When choosing solid-surface 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 quartz vs. granite guide, which compares price, appearance, durability, and maintenance, to discover which of these beautiful materials is right for you.
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 countertops. Granite countertop colors are typically grouped into 10 basic categories: beige, black, blue, brown, burgundy, gray, green, red, yellow, and white. The most popular choice is black, though lighter shades of granite can open up a kitchen. The least common granite colors are red, blue, and green. Others like the wider variety of patterns and colors offered by quartz countertops. Because it is manmade, quartz countertops are available in patterns that offer the look of high-end marble at a lower price.
Stone countertops are popular in kitchens for a reason. 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.
With proper annual re-sealing, granite countertops are 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, which could drive up quartz countertops cost overall.
Both granite and quartz countertops 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 countertops cost has 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.