Quartz or Granite? Which Material is Right for Your Countertops
When you’re creating your perfect kitchen, you have a lot of choices to make. You need to consider the layout in order to determine the best use of your space. Picking cabinets that provide you with the perfect amount of storage and space, while tying into your design choices is important. Of course, you’ll need appliances. Do you get stainless steel, black, or white? There are a lot of decisions to make. And then there’s the countertop.
Kitchen countertops are probably one of the most important pieces of any kitchen. They provide you with storage space and prep areas, and they help tie your entire kitchen design together. If you want the best, you’ll probably be thinking of having granite countertops installed. Granite is beautiful and natural. It also serves as a marker of a high-end kitchen. But is granite the best way to go? There’s a newer material on the market, and it has been making a strong push as a competitor with granite. Quartz is quickly becoming a top contender against granite.
Natural or Engineered Stone
One of the biggest draws of granite is that it is a completely natural stone surface. Granite countertops are cut from giant blocks of granite that are mined from quarries. They are cut into slabs, polished, and sealed. Because granite is cut to fit countertops, the entire slab is one seamless piece. It creates a very uniform look, and granite comes in a variety of colors and patterns, most of them natural.
Quartz, on the other hand, is a different process. Also known as quartz composite, quartz countertops are created by mixing ground down quartz with colored pigments and a polymer resin. They are not one hundred percent natural stone, but most quartz countertops are created with around ninety percent quartz. The rest of the mixture is the pigment and resin. Quartz is a very solid surface, and it can also be used to create a seamless countertop.
Here, it really breaks down to whether you want completely natural stone or not. If natural is a must have, granite will obviously win out over quartz. Granite countertops are cut directly from quarried stone. Quartz is a mixture, which is why it’s called engineered stone. Before you make a decision, there are still some other differences between the two materials.
The Price of Countertops
If you were thinking about saving a little money by picking between granite and quartz based on price, you’ll need to rethink that strategy. In most cases, quartz and granite are similar in cost. In some cases, you’ll actually spend more per square foot on quartz countertops than you would on granite. Both materials are on the high-end, so the price becomes kind of a wash.
Maintaining Your Countertops
When it comes to maintenance, you’ll find that this is where quartz and granite really start to split apart. You might assume that because granite is a natural stone, it won’t really need any maintenance. Unfortunately, you’d be mistaken. Granite is a fairly porous surface, and as such, requires sealing when it’s installed. After that, you’ll need to reseal the granite on a regular basis. Granite also stains incredibly easy. If you enjoy wine, you’ll want to keep it away from your granite countertops. Because granite is natural, you’ll also find flaws. You can either love it or hate it, but granite is prone to flaws and imperfections because it is a natural stone.
Quartz, on the other hand, is a different story. Because of the resins used to make quartz countertops, it is far less likely to stain. And, there aren’t any flaws or cracks. It’s engineered, which means the flaws are taken out during the engineering of the stone. Quartz doesn’t require sealing or resealing either. The resins and epoxy takes care of that when it’s being created.
The Choice is Yours
Whether you’re making a high-end kitchen to be the envy of your neighbors, or just want high-end flair added to your kitchen remodel, quartz or granite are the way to go. They both look beautiful, and when installed correctly, are fantastic kitchen countertops. Each one has a different character, and it really all comes down to you. Do you want one hundred percent natural stone? Or do you want engineered stone that can be made to look however you want it? It’s your kitchen, and your choice. Do some research, check out some samples, and see which surface is best for you.