The Difference Between Quartz and Granite
Many homeowners favor the look of stone when it comes to the countertops for their kitchen or bathroom. The two primary options that people are now researching about are granite and quartz. Understanding the differences between the surprisingly different materials will allow you to make a more informed decision on which countertop material to commit to. Use this simple comparison guide to help you select a countertop that will fit your unique design goals and budget.
Let's start with the basics. What is Granite? Granite is an igneous rock -- that is, a rock that was originally formed when lava or magma cooled -- and while its composition can vary widely, most versions of granite are rich in two types of minerals, quartz and feldspar. The unique concentrations of the primary elements are what creates the stone’s signature graininess.
Next up is quartz. Quartz is a naturally occurring mineral comprised of oxygen and silicone atoms. Quartz is the most abundant mineral found at Earth’s surface, and its unique properties make it one of the most useful natural substances. But quartz countertops are not just large slabs of mineral. Quartz countertops are manufactured composites of 90-97 percent quartz, and the rest is a blend of binders like resin, plus pigment, which allows the product to resemble the coloration of natural quartz.
As we mentioned, granite is a natural occurring rock, therefore there are trace cracks and deficiencies in each piece. Some homeowners embrace these qualities of the natural stone and find that is what makes them beautiful and unique. By nature, granite is relatively solid however it is also a very brittle as it is not impact resistant. Fortunately, because of granites natural attributes, granite countertops are able to resist high levels of heat. Additionally, as a natural rock, granite is a porous material which increases the possibilities of stains. A coat must be applied to granite countertops, which is a process that is often referred to as resealing. Homeowners are often recommended to reseal their natural stone countertops every 6 to 12 months depending on the grade of their sealant. Even with annual resealing, homeowners must be very mindful when handling materials such as coffee, wine, or food coloring. We suggest that you try to pour over the sink instead the countertop itself to avoid accidental spills, and to have easy access to a dry rag and cleaning supplies for quick clean ups to avoid stains. If you decide on natural stone, you should make the commitment to take require
Because quartz countertops are an engineered stone, there are a variety of patterns and colors available to meet a wide range of styles for any individual. A very popular pattern of quartz countertops that homeowners are favoring is the look of high-end marble. They are able to enjoy the beautiful marble pattern without the required aftercare and at a lower cost. Another benefit of the engineered stone quartz, is that it is a non-porous stone. Meaning that the quartz countertops are very stain resistant -- levels of resistance is dependent on the stone manufacturer. Also, the non-porous quartz countertops do not require annual resealing compared to natural stone such as granite and marble. Quartz countertops are relatively bacteria free, acid friendly, and very durable. Clean up is easy and you’ll be confident you’re getting read of the dirt and germs. One down side of quartz countertops is that we would not suggest that you place a hot pan over 400-500 degrees Celsius directly on the stone countertop. The excessive heat may cause damage to the stone because of the resin content. Quartz countertops have a lifespan of 25-50 years depending on the level of care they are given and how they are used. Though, as an engineered stone, quartz has the advantage over granite
OVERALL: Granite is a beautiful natural stone and provides unique patterns for each slab. Homeowners who enjoy placing their pans directly on the countertop should gravitate choosing a granite countertop. However, because it is a natural stone, it is porous, easy to chip and stain and requires annual re-sealing but it will not make it as resistant as quartz. Quartz countertops is a manufactured stone and is very durable and impact resistant. Many different patterns are created to mimic unique stone patterns and personal interior design goals. Quartz countertops are easy to clean, and relatively stain resistant, but cannot withhold excessive heat upwards to 400-500 degrees. Because of the unique attributes of quartz countertops, they are overall lower in maintenance compared to granite countertops. With everyone’s busy schedule, quartz countertops have significantly increased in popularity with homeowners for their kitchen and bathroom countertops.