Granite and quartz are among the most used countertop surfaces in kitchens and baths to date. But how do you choose which surface to apply to cabinets? Granite is familiar with most people because it is saturating the marketplace. However quartz has gained such a strong popularity because of its color versatility and function, it may eventually catch up to granite.
Granite is made up of interlocking minerals, it is a crystalline rock that is harder than marble with large mineral grains made from the earth.
Quartz countertops are fabricated from natural quartz and a variety of glass or metallic flecks. However, the new engineered material is created through a manufacturing process that mixes approximately 95 percent ground natural quartz with 5 percent polymer resins.
How do they differ
Granite countertops need to be sealed, quartz countertops are non-porous thus not having to be sealed.
In granite countertops, you will always see the seam, as with quartz you will have seams but less visible.
Quartz will not hold bacteria or viruses. As with granite being a porous material, you will have to seal often to keep down the build-up of bacteria from cooked or raw food prep.
How easy is it to maintain granite vs quartz?
The permeable nature of granite means that it is more difficult to keep clean, and is also more exposed to stains and spills. It must be sealed upon installation and at regular intervals, often once a year. Quartz is non-porous and requires no sealing. It is naturally resistant to moisture and stains and requires no maintenance.
You should always consider the durability of countertops
Quartz has the same resilience as concrete and granite, but a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily. The granite that has been sealed with a resin-based product during manufacturing will be more resilient to trouble than standard granite, but still not as resistant as quartz.
What's not to like about the appearance of granite or quartz
With Quartz the manufacturing process allows a much wider range of colors. Both types have their strong point. Granite shows slight, natural variations in the hue of the stone. Colors range from earth tones to blues, greens, and corals. The coloration of quartz is more consistent, and it is available in a wider array of colors since they are produced with pigments added to the quartz.
Granite and Quartz both vary in price
Quartz has in history been more expensive than granite, but times have changed, technology has improved this tremendously. Quartz usually runs from about $55-$125 per square foot installed. Granite starts at about $60 and can go to $175 or slightly higher for high-end material
Countertops that are environmentally friendly
Natural granite countertops produce fewer carbon emissions during production than quartz countertops. Neither one releases substantial amounts of radon or volatile organic compounds.