Nothing makes a kitchen pop like a beautiful countertop. Whether you’re simply replacing your home’s countertops to boost the resale value, or you’re undertaking a full kitchen remodel, chances are you’ve explored a significant number of countertop styles and materials. These days, the debate is usually between granite vs quartz as the preferred luxury material, and unfortunately, this is not exactly an easy argument to settle. Continue reading to find out if there really is a preferred option and what might work best to suit your needs.
What Each Material Is Made Of
Granite is a purely natural stone and known to be an extremely hard material. It’s sourced from all around the world and mined from stone quarries. It is refined, processed and polished to the beautiful product that has become so beloved. As for quartz, fabricating the stone into a countertop is a slightly different process.
Quartz countertops aren’t 100 percent natural stone. In fact, the countertops are created with a special polymer resin with a ratio of about 95 percent quartz and 5 percent resin. It is also not quarried stone, quartz countertops are manufactured with byproducts of stone that are grinned up and physically formed into the countertops that we know and love. Now that we know how both materials are created, let’s explore how they stack up against each other.
Quartz vs. Granite’s Overall Look
When it comes to the overall look of each material, granite is rather unique as each specific slab is a little different than the next when it comes to the colour and mineral pattern of the granite. There is a wide array of colours to choose from because of the way it’s formed. Unfortunately, you won’t find that with quartz because it’s considered an engineered stone. You will notice that quartz countertops are far more uniform in nature in terms of their appearance, however you will have significant options when it comes to deciding on a colour and pattern.
Quartz has skyrocketed in popularity because of its ability to customize the design according to each homeowner and their style and taste. Ultimately, there is no wrong choice between quartz or granite as a countertop option. It comes down to personal taste. If your heart is set on having a natural stone countertop, then granite is probably your answer. That said, quartz is a popular option because of its stunning appearance.
Cost of Quartz vs. Granite
Since quartz and granite are both premium and luxurious materials, they both sit on the expensive end of the cost spectrum for countertops and certainly would not be considered budget-friendly. When it comes to granite countertops, you’re looking at roughly $80-$175 for each square foot, and that is after installation.
The specific style and any edging treatments would factor into the final cost. As for quartz countertops – the price ranges from $80-$140, installed. Quartz is becoming more and more popular as the material is more readily available. Another factor that contributes to the pricing variations is that both materials are sourced continents away, so you have to consider transport costs and import taxes as well.
Eco-Friendly Countertop Option
If you’re looking for a material that is more environmentally friendly than the other, quartz is the option for you. Both quartz and granite are made of predominantly natural material, but granite is natural stone and the only way to get our hands on it is by physically mining it out of large quarries dug into the earth. As you can imagine, there is a significantly complex process to obtain the material.
And since the material is sourced from other continents, there is significant travel needed to get it into your kitchen, which obviously requires fuel. The transportation should be taken into consideration when weighing eco-friendliness. Due to the fact that quartz countertops are physically engineered they can be more eco-friendly when compared to quartz, assuming the stone was manufactured locally by local fabricators.
DIY Capability for Quartz vs. Granite
Apart from small vanity countertops in a powder room, do-it-yourself installations are definitely not encouraged when it comes to both granite and quartz. The materials are exceedingly heavy and even small vanity countertops can weigh upwards of 100 pounds. When it comes to handling both granite and quartz, it is always best to use a professional when it comes to both the fabrication and installation process.
That said, if you choose to go down the DIY route both quartz and granite are installed the same way. But considering we spend so much money buying this material in the first place, it is recommended to spend the additional dollars to have it installed the right way by a contractor that is licensed and insured.
Maintenance for Quartz vs. Granite
The maintenance between both quartz and granite countertops shouldn’t not be ignored. Granite is renowned for its durability and natural resistance to heat. In short, it is a great material when it comes to enduring the rigours the kitchen can throw its way.
One drawback is that since granite is a material that is naturally porous, spilled liquids can cause stains. High impact blows to the counter can also potentially damage it. When it comes to cleaning recommendations, granite countertops should be cleaned with soap and water, or even a basic household cleaner, each and every day. It is also recommended to reseal your granite countertops once a year to maximize the materials lifespan.
Believe it or not, quartz is a material that is even harder than granite, and therefore it is a more durable option. Another benefit of quartz is that it is not a porous material like granite is. This means it is rather simple to keep all the unwanted dirt and bacteria off of the surface top. The drawback with quartz is that the material isn’t as capable as withstanding heat like granite is. This is why it is imperative to keep pots and pans that have just come out of the oven on proper heating pads.
But since the surface is solid, it means you’ll never have to reseal it. When it comes to cleaning the material, much like granite, you can treat it with a mixture of soap and water, or a common multi-surface cleaner. Another factor to consider is that quartz countertops are uniform throughout, while granite countertops can have internal flaws that bring the potential for cracking into the equation.
Market Value for Quartz vs. Granite
Quartz or granite – no matter how you look at it, both options are top-of-the-line countertop materials that will impress anyone that steps foot in your kitchen. Unlike ceramic or laminate countertop materials, there is a distinct possibility that investing in quartz or granite countertops will actually increase the resale value of your home.
So not only do you get to enjoy your gorgeous new kitchen countertops, you can rest easy knowing your investment in the material will likely pay off. That said, since it is made of granite natural stone, it wouldn’t be unlikely for more potential buyers to lean towards this option.
There you have it, everything you need to know about quartz vs granite countertops. Now you can go ahead and make an informed decision when choosing which option is best for your home. Remember, granite is durable, heat resistant, a natural stone, and truly unique. When it comes to quartz, it’s easy to clean and maintain, it’s available in a wide array of colours and patterns, and it’s an environmentally friendly option. If you’re looking for more information on quartz and granite countertops or want to get them installed in your kitchen, reach out to the experts at Moose Kitchen and Bath today!