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Granite VS. Quartz Countertops

granite vs. quartz countertops for kitchens and baths

Today’s blog article was written by Bryan Sebring. Bryan owns Sebring Services in Naperville, Illinois and has over 20 years in the design build remodeling and renovation industry. He is featured on Houzz and is a multiple “Best of Houzz” winner. In this article, he gives his perspective of the difference between Granite vs Quartz Countertops If you are considering a kitchen remodel you’ll want to think about the options in countertop materials. Granite and Quartz are the two most popular choices. Take a look at this comprehensive analysis of quartz vs granite together with their pros and cons. Let's start with a brief rundown before focusing on the finer details.

Quartz vs. GraniteCountertops

Quartz countertop material is man made and made up of a mixture of quartz and resin in a ratio of 93% to 7% respectively. They come in hundreds of different patterns and colors by a handful of manufacturers. On the other hand, granite countertops are quarried directly from the earth in large blocks. The blocks are then sliced into slabs and finely polished. They are then both locally fabricated into different countertop shapes depending on your specifications.

A Comprehensive Look at the Pros and Cons of Quartz

Quartz countertops have their fair share of pros and cons, below are some of them: 1). Quartz countertops are very durable and stain-resistant. Being non-porous, quartz does not require sealing, and as a result produce countertops that require very little maintenance. Although they aren't indestructible, their stain resistant nature make them easier to clean. Quartz is also stronger then granite, which helps reduce chips and possible cracking. The appearance of quartz tends to be more uniform, but lately many manufacturers are making patterns that look more like granite.

The Pros and Cons of Granite

Below are the most important pros and cons of granite you need to know. 1). The appearance of granite is not uniform due to the fact that they come straight from the earth. Some might find this a drawback while others will view it as a benefit. 2). Granite countertops require sealing before being used. The sealing should be done every year, meaning additional costs. 3). Since granite is porous, it needs proper sealing for it to be considered stain-resistant. It is advisable to do the sealing on a yearly basis to avoid your countertop getting stained. 4). Although they are destructible, granite countertops are extremely durable. Although subjecting them to heavy use can break them, regular light day-to-day activities coupled with proper maintenance can make the countertops to last for many years. 5). Granite stones are also very heavy, hence the countertops require professional installation. 6). Hiding the seams in granite countertops is not possible, hence you should expect them after they have been installed.

There are different reviews about granite vs quartz available in the Internet. One homeowner might convince you why you need quartz countertops while another one will tell you the benefits of installing granite countertops. This clearly indicates that granite and quartz countertop owners defend their personal choices because they are pleased with them.

Consider the Cost

The choice of installing a quartz or granite countertop is often determined by the eventual installation costs and your budget. Whether you choose to use granite or quartz, the fact is that you'll have to dig deep into your pockets. The price of a slab of granite starts from $60 per square foot while quartz cost anywhere between $67 and $95 per square foot. Generally, you're most likely to spend more if you choose quartz. Prices often vary according to the manufacturer, color and pattern of the granite slab. Fortunately, the cost of granite countertops continue to drop as their supply continue to increase. Another factor that makes granite more expensive is because it is a natural rock. This means that one complete slab should be excavated directly from the earth as one large stone. The cost of extraction and shipping consumes a lot of time, energy and money. This means you should be willing to pay more if you choose to use granite slabs rather than quartz slabs. Nonetheless, the most important thing is your budget and whether you can afford to install granite countertops without stretching it any further.

Consider Aesthetics

Aesthetics should be a personal choice. Each one of us has different tastes and preferences, hence you shouldn't let anyone tell you which one between the two looks better. There are some beautiful and amazing brands that make quartz, including Cambria and Caesarstone. If you're an avid fan of paintings and absolutely adore them, someone who comes along to tell you how bad paintings are won't really make you change your preference. The same applies to quartz and granite. Both make lovely countertops, but there is one that will grab your attention more than the other. Some people like the lustrous uniform look of quartz, while others prefer the natural earthy appearance of granite. Your personal preference is what makes the difference in this case.

Why is Granite More Popular?

Anyone who owned a countertop made of granite back in the 90s was considered to have made it due to the fact that granite was considered a symbol of high status. Furthermore granite is the natural link to nature, something that you can't replace with any type of marble, quartz or even stainless steel countertop. Granite is even deemed as being more prestigious than other materials that can be used to make countertops. It continues to be the most sought after natural counter in the market, even though quartz is continuously gaining ground and Silestone and other quartz products are coming out with new colors every year.

The Indoor Air Quality

Homeowners have been concerned with the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in granite and quartz counters. Countertops made of quartz contain 90% of quartz and 10 % of resin and acrylic, meaning that most tops made of quartz contain more VOCs than tops made of granite. However, some granite slabs contain low levels of radon. Nonetheless, both countertops are considered safe for indoor use.

Adding Value to Your Home

Your home's value will rise immediately after you add stone countertops. Although there are other renovations you can employ that can increase the value of your home, a quality stone countertop is guaranteed to raise your home's price value. If you opt to resell your home after some time, then you're assured to get back the value for your purchase. Furthermore, adding quartz or granite countertops can help your home fetch the right buyer pretty fast. When they are looking for a home to buy, some buyers often ask their real estate agents whether the home has granite countertops. Additionally, if a buyer is considering two similar homes, one with laminate counter and another with stone counter, chances of choosing the home with granite or quartz are pretty high. Therefore, if you're planning to resell your home, you should consider the status symbol effect of granite countertops. Granite countertops often attract homeowners more than any other type of countertop.

The Environmental Impact

A significant percentage of homeowners are currently looking for the most sustainable choices whenever they're remodeling their homes. Quartz materials are known to leave less of carbon footprint when they are used to make countertops. Most of these products contain recycled content and the manufacturing process is also friendlier to the environment. Therefore, if you're looking for the most environmentally friendly choice, then you should consider Cambria made from quartz. Most of their products are manufactured within the U.S., saving on fossil fuels while at the same time supporting the local economy. Furthermore, their products are Greenguard Certified, which means they don't have any negative impact on indoor air quality. The manufacturing company also recycles the water that was used during the manufacturing process, ensuring that the environment isn't polluted.

Which One Will You Choose?

The best one to choose is one that fits into your budget, is the most aesthetically pleasing and highlights the ambiance and mood you want to create in your kitchen. Luckily, there isn't a wrong choice here, but only a matter of personal preference.


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