Granite vs Quartz Countertops

October 18, 2017

Granite vs quartz countertops? It can be a hard question to answer. After all, the kitchen is an important part of any home – it’s where the magic happens!

A good kitchen can be a source of inspiration, leading to wonderful meals and new recipes. That means the kitchen is one room you definitely don’t want to overlook. So, when you’re dreaming up and planning out your custom home, don’t forget about the kitchen countertops! The material of your countertop can drastically affect the aesthetic of your kitchen.

Granite vs Quartz Countertops

There are many materials used for kitchen countertops. Two of the most common are granite and quartz. While some would argue that one material is always better than another, the fact is that each of these materials has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding the pros and cons of both granite and quartz can help you choose the countertop material that will best suit your needs. Here’s what you need to know when you’re evaluating granite vs quartz countertops:

Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops

Granite is one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials. As with anything, there are pros and cons of granite countertops.

3 Pros of Granite Countertops

Here are some of the benefits of granite countertops:

1. Granite Provides Natural Beauty

Granite is a hard stone. It appears naturally, which offers a gorgeous natural look to your kitchen, is mined and cut to properly fit on counters, and is a great option for integrated sinks. Typically, it comes in gray hues, but there are plenty of other colors and patterns you can buy.

No two granite slabs are the same! Quarries from all over the planet produce the commercial-grade granite used in home decor. This stone, produced deep in the Earth’s crust, develops its own unique shape and coloration under differing conditions of pressure and heat.

As such, you can choose a pink granite hue to match a bright room, a dark blue granite to meld with a serious coloration, or a neutral tone whenever you need a countertop that does its job first and gets attention afterward. With the various colors available, you can easily match the countertops to the color of the cabinets, flooring or carpeting, window coverings, or kitchen backsplashes.

2. Granite Countertops Are Durable

Granite is extremely hard and will last for many years provided it is properly sealed and maintained. It’s a durable material that is impervious to heat. It’s also scratch resistant.

This means it can take an assault from family members and pets without sustaining much damage and suffers very little from wear and tear once properly sealed. This also makes it one of the best bathroom countertops in addition to a popular choice for kitchens.

3. They Are Relatively Low Maintenance

On top of their durability, granite countertops are relatively low maintenance. Because granite is a porous material, it does need to be sealed. However, many of the sealants used today will last 10 years or more before needing a reapplication. Due to their durability, repairs or resurfacing are often not needed.

3 Cons of Granite Countertops

As with anything, there are some potential drawbacks to granite countertops as well. Here are a few cons of granite countertops:

1. Granite Countertops Can Have Higher Prices

When it comes to pricing, granite counters usually have a higher range than quartz countertops. Differences vary depending on where you purchase them, the size and quality, and the cost of installation.

Plus, granite weighs much more than some other materials, which means it requires a stronger structure underneath it that can reliably bear its weight. This can add to labor and installation costs. At the same time, granite is a luxurious and durable option that can also increase home value.

2. Granite Does Require Some Maintenance

Although properly sealed granite is heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and stain-resistant, it all depends on the quality of the seal and frequency of use, and does require some maintenance. Granite is a porous material, so if the countertop is improperly sealed or poorly balanced, oils, acids, water, and other liquids can cause damage and stains or deteriorate the seal over time.

Many modern sealants can last 10 years or more before needing a reapplication. But, frequent use of acids, oils, etc., especially if they are not wiped up quickly, can cause the sealant to deteriorate faster over time. Wiping down granite countertops regularly and resealing as recommended go a long way in preventing damage. Knowing how to clean granite countertops can help you keep this type of countertop looking great.

3. Repairs Can Be Costly

Because granite countertops tend to be cut and installed in slabs and are generally so durable, any repairs or resurfacing that would be needed should be done by a professional. On the one hand, this makes repairs costly.

