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  • Lorey Cavanaugh

Quartz vs. Granite- Your Choice Will Be Based on a Number of Factors



People often come into our showroom here in West Hartford and ask the question, which is better for a countertop, granite or quartz? The answer is not cut and dried; rather it is based upon the facts of the materials and preference. Personal taste, budget, and the look one is after, all play a part in choosing between the two materials.

What is the difference?

The facts are simple, granite is 100% natural stone, mined from the earth in large slabs and cut down for stone fabricators. Quartz tops, on the other hand, are manmade. Pure quartz stone is crushed and mixed with a binding agent then patterned in a factory. Because granite is totally natural, no two slabs will ever be exactly the same, a plus for those who like a “one of a kind” look, while quartz will have a uniform look and color from piece to piece.

Popularity

Granite has been a popular choice for many years because of its natural beauty and strength, as well as its cachet for being an upscale, high end material. Quartz however has been catching up to granite in popularity over the last several years, and according to the most recent Houzz Kitchen Survey, has actually surpassed granite in popularity. The number of color choices available, as well as its consistency in look has helped to contribute to this material’s increased use, particularly in contemporary and transitional design.

Durability

A nonporous and nonabsorbent material, Quartz won’t absorb odors, moisture or bacteria from food. Clean up is simple with mild soap and water, and quartz does not need to be sealed unlike granite. Quartz may discolor over time, and it is not recommended for use outdoors or where there is over exposure to sunlight. Granite on the other hand will need to be resealed periodically-most recommend annually. Clean granite with mild soap and water and never use harsh chemicals or let acidic liquids such as citrus juices or wine sit on your granite for an extended period. These can damage the finish and/or stain.

Appearance

Because granite is 100% natural, and no two pieces are alike, your installed countertop will not have a uniform look, which appeals to some who like the one of a kind nature of the stone. Quartz, because it is man made, will be uniform in color and appearance throughout the space which appeals to those who like a more modern aesthetic. Quartz manufacturers are coming out with new product that is designed to resemble natural stone, however nothing can replicate “Mother Nature”, so even in these there are repeating patterns.

Cost

Countertops are countertops, and either material will eat into a budget. Costs for granite or quartz can vary depending on a number of factors. These include color, thickness and edge detail, as well as in the case of granite, availability of the material. Granite that is more readily available from a quarry will cost less than granite that is more “exotic” and harder to come by. We caution people against trying to get a square foot cost for these materials because of the variables which can influence pricing greatly, with one or the other material coming out more or less expensive based on them.

So you see, the answer to this question is more than just which is better, and ultimately depends on the homeowner.

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