When choosing countertops for the kitchen or bathroom, many homeowners prefer the look of stone, which offers a nearly endless array of unique colors and patterns. Granite is a natural stone and is one of the most popular countertop materials on the market. Quartz is a manufactured composite that replicates the look of stone and is growing in popularity. Use this simple guide to discover which of these beautiful materials is right for you.
Appearance: As with any material, the visual differences between granite and quartz are a matter of taste. Some people prefer the natural and unique look of granite. Others like the wider variety of patterns and colors offered by quartz.
Durability: Granite is often cited as the most durable natural countertop material available and is known for resisting cracks and chips. As a manmade material, quartz rates a bit higher on the hardness scale and is slightly more resistant to damage.
Maintenance/Repairs: With proper annual re-sealing, granite is very resistant to stains. Minor scratches or dings in granite can be filled in with color-matching epoxy or resin from the home improvement store, but professional installers should repair cracks larger than an ice cube. Quartz is a nonporous material, which allows it to repel coffee, oil, and even food coloring without sealing. Damaged quartz is trickier to repair and should always be done by a professional.
Installation/Price: Both granite and quartz should be installed by a professional. They are extremely heavy and difficult to handle. Also, cutting holes for the sink is no easy task. Granite prices have started to go down, making the upfront price of quartz slightly higher. Over enough time, however, reduced maintenance expenses may be enough to offset the price difference. In either case, slab remnants can save big money if your countertop is small enough.
Countertop Pros and Cons Weigh the pros and cons of every countertop material with this quick guide.
Most Popular Granite Colors Take a look at the most used and most popular colors for granite countertops.
Kitchen Countertop Gallery Browse through photos of different countertop materials to find the one for you.