Both granite and quartz countertops are beautiful and durable. This can you leave you wondering how to decide between the two and whether there is any real substantial difference at all. They are actually different in a few significant ways, but it is difficult to say that either is “better” than the other. This is a case in which the best choice depends very much upon what you are looking for in your countertops.
You probably think of both types of countertops as made of natural stone, but quartz countertops are actually made by humans. Quartz countertops are generally about 90%-94% quartz with the rest made up of pigments, polymers and resin. With granite, you are getting an slab of natural stone. This does not mean that quartz is lower quality than granite, but it does mean that if having all-natural materials in your home is important, you might want to choose granite.
You can’t go wrong with either type of stone as far as how attractive they are, but some people prefer quartz because it has a more consistent color and more varieties of color are available. Granite often has natural variations in color, and the available colors are usually on the darker side. Ultimately, this really comes down to your own aesthetic preferences.
Both types of stone are very durable, but you’ll most likely need to have your granite countertops sealed. This happens when your countertops are installed, and it usually needs to be repeated over time. Granite is porous, meaning that it can be stained from liquid spills and can also harbor germs. However, if your kitchen gets a lot of bright sunlight, keep in mind that the color of some quartz can fade over time under UV light. Quartz can also be damaged if you place a hot pan directly from the stove on it. With granite, as long as you are careful about periodic sealing and cleaning up any spills when they happen, it will maintain its beautiful look, but some people still prefer the lower maintenance offered by quartz.
You may have heard that quartz is “safer” than granite because granite contains low levels of the naturally-occurring gas radon, but the truth is that both are safe for your home. Any radon found in granite countertops is negligible compared to the ordinary amounts of radon you encounter in your day-to-day life. Cost and environmental sustainability are also concerns for many people. Both vary depending on the type of granite or quartz that you choose, and there are strong arguments to be made for both being eco-friendly building materials depending on your criteria.
One reason is can be tough to decide between the two types of materials is that if you ask people about what they have in their kitchen, they often argue vehemently for the type of stone they have chosen. What this tells you is that it is unlikely you’ll be unhappy with whatever your choice is. Both types of stone give a room an elegant look that is likely to last for a long as you have your kitchen.