The two most popular natural stone materials for kitchen countertops by far are Granite and Quartz.
Granite countertops have been the most popular choice for the past two decades in new homes. The past couple years have seen quartz countertops gaining in popularity and challenging granite for the title of most popular.
If you want a high-end finish on your kitchen counters, you can’t go wrong with either material. But which one is right for you?
In this post, we discuss the differences between granite countertops and quartz countertops, the pros and cons, the durability, costs and other factors so you can decide which material is right for your kitchen.
Difference between granite and quartz counters
It is worth noting that granite countertops are 100% natural stone. Granite is often quarried in full stone slabs and then cut to specifications in a workshop before being installed. This is known as slab granite, but counters can also be constructed from tiled or modular granite.
Related: Types of granite
Quartz is a naturally occurring mineral but quartz countertops are actually engineered in a manufacturing facility from about 93% natural quartz stone mixed with resin and coloring to create a durable finished product.
Granite vs quartz heat resistance
Both granite and quartz countertops are durable and heat-resistant, however, granite has no maximum temperature limit within normal household cooking temperatures while the heat limit of quartz is capped at 400 degrees.
Related: Granite countertops guide
Granite vs quartz stain resistance
Quartz countertops have a very low water absorption rate and because of this are highly stain resistant. They also do not require sealing. Normal kitchen usage and spills should not stain quartz. However, because quartz counters have resins in them, it’s possible they could react to some chemicals. You should keep solvents, paints, sodium hydroxide and permanent markers off of them.
Granite counters are resistant to stains. That said, liquids spilled on granite should be wiped up within a few minutes. If left alone, liquids can soak into granite, leaving a dark colored spot. This will usually evaporate unless it is an oil based liquid. Granite countertops will also need to be sealed periodically because the sealant can wear off over time.
Granite vs quartz strength
Both granite and quartz are very durable and extremely hard stone countertops, but compared to the durability of quartz, granite is more prone to chips and cracks. Granite and quartz are both very scratch resistant but neither is indestructible. Using a cutting board is recommended with both.
Related: Quartz countertops guide
Granite vs quartz cost
Both granite and quartz are expensive, high-end countertop materials compared to other options available. This is part of why they are popular and why they will add value to your home. Both materials are within the same general price range, but generally, quartz is the more expensive material. However, there are very expensive and rare varieties of granite which can be more expensive. Often there can be a difference in installation cost. Granite is much heavier and will require an experienced installer, which increases the final cost.
Ultimately the cost comes down to the variety of quartz or granite you choose and the final cost of installation. It’s going to be very close in cost at the end and if you’re splurging on a high-end material, you can set cost aside and choose the one you really love.
Related: Granite countertop installation
Granite vs quartz maintenance
Because of the porous nature of granite, it will need to be sealed every 1-3 years to protect it from stains. Keeping it sealed will have the added benefit of keeping the same shine and appearance it had on the day it was installed. Quartz is a nonporous engineered stone and never needs to be sealed, giving it a long term advantage in maintenance and upkeep.
Granite vs quartz resale value
Using either of these natural stone for your countertops will increase your home sale value. Which material you use for your counters will matter less in the resale value of your home than will the kitchen layout, usability, and appliances. A well-designed kitchen adds resale value no matter counters are granite or quartz. It’s more important you choose a color that works well with the color of your cabinets and floor.
Related: How to match your countertops and cabinets
It’s possible that in ten years one of these stone surfaces will have a higher resale value, but currently, it’s even between the two.
For information on either granite or quartz countertops, contact us online or call 314.533.3366
Graniterra is located in St. Louis, Missouri and supplies granite and natural stone countertops and provides expert installation from our in-house team. With over 30 years in the stone business, we have the knowledge & experience to deliver a perfect project. Request a quote