Granite has been the go-to luxury countertop material for over a decade, but other types of stone countertops are gaining in popularity for their beauty and durability. Despite being a relatively new countertop material, quartz is quite popular. In fact, 2 out of every 5 homeowners now choose one of these two countertop materials for their homes. Here’s what you should know about the differences between granite and quartz so you can make the right choice for your home.
Man-Made Versus Natural Stone
Granite countertops are made from granite slabs quarried from the earth. Granite is an igneous rock comprised of quartz, micas, feldspar, and other minerals that give it strength and beauty. Most granite is made up of 10 to 50 percent quartz and 65 to 90 percent feldspar. Quartz countertops are not completely made of natural quartz stone. Instead, they are engineered or man-made from around 90 percent quartz mixed with resins, polymers, and pigments.
If you prefer a completely natural material, granite is a good choice. Each slab will have unique color variations and imperfections. Granite offers the natural beauty that does not come from a factory, with patterns and textures that are found nowhere else.
Durability and Strength
Quartz countertops are completely man-made from ground quartz, resin, and other additives to create a sealed, non-porous surface. Because engineered quartz countertops are made with 90 percent quartz, they are actually stronger and more durable than granite countertops with even less risk of scratches, chips, or damage.
If you’re concerned about maintaining your countertops because you don’t know how to clean natural stone properly, the process is simpler than you might think. Granite is somewhat porous, depending on the type you choose, and it should be sealed regularly to prevent stains and permanent damage. Quartz is completely non-porous, which makes it easier to maintain and clean, and it does not need to be sealed. However, both stones are low-maintenance options that are easy to keep beautiful with daily care.
Longevity and Appeal
If the resale value of your home is a concern, granite might be the safer bet. This is because granite is a time-tested material with almost universal appeal. Many homebuyers consider granite countertops a must-have, which means they can increase a property’s value. Quartz is a fairly new option, and many buyers may be unfamiliar with its benefits.
Slab Availability and Seams
If you have a large kitchen, wide angles, or sprawling spaces, it’s a good idea to consider the size of the slabs available in your chosen material to reduce the number of seams and your installation cost. Granite is available in all sizes and shapes with little difficulty of finding slabs of 70 or more inches in width. Quartz, on the other hand, is rarely available in slabs larger than 65 inches wide.
The size of the slab is one factor that affects countertop installation costs, as cutting and installing seams can increases the cost of the project. Another important concern is the cost of the material itself. While granite may not be considered a budget-friendly material, it’s usually more affordable than quartz.
Whether you have countertops made of granite, quartz, or another type of stone like marble or travertine, it’s important to maintain them properly. One of the most important steps in natural stone maintenance is polishing, which can be performed with the help of a granite polishing kit. To learn about the high-quality stone care products we carry at Granite Gold® and how to use them, give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.