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Quartz vs Granite

quartz vs graniteIf you’re comparing countertops for your kitchen one of the first comparisons that you should make is quartz vs granite.

Granite may be the best selling natural stone on the market but quartz is gaining ground quickly and for good reason.

Which Countertop Is More Durable?

When you compare the benefits of quartz countertops vs granite the first thing that you have to consider is the durability of the surface. Will it stand up to the daily use and occasional abuse that we put these surfaces through?

Granite is a very strong material and resists cracking and chipping very well. Quartz does however rate higher on the hardness scale (known as the Mohs Hardness Scale) and it resists cracking and chipping better.

One word of caution: Don’t get square corners in any natural stone. Opt for a bullnose or another edge detail that is rounded. Square and ornately decorated corners have a tendency to chip. You can eliminate the possibility of an unrepairable chip by getting a more functional edge detail for your countertop.

Which Counter Resists Stains Better?

Quartz is highly stain-resistant as it is a nonporous material, which makes it very easy to clean. It can repel the most common stains such as wine, oil, coffee, vinegar or even makeup. On the other hand, the alternative has a crystalline structure and contains natural small spaces or fissures that require regular sealing.

This maintenance needs to be done about once a year. It’s easy to do but if you forget to do it you run the risk of allowing stains and bacteria to find safe harbor deep inside of your countertop.

Is One Surface Safer Than The Other?

The nonporous aspect of quartz also allows superior protection against pathogens, because it is harder for them to develop and makes it easier for you to keep a clean kitchen.

As for completely natural stone, it is said to emit a small level of radon, which is a gas found naturally occurring in the Earth. Considering that granite countertops are made directly from the extracted rock, there is a higher risk of radon exposure. The risk is very small however and I would not worry about it.

Which Surface Is More Attractive?

This is the most important consideration when making a choice between granite vs quartz. It’s a personal choice that is completely a matter of opinion. I prefer the look of engineered surfaces, especially many of the patterns from Silestone, but you may prefer the more natural look of pure stone.

cambria quartz island

Both materials are available in a wide variety of patterns and colors. However, you should know that, with granite, seams are nearly impossible to hide. In the case of an engineered surface, you can conceal them better with darker colors or with the help of professional installers.

Countertop Installation

You’re going to need to find a specialist to install your countertops, as both are rather heavy and can be hard to handle. You should also go for professional installation if you want to reduce the risk of breaking, fissuring or chipping.

Comparing The Cost

As for the price, granite tends to be more expensive, but it depends on the colors, patterns, and manufacturers that you choose from. Granite can be more affordable and it has lowered in price in recent years while the cost of quartz countertops can vary widely. However, considering the easy maintenance of quartz, you will find it more practical and easier to cheaply repair than the competition.

It may seem like a hard choice to make when it comes to comparing both kitchen work surfaces, as granite is high on the list for many families, but quartz has started to gain popularity recently by offering a safer solution and easy availability at local home improvement stores.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Nicole October 16, 2012, 1:38 pm

    We are about to remodel our kitchen and it’s QUARTZ all the way!

    • Peter Liang October 19, 2012, 4:48 pm

      Hi Nicole,

      Of course I couldn’t agree more.


  • Anup Viswanath October 17, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Thanks for the info. Been looking for an expert view. Now with this my view and opinion about Quartz changed. Thanx A Lot man

    • Peter Liang October 19, 2012, 4:45 pm

      No problem, Anup. Glad that I was able to help you learn more about these surfaces.

  • Richard John Jordan October 22, 2012, 1:46 pm

    In fact, I thought granite is the best for countertop but after reading this post, I have changed my mind. Quartz are more attractive. Also, it is a lot cheaper because the maintenance of granite barely cost double of the maintenance cost of quartz. And, I truly agree that thee are more scratch free.

    • Peter Liang October 25, 2012, 6:30 pm

      Glad to hear that coming from a guy that owns a granite countertops website!

  • Allison November 6, 2012, 8:45 pm

    Great article, Peter! I’m a granite girl myself, but I appreciate your opinions :). I made a nice little chart that compares many different countertop surfaces. Check it out!! http://www.greatlakesgm.com/stone-comparison-chart.html

    • Peter Liang November 7, 2012, 2:38 pm

      That’s a well put together chart. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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