When helping clients select finishes for their new home, this question ALWAYS comes up…Which is better quartz or granite countertops? Both granite and quartz are excellent options for any kitchen or bathroom but they both have their drawbacks. Here is a guide to help you pick the solid surface countertop that is right for you.
First let’s talk about the material itself…
Quartz is an engineered stone that is created from crushed quartz/granite crystals combined with resin and other synthetic materials. The color and pattern of a quartz countertop is man-made and designed. Quartz countertops resemble natural stone, most commonly a marble, but the pattern and hues are much more uniform.
Granite is a very hard stone and 100 percent natural. It’s mined from quarries all around the world, cut down to a manageable size, and then polished to a fine finish. Granite comes in many different colors and patterns due to the way it’s formed (cooling and solidifying of molten materials). Whether you’re looking for a subtle complement to your kitchen or a standout slab with unique mineral inclusions, there is an almost limitless selection to choose from and no two granite countertops are the same.
Pros and Cons of Quartz:
- Quartz countertops are just as strong as granite but have the added benefit of being more flexible making them less likely to chip or crack.
- Quartz is non-porous and does not require any sealing – ever. These stones offer a virtually maintenance free work surface.
- While very durable they cannot be considered indestructible. They are stain-resistant so dropping a glass of wine on them simply requires a quick cleanup.
- One drawback that you should definitely take note of is quartz can discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight. If part of your counter receives strong UV rays from the sun while another part doesn’t, over time you may see a color difference.
- Quartz can be damaged by excessive heat, so use heating pads at all times.
Pros and Cons of Granite:
- Granite countertops will need to be sealed. The type of sealer used will depend on how often you need to seal
- Granite is extremely durable but should not be considered indestructible. It is a natural rock and can break or chip if abused, but if they aren’t abused and are properly maintained they’ll last a lifetime.
- Granite is a durable material that’s resistant to heat.
- It’s impossible to completely hide the seams in a granite counter, but a good fabricator will make them very hard to spot. Buffalo Granite & Marble has some great pics on their social media.
- The samples that you see in the selection center can slightly differ from the stone that you receive, but by picking a full slab from a stone yard you can avoid any surprises. I strongly suggest viewing your slabs prior to fabrication.
When it comes to the final decision, there really is no wrong choice, just personal preference. My preference is quartz, but if you choose granite, you have also chosen a fantastic countertop.