Not all stone is created equal, especially when it comes to choosing a material for your countertops. Granite and quartz are both popular options, but is one actually any better than the other?
The visual differences between granite and quartz mainly come down to personal taste. Granite is a natural stone with natural variations while you’ll get more consistency and color options with quartz. Still confused? We’ll break down each option below.
Granite counters are mined from pure stone, which is sawed into slabs and then polished for installation. This natural stone is very hard—so it lasts forever—and it comes in a variety of unique colors and patterns. Granite is available in the following color categories: beige, black, blue, brown, burgundy, gray, green, red, yellow, and white. Color, depending on its rarity, and the slab’s width and thickness, can all affect its price. Since this stone is 100% natural, your granite countertop will be unlike any other in appearance. It’s also the most durable natural countertop material on the market.
Since granite is 100% authentic stone, it has lower carbon emissions. It’s also heat resistant, and generally can withstand the heat of your pots and pans without sustaining damage. Granite kitchen countertops are also very popular, so they have a high resale value.
Countertops made from granite do require some maintenance and upkeep, and they should be cleaned daily with soap and water or a mild cleaner. Liquids that don’t evaporate, such as oils, can stain granite if left to soak into the stone, so you may want to consider resealing your granite countertops once a year. A further note about heat resistance: while granite itself is very resistant to heat, its sealant is not. Repeated exposure to very hot pans may cause damage, so consider using a hot pad to be safe.
Quartz is an eco-friendly blend of crushed glass, quartz, and polymer resins. Since quartz is engineered, it’s harder and even more durable than granite. It’s also easier to customize quartz because its color can be altered to match your design scheme.
Quartz is harder than granite and more resistant to damage. It’s also non-porous, which makes it more resistant to damage from spills. Aside from regular cleaning, quartz countertops are virtually maintenance-free.
Quartz is heat resistant, but resins are not. Consider it a no-no to set a pan straight from the oven onto your quartz countertops, as this may cause damage. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may also damage quartz. Damaged quartz is somewhat difficult to repair and this should be done by a professional.
To help you narrow down color and style choices, we offer samples of all of our countertop materials at Von Tobel. We can even help you coordinate with other design elements, such as cabinets and backsplashes. If you have any more questions about choosing quartz or granite countertops, stop in to a Von Tobel showroom for a free consultation with one of our designers.
Check out our downloadable Countertop Comparison here. When you’re ready to start thinking about upgrading your entire kitchen, make sure to check out our post on 6 steps to take while planning.