Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Granite vs. Quartz Countertop Debate

It’s probably one of the most heated debates when it comes to kitchen remodeling…granite vs. quartz…is one really better than the other? Every homeowner has an opinion and some are pretty vocal about it! So we wanted to break down this topic and find out if the quality really was better, or if it was just a matter of preference. But before we get this debate started, let’s begin with a little education. What is granite and quartz?

Granite is a very hard stone and is 100 percent natural…it’s actually one of the hardest substances in the world, second only to diamonds. Mined from quarries all around the world, it is cut down to a manageable size and then polished to a fine finish. Granite grew in popularity for many homeowners when remodeling mainly because it is very durable, provides a lot of options,  and stands the test of time.

Quartz is not 100 percent natural, but close. Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining 90% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface, which is still extremely durable and non-porous. Some other quartz positives include it is stain and crack resistant, doesn’t require sealing or resealing, offers a wide range of colors, and is easy to clean with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth.

So now that we’ve got a little info on each of these, let’s break down the granite vs. quartz debate and see who comes out on top.

 

How it Looks

When considering a kitchen remodel, aesthetics is probably one of the biggest factors. When it comes to appearance, granite gives you a lot of options, and comes in many different colors and patterns. So whether you are looking for a simple upgrade, or a stand out piece with unique mineral inclusions, the options are endless. And did we mention granite brings a level of originality to your home since no two granite slabs are the same.

Quartz wins when it comes to appearance as well. In fact one of the main reasons it’s become so popular is thanks to how it looks. Quartz offers the look of stone while providing the ability to customize the design. And while granite offers many options in terms of appearance which can be overwhelming, quartz offers a much easier selection process.

Winner: It’s a toss up.

 

How it Stands the Test of Time

Granite may have the edge here because it is a durable material that is resistant to heat and many other kitchen elements and issues. But because it is porous, there is potential for staining if spills are not tended to. Damage could also be done if your granite countertop receives a high-impact blow.

While it’s actually harder than granite, quartz is technically more durable. In fact, you could call it indestructible because it isn’t as porous as granite, which also helps keep your kitchen countertops bacteria-free. But when you consider everyday use, quartz can be damaged by excessive heat, so be sure to use something to set any hot pots and pans on.

Winner: Granite, by a hair.

 

Affordability

One of the biggest benefits of granite is all the options, and options give you flexibility when it comes to pricing. According to HomeAdvisor.com, homeowners spend on average between $2,000-$4,500 on granite countertops. As an added benefit, you can find low-cost options to help save money.

Depending on the quality of the quartz and the style of edging, HomeAdvisor.com says the average cost to install quartz countertops ranges from $1,000-$5,000. One thing to keep in mind, quartz is growing in popularity, so be mindful of costs when installing quartz.

Winner: Quartz, but both can offer more affordable and more expensive options.

 

Keeping it Clean

Let’s face it, when looking to install new kitchen countertops, we also want something that is easy to maintain. Granite countertops should be cleaned daily with soap and water or a mild household cleaner. Watch the ingredients though as some oils and acids can stain granite. Keep in mind you should also plan to reseal your granite countertops every year.

Just like with granite, you’ll want to clean up any spills on quartz countertops with soap and water or a household cleaner. The good news is the solid surface means there is no need to have your countertops sealed every year.

Winner: We’re going with quartz just because we don’t have to reseal it!

 

So where did we land with our granite vs. quartz debate? It looks like quartz is the winner (easier to maintain, longer-lasting, easy to customize), but don’t underestimate granite. Quartz can be more expensive and the uniqueness of granite make it a worthy opponent. Your best bet? Consider your budget, design and specific situation and you really won’t go wrong with either one.