Which is the best choice for your home, Granite countertops or engineered Quartz* countertops?

Countertops can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. When you’re planning a renovation or remodeling your home, you have a variety of options available.

Here are some of the reasons you might choose natural Granite or engineered Quartz countertops.

Which One Is More “Natural”?

Granite is a very hard stone and 100 percent natural. Granite counters are mined from pure stone. The stone is sawed into slabs or made into tiles and then polished for installation. There is an almost limitless selection to choose from and no two Granite countertops are the same.

Quartz countertops are manufactured from crushed Quartz that is mixed with pigment for coloration and resin as a binder. The Quartz content is typically 92% to 94%.

Cost of Countertop Material

At the time of the creation of this article, the cost of Quartz ranges from $80-$140 per square foot installed and Granite starts at about $80 and can go to $175 or slightly higher for high-end material. The products are basically similar in cost.

Cleanliness

Granite has pores and tiny capillaries within the minerals. Those natural structures wick up liquid and staining can be the result. Those pores and capillaries also harbor germs such as bacteria and viruses. Properly sealed Granite does a decent job keeping out germs, but if the sealant breaks down, there can be issues.
Because Quartz is an engineered product, it is non-porous. The non-porous surface of engineered Quartz won’t collect these contaminants, so Quartz is a better choice for a clean germ-free environment.
The ease in maintaining the cleanliness of Quartz countertops is one of the primary reasons that they are preferred by parents with young children and also make more sense for elderly who may be susceptible to viruses and bacteria.

Countertop Maintenance

Quartz doesn’t require sealing. You’ll want to clean any spills on Quartz countertops with soap and water or a household cleaner, but that’s about it in terms of maintenance.
Granite needs to be sealed at installation and resealed on a regular basis.
Granite can stain quite easily. Granite that has been sealed with a resin-based product during manufacturing will be more resistant to trouble than standard Granite, but still not as resistant as Quartz.
Finally, Granite can crack and chip more readily than engineered stone.
Both Granite and Quartz have a lifespan of 25-50 years depending on the level of care they are given and how they are used.

Durability

Granite is a durable material that’s resistant to heat and many other kitchen elements. Due to its porous nature though, there can be some staining if spilled liquids are left sitting and damage can be done if your counter receives a high impact blow.
Quartz is actually harder than Granite and thus, more durable. Because it isn’t porous like Granite, it’s easy to keep your countertops relatively bacteria-free. Quartz can be damaged by excessive heat, so use heating pads at all times. Quartz is the material of choice for severe kitchen conditions.

Appearance & Design Options

Quartz manufacturers have figured out how to create irregularity in their Quartz, effectively mimicking the natural-looking variegation of Granite and even the swirls of marble. Conversely, some styles of Quartz can look simpler with little to no irregularity. If you are a minimalist that prefers a monochromatic kitchen, Quartz is a good option.
Every Granite countertop is one of a kind. Granite slabs are known for having a lot of “movement” and variations in its natural color, while Quartz tends to be less dramatic in its colorization.
If you want a counter with a character that is unique, go with Granite. Granite variations standout in a sunlit kitchen!

The Greener Building Material

Quartz is generally considered a greener choice because it’s made from waste stone and therefore unlike Granite it doesn’t require mining slabs or shipping them around the globe.

The Argument for Granite Countertops

“Nothing beats the real thing.” This is the approach of homeowners who really enjoy having natural materials in their home.
When you look at natural stone, you see the striations and slight color changes that make the stone unique. The color and design is real.

The Argument for Quartz Countertops

With Quartz countertops you can get the look (and durability) of stone but maintenance and hygiene is easier because you don’t have to reseal the countertop.

In Summary

Undoubtedly, you can’t go wrong with either choice. Consider Quartz Countertops, for a Stone Look but Less Maintenance. If you want a unique, natural stone countertop, consider Granite. Visit our project gallery to look at kitchen countertop ideas.

*Note “Engineered Quartz” is not to be confused with “Quartzite” or “Natural Quartz,” both of which refer to a solid-stone alternative to Granite.