Granite and quartz countertops are an excellent addition to any home, each having its pros and cons. For the most part, granite countertops are more sought after, simply due to their higher cost and in some cases rare nature. On the other hand, quartz countertops look great as well and tend to be easier to care for than granite countertops, at a lower cost to boot. But for some homeowners, it can be tough to tell the difference between quartz and granite countertops with an untrained eye. In this post from the Fox Granite blog, we’ll discuss how you can tell the difference between granite and quartz countertops.
To understand the difference between granite and quartz, you must first understand the acquisition process of each stone.
What Is Granite?
Granite is an entirely naturally occurring rock that is formed over thousands of years due to the cooling of molten lava. As lava cools, hardens, and presses over the centuries, flecks and stripes form on the stone which gives it such unique characteristics. Granite as we know it is composed of several minerals that further add to the properties of the stone. In most cases, granite is harvested from a quarry and then cut into manageable slab sizes. It’s at this point that it’s sent to a distributor, and then an end-user which is in most cases a granite installation company like Fox Granite, and processed for use in homes and businesses.
What Is Quartz?
Quartz is a manmade material that is typically composed of 90-95% quartz and 5-10% resin. It’s common to hear quartz referred to as an engineered stone, as it’s made of leftover quartz which is then ground up and mixed with the resin. Quartz comes in many colors, like white purples, and blues. Many opt to leave the color of quartz as its natural patina, but it can also be engineered to come in some different and more unnatural colors.
What’s The Difference Between Granite and Quartz Countertops?
There are several differences between granite and quartz. Some factors to consider regarding the difference between granite and quartz are:
Due to granite being a naturally occurring stone, it tends to have an earthier look and texture as a result of mineral crystals within the stone, which typically bear microscopic fissures. That being said, granite is typically found in earthy colors like black, brown, tan, khaki, and white.
On the other hand, quartz is bound in resin, which means it doesn’t have the same crystalline structure or fissures found in granite. This gives quartz a much smoother texture. It should also be noted that quartz that is more polished or glossier is a result of finely ground quartz. Quartz is typically found in whites, grays, light blues, and even light pinks, but can be engineered to be just about any color.
In most cases, granite slabs are narrower and shorter than a standard quartz slabs. Granite being typically smaller means it’s easier to install, but the downside is that they cover a smaller area. This means you have to buy more granite slabs to cover a larger kitchen countertop. Quartz countertops tend to come in a wider variety of sizes, so while it’s more difficult to install, it’s often more cost-effective since you need to buy fewer slabs to cover your countertop.
On the note of the price, quartz tends to be much cheaper in areas like Austin, San Antonio, and the rest of the United States since quartz is sourced here, typically in Arkansas. This passes the cost savings onto Americans who are looking to install quartz countertops in their home.
But, granite is typically sourced in other areas of the world, in countries such as Brazil, India, and Russia. This exclusivity means it’s more expensive to import and then install due to the rare nature of many kinds of granite when compared to quartz.
Durability & Maintenance
Both quartz and granite are incredibly durable, with a few differences to improve longevity. Granite tends to be more porous than quartz, meaning it must be sealed after installation, and then sealed every couple of years to ensure durability. It’s also possible for granite slabs to have natural flaws that can make them more prone to cracking.
Quartz doesn’t require sealing whatsoever and tends to be uniform throughout, significantly reducing the likelihood of cracks. Additionally, the resins that quartz countertops are typically made with tend to be highly resistant to staining, while granite tends to be stained rather easily.
Which Stone Is Superior Between Granite and Quartz?
The differences between granite and quartz are notable, but it’s tough to declare one as the true victor. Granite tends to be a much more attractive-looking stone, but the cost reflects this. Additionally, it takes more work to maintain a granite countertop when compared to quartz. If you’re fine with regular maintenance for your granite countertops, as well as the higher associated costs, then granite countertops could be the right choice for you.
But, if you’re looking to improve your kitchen or bathroom on a budget, quartz countertops could be for you. As the stone requires less maintenance, it’s also easier to keep quartz looking brand new for years to come.
You should discuss with your kitchen countertop installation expert the uses of your countertops and see what they think about installing quartz or granite. At Fox Granite, we always consider the needs of our customers and are happy to discuss what we think is best for their homes.
For Quartz and Granite Countertops in Austin and San Antonio, Trust Fox Granite
At Fox Granite, we’re the top provider of quartz and granite countertops in San Antonio as well as the Austin area. We’d be happy to come to your home to discuss your needs in your new countertops, as well as the many options we have available. To learn more, give us a call or contact us online today.