to be even harder and more durable than granite, though it offers a similar level of heat resistance. Granite is much more porous than quartz, which can trap bacteria within the surface. Quartz is not porous and is much easier to keep free of germs and bacteria. While both materials are strong, quartz cannot be repaired if chipped or scratched. Damaged granite can often be repaired to minimize the appearance of scratches or damage.
The porous nature of granite means that it is more difficult to keep clean, and is also more vulnerable to stains and spills. It must be sealed upon installation and at regular intervals, often once a year. Quartz is non-porous and requires no sealing. It is naturally resistant to moisture and stains and requires no maintenance.
Both quartz and granite counter tops cost between $50 and $100 per square foot installed. The difference in cost between the two is often a matter of your proximity to natural granite sources or stone yards.