Quartz vs Granite Countertops: Which is the Better Option?
Remodeling your kitchen is no easy task, especially when you’re trying to decide on the finishing touches like what kind of countertops to install. In this guide, we are going to compare quartz vs granite countertops so you can see how these two popular options compare against each other.
No one would claim that a kitchen remodel is fun, but picking out new countertops comes pretty close.
With new offerings in counters, you can find almost any look you’re searching for, in any color or material.
Two of the most popular right now? Granite and quartz. Both can give you that high-end, glossy countertop look, but is one better than the other? Well, it depends.
A lot of factors go into choosing that perfect countertop, and your lifestyle and habits are going to inform which material is better for your kitchen.
Let’s break down quartz vs granite countertops to get the very best for your kitchen.
Quartz vs Granite Countertops: What’s the Difference
Before we jump into specifics, let’s look at the differences between these two materials.
Quartz and granite are both natural materials, and fairly abundant on the earth.
The major difference here is in how the mineral gets from its raw form to your counters.
Granite is mined in single slabs. Once it’s been extracted from the earth, it just needs to be cut to the size you want and placed. There’s not much of an extra process to get it ready to be a countertop.
Quartz, on the other hand, can’t be mined that way. Instead, quartz is extracted from the soil, then ground into small particles and bound together with a strong resin and colorant to give it those granite-like patterns.
Now let’s talk specifics.
While quartz is a naturally-occurring mineral (one of the most abundant on the earth, in fact), countertops made with it are considered synthetic.
Why? It all comes down to process.
As we mentioned, quartz can’t be mined as a slab, so the mineral has to be ground down and shaped into a slab by mixing it with resin. So quartz slabs are technically man-made.
However, in spite of this, it’s actually a very sustainable option. Mining quartz doesn’t need to be a large-scale operation. Also, it can often be produced from post-consumer products and is unlikely to need replacing, ever.
What about customizability?
Because quartz counters are man-made, almost any color or pattern can be added to the mixture, creating some truly spectacular results. If you want lime green countertops, quartz may be a good option.
So, sustainable and customizable. What about durability?
Quartz is built to last. Because the ground quartz is mixed with resin, the slab is already sealed against staining agents and other impurities. This means that not only will quartz counters not stain, but they are unlikely to crack since the resin renders them a non-porous surface.
In addition, if your manufacturer goes the extra mile, quartz can be treated so that it is anti-bacterial as well.
The one downside here is the price. Like any building material, quartz can vary in price fairly drastically. Since it is man-made, the price is set by the manufacturer, but overall, it does tend to be a bit more expensive than its granite counterpart.
Want more info on quartz? Read more now.
When you think of a fancy kitchen with stunning counters, chances are, you’re thinking of granite.
Granite is a natural stone and is mined in sheets. So the stone that forms your counters looks exactly as it did coming out of the ground (albeit with a bit of polishing).
This means that you’ll never run across another kitchen with identical countertops to yours. The granite on your counters is 100% unique; slabs from the same mine or even the same vein won’t look exactly the same.
Granite is strong, and if sealed correctly, won’t absorb liquids or warp over time. It’s also resistant to heat and the elements. It is, after all, a rock. So if your desire is an outdoor kitchen in a hurricane-prone swamp (looking at you, Floridians), granite has you covered.
It can also be surprisingly cost-effective, with installation running between $1K and $4K.
Now, what about a downside? Nothing is perfect, after all, not even stunning granite countertops.
First of all, granite is, by nature, a porous material. If it’s sealed properly, this isn’t a problem, but it will need to be resealed yearly, or the protective effects will wear off and you’ll end up with ruined counters.
Also, because granite IS so hard and durable, it has the potential to dull your knife blades. It’s never a good idea to cut directly on any countertop, but a good cutting board is a MUST on granite.
If you’re looking for a highly customizable material, granite may not be for you. Because it goes on your counters straight from the mine and isn’t a composite like quartz, there just aren’t as many color options as there are with a synthetic material. However, the distinctive style of granite is a draw for many, so chances are, if you’re looking for non-natural colors or patterns, you aren’t looking for granite anyway.
Granite also tends to be a high-maintenance material. Unlike quartz, which requires nothing more than the occasional wipe-down, granite should be cleaned daily with either granite cleaner or a mild soap.
Which is Better?
The real answer here is that neither is really better.
When it comes to quartz vs granite countertops, it comes down to your needs, your kitchen habits, and your own personal style.
A busy professional with little time to maintain their counters and a bold modern style might opt for low-maintenance, high-style quartz. A married couple with one member of the union home (or the means to hire a cleaning service) full time and more classic tastes might lean toward granite.
Both are great building materials with a long lifespan and can offer your kitchen style and value.
For more on transforming your house into the home of your dreams, check out our other lifestyle posts.