Despite having been around since the late 1960s, quartz is a relatively new trend among North American homeowners. Engineered stone has been used in commercial spaces for decades, but it wasn’t until the year 2000 when quartz fabricators started shifting their marketing efforts toward the residential market. Since then, quartz has matched granite as a preferred material for kitchen and bathroom countertops. There was a time when prospective homebuyers would set up smartphone alerts for MLS descriptions that mentioned granite. These days, quartz is just as likely to be the term they look for in their real estate searches. This new trend has resulted in a debate centered on the merits of quartz versus granite. Though one isn’t necessarily better than the other (it’s ultimately up to your personal tastes and needs), you should still consider the following before making your decision.
Even when quartz tiles and slabs are fabricated to their highest quality, which means 90 percent of their composition is crushed stone fragments and natural quartz, they’re still engineered materials. The appearance of quartz can be very similar to marble, granite, travertine, and other natural stones, but once you look closer and touch the material, you’ll realize it wasn’t made by Mother Nature.
Here’s a quick video explaining the three most important steps in caring for granite countertops:
If you’re looking for floors and countertops that are easy to take care of, both quartz and granite are great options, but quartz requires slightly less maintenance because it doesn’t need to be sealed. All you need to do is regularly use a combination quartz polish and cleaner such as Granite Gold Quartz Brite®. For granite and other types of natural stone, you’ll need to clean, seal, and polish the stone’s surface on a regular basis. However, you shouldn’t polish stone floors because they could become slippery.
Quartz may be the current king of countertops, particularly in the kitchen, but the same cannot be said about residential flooring, and the lack of a clear pricing strategy seems to be the reason for this disparity. While quartz fabricators have adjusted the pricing of their slabs for the benefit of homeowners looking for countertops, they haven’t applied the same strategy to floor tiles, which continue to be marketed mainly toward commercial clients, thus making them more expensive for residential installations. Faced with competition by quartz fabricators, granite vendors have reduced their prices on both slabs and tiles, thus making them competitive when compared to quartz.
Durability is the reason quartz is more commonly found in commercial spaces such as banks, airports, and shopping malls. If you expect heavy foot traffic in a section of your home, quartz flooring would be a smart choice because of its durability and easier maintenance, but granite will also last decades with proper care, so either choice is a winner when it comes to durability, provided you care for each material properly. As for heat resistance, quartz slabs in the kitchen resembling white marble may become discolored if they’re constantly exposed to hot pans and baking sheets. That said, you shouldn’t place hot items directly on granite either. Always use a trivet or hot pad.
For tips on how to clean granite or quartz, reach out to the friendly staff at Granite Gold®. All of our products are safe to use on quartz and all types of natural stone, including granite, marble, slate, and limestone. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.