Recently, there has been a debate on which material is considered the best choice for a kitchen countertop. For a long time, granite had been the popular choice to finish the most stylish kitchens. While granite is still a standard for a lasting and modern surface, quartz is being used more frequently, and is cutting into a market once dominated by granite. As granite and quartz are similar in price and have unique characteristics, the issue of which is better is ultimately decided by one’s personal preference.
Both the way a quartz slab is manufactured as well as its natural characteristics makes it a less porous material than granite. As a result, there is less chance for food, bacteria, or water to penetrate the exterior surface. Although these unwanted particles seldom enter the surface of granite countertops, the more porous nature of granite may result in their entrapment. Consequently, quartz countertops are cleaner and more resilient against bacteria and stains.
Quartz and Granite are both extremely strong materials. However, a quartz countertop is the more durable of the two, ranking second only to diamonds when comparing the hardness and scratch resistance of materials. Diamond is rated at 10, quartz is rated at 7. Granite is rated less because its durable composition is only about 50% that of quartz. In quartz countertops the material is often created from more than 92% pure quartz.
Although quartz can be engineered to bring out a wide variety of colors, granite generally contains the best natural color patterns and formations. For those who want the natural look of stone with movement and veins, granite is the clear choice. For many, the solid colors in quartz can be very creative yet unrealistic because the colors and patterns are almost too uniform. However, for one who likes a clean uniform look, quartz has a beautiful appearance and can be found in almost any color. Cambria has produced over 90 quartz colors and pattern samples that give the customer numerous selection options.
In regards to refinishing or sealing, quartz is much easier to take care of as there is no need for refinishing or annual sealing. Granite on the other hand, should be resealed about once per year.
Unlike laminate or solid, both granite and quartz countertops can be used as food cutting surfaces. Both are also able to handle a hot pot for short periods of time. However, if heat is placed on either granite or quartz in the same spot day after day, both can eventually be damaged.
In summary, although both granite and quartz come from the earth and are natural, they still differ in the following aspects: Quartz is a less porous material as compared to granite. That’s why it is more resilient against stains and bacteria. Quartz is a harder and stronger material. Granite has veins, movement, and natural color patterns which make it a more beautiful surface than most quartz countertops. Once completed, quartz does not need to be resealed, whereas granite needs to be resurfaced at least once a year. In the end it comes down to personal preference and what characteristics are most important to you in your kitchen countertop.