Kitchen and Dining

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

Granite and quartz are both stone materials used for countertop surfaces. Other people don’t know the difference between the two, but both are entirely different materials. Most people are more familiar with granite because it’s the more popular material in the world of countertops. But quartz is quickly becoming a known as well, now with more homeowners getting familiar with this option.

If you’re contemplating about between granite and quartz and which of these to use for your kitchen countertop, read along:

What is the main difference between granite and quartz countertops?

Granite is a stone that is that is made of big chunks of rocks quarried naturally from the earth. After leaving the quarry, granite is cut, shaped and polished into that familiar countertop shape and form. It is processed to make it suitable for domestic use.

Meanwhile, quartz countertops are made from a combination of 93% crushed quartz to 7% resin. They are not cut from the slabs, so it’s more known as a manmade countertop surface. It can be manufactured into a variety of colors and patterns.

To break it down, let us list a pros and cons of both as a countertop material.

Pros and cons of granite

Pros and cons of granite

Pros:

  • Granite is an extremely durable material that can last for a lifetime and up to the next generation with proper maintenance.
  • The appearance of granite provides a non-uniform since it has naturally appearing slabs that come with it. This can be a good thing for some, but as a drawback for the others.

Cons:

  • The granite stone is quite heavy, so you can’t hire your neighborhood handyman to install it to save a few bucks. You need to hire a professional to install the countertop surface properly.
  • Granite needs to be sealed upon installation since it’s a porous material. You also need to re-seal the granite countertop at least every three years.
  • You can’t hide seams in a granite counter once it’s installed.
  • Since granite doesn’t have a uniform appearance, the style you have chosen from the samples can slightly differ from the exact stone that you will receive.

Pros and cons of quartz

Pros and cons of quartz

Pros:

  • Quartz is also strong and durable like granite, but with the added benefit of being more flexible when it comes to the installation process. It can bear the load of heavy kitchen items and heat.
  • It is non-porous, stain-resistant and doesn’t require sealing. This makes it a no-maintenance countertop surface.
  • Quartz comes in an endless number of colors, patterns, and textures. Since it’s an engineered stone, it can also mimic granite or marble.

Cons:

  • Quartz can discolor over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight. If some part of your counter regularly receives UV rays from the sun while some parts don’t, you may see a difference in color.
  • You can’t just hire a handyman you know to install it – it must be installed by a professional who really knows how to handle countertops.
  • Seams can be seen with a quartz counter, but it can be less visible with a slab of darker color.

Other factors to consider

Now that both granite and quartz have been weighed out as a countertop material, there are still other factors to be considered. Here’s a rundown of those:

1. Cost

The cost can be the biggest consideration when it comes to choosing a countertop material. If you want to save money, neither of these two materials are for you – laminate can be your best bet. Prices of quartz and granite continually change because both are sourced overseas. But with either product, you’d going to be digging deep into your pockets.

A slab of granite can start around $60 per square foot, but prices rise quickly from that point on. Meanwhile, a quartz countertop will cost around $67 to $93 per square foot.

In the long run, granite countertops can often end up costing more since you need to re-seal it after a couple of years to maintain its best condition. It also cost more in itself because it’s a natural rock, which means a complete slab needs to be excavated as a big chunk of stone. You also need to be willing to pay more for the price of a thicker piece of granite.

However, you may pay slightly more for granite, but the cost difference won’t be so significant.

2. Aesthetics

When it comes to aesthetics, it boils down to your personal choice. They both make lovely countertops, but one will grab your attention more than the other. When it comes to what looks more natural, granite comes slightly ahead, because it’s more natural (duh). Some people like granite better because of its natural earthy appearance, while others prefer the more uniform look of quartz.

3. Effect on indoor air quality

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be present in both quartz and granite countertops can be a concern. Since quartz countertops are about 90% quartz and 10% resin and acrylic, while granite is 100% granite, this means that quartz countertops have more VOCs than granite. Meanwhile, both slabs can contain very low levels of radon. For the most part, both of these countertops are safe for indoor use.

4. Potential added value to the house

If you’re planning on selling your home in the not-so-distant future, then your choice of countertop will affect its value. Choosing a countertop made of stone would definitely increase the value of your home since it’s one of the major selling parts when it comes to what buyers are looking for.

In between granite and quartz, granite has the edge, since it’s more popular among the durable stone choices. Also, some potential buyers will even ask their real estate agents if the house comes with a granite countertop.

5. Environmental impact

When it comes to environmental impact, quartz generally will leave less carbon footprint. Usually, quartz is made of recycled stone and its manufacturing process is friendlier to the environment. Granite would need to be quarried from the ground then shipped across the world to its manufacturing site.

There may be a lot of energy used to excavate both stone materials, but both are extremely durable materials that can last for a lifetime. This way, you can consider both materials as a sustainable countertop.

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