Choosing countertops can be a challenge, especially with the vast options of natural stone and materials available. One tough decision that we see a lot is trying to decide between granite and quartz. Granite is a natural stone and is one of the most popular choices for countertops on the market.
Quartz is also very popular, but is not a natural stone. Quartz is man-made, containing 90% quartz and the remainder is made up of polymers, resins, and various types of pigments. Quartz is made to reproduce the appearance of natural stone and it continues to increase in popularity.
As far as appearance goes, it is a matter of personal preference whether you like the look of granite or quartz better. Granite is a natural stone, therefore it has a unique and natural look with a slightly porous texture throughout. Many people love the slight imperfections and character of natural stone. Color and patterns vary with each piece of granite making each slab unique.
Quartz is man-made, so it can be made to replicate the look of various natural stones. Many people like that they can get the look of marble or granite with less maintenance required. Quartz has a much wider array of colors and patterns when compared to granite.
When it comes to durability, granite is known to be the strongest natural stone countertop out of the natural stone choices. Granite is known to resist against cracks and chips and has a hardness of six to seven depending on the type of mineral. Because quartz is man-made its hardness scale is a bit higher than granite at a seven. Quartz is also a bit more resistant to damage than granite.
For maintenance, granite is an easy natural stone to maintain. Granite needs to be properly resealed once a year, but is very resistant to stains. If granite countertops get scratched they can easily be filled in with a color matching resin or epoxy from a home improvement store. If there are cracks or damage larger than about a half inch then a professional should be called to repair it.
Quartz is easily maintained due to its being non-porous, which allows it to repel liquids without needing to be sealed. However, quartz is tougher to repair than granite, so regardless of the severity of damage, a professional should be contacted to make any repairs.
Granite and quartz should both be installed by an experienced professional. They are both very heavy and hard to handle. Cutting shapes out of both granite and quartz, like for the sink, is a difficult process that requires experience and skill.
The price of granite has been going down in recent years which has made the upfront cost of quartz a little higher. However, the difference in cost is pretty much offset when considering maintenance costs over time. With both materials, slab remnants can save you quite a bit of money if the size of the countertop is small enough.