That’s it, a battle of giants, we are finally presenting the Quartz vs Granite comparison guide. Are you ready?
In one corner we have granite, a natural stone, insanely popular for a very long time, that still holds the title of the most popular countertop material there is. With a recent study pointing out that it’s the stone of choice in 64% of new houses.
If granite is the champion then quartz is the fastest-growing runner up, and it’s getting stronger and stronger. Engineered stone is already reported to be the preferred choice of interior designers, only losing to granite on the hearts of homeowners, but not by much.
But what makes these two countertop materials so competitive, and more important, which is the right fit for you?
Quartz vs Granite: Differences Explained
Both choices are durable, low maintenance, beautiful and high-end. However, at the same time, they present key differences in appearance, cautions, and usability.
Quartz and Granite are actually two great choices for any kitchen, and if there is a way to finding out if one or the other is better for yours, it starts on breaking down the differences.
1 – Origins
Granite is a natural stone that was extracted, sliced, processed and polished to become the slabs you can see and shop for at a local supplier. As an igneous rock, it’s formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Granite is mainly composed of quartz, feldspar, and mica.
Quartz is not a natural stone, and to reflect that, it’s normally called engineered stone. You can check our article about the best quartz brands to better understand how it’s created. The material is a composition of 90-95% ground quartz crystals bonded together through a polymeric resin and colored by pigments.
Quartz aims to offer all the best features of natural stones, however with controlled characteristics and lower maintenance.
2 – Appearance
As a natural stone, granite’s appearance is randomly generated throughout its formation process, and each and every slab is a unique piece. Different granite varieties are imported from all over the world and by going to a trusted stone yard you’re able to select it for yourself.
That is actually the only way to select granite since the complexity of the stone makes it really difficult for you to understand how it truly looks even with photos.
Although granite can be found in odd, rare patterns, its common appearance presents the traditional freckled patterns and hues of grey, black, blue, orange, red, green and even pink.
Quartz, as a man-made material, can be created in almost any color and is normally made with patterns that mimic those of natural stones. Just check a quartz catalog and you will be able to see a great variety of options.
If you’re in love with consistent patterns, controlled appearances or even solid colors, quartz is got the right look for you. If you like that classic countertop appearance or the wild complexity of unique stone varieties, granite is your top choice.
3 – Maintenance
Granite is one of the lowest maintenance natural stones, requiring only normal cleaning and periodic sealing.
Sealing is important due to the porous nature of stone surfaces, left unsealed, even granite one of the less porous stones will suck in water and other liquids. Which, in turn, can lead to stains.
The necessary frequency of sealing will depend on the granite variety. Some stones require the process to be repeated yearly, other stones might be able to remain sealed for decades. The darker the tone the less you need to worry about it at all.
There’s no mystery to sealing and you can opt to do it yourself if that sounds like you.
Here lies what’s quartz’s greatest strength. Its resin-bound surface makes it not porous at all. It requires virtually no maintenance. Just common day-to-day cleaning will do.
When cleaning both of these materials, you should only use neutral cleaners. Never even think about using bleach, vinegar, and lemon. Acids will decrease granite’s sealant efficacy and react with the polymers on quartz. Which also can lead to stains.
A good practice is to clean your granite or quartz countertops with mild detergent and water, and to wipe out spills as soon as they happen.
4 – Durability
When everything is alright with maintenance, quartz and granite will last for a lifetime.
They are both extremely hard, and very resistant to scratches, cracking and chipping.
Both are also equally stain-resistant (considering a sealed granite slab).
With granite being a bit harder, and quartz a bit more resistant to cracking, the quartz vs granite fight here comes to a tie.
The only thing that gives granite an edge is that it’s easier to repair than quartz. Resealing will do away with most scratches. And if not or if there are stains, hard repolishing is always a possibility.
5 – Usability
Standard usage will be similar on both of them, as we’ve mentioned they are all really reliable. However, granite is a bit more versatile for two reasons.
Quartz doesn’t handle heat very well, its polymeric resin will melt if very hot pans are placed on it, causing a mark. Another weakness of quarts is its bad relationship with the sun. Being exposed to open sunlight will dull down quartz colors over time.
Granite, on the other hand, is perfect for outdoor usage and can take hot pans pretty well.
6 – Price
We know this is something you might be wondering since the beginning of the article, however, it won’t help you decide. The price tag is really kind of similar when it comes to these two.
We could mention that rare granite varieties do make your project more expensive, but so does the best quartz surfaces. In the end, the choice between Granite vs Quartz is up to you.
7 – Environmental Friendly
Granite is 100% natural, composed exclusively out of granite stone. The process of fabrication also emits less carbon emission than quartz, but the quarrying of granite still emits carbon. Granite can also be recycled in several ways.
Quartz, however, is already, in a way, a form of recycled stone, since it uses left-over stone piece of other materials in combination with resins and pigments. There is no quarrying of quartz, but the process of fabrication makes up for the carbon emissions.
Both products can be considered environmental friendly enough, with no significant emissions of carbon. The only advantage of granite is that it can be recycled later on.
Choosing the right material for your countertop
So what do you value more? A consistent appearance or a natural one? Less maintenance or more versatility? Imagine how your day-to-day would be with both the materials and maybe visit a showroom and see what your heart tells you.
Either way, you will be getting a great material. If you live in Florida, you can trust us to help, get in touch with Eagle Stones.
Granite, for sure. Quartz is the champion of non-porosity. It can resist stains easily, while granite needs to be constantly sealed and cleaned to avoid staining.
Yes. Aside from being non-porous, and therefore resistant to stains, quartz is also more durable than granite. They are easier to clean and maintain.
Not always. Some forms of granite, mainly due to availability and color pattern, can be way more costly than quartz. Usually, quartz is more expensive, but also more consistent in price than granite.
Acid cleaners should always stay away from granite. Clorox Wipes contain citric acid, which can damage granite. A Simple mix of dish soap and warm water is enough to clean granite.
Yes, very much. Quartz never need to be sealed, which gives it a huge competitive edge compared to other stones. The initial investment easily pays itself over time, also due to the resistance and durability that quartz provides.