Few home improvement projects give you more opportunities to get creative than a bathroom remodel. Picking out the perfect countertop, shower tiles, sink and flooring takes a lot of hard work – but standing back and admiring your immaculate new bathroom in its completion for the very first time makes it all worthwhile!

You have to ask yourself an all-important question before you begin remodeling your bathroom: Do you want quartz surfaces, or would you prefer natural stone? Both will enhance your bathroom’s aesthetics and increase your home value, but their subtle differences mean one might better suit your taste and lifestyle than the other.

Let’s review the relative advantages of quartz and natural stone so you can pick the best surfaces for your new bathroom! But first let’s define our terms.


What Is Quartz?

Strictly speaking, quartz is silicon dioxide – a hard crystal which is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust, just after feldspar. Pure quartz can have any number of colors and is often used to make jewelry.

When you see a countertop referred to as “quartz,” it is actually engineered quartz. Engineered quartz is made of ground up quartz crystals, which are blended with unsaturated polyester resins to form a solid mass. Engineered quartz is much easier to cut into a variety of shapes than solid natural quartz, and it possesses several other properties which make it superior as a countertop, vanity top or other bathroom surface.


What Is Natural Stone?

Natural stone” is an umbrella term for a number of rocks such as granite, onyx, marble, soapstone and quartzite. Each of these different types of stones offer their own distinctive advantages, but we will treat them as one class of material for the purpose of this comparison.

Importantly, quartzite is not the same as engineered quartz. Quartzite is sandstone that was subjected to intense pressure and heat between the Earth’s tectonic plates over the course of millions of years; engineered quartz is created in a factory.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Appearance

Because it is manufactured, quartz is available in any color you could name. Its wide range of available colors makes matching your bathroom surfaces to your preferred color scheme quite easy!

While natural stone’s colors are limited by Mother Earth’s imagination, it does outclass quartz when it comes to the variations of its patterns. Every slab of natural stone is totally unique, with a wavy or stripy appearance created by the random placement of multiple layers of sediment over eons. Although quartz is available in a range of patterns, it does appear homogenous by comparison.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Stain Resistance

Because it is made with approximately five percent resin, quartz lacks pores. That makes quartz far more resilient against staining than natural stone. This is typically of greater concern in the kitchen where surfaces are frequently exposed to staining substances such as grease, cooking oil, wine, fruit juice and coffee. But bathroom surfaces are also subject to staining thanks to the iron and copper found in hard water, as well as the fats used to make cosmetics.

Natural stone such as granite and marble both require regular sealing to avoid becoming stained. This is not an enormous inconvenience, as most natural stone surfaces only require infrequent sealing. More porous stones such as marble, onyx and limestone will continue looking their best when they are sealed every six months. Less porous granite can get away with annual treatment, but that is still greater maintenance than quartz requires.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Durability

Quartz and natural stone both differ in terms of their resistance to heat and ultraviolet light. Fortunately, these are not of great concern as far as bathroom surfaces are concerned. We do not expect you to set boiling pots of noodles on your bathroom vanity, nor do we suspect that it is located outdoors.

But any surface in your home can become scratched through regular usage. If we order the most common bathroom surface options according to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (where 1 is softest and 10 is hardest), then they rank as such:

  • Soapstone: 1 – 4
  • Marble: 3
  • Limestone: 3 – 4
  • Granite: 6
  • Onyx: 6.5 – 7
  • Quartzite: 7
  • Engineered quartz: 7

In short, while natural quartzite rivals engineered quartz’s hardness, selecting the latter for your bathroom assures the most scratch resistant surface your money can buy.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Price

Quartz and natural stone prices vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Quartz is available in a number of different grades, and natural stone’s price depends on its rarity, pattern and current popularity in the market. Furthermore, tiles are typically less expensive than large continuous slabs. This is all to say that the prices for your new bathroom countertop, sink, flooring and shower hinge heavily on what you would prefer.

If you would like a better sense of how much your new bathroom’s quartz or natural stone would cost, then we welcome you to contact Gallery 77 in Hudson, WI today.* We provide custom solutions to fit any budget, and our high-grade raw materials, precision manufacturing processes and peerless quality assurance protocol all guarantee the lasting and attractive surfaces a great bathroom remodel demands!

*Please schedule an appointment to visit our showroom at 1231 Industrial St #100, Hudson, WI.