Few design elements spark such heated debates and divide homeowners as granite and quartz. You may hear potential buyers/renters wax poetic about their favorite countertop material and strongly shy away from others. But is one really better than the other or is it just a matter of aesthetics?
To help break down the granite vs. quartz dilemma, we’ve come up with some categories to help show the differences between the two. At the end of this article, you can leave a message in the comment area to choose the one you like. Before we dive into all of this, let’s find out what exactly are granite and quartz? What’s the difference between the two?
If you are interested in the comparison of other stone materials, please refer to our previous articles:
Granite is an igneous rock that forms deep in the earth. It is made from a variety of minerals, including feldspar, plagioclase, quartz, and more. Granite remains one of the oldest and most durable natural materials in existence. Granite is a phenotypic rock, which means it contains crystals and chunks of minerals large enough to be discerned with the naked eye. When you look at a piece of granite, you see a speckled pattern of various fragments that come together to form the stone.
Granite forms when magma below the surface crystallizes, solidifies into a crystalline form, absorbing everything in the process. This explains why granite comes in different colors and why it has different patterns.
Some granites have a more textured appearance, similar to marble, but if you look closely, the color patches tend to be more grainy and fuzzy rather than distinct streaks. Unlike marble, granite is completely opaque, so you can only see the outermost layers of the surface.
Also, testing the hardness of granite by cutting it with a knife is another way to determine if what you are looking at is granite or marble. However, it takes a sharper eye to tell the difference between granite and quartz, as neither will scratch.
Granite comes in a variety of shades such as blue-gray, peach, gold, brown, white, and more. Countertops made of granite are among the strongest and most beautiful surfaces on the planet. Choose from an endless rainbow of colors including tan, gray, gold, brown, peach, blue, white and more.
Granite countertops are one of the most beautiful and tough surfaces you can find. When it comes to this stunning natural stone, you’ll have a seemingly endless variety of colors and styles to choose from.
Because granite contains many different minerals such as feldspar, quartz, and mica, it can come in a variety of colors, but the most common are white, gray, red, and brown.
1. Durable: Granite is a tough material that can withstand accidental cuts, cuts and impacts.
2. Heat Resistant: Granite is highly heat resistant, which means you can place hot pans or trays on its surface without permanent damage.
3. Unique: No two pieces of granite are exactly alike, which means your kitchen granite slab will be truly unique. It can be the perfect choice for gorgeous and low-maintenance countertops, although it sometimes needs a sealer to ensure its shine.
1. Not invulnerable: Just because a granite countertop is strong doesn’t mean it won’t chip or crack. Plus, granite absorbs liquids, which means it can easily stain if not sealed. Needing to apply sealer to countertops about once a year is not a major inconvenience.
2. Maintenance Needed: Your granite countertops need to be resealed periodically to prevent stains and other forms of damage.
3. Weight: Like other stone countertops, granite slabs are very heavy. If your cabinet cannot support its weight, it may need to be replaced or reinforced prior to installation.
When stone countertops first became popular, granite was the obvious choice for many homeowners. In recent years, however, an alternative—quartz countertops—has really taken off. Unlike granite, which is cut from natural stone and then sealed, quartz is real stone that has been worked and sealed into a protective resin. As a result, quartz countertops can be like almost anything: They can take on patterns, colors, and looks that natural stone doesn’t.
Marble and granite are rocks, while quartz is a mineral made of silica; it is also the most prevalent mineral found in the Earth’s crust. Although pure quartz is transparent, impurities present in it give it a variety of beautiful colors. Some of the highest quality quartz is used in jewelry and even sculpture. The best part: there’s no sealing required, and it’s scratch, etch, and heat resistant.
While quartz occurs naturally, quartz countertops are man-made. To create quartz countertops, manufacturers must use a mixture of ground quartz stone (about 90%) and resins and polymers (about 10%). Many “quartz countertops” can be a mix of ground granite, marble, and other natural stones. These are more accurately called artificial stones.
Unlike marble and granite, which can be mined, polished and sold, quartz countertops must be manufactured. The reason is that about 90% of the quartz used for countertops is natural quartz stone that is ground and mixed with about 10% resin. Because these countertops are manufactured, the look can be customized to mimic marble, granite, or any other color.
Although quartz countertops are engineered, their surface is very attractive. Quartz is real stone that has been worked and sealed into a protective resin. As a result, quartz countertops can be like almost anything: They can take on patterns, colors, and looks that natural stone doesn’t. Because quartz countertops are manufactured, they come in many different styles, including those that replicate natural stones like granite and marble. Another benefit of these surface designs is that they are non-porous, which sets them apart from granite and marble. This means that quartz countertops do not require the same sealing as granite and marble countertops.
Quartz countertops seem to come in a variety of colors and patterns. To tell if you’re looking at real stone or engineered countertops, look closely at the pattern on the counter. Every granite or marble slab is unique. In the case of natural stone, no two areas of the stone will look identical. Because quartz slabs are manufactured, they tend to be fairly uniform in color and consistency, with little variation in pattern and texture. However, as new ways of engineering quartz plates emerge, the possibilities of things to do with this material are always increasing, so it’s hard to be sure.
Homeowners often turn to quartz as an alternative not only to granite and marble, but also to materials like solid surfaces. While quartz is comparable to granite and marble, it is of better quality than solid surface countertops. The table below shows the advantages and disadvantages of quartz.
1. Variety: Quartz countertops come in more color and design variations than granite or marble, which means they can go with more kitchen styles.
