Choosing between granite or quartz can sometimes feel overwhelming. Both of these products are great options, but how do you choose what is best for you? Let’s break it down, highlighting the pros and cons of each to provide you with the information you need to select the best countertop for YOU.
A Popularity Contest
Although quartz is currently making strong inroads in the countertop game, granite is still the undisputed champion of the countertop world. It is by far the most popular, but no one countertop checks all the boxes. Granite might work better for some families, while quartz is a better fit for others.
What are they made of?
Mother Nature loves variety, and no two granite stones are exactly the same. Granite is quarried from the earth, sliced into slabs, and then polished to achieve the beautiful countertops you see in showrooms. This natural diversity in appearance means it’s crucial that you go to the warehouse and pick the exact slab you want to use in your home. If you try to pick granite from a sample,
you may discover that the top installed in your home may look nothing like the sample you chose in the showroom.
Quartz is a human-made product, made up of approximately 93% crushed quartz mixed with 7% resin binders. This process of making quartz allows a more uniform and consistent product.
This means it is not necessary to go to a warehouse to choose a specific slab. Instead, you can safely select the quartz top you’d like from a small sample and be assured the countertop you have installed will look the same.
Granite is a natural stone and can be relatively porous, requiring a sealer to be applied periodically. These sealers protect the pores of the stone from stains like wine, oil or pasta sauce. It is recommended that these sealers be applied to the stone about once a year. There are sealer options available that are warranted for up to 15 years, but they are more costly and would have to be applied before the tops are installed. If opting for one of these tops, you would need to plan ahead for this pre-installation application.
Quartz, on the other hand, is very dense and non-porous and requires no sealers. Families with children love quartz for obvious reasons. Quartz is as heavy as granite, but is a little more flexible, and less likely to break during fabrication or installation. When it comes to maintenance, quartz is the obvious winner.
Granite and quartz are both priced in levels. They may be listed as levels 1, 2, and 3 or class A, B, and C and so on. The concept is the same either way, where 1 or A will be the lowest cost, and the prices go up with the levels. It’s important to note that the quality of the granite or quartz doesn’t go up as the levels and prices go up. Paying more for granite does not ensure higher durability or performance over time. In fact, some exotic granites that are more expensive break
easier during fabrication which also contributes to their higher cost. The higher levels are typically less plentiful, and therefore in more demand. Think of them as semi-precious stones: the less of it there is, the more it’s going to cost.
Quartz often starts at a slightly higher price point than granite, but the two are reasonably similar overall. The cost difference is small enough that most people decide based on the aesthetic or maintenance of the products and not on price. That isn’t to say there aren’t reasons to pay attention to cost. Still, in our experience, aesthetics and maintenance seem to be the deciding factors.