Sometimes there is confusion about what exactly quartz countertops are and how they differ from granite countertops. Granite countertops are 100% natural. Quartz countertops are an engineered material made from about 95% natural quartz, because of this quartz counters come in a wide range of colors and styles not available in granite. For the last decade or so granite has been a favorite for re-modelers and home buyers, but quartz is growing in popularity.
Quartz is created, so there are minimal inconsistencies between the samples appearance and the actual product. Some people like knowing exactly what their countertops will look like, for them quartz will be safer. Others love unique variations in the stone, which granite is great for. All slabs of granite are unique, meaning your countertops will be one of a kind. You could also get quartz that looks like granite or marble if you so desire.
Because every slab of marble is unique, if you have to use more than one slab to cover your counters it can be difficult to visually hide the seam of where the slabs meet. Certain quartz options have more subtle seams, which may be preferable if you have a large surface area to cover. If you are covering a small area like a single sink bathroom counter, then this won’t even be an issue.
Quartz does not need to be sealed or resealed like granite countertops do. Quartz counters are also less porous than other types of stone countertops. They tend to be more stain-resistant than granite, but you should still clean any spills as soon as possible. It is usually safe to use mild household cleaners on quartz when needed, but for daily cleaning water and a paper towel, or cloth, is ideal. Quartz countertops are less heat resistant than other stones like granite, so make sure to use trivets or heating pads under any hot pans or dishes.
Granite countertops will need to be sealed and occasionally resealed. How often this needs to be done will depend on the specific countertop, frequency of use, and the sealer used. For daily cleaning use water and a cloth or soft sponge. Do not use harsh kitchen or all-purpose cleaner on granite! Tough cleaners will slowly break down your granite countertop’s seal. You may not notice any negative affects the first few times, but it will eventually dull the shine and remove the protection from your counters. This means it will be easier to stain/damage the counter and that you will need to have it resealed more often.
Granite is not as stain resistant as quartz, but it is more heat resistant. Leaving a hot pan on quartz can leave a mark on your countertops. This is part of why granite has been a favorite in kitchens. I would imagine the heat resistance would be not as important for non-kitchen countertops, like in a bathroom. Of course if you have a curling iron or straighter in your bathroom that you are always leaving on and knocking over then heat resistant granite may be your friend.
Quartz ✔Strong ✔Stain-Resistant ✔Low-maintenance ✔Color Consistency
Granite ✔Unique ✔Sanitary ✔Heat-resistant ✔Traditional
If you are putting countertops in a frequently used area then I strongly recommend you first decide on the material you want based on its practical attributes. These are both strong options for areas that see a lot of use like kitchens and bathrooms. Once you have picked a material that is best for your lifestyle all there is to do is the fun part, picking a style. That likely wont be too quick a process though, in both categories there are so many looks to choose from! Come see what quartz and granite we offer at our Maple Valley, Wa showroom, or call us at 425-413-0090.