2. Maintenance Free: Unlike granite, quartz countertops are permanently resin-sealed and do not require periodic resealing.
3. Durable: Quartz, while not invulnerable, can withstand everyday wear and tear and is stain-resistant.
4. Solid: Quartz is inherently non-porous.
5.Flexibility: Quartz also has a degree of flexibility, which increases its resistance to chipping, breaking, or other damage.
1. Not heat resistant: Unlike granite countertops, quartz countertops cannot withstand high heat and may be damaged or discolored by the heat. You’ll want to keep using hot pads and trivets when cooking or baking.
2. Manufacture: Granite and marble slabs convey the beauty of natural stone, while quartz countertops have a manufactured “finished” look. This will appeal to some, but make sure you’re comfortable with it before buying.
Because it is formed by the cooling and solidification of molten material, granite comes in many different colors and patterns. Whether you’re looking for a subtle addition to your kitchen, or a standout slab with a unique minerality, there are nearly limitless options to choose from, and no two granite countertops are alike.
One of the main reasons quartz stone is so popular is its appearance. Quartz has the appearance of stone while also allowing homeowners to customize the design. While granite offers a variety of options when it comes to looks, you may have to hunt down the right pieces to match your color scheme. With Quartz, the selection process is much easier.
Although both materials are very durable, quartz has distinct advantages over granite. However, quartz countertops have a downside when it comes to heat resistance. Let’s analyze the maintenance and durability issues of each material in detail.
– Sealing: Granite is a relatively porous stone with many pores, so it should be sealed during installation. It also needs to be sealed regularly on an ongoing basis. Granite’s natural imperfections make it more prone to cracking. The resin used in quartz fabrication means it doesn’t need to be sealed and is less prone to staining than granite. The uniformity of the quartz material also means it is less prone to cracking.
– Cracking: Granite slabs can have inherent flaws and are prone to cracking. The quartz material is homogeneous throughout, which means the material rarely cracks.
– Staining: The resin in quartz countertops makes them more resistant to staining than granite.
– Antimicrobial: Quartz is also less prone to bacteria growth, again thanks to the resin, which makes the surface less porous than granite.
– Heat resistance: While both materials are considered heat resistant, granite can withstand much higher temperatures than quartz. Granite is one of the most heat-resistant materials available for countertops. You can place hot pots or pans directly on top of granite, the material is not immediately affected like quartz, which can get scorched, this also applies to bathrooms with hot hairdressing appliances.
If you’re on a tight budget, neither option, granite and quartz, may be right for you. After all, these are high-quality options composed of mostly natural rock that will give your home an elegant, long-lasting look.
In the granite world, unique colors can also drive up prices, as well as the need for larger slabs. Small pieces and tiles will be cheaper.
The price of granite is about US$200~600 per square meter (plus consumption tax). Granite prices range from $40 to $175 per square foot, including installation costs, with price differences often related to color and general aesthetic.
Quartz will often be slightly less expensive than granite, especially as it becomes more popular and thus more widely available. However, as you might expect, unique designer styles and colors will cost more.
Generally speaking, the price of quartz stone is about 300~400 US dollars per square meter (plus consumption tax). Quartz stone typically costs $50 to $140 per square foot, including installation. Both surfaces are very heavy and require professional installation.
There may be other changes in the price of these two products, depending on options such as style and edge treatment selected. Don’t forget about the installation, it may be affected by factors such as where you live.
When choosing between granite and quartz, it is also important to consider the long-term cost of granite, which requires professional resealing on a regular basis. Quartz costs next to nothing after installation.
With an average installed price of $130 per square foot, granite countertops are considered a high-end luxury. Prices vary widely and are affected by many factors which can fluctuate without much notice. The difficulty of quarrying, transportation costs from the quarry to you, availability, demand and even the political environment all determine pricing. Prices can range from $80 to $180 per foot at any given time.
The price of quartz countertops can seriously add to the cost of a kitchen remodel. Installation costs are about $80 per square foot, and can average up to $110 per square foot. Well-designed custom high-end roof installations can run as high as $150 per square foot.
Someone interested in buying your home will be very impressed with granite or quartz. They are a high-end product superior to tile or laminate countertops.
Granite may have an advantage over quartz as it is a 100% natural stone and has been on the market longer with its strong reputation.
The resale value of granite countertops is currently estimated to be approximately 25% of the retail price. That is, the dollar value of the countertop itself, excluding installation costs. That’s still a decent percentage for resale value, but it won’t make you rich.
In terms of resale value, quartz is currently at a disadvantage. However, this sentiment is changing. The convenience of maintenance-free materials and increasing quality and available styles are closing the already small resale value gap between the two.
Granite is an all-natural solid stone, while quartz is an engineered stone consisting of crushed quartz and other stone by-products.
Both quartz and granite are easy to maintain, requiring only mild dish soap and water to clean. Granite is porous and requires a sealer to prevent stains during installation. This sealant should be repeated every one to three years. Quartz does not require a sealant.
Absolutely! Both types of countertops will add value to your home and increase resale value when your home is sold.
The decision between granite and quartz is not an easy one. This will depend on several factors, as well as personal preference for appearance and maintenance. Both are premium building products that add value to any space where they are installed.
For those who prefer the look and concept of an all-natural material, granite may be more attractive. Quartz has a more consistent appearance and is easier to maintain. Ultimately, any one of these heavyweight contenders could be a winning choice in your home. If you have any questions and ideas, please feel free to contact us!