For the last few decades, granite has been the dominant material in high-end countertop design. It seemed like everyone wanted it. However, some homeowners weren’t impressed with granite’s required upkeep and searched for a different option. That’s when quartz came into the picture. Manmade and non-porous, Quartz seemed to be just like granite–but new and improved. Which material is right for your lifestyle and space? We’ll take an in-depth look at the benefits and disadvantages of each, and let you decide the winner of the quartz vs. granite argument.
The longtime favorite, granite is a natural product. It is a very durable, hard stone. Its appearance will vary, and not just from showroom sample to quarry product, but from slab to slab. Because the look and composition of granite is affected by its environment, each piece has different movement, depth, and color/pattern shifts. It may also contain natural fissures and cracks. None of these are structural defects, but naturally occurring variations that add to the beauty of the product. Though granite can be stunning, that beauty comes at a price—about $50-$100 per square foot installed, without special edges, drain boards, and backsplashes. It’s a hard surface, but simultaneously delicate. For general light cleaning, soap and water will do. Extensive cleaning requires specific stone cleaners. Granite also must be sealed and resealed at least once every few years. Granite is stone. It is porous and rough. If improperly sealed, it may discolor or worse, allow bacteria, mold, and mildew to grow. If you take care of your granite, it can last you a lifetime.
Like granite, quartz is a stone product. The difference is that quartz countertops are 93% quartz and 7% resin binders and pigments. The introduction of man-made substances makes quartz extremely durable and nonporous. It is very food safe and easy to clean. You only have to use warm water and soap. It is also harder than granite. How you view quartz may depend on personal preference. Unlike granite, quartz is generally consistent in appearance. Some quartz has more variety than others, but generally there isn’t much. We think Cambria quartz does a pretty good job of creating visual interest.
If you’re looking to resell within the next few years, you may want to install quartz instead of granite. If you love your space and are there to stay, choose whichever material suits you best.
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