After years of choosing granite over all other construction materials for their flooring and countertops, American homeowners are starting to discover quartz. In the past, engineered stone was not widely known for its residential applications. It was mostly installed in residential construction projects because of its durability and cost. Quartz tiles and slabs have been a mainstay of shopping malls, banks, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, and other commercial structures for decades, but now that they’re being chosen by homeowners, they’re becoming more affordable.
Historically, quartz has been more expensive than granite, but this pricing trend is beginning to change. To determine the real cost of quartz versus granite, the following factors should be considered.
Why Granite May Soon Become Less Affordable
Globalization and its numerous trade agreements contributed to the popularity of granite among American homeowners. In the 1990s, designer kitchens became popular in North America, and Brazilian quarry operators quickly noticed that granite was preferred to marble on center islands. Standing trade agreements, which under the Trump administration are being amended, made importing granite from Brazil more affordable. As demand for granite increased, so did its price on an installed basis, and this may have prompted some homeowners to consider quartz. Now that the quartz trend is on the upswing, costs are comparable to granite, and fabricators are starting to lower their prices.
It Pays to Shop Around
Just like with granite, the prices of installed quartz will vary considerably from one shop to another and from one contractor to the next. If there’s a lot of competition in your market, you may encounter a price variance ranging between 20 to 40 percent. There’s no guarantee the contractors the fabricator chooses will be more affordable. However, if you purchase quartz tiles or slabs and decide to go with a contractor who isn’t a partner of the store or fabricator, you may get a limited warranty.
The Bottom Line from Consumer Reports
In August 2018, Consumer Reports determined that homeowners can expect to pay about the same for granite and quartz, at least regarding kitchen and bathroom countertops. Moreover, Consumer Reports recommended quartz over granite because it’s easier to install, and many contractors are willing to charge less for projects involving engineered stone over granite, which can be more difficult to trim and prone to breaking accidentally during the installation process.
Maintenance and Replacement
Quartz has the maintenance upper hand because it requires less involvement from homeowners. There’s no need to seal this surface, which means less of an investment in terms of product and time. All you need to keep engineered stone in good shape is to use a specially formulated quartz cleaner and polish. In the unlikely event of broken quartz tiles or slabs, repairing or replacing the affected area is easier and cheaper because manufactured pieces are uniform.
Whether you have quartz countertops in your home or floors made of natural stone, care for them properly by using the high-quality products available from Granite Gold®. We offer cleaning, sealing, and polishing solutions that are safe to use on natural-stone and quartz surfaces. To learn more, give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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