What is the Difference Between Quartz and Granite?

Many people are familiar with granite countertops. Most people are not as acquainted, however, with its cousin, quartz countertops. While the two counter types are similar in many ways, there are some key differences about which an informed consumer should be knowledgeable.

All About Granite

Granite 2-w800-h600Granite is a natural stone that is quarried from the ground in large pieces, cut into slabs and polished. There is no factory manipulation to the stone so it tends to be more varied with lots of movement, marbling, variation in color, etc. This uniqueness of each granite slab is what leads many people to choose it as their counter top material. Because it stays unchanged during fabrication, granite does remain porous and requires occasional sealing. The process is quite simple and shouldn’t discourage you from granite: you simply spray on a sealer and wipe it off approximately once every 1-2 years depending on the type of granite. There is even a 25-year sealer that can be applied by the fabricator before installation so the need to seal granite on a regular basis has been virtually eliminated. Granite slabs should be viewed at the fabrication center during the selection process, as small samples are not truly indicative of the appearance of the full slab from which your counter will be made.

All About Quartz

Quartz 1-w800-h600Quartz counters are 93% natural quartz stone. Unlike granite which is unchanged after mining, mined quartz stone is ground and formed into sheets with small amounts of pigments and resins. This process allows for a generally more uniform appearance, although quartz counters that replicate the color variation and movement of granite are now available. Because quartz goes through a manufacturing process, the counters are non-porous and require no sealing. The more uniform appearance allows you to select your counter from smaller samples available in our showroom. 

Benefits of Quartz & Granite:

General cleaning for both counters is the same: warm, soapy water will do the trick. Also, both are similar in areas of heat-resistance, scratch-resistance and hardness, with quartz being a bit harder than granite. It is always recommended, regardless of the counter, to use a trivet/hot pad and cutting board when working on the counters. A full array of edge profiles and sink options are available for either material as well. 

The Cost:

While granite has an extremely wide range of prices, quartz is priced in a smaller range and is usually equal in price to a mid range granite selection.

Whether you opt for the unique beauty of granite or the more uniform appearance of quartz, new stone counters are an affordable investment in the quality and beauty of your home.