Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing kitchen, you will find that there are numerous options and decisions to make. One of the biggest kitchen decisions is what type of material to use as your countertop. Both granite countertops and quartz countertops have a lot to offer, and these materials are similar in a variety of ways. They do, however, differ in some important aspects. Understanding the pros and cons of both type of stone countertop material will help with the decision process.
Granite Vs. Quartz
The most significant difference between granite and quartz is the way in which they are created. Granite is a natural stone, mined from the ground. Once pulled from the earth, the rock is cut into large tablets. It is then sliced and polished to form granite slabs. Quartz countertops are a manufactured material. They are made by mixing crushed quartz pieces with resin and colored pigments. This mixture, which is about 93% quartz, is formed into what we know as quartz countertops.
Both granite and quartz countertops are wildly popular because of their stunning beauty. They come in a wide variety of colors and designs. Quartz countertops tend to be more consistent in color and pattern because they are man-made. In general, granite is less consistent in color and pattern. In a large kitchen with an expansive countertop requiring more than one slab, there may be slight variations in the color and pattern of the slabs. It is personal preference as to whether the consumer likes these naturally occurring inconsistencies or not. The natural colors — typically tans, browns, grays, greens, blues, pinks, blacks, and whites – tend to be slightly different from slab to slab.
While it is extremely hard and durable, granite is naturally porous and will absorb liquids like wine, grease, fruit juice, tomato sauce, and water. The natural stone needs to be periodically sealed with a top-quality resin sealer to keep it free of stains, blemishes, and damage. Quartz, because it is partially comprised of resin, needs less upkeep and maintenance.
For outdoor use, be advised that granite holds up better than quartz. The resin and pigmentation in the quartz countertop can fade or discolor from prolonged exposure to the sun.
The question of which material is more expensive is really a difficult one to answer. The cost of granite can vary greatly compared to the man-made quartz counters, which is more consistent in price. Both materials start at a nearly identical low-range, but the cost of exotic granite can be more. As for installation costs, countertop contractors charge similar rates for both materials.
The ultimate decision between quartz and granite comes down to personal preference, taste, and lifestyle. Homeowners should weigh the pros and cons of both materials before making their final choice. Whichever one is chosen, you can be assured of years of beauty and durability from your stone countertops.
Sims-Lohman is the regions largest supplier of cabinets and fabricator of granite. To find a location nearest you, please click here.