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Granite Vs Quartz

A bit of history: It was only a few years ago, back in the 1990s, that homeowners were tearing out their laminate countertops and installing granite. Granite had become the latest status symbol of modernism and luxury. If you owned a counter top that was made of natural stone, you had “made it!” But today, in addition to marble, which has always been an option, homeowners are needing to make a choice between granite and quartz.
So, what’s the difference between granite and quartz, and how do I select the one that will be a winner for my household?

And in this corner we have granite: It is formed deep beneath the Earth’s surface from boiling molten rock called magma. Because of the intense heat, the magma builds up pressure and rises through the Earth’s crust. When it cools down it forms into granite, which is then mined.
Because it is a naturally occurring stone, no two slabs are exactly alike. There are endless options of colors and patterns. It is the most common of the countertop materials. It’s solid, extremely durable, stain resistant with a sealer and should last a lifetime and beyond. It doesn’t show water marks if it is properly and regularly sealed, and it’s difficult to break unless you drop a heavy object on its edge like a cast iron pot, or stand on it. You will need to occasionally add a sealant to ensure longevity.
Granite comes in several color options, but not as many as quartz because it is a natural stone. Quartz comes in solid colors like blue, red, and purple. You cannot get these colors in granite.

Here are some of the drawbacks to granite:

  • 1. The seams on certain types of granite will be more visible. The location of the seams plays a part in their visibility. If the seam is located in the middle of the sink, it will be less visible. However, if it is located in an area where it has to run the full depth of the countertop, it will be very visible. Granite does not have a uniform appearance. Remember it is coming directly from the Earth’s surface. IT is not perfectly designed by nature.

  • 2. Granite needs to be sealed both before using and periodically after that, depending on the type of sealer. It could be every 6 months, every year, or even every 15 years after installation. Granite countertops need a professional to install them and a well-constructed cabinet to sit on.

  • 3. Although granite is extremely durable, it is not indestructible. With heavy abuse, it will break, stain, and the glossy surface might get scuffed. Day-to-day activities are fine, and the granite should last a lifetime.

  • 4. The samples that you may be shown can vary from the countertop you will receive. When there is a lot of variations and veining, the sample will not represent the whole slab. If the slab has a repetitive design, the sample is a good representation. Remember, you are dealing with a natural stone with color variations and occlusions.

Returning to the positive side of granite: It has definitely secured its place as a high-end stone. Nowadays, among the expensive slabs with exotic colors, it is deemed to be more prestigious than its counterparts.

In this corner we have quartz: Quartz has all the same benefits as granite. But, it is not entirely natural. Quartz countertops are 93% crushed quartz and 7% resin plus dyes for their coloration, otherwise quartz would be very dull and unappealing. Because it is pretty uniform, it doesn’t usually have the natural veins that you have in granite or marble. Although, there now are some quartz slabs and colors that do mimic granite in veining. Quartz is nonporous and requires zero upkeep.

Because the color of quartz countertops is created with dye, there is more consistency with the colors and patterns. The countertops are as strong as granite but are more flexible, so installation is a bit easier. Because it is a non-porous surface, it never needs sealing – not ever! Quartz countertops are stain-resistant. A spilled glass of red wine just needs to be sponged up – period.

Just like granite, quartz has some drawbacks:

  • 1. If quartz is exposed to direct sunlight, it can discolor over time.

  • 2. Quartz countertops are heavier than granite and, most assuredly, need a professional to install them and a well-constructed cabinet to sit on.

  • 3. You will see seams with quartz. With darker colors, the seams are less visible, as with solid colors.

  • 4. Quartz is not heat resistant like granite.

Conclusion: If cost is a concern, the cost of both granite and quartz depends on the product. You can find granite slabs that cost less than quartz slabs, and you can sometimes find quartz slabs that cost less than granite. It all depends on what material and color you choose.

If the environment is a concern, quartz leaves less of a carbon footprint because it contains materials that have been recycled, and the manufacturing process is more environmentally friendly. Since both countertops, with proper maintenance, can last a lifetime, they can both be viewed as sustainable countertops.

So, you ask, which is better – who wins this friendly boxing match? The answer is that it’s all personal preference. Either one will create aesthetic transformations of your kitchen and bathrooms, and will increase the value of your home. There really is no winner because there really is no wrong choice. It all comes down to personal preference.
For help in choosing and purchasing your stone countertops call RH Kitchen and Bath, Ltd. at (440) 248-0530.