These days, the options for robust, attractive countertops are constantly increasing. While this can be great, it can also make it hard to decide which one is right for your kitchen. Two of the leading choices are quartz countertops and granite countertops.
Some people think quartz countertops are better than granite. However, the truth is that quartz is better for some people, while others might prefer granite. These are two countertop materials with very similar performance in most practical situations. However, once you understand these materials, you can see why they’re different and why one might be better for your kitchen than the other.
Quartz is a natural stone – it’s natural glass – but quartz countertops are engineered stone products. We understand that this can be confusing. Quartz countertops are made mostly of natural stone byproducts (around 95% stone) held together with a synthetic binder, sometimes with additional materials added for appearance (more on this later).
Granite countertops are natural stone slabs cut and shaped to be countertops. Strictly speaking, not all “granite” countertops would be called granite by geologists, but most of them are functionally similar enough that we can consider them as a group.
Generally speaking, quartz countertops and granite countertops are pretty comparable in price. Exclusive designs using premium materials can make some quartz countertops very expensive. Similarly, some granite countertops are rare patterns brought from distant quarries, making them expensive.
However, both options have come down in price recently, meaning that there are at least some options in the price range of most home remodelers.
When it comes to appearance, some people like that quartz countertops give them precise control over the look of their countertops. Quartz is an engineered material that designers can make into many different styles. Some quartz countertops look very similar to granite. Others look artificial and can help a kitchen look more modern, even futuristic, whereas most granite betrays its origin as a natural stone.
This is not to say that granite countertops don’t come in a wide variety of appearances. There are thousands of natural granite patterns available.
Quartz countertops and granite countertops have about the same durability for most daily applications. Properly installed and cared for, they will likely last the lifetime of your home. Both are highly resistant to chipping and breaking, but both can be chipped or broken in some circumstances.
Both are highly resistant to staining but can be stained under certain conditions.
Some people will tell you that quartz countertops are better than granite countertops because they don’t need to be sealed. This is true, but it’s not as big an issue as it used to be. In the past, you had to seal granite countertops annually. Nowadays, your installer will seal your granite countertop, and it might not need to be sealed again for 15 years or more.
Granite countertops are more heat resistant than quartz. Almost anything that comes out of your oven or off your stovetop can go on a granite countertop without damaging it. However, hot pots and pans can burn a quartz countertop.
Granite countertops are more UV-resistant than many quartz countertops. Granite is a stone – it sits out in the sun for millennia without fading. However, some binders in quartz countertops can turn cloudy under UV radiation. When choosing a quartz countertop, tell your stone specialist if the countertop will be in direct sunlight – such as if it will be outside. They will direct you to UV-resistant quartz countertops.
With so much similarity in price and durability, appearance typically determines whether you want a quartz or granite countertop for your kitchen.
That’s why the experience at The Stone Collection is so important. You can come to our showrooms in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Phoenix, Texas, or Utah without an appointment. You can wander through them looking at stone slabs, either on your own or with the help of a stone specialist to help guide you to materials that fulfill your design goals and functional needs. You are looking at the actual stone slabs you can purchase, and when you find one you like, we will hold it for your fabricator for two weeks without charge. Then your fabricator can install the stone you chose to perfect the appearance of your kitchen.
Want to learn more about the stones we offer? Please get in touch with us today. However, you should also feel free to stop by our showrooms – there’s no appointment necessary.
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