Quartz or Granite Countertops:
Which is Better & Why?
When choosing great looking, durable countertops, both quartz and granite are an excellent choice. However, there are some fundamental differences. Stone workers cut granite directly from large deposits into slabs. Manufacturers make quartz by combining crushed rock with resin to form slabs. Granite tends to be more natural looking while quartz requires overall lower maintenance.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Granite is a natural stone formed during the cooling of magma. Although formed mostly of quartz and feldspar, it also holds mica and other trace minerals that give it its characteristic flecked pattern. The different minerals found in it make it one of many colors. White and cream are common, but pink and red variations are also available, as well as darker colors including black.
Silicon crystallizes to produce quartz. It is the second most abundant material in the earth’s crust. Engineered Quartz is fabricated and typically used for kitchen countertops. Manufactures crush rocks and then bind them together with resins. White and cream are the most common colors although added pigment can give the slab color, which gives a natural look, or something more interesting. Caesarstone and Cambria are two major manufacturers. Quartzite, as opposed to engineered, is a naturally occurring form of sandstone that has undergone intense heat and pressure. Quartz Countertops slabs are popular. Like other natural stone, this is porous and needs regular resealing.
WHICH IS BETTER FOR COUNTERTOPS OR TABLES?
Let’s compare the natural aesthetic, affordability, everyday care, durability, maintenance and more of granite countertops and engineered quartz countertops and tables.
Appearance/ColorsTHE MOST NATURAL LOOKING:
EASIEST UPKEEP: QUARTZ
Durability, Hardness, & Strength
THE TOUGHER OF THE TWO:
QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS: Heat Resistance GRANITE
Formed through the cooling of molten rock, it’s very heat resistant. A hot pot placed on a countertop will not discolor the stone. There is a possibility of thermal shock cracking it, so use a trivet.
THE MOST HEAT RESISTANT: GRANITE
MOST RESISTANT TO MOISTURE AND STAINING: QUARTZ
Repair small chips or scratches with an epoxy kit that is available at most home improvement or flooring stores. If there are larger areas of dullness or multiple scratches, refinish or polish the surface. You can do this yourself, but hiring a professional to do it will ensure a consistent finish. A professional may also be able to repair larger cracks in the countertop.
EASIER TO REPAIR: GRANITE
Environmentally Friendly Granite – It takes a lot of energy to mine and transport large pieces of natural stone. You can keep the carbon footprint smaller if you look for locally sourced stone rather than having it transported from overseas. Remnants are also a possibility if you are willing to flexible with size and color and help keep pieces of stone from ending up in the landfill.Quartz – Made from crushed rock, the mining is a little bit easier as there is no need to carefully preserve large slabs. Also, in some cases, waste product from other uses is the raw material for engineered quartz slabs.
THE GREENER CHOICE: QUARTZ
These types of countertops are specifically sought out when buyers are looking for a home and therefore can add value equal to 100% or more of their original cost. They can also be the tipping point when the buyer is making a choice between your house and one without the same feature.
Since it is newer on the home renovation scene, it doesn’t quite have the same reputation as other stone finishes. Expect to get close to your initial investment back on these countertops.
WHICH IS MORE LIKELY TO PAY FOR ITSELF: GRANITE
WHICH IS BEST?
Best Countertop for Bathrooms:Bathrooms countertops are a place where water, toothpaste, and soap can sit for prolonged periods of time. So, unless you and your family are diligent about cleaning up spills right after they happen, the stain resistance of quartz wins.Best Worktop for KitchensIn kitchens, quartz is the better choice. Spills are no problem for the non-porous surface and its durability will keep it from chipping from heavy use. Watch out for hot pots and if you have a kitchen that gets a lot of direct sun. It can discolor the surface over time.
QUARTZ VS. GRANITE VS. MARBLE
Engineered to be stronger and have a more consistent look, quartz is different than the natural look of large slabs of solid stone like marble or granite. However, patterns and colors that look like more natural stones are available, giving quartz the best of both worlds.
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