If you are trying to decide which is better, a granite countertop, or a quartz countertop, take time to learn what each of these offers. Both granite and quartz are highly durable natural stones. A quartz countertop boasts of certain advantages that a granite countertop may not have. But the same is also true the other way around.
The advantages and disadvantages of each countertop material will be discussed here based on their durability, heat and scratch resistance, need for maintenance, design advantage, and affordability.
As mentioned above, both granite and quartz are natural stones. Quartz countertops, however, are known to be more durable, with quartz being one of the hardest mineral stones.
A number of stones that are considered harder than quartz are topaz, sapphire and diamond. It has a No. 7 rank under Mohs’ Hardness Scale, a scale used to measure a mineral’s resistance to scratches. Comparatively, diamond has a No. 10 rank. In terms of mineral composition, a quartz stone is made up of 93 percent quartz mineral, and 7 percent other minerals.
Granite, on the other hand, is made up of 50 percent quartz, making it very durable as well. Comparing it with quartz, however, quartz would be twice as hard.
Resistance to Heat and Scratching
Both granite and quartz are highly resistant to heat and scratches. They can withstand heat from pans directly from the oven or stove. However, it is still advisable to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface to help them last longer.
Because both are hard stones, both are highly resistant to scratching. Contact with knives doesn't cause scratching. However, it is better to use a chopping board to prevent your blades from dulling. Also, since granite is sealed because of its porous nature, you may want to help preserve its sealer protection.
Quartz countertops are known for being low maintenance. This is because quartz is nonporous and has no need to be sealed. This quality also prevents liquids and bacteria from penetrating, making it stain and bacteria resistant.
As for granite, its porous nature requires it to be sealed before use, and periodically afterwards. Initial sealing can either be done before installation or after installation, depending on the manufacturer. It is also not stain proof, and does not prevent bacteria from harboring.
Because of quartz’ resistance to staining and bacteria, it is used for commercial kitchens. Granite, on the other hand, cannot be used for commercial kitchen countertops.
Color and Appearance
In terms of appearance, granite fans love it for its wide range of bold, yet natural patterns. Its veins and blotches can be very regular or somewhat abstract and unpredictable. Colors and color combinations range from blues to reds to whites and grays and blacks.
Quartz countertops also have different natural tones, usually in reds, browns, and greens. However, its patterns appeal more to those looking for consistency. It does not have the same variety and depth of light that granite has. It can have interesting veins and inconsistencies too, but not as vibrant and unique as the ones seen in granite.
Price will vary with location. Although quartz tends to be more expensive, granite has a wide price range that also depends on its quality and design. Because the cost of natural stone is significantly affected by transportation cost from quarrying locations, there will be some instances when the prices for both may be quite close. Whether you choose a quartz countertop or granite will depend on your preferences and budget.