Quartz or granite … the age-old question. I get asked all the time which to use and which is better.
With a large variety of countertop materials now available, it’s often challenging for homeowners to determine which will be the best choice for their home. To aid in this process, we offer ten reasons why you should seriously consider quartz vs. granite as your top choice.
“I had just remodeled my kitchen at home, with beautiful Snow White quartz counter tops. It was the holiday season and I was having a little party to show off the new space. One of my guests brought a beautiful Poinsettia as a gift – you know, one of those with the shiny red foil wrapping.. Wanting to add a pop of color, I placed it on the counter near the sink. Well, you can guess what happened.. water splashed all over the red foil, and it bled onto my brand new white counter top. While I was keenly aware of the non-porous attributes of quartz, I was absolutely certain that I wouldn’t be able to get these stains out. In a complete panic, I googled possible remedies and found a couple situations that closely resembled mine. I bought the suggested Soft Scrub cleaning product, and followed the simple instructions (which seemed too good to be true). To my delight, the stain was completely gone in less than 15 minutes! I was completely relieved and will forever use this example as a testament to the astounding resilience of quartz.”
- Cost. Every homeowner has a budget for their home renovations. You want the best value for your money. Quartz is less expensive than exotic granite. If your kitchen is large with lots of counter space, the cost of your counter top can quickly rise to high numbers. With quartz, you don’t have to compromise a great look for an affordable price.
- Appearance. Top brand quartz manufacturers, like Cambria, Caesarstone, and MSI, offer a vast selection of design options. There are even “Natural” product lines which closely resemble Carrara Marble and other natural stones. However, unlike natural stone slabs, quartz can be crafted with a controlled appearance. The way quartz slabs are produced allows the manufacturer to ensure that the slab is exactly the color, texture, and pattern that you want. There are no defects in a quartz slabs to cut around, which cuts down on costs by eliminating unnecessary waste.
- Strength. Quartz counters are made by combining 93% natural quartz stone with 7% resin binder and some colorant. This creates an extremely hard stone that is stronger that granite or marble. The slab is the same thickness as other materials, and it is shaped, cut and finished using the same stone-cutting equipment.
- Non-porous. Granite and marble are both porous stones with tiny capillary channels between the minerals. If you spill wine on unsealed granite or marble, the wine can sink into these channels and potentially permanently stain the stone. Quartz has no channels and it never requires sealing. Quartz is very stain resistant. This makes it much easier to use and maintain in the kitchen or bathroom.
- Hygienic. Top brand quartz counters are manufactured to be hygienic and to reduce the opportunity for bacteria to grow. This makes top brand quartz counters appropriate for food preparation and consumption. When evaluating quartz, make sure it’s been certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as a safe countertop.
- Maintenance. Granite and marble countertops must be sealed regularly to prevent staining and the growth of bacteria. This maintenance is time consuming and adds cost to these surfaces. Quartz does not require sealing or other routine maintenance to maintain its beauty and functionality.
- Color consistency. Most homeowners are not aware that some granite slabs are commercially dyed in order to improve their sales profiles. The most commonly dyed slabs are the family of black granites. Over time, these dyes change and the appearance of the counter may not be what the customer expected. Quartz is manufactured in many colors, and the color is consistent throughout the entire slab.
- Cleaning. When you pay for your counter, you want it to be user friendly. With quartz, cleaning the counter is easy. The quartz washes off with soap and water and looks as good as new. You don’t have to use special bacteria-preventing soaps. Read more about caring for and maintaining quartz countertops here.
- Scratches. Quartz, because of its design and manufacturing process, is a durable and scratch resistant product. By exercising standard care, your finish will look fabulous throughout your countertop’s lifetime.
- Heat. Quartz is extremely heat resistant. An independent report compiled by Kip Jeffrey, a chartered geologist and fellow of the Geological Society, shows that quartz surfaces can withstand temperatures above 230 degrees. This level of resistance to heat rivals that of more expensive natural stones, like granite. It’s worth remembering that heat resistant doesn’t mean ‘heat-proof’, so quartz worktops can still be damaged by direct exposure to high temperatures. As a precaution, all manufacturers recommend placing trivets or heat-proof mats on quartz worktops instead of putting hot plates or pans directly on them.
Cost, maintenance, and long-lasting durability are the reasons I continue to recommend quartz as a practical alternative to natural stone. There are also many more options with quartz. From design, to color, to texture, the possibilities are almost endless – you can even have a kitchen counter with a Crocodile skin pattern! For more information, or to set up a design consultation, please contact us.