Granite and quartz countertops are both stunning and very popular right now, which may make it difficult to decide which one is best for your project. According to Bob Paradiso, Vice President Sales & Marketing HanStone Surfaces, “Quartz offers an alternative to Granite regarding consistent quality, product performance and design. Quartz provides a wide variety of unique designs to meet your individual desires with a surface that is long lasting in maintaining its luster and natural beauty.”
There are lots of customer reviews and important information online about granite verses quartz, so you may want to research more this more thoroughly. To get you started, we’ve put together the top 5 basic differences between the two stones. When all is said and done you’ll probably walk away with the conclusion that choosing either quartz or granite will provide a gorgeous, long-lasting countertop. It’s just a matter of which one you’ll love the most!
Granite: Granite is mined in large blocks that are later cut into slabs. It is 100% natural with no manufacturing process involved. Although these stones are stunning to the eye, what you see is what you get—including imperfections. No two stones are ever alike. Some people consider these small imperfections charming, even unique, while other find them annoying and distracting.
Quartz: Even though quartz is also a natural stone, quartz countertops are a manufactured product. The process involves crushing the quartz stone and mixing it with resin (or other binding agents) in a ratio of approximately 90% quartz to 10% resin to create quartz slabs. The varying colors and patterns available in quartz countertops are also man made, as opposed to occurring naturally.
Granite: Most countertop projects require several pieces of granite to complete the job. Seams where granite pieces are jointed together are nearly impossible to hide. You can minimize them by trying to match up colors and patterns, but the seams will still pop if you are looking for them.
Quartz: With quartz slabs you will still have seams but they are much less noticeable. And if you choose darker colors, you may be hard pressed to find them at all. Seams on quartz countertops with multiple colors or patterns can be more obvious but still less conspicuous than granite.
Granite: Even though granite is unusually strong it is not indestructible. If you are using it in the kitchen where it might receive some hard blows by heavy pans, expect a few small chips. That being said, there are many properly maintained granite countertops that have lasted decades without chips.
Quartz: Engineered quartz slabs have also been known to chip occasionally under extreme conditions. However, they are generally considered stronger than granite because they are more flexible. Although both may crack from weight strain if not installed properly, quartz is less likely to crack.
Granite: Because granite is porous, granite countertops must be properly sealed every one to three years, depending on usage. The sealant keeps the porous pockets from collecting liquid which can cause deep stains and a buildup of bacteria. A strong sealer will solve both of these issues.
Quartz: One big advantage that quartz has over granite is that it is non-porous and does not require any sealing – ever. It is virtually a maintenance-free material for countertops. Although it will not stain, over-exposure to sunlight can cause quartz countertops to discolor over time.
Granite: You can get the cheapest installed granite countertop for approximately $30 per square foot, while high-end or rare granite can run as much as $155 per square foot. That being said, the average cost of installed granite is around $60 per square foot—significantly less expensive than quartz.
Quartz: In the past quartz has always been much more expensive than granite. However, due to improved technology, the difference between engineered quartz and the average granite countertop isn’t all that much. Quartz slabs generally run from $30-$170 per square foot.