Granite vs quartz? Which one is better? What about prices?Which one is good for my kitchen? Which one to choose when it comes to bathroom countertops? Is one of them ever better than the other? If one is better than the other, why is there such a controversy? Am I missing something?
These are just some of the hottest issues discussed among many homeowners and interior designers these days. Granite and quartz countertops are popular in many kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and they both improve the functionality and overview of the places after the installation. Moreover, the granite vs quartz cost is similar to each other. Therefore you cannot avoid the dilemma just by saying the expensive one is better.
The granite vs quartz dilemma requires an ordinary homeowner to be knowledgeable about these two trending countertop materials to some extent. In this article, we are providing you with a decent comparison of granite and quartz countertops. First, you will read some basic facts about each material, and then you will learn about each material on a specific criterion such as appearance, cost, maintenance, and more.
Table of Contents
What is Granite?
Granite is mined in the quarries in many parts of the world. It is usually mined in big sizes and cut down to smaller slabs or tiles. They polish these slabs, and the installers fine-tune them according to the needs of the homeowners.
As you see, it is only cut and polished, and there is no other industrial process. As being untouched, granite is completely pure and natural. Granite is a very hard stone and is generally used as a countertop in kitchens and bathrooms.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is also a natural stone that is mined in different parts of the world. However, these Stones are not mined as big slabs, but they are smaller stone pieces. The pieces are crushed into smaller crystals, and some synthetic material is added to them.
Then, this mixture turns into hard and shiny countertops. The quartz countertops are 95% natural, and therefore they are called engineered stones. Quartz countertops can be more preferable for some people due to this engineering process while some others avoid it because of the same reason.
Granite vs Quartz
Many people come to this point some time in their life, granite vs quartz?. Granite and quartz countertops are compared by homeowners and interior designers considering many aspects, and it is really hard to make a clear choice in between. Although they undergo different processes before coming to your house, they offer almost the same service at the same quality.
Since it is hard to make a clear decision, we advise you to compare them by certain criteria. We assume that your expectations from a new countertop will hint to you some specific criteria which will lead you to make a better choice for your home.
This guide will help you to understand the similarities and differences between granite and quartz countertops point by point. You can follow your own needs and expectations and make the best choice for yourself.
Appearance is one of the first criteria that many homeowners pay attention to when it comes to granite vs quartz countertop options. Since granite slabs are not engineered, and the colors and patterns on a granite countertop are used as they are. Therefore, appearance is totally natural and somewhat random. This randomness usually brings along uniqueness to your countertop. It is hardly possible to find two granite countertops that are exactly the same color and pattern.
As for quartz countertops, they are engineered, and the producers can reach a target color and pattern through industrial processes. It means that if you pick a quartz countertop color and pattern, you can find it as many other people can. You look through the catalog, decide on a color, pattern scheme, and you get what you exactly want, but you sacrifice uniqueness.
Accordingly, we can say that if you want to have a natural and unique countertop in terms of color and pattern, you should consider granite, but if you really want to get “that countertop” you saw in your friend’s home, you should go for a quartz countertop.
Unfortunately, the price issue will not help you much with granite vs quartz. It is a pity that both granite and quartz countertops are above the mid-range budget. Since they are usually mined overseas, the dealers consider shipping, tariffs, oil prices, and of course supply and demand.
Granite prices are higher when the slab is a rare one due to its unique or highly demanded color and pattern. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, are more expensive if the industrial process requires a more delicate or harder process. However, it is somehow possible to find budget quartz countertop models since there is some highly demanded quartz with popular colors and patterns produced in mass amounts and offered at more affordable prices.
It doesn’t mean that quartz is cheaper. In fact, you can see both quartz and granite countertop models selling at high-end prices. They are usually designer styles or colors that appeal to rich people having the taste of interior design.
Assuming that you are on a budget, we advise you to start your comparison with one of the other criteria in this list and consider the price after all. If you start with price, you will see a huge range in both granite and quartz sides, it will not help you make your mind much.
As mentioned above, both granite and quartz countertops are not cheap at all. For many homeowners, they are luxurious items that you can buy only once or twice in a lifetime. Therefore, durability is a crucial criterion to you when you are on the edge of deciding granite vs quartz.
When it comes to durability, you should consider chemical resistance, scratch resistance, and heat resistance seriously. You can simply ask the installer about these details, but it is always better if you get some information about them on the internet or you can ask other users about their experiences.