On the other hand, it’s rare that granite countertops sustain enough damage to need repairs or resurfacing in the first place. Provided your granite countertops are a quality product that was installed correctly, properly sealed, and properly maintained, they should last for the life of your home or longer.

Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops

Quartz often battles with granite as another one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials. As with granite, there are pros and cons of quartz countertops too.

3 Pros of Quartz Countertops

Here are some of the biggest benefits of quartz countertops:

1. Quartz is Customizable

Quartz is a very customizable material, which is one of the reasons it has become so popular. It looks like stone; however, it can be altered in a variety of ways. Because there are extensive color and design choices available in quartz, it can fit into any decor. And, it can add a luxurious detail to your kitchen, which is one of the modern kitchen design ideas.

2. Quartz Countertops Are Durable

Because of the frequent use, durable countertops are one of the kitchen must-haves. Since quartz is highly durable, it is a top choice for kitchen countertops. Quartz is non-porous and tends to be considered as just as durable as granite.

Although it can be sensitive to heat, it is impervious to stains. Quartz also tends to be resistant to scratches and doesn’t tend to chip or crack easily.

3. Quartz Countertops Are Easy to Maintain

Quartz is practically hassle-free after installation. Oils and acids aren’t as abrasive on quartz, so it’s not necessary to cleanse as frequently as granite. Plus, it’s a solid material, so it won’t need sealing either!

On top of that, quartz tends to be food-safe since it is not prone to harboring bacteria and tends to have a natural resistance to mold. These are also some of the pros of quartz sinks if you’re considering them for your bathroom or kitchen.

3 Cons of Quartz Countertops

As with anything, there are some potential drawbacks of quartz countertops as well. Here are some potential cons of quartz countertops:

1. Quartz Countertops Are Sensitive to Heat

Quartz is another durable countertop material. Because it is non-porous, it does not need to be sealed, it’s stain resistant, impervious to liquids, and it’s also more resistant to mold in humid climates. However, quartz countertops are sensitive to heat and hot objects can damage them.

Because of this, it’s important to always use pot holders, heat protective mats, etc. before placing any hot objects on the surface. This also means they are recommended for indoor use only. Because UV rays from the sun can cause discoloration, quartz countertops do not tend to be a good choice for outdoor kitchen design.

2. Installation Can Be Challenging

Because quartz is a durable and sturdy material, it also tends to be very heavy and is moved in slabs. Although this can be a great countertop option to support drop-in sinks, it does make it difficult to move without the right tools and experience.

This can add certain challenges and obstacles when it comes to installation. Not only do you need the right tools, equipment, and experience to install it, but it also requires a sturdier foundation to support the weight of the finished countertops.

3. Quartz Can Be a More Expensive Countertop Material

Although the price range is more varied for quartz and it can have a lower cost than granite, it can still be more expensive than other countertop materials. As with granite countertops, quartz countertops will add value to your home, but they can still be a bigger initial investment.

What’s the Right Kitchen Countertop Material for You?

Picking the right countertop for your kitchen is important and getting it wrong is one of the kitchen design mistakes to avoid. A good countertop should be able to last for many years and hold up to all forms of wear and tear. It is a good idea to look at different countertop materials and compare pros and cons, consider costs, think about colors, etc. Doing so will help you make a well-informed decision regarding which type of countertop would be best for your home.

Granite and quartz are popular materials that consistently show up in kitchen design trends year after year. Each has its pros and cons when it comes to your kitchen countertops. So, when it comes to granite vs quartz countertops, the right one for you will depend completely on the aesthetic you want for the kitchen and how you see yourself using it in your custom home. And, although these are the two most popular countertop materials, there are other options to choose from when it comes to countertops in your custom home.

Working with a custom home builder, especially one with an in-house design/build process, can be a big help when it comes to working through design details like countertop materials. They can help narrow down the options to what works best for your needs and help ensure you get the home you want. If you’re ready to get started on your own custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090. We can help bring your dream home to life!