Whether you’re building a home or buying a resale, whether you’re doing a total overhaul or just a cosmetic renovation, you’ll want to give careful consideration to the material you choose for the countertops, especially in the kitchen. Almost as much as paint color or flooring, the material you choose for your counters will have huge visual impact. Just as important is how well your counters will hold up to wear and tear over time. For these reasons, more and more people are choosing granite or quartz counters for their beauty and durability.
From move-up homes to jewel box homes to large luxury homes, quartz and granite is everywhere! But which one is better?
The answer is: it depends! Both are definitely more expensive than a laminated product (Formica, Arborite, etc.) and will run you anywhere from $50 to $100 per square foot. And in terms of durability and appearance, quartz and granite have both in spades!
Confused? Let’s take a closer look:
1) Durability: Both quartz and granite offer incredible durability. Granite is cut from a slab of rock and then polished. Quartz is an engineered product made from quartz pieces and tough resin. (Over 90% of the “slab” in a quartz product is real quartz and the rest is resin.) Granite will chip if struck hard enough. So will quartz, but the chip will be easier to repair and the repair will be less noticeable. Granite needs to be re-sealed every few years; quartz does not. (Re-sealing is very easy and you can buy the product at a building supply store like Home Depot for about $50.) Granite can withstand very high heat (I’ve set hot pots on mine dozens of times without leaving so much as a mark.) Quartz should be protected from high temperatures because of the resin content. Granite can stain if the sealant is not maintained; quartz offers built-in stain resistance. That said, I have a darker granite in my kitchen and after 4 years, I can’t find a single stain anywhere, and I have definitely NOT babied it!
2) Appearance: While some granite is very uniform in appearance and pattern, there are literally as many “looks” as there are homeowners. No two pieces of granite will be the same and herein lies its beauty. Many types of granite boast rugged “movement” of color and pattern, with a type of inner shine that makes you feel as if you are looking “into” the rock itself. Quartz, however, tends to be more uniform looking and in turn, tends to offer a clean, modern feel. That said, you can now buy Quartz with irregular patterns that strike a balance between modern refinement and a more natural look.
Depending on where you live, you may have to investigate the availability of different materials in your trading area. And if you want something unique or not yet commonly used by your local trades, you may have to go online or check out what’s available in a bigger center. If you decide to go with granite though, make SURE you choose your own “slab.” Every piece is different, and what you see in a photo may be very different from what’s available in the warehouse!
All in all, the decision whether to go with quartz or granite countertops comes down to personal taste in home decor and how you use your kitchen on a day to day basis. Both are durable. Both are beautiful. Both will give you years of enjoyment if cared for properly. I say: go with what grabs you! You won’t regret it.