Although both granite and quartz are durable materials, as for granite vs quartz comparison, you should keep in mind that quartz countertops are non-porous stones thanks to the industrial process they are involved in. Being non-porous means your stone will have no interstices on the surface and any liquid, air or bacteria will not be able to penetrate the stone.
Granite, on the other hand, is a little porous. It means any liquid or air can penetrate the stone as they stay on the surface for a long time. Therefore, the producers or installers apply a sealer on the surface of the granite countertops so that they become less porous.
- Care & Maintenance
Care and maintenance are closely linked to durability. As mentioned above, granite is relatively porous. Therefore, it needs to be sealed just upon the installation. This sealing will make the surface more resilient against bacteria, liquid, or air that might damage it.
After a while, the seal on the granite surface needs to be renewed periodically. Also, some natural inherent veins or flaws within a granite slab might cause bigger cracks when too much force is applied to it. Thus, you should be more cautious before putting items on your granite countertop. As for quartz countertops, the resin used in their production makes their surface highly resistant against scratches or heat as well as bacteria or other chemical materials.
Considering the above-mentioned characteristics, quartz countertops sound a better option in terms of maintenance and care. While a mild cleaning is enough for quartz countertops, you should do periodical sealing and instant cleaning for your granite countertop. However, if you still want to use a granite countertop in your kitchen or bathroom, you can prefer black or other dark colors so that you can disguise some stains or marks on the surface.
Construction is the criterion that granite vs quartz confusion is at the minimum level. Granite is a truly natural material and you get exactly what nature gives to you. The stones come with original veins that vary in length and width. Big sizes of slabs are cut into smaller slabs or tiles and polished. Then they are ready for installation.
Quartz is also a natural stone mined in different parts of the world. However, it is not mined as big slabs. They are usually smaller glass-looking stones in nature. The stones are crushed into particles and a certain amount of resin is added. They are stirred and molded factories. Then, they become slabs. After that, the slabs are calibrated and polished.
Both of them are originally natural but quartz undergoes a more complicated industrial process. If you opt for the more natural one, you should go with granite. If you don’t mind the industrial process that quartz undergoes, you can prefer quartz, as well.
- Real Estate Value
As both granite and quartz countertops are really high-end construction materials, granite vs quartz does not differ much in terms of the real estate value they will add to your house. Both granite and quartz countertops will slightly increase the overall price of your house when you decide to sell it sometime in the future.
However, you should still remember that granite will bring you more responsibility in caring and maintenance. On the other hand, since granite is fully natural, some colors and patterns might be unavailable after a few years and your countertops can be one of those very rare models. This will come as the uniqueness factor that prospective buyers will love about your house.
- Environmental Issues
When we take granite vs quartz in terms of environmental issues, granite countertops seem to have a decided advantage. As mentioned earlier, both granite and quartz countertops are natural in essence, but granite is 100% natural while quartz is 90-95% natural. The remaining portion of quartz stones are color pigments and resins made of polymer. The industrial process to mix quartz particles with additives means higher carbon emission, which leads to the greenhouse effect in later stages.
On the other hand, since granite is completely natural, any particular granite model you want is to be transported from where it is quarried. It means another environmental problem, too. Therefore, buying granite that needs the minimum transportation seems to be the most environment-friendly way of getting a countertop.
Which One to Choose?
Considering the issues touched above, we can say that both granite and quartz are high-quality premium countertops. Before getting your mind occupied with granite vs quartz countertop, you should first rank your criteria. The criteria listed above are not given in any order, they are just listed randomly. So, giving priority to your must-have points, you can review the comparison here and make your choice.
The bottom line is that granite is an all-natural material and also it gives more uniqueness to your kitchen or bathroom. However, it needs a little more maintenance and fewer color options. Quartz is an engineered stone and thus you can find more color options with less or no maintenance. Little or no maintenance makes the quartz countertop more attractive if you are really worried about cleaning and durability.
While the prices depend on the color, patterns, and availability of the models, the range of cost is similar in both granite and quartz countertops. In fact, both stones are the most expensive ones on the market. Environmentally, there is still a way for you to minimize the environmental damage by choosing granite if you buy a model which is mined closer to your city. Finally, both Stones will definitely add some real estate value to your house.
The infographic below might help you get the overall picture of the comparison of granite vs quartz:
|Appearance||****Unique patterns/Less color options||****Less unique patterns/ More color options|
|Durability||****High durability||*****Higher durability|
|Care & Maintenance||****Needs effort||*****Needs less or no effort|
|Real Estate Value||*****Adds value||*****Adds value|
|Environmental Issues||****Transportation||***Transportation & Industrial process|
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