Which Is Better for Your Home?
The simple fact that granite and quartz are both extremely popular for countertops illustrates our first and most important point: both are great. You cannot ruin your kitchen or bathroom counters by choosing one over the other, as both granite and quartz are attractive and long-lasting. Whether you find one better depends entirely on your unassailable point of view.
But this is an important decision – quite likely the greatest decision you will ever make, at least as far as decisions regarding countertops are concerned. As one of the leading countertop suppliers in the greater Hudson, WI area, we can never pass up an opportunity to explain the relative merits of granite and quartz. Let’s dig in!
What Is Granite?
Granite is a coarse-grained igneous rock that is composed of quartz, alkali feldspar and plagioclase. Granite’s excellent hardness, toughness and abundance have made it one of the most widely used construction stones in human history.
The United States produces a great deal of granite. Sadly, the granite here is mostly drab gray in color, so we import most of the granite which is used to make countertops.
What Is Quartz?
Quartz is a hard crystal composed of silica – the primary constituent of sand, and by extension glass. Quartz countertops are not made of solid silica crystal, however. They are composed of approximately 90 -93% ground up quartz, with the rest being polymer resin binding material.
Do not mistake a quartz countertop for a quartzite one! Quartz is engineered; quartzite is a natural stone.
Granite vs. Quartz: Appearance
Granite can adopt a wide range of appearances depending on its mineral content as well as the way in which it cooled and hardened in the earth’s crust. There is a wide range of granite colors including black, white, black and white, pink, red, blue and green. Granite is additionally available in a staggering array of patterns, making it easy to select an attractive and totally unique finish for your kitchen or bathroom.
Unfortunately for granite, its colors and patterns are limited to what the earth can produce naturally. But as an engineered material, quartz is not bound by such limitations. So long as they can conceive of a color and a pattern, a designer is able to bring their vision for a slab of quartz to life. Stylistically speaking, quartz is the more versatile of the two countertop materials.
And yet, there is always something to be said for the timeless allure of natural stone. Whether you must have that boils down to your personal preference.
Granite vs. Quartz: Durability
Granite’s hardness and low number of pores grant it excellent resistance to staining. But granite is not impervious to stains – red wine, coffee, grape juice, mustard and chemical cleaners can all leave their indelible mark on granite. Granite is naturally formed at temperatures around 1,250 °F, and can easily withstand temperatures up to 480 °F without risk of cracking. It is rated 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness, placing it just between window glass and steel.
Because it is specifically engineered to be a countertop, quartz has no pores at all. Its resistance to staining is thus significantly greater than granite’s. While silica itself is extremely heat resistant, the resin within a quartz countertop is not. As such, it is not recommended that you place an object hotter than 300 °F on top of one. Engineered quartz ranks 7 on the Mohs scale and is accordingly harder than granite – literally tougher than nails!
Granite vs. Quartz: Maintenance
A granite countertop would ideally receive daily cleaning with soapy water or household cleaner. You should additionally reseal a granite countertop every six to 12 months, as that will protect it from staining and discoloration. Fortunately, the sealing process should take no longer than 20 minutes.
You should quickly clean anything you might spill on a quartz countertop, just to be safe, but there is zero reason to seal it. For this reason quartz makes an indisputably lower-maintenance countertop. You can use those 20 minutes to do something else, like spend time with friends and family or teach yourself how to play the banjo.
Granite vs. Quartz: Price
Although it is possible to purchase a less expensive quartz countertop than a granite one, quartz is typically the costlier option. This is partly due to the fact that manufacturing a material requires more resources than cutting one out of the ground.
Quartz countertops are available in virtually any color and pattern. Granite’s aesthetics are more limited, but only it can provide the genuine allure of natural stone.
Granite can withstand greater temperatures than quartz, although quartz’s smaller (or total lack of) pores and greater hardness both make it highly impervious to damage. Granite requires regular resealing, whereas quartz does not.
Granite countertops usually represent the less expensive option, although it is indeed possible to install a lower-priced quartz countertop.
If you would like a granite or quartz countertop in the greater Hudson, WI area, then we welcome you to contact Gallery 77 today. We’re standing by to answer any questions you might have, as well as provide the ideal countertop for your budget and personal preferences!