Many homeowners renovating their kitchens often have difficulty making a decision when faced with quartz vs granite countertops. Each material adds sophistication and elegance to any kitchen, and both have pros and cons that may cause you to choose one or the other.
What Are Quartz and Granite?
Both quartz and granite are beautiful, naturally occurring stones. As far as these two materials go, that's where their similarity ends.
Quartz is the most common material found on Earth, making up about 12 percent of the Earth's crust. It is a hard, crystalline material that can take on various colors and properties depending on how it was formed and the impurities that imbue their color into the crystal. The chemical name for quartz is silicon dioxide. Quartz countertops are typically manufactured using approximately 90 percent quartz with other man-made products.
Granite is an igneous rock, primarily made up of quartz, potassium feldspar, sodium feldspar and other chemicals and minerals. Some slabs of granite consist of between 10 and 50 percent quartz. Whereas quartz countertops are formed in a manufacturing plant, granite countertops are sliced right out of the Earth, polished and cut into slabs.
Differences of Quartz and Granite Countertops
Porosity -- The resins in a quartz countertop render the material non-porous and stain resistant. Granite, on the other hand, can be very porous and needs to be sealed periodically.
Color - Granite is available in a wide array of naturally-developed patterns, many of which are highly detailed and intrinsic; quartz is more universal in color throughout the stone. If you're looking for a kitchen countertop with character and some complexities in its design, then granite is the choice for you.
Durability - Granite can be brittle, which means that a dropped pan can chip, crack or open a natural fissure in the countertop. Quartz, again aided by the man-made materials, is much more resilient and capable of handling more use.
Maintenance - Quartz countertops are basically maintenance-free and can be cleaned with almost any type of traditional countertop cleaning agent. Granite requires periodic re-sealing and only neutral ph cleaning solutions can be used or the finish on the granite countertop could wear off.
Repair - Both quartz and granite countertops can be costly to repair, but because quartz features partially man-made materials, it may be easier to find a color match for your current countertop than it would be finding a piece of granite with the same level of detail as your damaged portion.
The decision of quartz vs granite countertops comes down to the taste and pocketbook of the homeowner. While granite can be more costly and less durable, it adds luminosity to the kitchen and can accentuate the other parts of the kitchen to a greater degree. Quartz countertops, because they are engineered products, can be much more resilient and affordable without compromising quality and style. In the end, it's simply a matter of preference and in most cases, you can't go wrong with either choice.