Choosing Between Quartz and Granite Counter Tops

If you are in the market for counter tops, you are wise to be choosing between quartz and granite. They are both trusted and strong surfaces that have gained popularity for many different reasons. Many people may not be able to pinpoint the subtle differences between these various stone counter tops, but in this article, we will share a few pros and cons of both granite and quartz counter tops. You will then be able to make a more informed choice.

When making the ultimate choice, it is a matter of taste, and because of the variety out there, manufacturers are sure to have the perfect counter top to match your needs. Before you rush out to look at samples, however, there are a few main factors you should consider. We will talk about a few features you might want to think about when choosing a tailor made counter top.

Processing Differences

Granite counter tops are naturally quarried (the equipment used has come a long way since Obelix’s granite menhirs), and are cut into large flat sheets to ease the process of transportation and installation. Granite counters made of 100% natural rock.

On the other hand, quartz counter tops are artificially manufactured with between a 90-95% quartz content and mixed with various polymer resins and coloring. This means that although quartz counter tops look like marble or granite counter tops, they go through an artificial manufacturing process and come with a full guarantee.

Appearance

Granite is a naturally occurring rock, so it has a 100% unique appearance, which means that you should keep in mind that the rock you choose as a sample will not be a perfect match to what you receive. Many people love the natural coloring and venation of granite.

Even though granite comes in a few different colors, quartz counter tops offer a greater diversity when it comes to the range of colors available for purchase. The results are more constant and standardized, so each slab can look relatively similar which makes for a more even finish if that is what is preferred.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Granite counter tops may look glamorous and may rank high on the durability scale, but when compared to quartz, they don’t quite meet the mark. The counters need to be regularly wiped down to avoid staining and need to be sealed usually on an annual basis (may vary depending on the quality of the sealant).

The engineered quartz counter tops have the upper hand on the granite counters as they contain a resin-based sealant that means that they are more resistant to stains, heat, and chipping. Unlike granite they are non-porous, so they require a lower level of maintenance.

Price

The price of granite can vary based on may features including where it was sourced from, how common or rare the stone is, what color you want it in, etc. But it usually runs on a square foot basis and can start as low as $65sqft in some places, but rocket to over $200/sqft in others.

And it’s a good idea to add installation charges when calculating the cost which usually adds about 15%.

Next, comes the edging. The edge or profile of the countertop will affect the price, depending on how fancy you go. A simple square edge is usually the cheapest and still looks great.

Quartz counter tops have quite the price range too, with costs coming close to that of granite but usually sit a little higher. Remember that that price is also based on the thickness of the slab you order, but a thinner slab is weaker and more prone to damage.

Environmental Impact

Most modern consumers are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint by choosing the most environmentally friendly products. Granite counter tops are the less environmentally friendly option here because of all the energy that goes into quarrying and transportation. Look for distributors that source rock from places near where you live.

As quartz counter tops are engineered, it is easier for certain manufacturers to be more environmentally conscious and look for greener solutions in production. Look for brands like Cambria or Silestone that pay attention to their impact on nature and concentrate on recycling energy used for manufacturing quartz countertops.

So now the choice is yours. If you want the natural stone look that has been a crowd pleaser for generations, go for the reliable granite counter tops. If you want a bigger selection of colors, and a surface that boasts great hygiene, it is the quartz counter tops that you should be looking at. Either way, they’d both be great choices.