Comment by The AQK Team on May 5, 2016
Quartz vs. Granite: Battle of the Countertops
If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen countertops, then natural stone is definitely the way to go. It’s a beautiful, long-lasting way to add value to your home and kitchen. But often, people find it difficult to choose between quartz and granite countertops. Both are gorgeous, natural stone options, but they have a lot of differences too. Read on to find out more.
Countertop Material Overview
Granite is one of the most popular, well-known materials for countertops. Granite is 100% natural because it is cut straight from the earth or mountains. Once cut out of the earth, the big blocks of granite are sliced and polished, then cut to fit your countertop. There are lots of colors of granite and because it is a totally natural, organic material, no two slabs of granite are exactly alike!
While granite is 100% natural, Quartz is technically only 93% natural. It is an engineered natural stone, made by mixing quartz crystals with resin and pigment for color. Once it is created, quartz is then cut and polished just like granite.
Granite’s Natural Beauty
Because granite is an all-natural material, there are organic irregularities in every piece of stone. This can be both a pro or a con, depending on how you look at it. Each piece of granite countertop is totally unique, but the samples you see won’t be exactly the same as the granite installed for your counters. Another thing to keep in mind with granite is the seams. With granite, they’re impossible to hide. And if you choose dyed granite, watch out for fading and blotchiness over time.
Unlike granite, quartz countertops are uniform and consistent when you choose a color. What you see in the showroom is what you will have installed in your kitchen. This makes them not as unique as granite, but it does ensure that you know exactly what will be installed in your home. And like granite, quartz will also show seams, but if you choose a darker slab they are easier to hide. However, keep in mind that quartz can discolor when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.
Granite Is Tough
Because granite is a rock it is a very sturdy, durable material. Though it can break or chip if abused, this is unlikely with normal wear and tear. As long as you treat it with some care, granite countertops in your kitchen or bathroom will last you a lifetime. And it’s largely heat-proof!
But make sure you are careful not to spill on your granite countertops. If you spill red wine on your kitchen island countertops or hair dye on your bathroom vanity countertop, it can stain. If you have your countertops sealed and clean up the spill quickly, you should be ok, but it is something to keep in mind.
But Quartz Is Tougher!
Quartz is just as strong as—if not stronger than—granite, plus more flexible. This flexibility makes installation easier. Though quartz isn’t indestructible, it’s close enough. And because it is non-porous, you never need to seal it—or worry about staining.
But unlike granite, you do need to be careful with heat and Quartz. Don’t put a hot pan or curling iron down on your quartz countertop. Though granite won’t be affected by this, you could harm Quartz with high temperatures.
Granite Needs Sealing
A very important piece of granite maintenance is making sure that you seal your countertops after their installation, and then regularly after that. Depending on the seal, you may have to seal yearly or every decade, but it is a super important piece of countertop maintenance. Granite is a porous material, so without the sealant, your countertop will soak up any material spilled on it, collecting germs and making stains.
Quartz Is Bacteria-Resistant
Quartz is non-porous, unlike granite, so the maintenance is much easier. You won’t have to pay for sealing and re-sealing, and quartz doesn’t harbor bacteria or soak up stains. All you need to clean Quartz is some soap and water to keep it looking new! The ease of maintenance is definitely one of Quartz’s best factors.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the choice between Quartz and granite really comes down to preference. Quartz looks more uniform while granite is unique and has more movement. Quartz is hygienic and easy to maintain, but granite has become a very sought-after material in home-buying. The bottom line is, both types of countertop will add immense value to your home’s value and beauty, so you really can’t go wrong.
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