The GRANITE vs QUARTZ dilemma.
Updated: Sep 25, 2017
One of the questions our team at Turner Contracting Services gets during almost every kitchen design project is "what is the difference between quartz and granite" when it comes to countertops. We love helping to educate our clients in anyway we can, so here is a basic description of these two stones that are popular in kitchen and bath renovations.
A brief rundown of quartz and granite
Granite countertops are quarried naturally from the earth as enormous chunks of stone.
After they leave the quarry they are cut and polished into the familiar countertop shape.
Quartz countertops contain crushed quartz mixed with resin in a ratio of 93% quartz to 7% resin. They are manufactured in a variety of different patterns and colors.
An in-depth look at the pros and cons of quartz
As with granite, quartz countertops also have their own sets of drawbacks and benefits that go along with them.
Quartz countertops are just as strong as granite but have the added benefit of being more flexible. This makes them easier to work with during the installation process.
Quartz is non-porous and does not require any sealing – ever. These stones offer a virtually no-maintenance material solution for countertops.
These counters are also very durable but they cannot be considered indestructible either. They are stain-resistant as well so dropping a glass of wine on them simply requires a quick cleanup.
One drawback that you should definitely take note of is these counters can discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight. If you have a part of your counter that receives some of the UV rays from the sun while another part doesn’t, over time you may see a color difference.
These countertops need to be professionally installed and quartz is even heavier than granite.
You can expect to see seams with a quartz counter but they will be less visible if you choose a slab that’s darker in color. As well, the seams are easier to hide when you choose quartz because the counter has been colored and manufactured. If you buy a quartz countertop in a solid color, it’s much easier to hide the seam to a certain extent.
With granite, the natural veins and colors in the stone will never allow the seams to appear less visible.
The benefits and drawbacks of granite
Here are some of the most important drawbacks and benefits of granite that you need to know:
The appearance is not uniform. These stones are coming right out of the earth and are not perfectly designed by nature. For some this will be a benefit while others will consider it to be a drawback.
Granite countertops will need to be sealed before they are used and this will need to be repeated year after year for as long as you own the countertop. Granite is a porous stone and can only be considered to be stain-resistant if it has been sealed properly. While some people only seal their granite countertops every 3 years, it’s best to be safe and to do it yearly. If for any reason the sealant on the counter gets compromised, your countertop can get stained.
Countertops made of granite are extremely durable but should not be considered to be indestructible. It is a natural rock and can break or chip if subjected to heavy abuse. For regular day-to-day activities though, and with proper maintenance, this is a countertop that can last for a lifetime and beyond.
The stones are heavy and require a professional installation. Don’t even think of hiring your neighborhood handyman to put in your new countertop to save a few dollars.
It’s impossible to hide the seams in a granite counter. Expect the seams to show up once it has been installed.
The samples that you see can slightly differ from the stone that you receive. Keep in mind that these are naturally occurring slabs so the samples cannot be a true 100% reflection of the stone you are ordering. There may be color variances or occlusions in the stone you receive that gives the slab a slightly different appearance.
If you spend some time browsing through the internet you’ll find a range of different reviews about quartz vs granite. While one homeowner will tell you that you absolutely, positively must get a quartz countertop, another reviewer will insist upon buying granite counters. When you do spend some time reading through these reviews, however, you will notice one point that stands out.
Both quartz and granite countertop owners are defending their own personal choices with a vengeance because they are so completely pleased with their counters. At the end of the day, you can walk away from these reviews knowing that choosing either quartz or granite stones will provide you with a countertop that you’ll love!
Turner Contracting Services has used both granite and quartz in remodeling projects in the Charlotte, NC area are ready to help you in selecting the best stone for your project! Give us a call today to begin the design process for your remodel!