Choosing Granite or Quartz for the Countertops in Your Home
Today’s countertops are brilliantly designed with style and function in mind. Countertops can be made of a multitude of different materials, but Granite and Quartz tend to be the most popular. When choosing a countertop for your home, it is important to keep some things in mind. First, what room is the countertop going in? Is it going to be the centerpiece of the room, or will it have more of a utility role and blend into the background? Will there be accenting backsplash tile? What is the color of the walls in the room? Countertops can be placed in more areas than just the kitchen and bath, but those are the most common rooms that they are used in.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both granite and quartz. Each slab of granite is 100% unique, like a fingerprint or a snowflake, so there are no 2 slabs that are identical. This is crucial when selecting the slab that will be used in your home. If the provider of the slab you are looking at offers you the ability to see the slab in person, that is highly recommended. Doing this allows you the opportunity to select the exact portion of the slab for your desired installation. Natural stone will always have fissures, pits, and markings that are part of the characteristic of the stone. Keep in mind that these are not defects, they are naturally created over time and add uniqueness to your space.
Granite is heat and scratch resistant, but not “scratch proof”, and all granite must be sealed at least once per year. However, once sealed, granite is tremendously easy to clean with warm water and a mild detergent. Granite is also sanitary, with no buildup of bacterial contamination, as long as the surface is sealed and cleaned regularly. This is an added benefit for our new germ-conscious world!
Sounds great so far! Are there any negatives to using granite?
While granite countertops can literally last forever, this can also be a downside if you ever want to change the color or look of the top. Removal and replacement is the only way, and this is no easy feat! Once the heavy slab of granite is glued onto the cabinets, it is very difficult to remove, and may even damage the cabinets when trying to remove it. Since granite slabs are unique with no duplication, they do not satisfy a uniform look and can be cracked and broken when contacted by hard, sharp objects.
Okay, but what about Quartz?
While granite is 100% natural, quartz is comprised of 93% natural stone and 7% resin. The patterns tend to be more consistent than granite, but variations are still to be expected. Quartz is completely non-porous (so no staining!) and never has to be sealed. Quartz is supremely durable! In almost every case, it will not crack, scratch, or chip through normal, everyday use. Because no sealing is required, and unlike granite, quartz is naturally sanitary. There are far more color and finish options available in quartz, because of man’s inclusion in the process.
There must be some negatives of quartz, though, right?
We just got done saying how amazingly durable quartz is, however, allowing a hot pot to contact the surface directly, for an extended period of time, can cloud the resin (this is not repairable and must be replaced). The price is also a factor. Quartz consistently tends to be the highest priced of all countertop materials and DIY installation is not necessarily recommended. Quartz is also not recommended for outdoor use, because with too much sun the color can fade.