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The Kitchen Countertop Debate: Granite vs. Quartz

Clemson or Carolina? Coke or Pepsi? Granite vs Quartz countertops? Sure, the countertop debate may not be as heated as South Carolina college football, but homebuyers designing custom kitchens often feel strongly about their countertop material of choice.

For a long time granite was king, the high-end kitchen material that had designers seeking out the biggest pieces and most jaw-dropping, naturally-occurring colors. But in recent years quartz has risen as a competitive rival, a high-end material that blends natural ground quartz with polymer resin.

In order to figure out which is best for your home, let’s consider the pros and cons of each as they relate to appearance, durability, cost, and maintenance criteria.

Granite vs. Quartz: Appearance

Granite: One of the advantages of granite is that each piece is a unique piece of art created from molten material that’s cooled and solidified over eons. It’s a mixture of volcanic magma and ash, and it often includes unique minerals that add to its appeal.

But it’s uniqueness can also be a detriment. Large slabs of granite with uniform color can be rare, and for large countertops, piecing multiple slabs together requires skill in matching and joining so it appears seamless.

Quartz: Quartz is a strong rival because it looks like solid stone even though the slab is manufactured from ground quartz (95%) that’s been mixed with a resin (5%). Unlike granite, it can be colored, which makes it easy to match any kitchen color design. You also won’t have the issue of having to match and blend, since there won’t be a shortage of quartz in a given hue.

Granite vs. Quartz: Durability

Granite: Granite is a hard, minimally-porous material that is resistant to damage from heat (don’t worry about resting a warm dish directly on the counter). It takes a hard hit with a solid object to damage it, so it is a durable surface for any kitchen prep. However, because it is porous, it can stain. Granite countertops require periodic resealing to keep them looking good.

Quartz: Quartz is stronger than granite, and it wins the durability category. It’s also non-porous, so you don’t need to worry about bacteria or stains as you would with other materials. Quartz does have one downside: it’s not very heat resistant, so be sure you don’t place hot objects directly on the countertop.

Granite vs. Quartz: Cost

Granite and quartz are both high-end countertop materials, and as a result, they command a premium price. One HomeAdvisor.com article averages granite material and installation to cost $2,000-4,000. Similarly, HomeAdvisor.com averages quartz to cost $1,500-5,500.

Another source averaged granite to cost $55-150 per sq. ft. and quartz to cost $70-100 per sq. ft.

The cost comparison shows that both cover a similar range, with quartz generally costing slightly more, unless the granite is of a particular quality or rarity.

Granite vs. Quartz: Maintenance

Granite: Clean granite daily with soap and water or a mild cleaner. Because it is porous, it’s also recommended that you reseal your countertops to preserve their appearance, keep out bacteria, and avoid staining.

Quartz: Similarly, clean quartz with soap and water or a mild cleaner. However, because it is non-porous, it doesn’t require any resealing.

Who Wins the Granite vs. Quartz Debate?

So which is bette: granite vs quartz countertops? You knew we couldn’t answer that question. Both are quality, high-end countertop materials with clear advantages. Granite is unique but requires more upkeep and may pose a challenge if you need to blend multiple slabs. Quartz is nearly indestructible and non-porous, but it is also expensive.

Now that you’ve seen some of the differences, you can look at samples and decide which works best for your style and budget.

To learn more about countertop materials or our design-build services, contact Odom Design today.