Cloth or leather? Paper or plastic? Digital or vinyl? We have a lot of options when it comes to the types of materials we use and prefer for different purposes. Be it the interior of your car, your grocery bag, or how you enjoy your favorite band; there are benefits and drawbacks to each, but it’s how we prioritize our varying needs to make the best decision. The same is true for your kitchen countertops.
When you think about it you, your family, and your friends spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, with the countertops playing a major role. Not only do your kitchen countertops offer a major aesthetic element to your home, they also create the space for you to live life. For high-end kitchen countertops, you have two options; granite and quartz. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two materials.
What is Granite?
Granite is a very hard, porous stone that is 100% natural. Mined from quarries all around the world, it is cut down into manageable sizes before being polished to a fine finish. Granite comes many different colors and patterns as it is formed by the cooling and solidifying of molten materials. No two granite countertops are the same.
What is Quartz?
While quartz is a natural element, quartz countertops range from 92-95% ground natural quartz, with the other 5-8% being made up of polymer resin and color pigments that bond all of the materials together. Quartz countertops are an engineered product that is uniform in appearance and comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.
The Differences Between Quartz Countertops & Granite Countertops
Now that we know what sets quartz and granite apart from the composition level, what does that mean for their performance, aesthetics, and longevity?
Granite slabs can complement your existing décor, or standout with unique mineral inclusions. The selection of granite countertops is virtually limitless.
One of the biggest draws for quartz countertops is its appearance. Quartz provides the look of stone while allowing for a consistent design. Since quartz is consistent, the selection process is much easier and there is no need to search for the perfect slab.
In order for granite countertops to be made, the granite must be quarried and transported. This makes for a significant carbon footprint when compared to quartz. Because quartz countertops are engineered, using locally manufactured stone and fabricators can dramatically reduce the toll on the environment.
The maintenance and upkeep of your countertops should be a top concern. These activities will impact your time as well as the safety and appearance of your kitchen. Granite countertops should be cleaned daily with soap and water, or a mild household cleaner. These countertops should also be resealed at least once a year due to their porous composition.
Quartz countertops simply need to be wiped down with soap and water, or a similar household cleaner. The solid surface of quartz countertops means that there is no need to ever reseal. Quartz also doesn’t hold viruses or bacteria, so you’ll know that the surface is clean as soon as it is wiped down.
When deciding on countertops, it’s likely going to be a decision you won’t want to have to make again for a long time; making the lifespan of these materials a key consideration.
Granite is a durable material that resists heat. However, due to its porous nature, staining from spilled liquids is a possibility. Also granite may have some inherent flaws that can make it prone to cracking or chipping if it receives a high impact blow.
Quartz is actually harder than granite, naturally making it more durable. Quartz countertops have a solid surface, lacking the porous characteristic of granite, so it is virtually indestructible. Due to the resins used in these countertops the material is uniform throughout, and it is more flexible than granite, meaning it is nearly impossible to crack.
When it comes to your kitchen countertops understanding the pros and cons of your material choices will go a long way in selecting the best option for your needs and tastes. Entrusting your new kitchen to an experienced professional designer and contractor is the best way to get everything your home and life demand from your space. The experts at Acadian House Kitchen and Bath use the latest trends, designs, technology, and materials to make your dream kitchen a reality.