Granite or Quartz Worktops: Which one is better?
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our customers, Granite or Quartz? On the surface (pun intended), it seems like a simple question. However, it is difficult to determine exactly which one is better, as they each have their own advantages and disadvantages which suit different kitchens and households.
Instead, we can break down the key differences between the two types of surface so that you can decide which one is the better option for you. The key features we will be focusing on here are:
- Price and Cost difference
First, we need to know what these surfaces actually are and where they come from.
Granite is essentially a huge piece of cut out rock. Taken from large quarries, Granite is cut into blocks at first and then cut down into the larger slabs which are used in kitchens, bathrooms and whatever else you may find a granite worktop. Because granite slabs are completely natural, you will struggle to find 2 pieces of granite that look the same, making them a highly popular choice for kitchen worktops as the slab of granite used for your kitchen is entirely unique. Granite is an incredibly durable material which is why it is so popular, a well maintained granite worktop could last decades in almost any kitchen.
Quartz is a type of gemstone that is made up of silica and oxygen and is combined with resin and colouring pigments to create the worktop surface. Because quartz worktops are not cut out from natural stone like granite, quartz surfaces can be created with a huge range of different colours, designs and patterns and can quite easily be replicated. Quartz worktops are becoming more and more popular due to their versatility in both design and build, as they are actually stronger than most granite surfaces with the added bonus of being more flexible.
Granite Vs Quartz Appearance
The main difference between granite worktops and quartz worktops is their appearance and design. As granite slabs are completely natural, they will each have their own unique appearance and features that no other granite surface will replicate. While this can be seen as an advantage, it also means there could be several faults or imperfections that you may not notice until it has already been installed. In comparison, Quartz worktops are designed instead of found naturally, providing a huge range of patterns and styles so that you can match the design of your kitchen exactly. Quartz worktops can be made to look like marble, metal, wood or even granite-like designs. However due to quartz worktops being manufactured to meet a specification, they usually are not very unique.
If the visibility of seams are important to you, then you may want to consider a quartz worktop instead as the seams are almost invisible especially with solid colour or darker surfaces. Granite surfaces tend to have much more visible seams because of the stone’s natural designs, which makes it difficult to maintain a consistent style especially when it comes to installing corners in your kitchen.
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Appearance is completely subjective and the only factor you should consider here is if you like how a surface looks. With the huge range of different granite colours and quartz designs available, you will be spoilt for choice for what exactly you want your kitchen to look like. Both surfaces look fantastic when installed and there are not any inherently “bad” quartz or granite worktops, it entirely comes down to your preference.
Granite Vs Quartz Durability
Both surfaces are highly durable and will survive pretty much all of the daily wear and tear in a kitchen. They are both highly scratch resistant, chip resistant and can deal with both high and low temperatures fairly well with some differences.
It is incredibly important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each surface before purchasing, as you will need to determine which one is both the most suitable for your lifestyle and which one will be the better long term investment.
Quartz Pros and Cons
Quartz worktops have several advantages over granite in regards to durability. One of the main features of quartz surfaces is that they do not require any sealing and are completely non-porous, meaning that they will almost never stain and require very little maintenance. Quartz worktops are also generally stronger than granite surfaces whilst maintaining a similar thickness and are more flexible, which makes quartz surfaces much easier to install seamlessly.
If your quartz worktop does ever chip or crack, it can be repaired. You will need to contact an expert as repairing quartz surfaces does require a certain level of expertise but it can be returned to looking as good as new.
The main issues that quartz worktops have are that the resin that covers the quartz can fairly easily burn or melt if, for example, a hot pan is left on top of the surface for too long. This can leave permanent scorch marks or a melted resin on your surface which can be reasonably difficult to to repair. Quartz worktops can also become discoloured if exposed to constant ultraviolet light from the sun, depending on the colour. For most, this will not be an issue for quite a significant amount of time even if your surface is by a window but it is important to consider.
Granite Pros and Cons
Granite is an extremely hard material and can very easily survive the majority of general wear and tear that comes with a kitchen. Granite is incredibly heat resistant, more so than quartz and can bear much higher temperatures before showing any signs of damage. If any chips, scratches or cracks do manage to appear in a granite surface, repairing is much easier than quartz surfaces and you will not require a specialist to repair it for you. You can find tutorials and products online that allow you to repair your surface by yourself, even with no prior experience.
With a granite worktop, you will never have to worry about scratches on the surface whereas you will need to be more aware with a quartz surface. Granite countertops are usually so durable that they can outlast the very building they are placed in, as long as it is maintained properly and effectively.
While granite is a very solid material, there can be imperfections within the stone called “fissures” that can weaken the overall structural integrity of your worktop. These imperfections are usually filled with a transparent resin to help keep the stone solid but there is always a chance that one or two are missed. Granite surfaces usually need to be sealed to prevent any liquids seeping into the stone itself, this process will need to be redone every year. While this process is fairly straightforward, it is something that Quartz surfaces do not ever require.
Granite Vs Quartz Price
Both granite and quartz are premium, high cost worktop materials which require a long term investment. While usually very pricey, these surfaces are more than worth the cost. They are designed to last decades of wear and tear usually found in a kitchen and they of course are very visually appealing. The prices for these 2 materials are quite similar with quartz worktops becoming more widely available, causing the price to fall to similar levels to granite.
The price differences depend on both the style of the surface as well as the overall quality. While the lower end materials are still very durable, you should definitely consider purchasing a top of the range surface to truly ensure that your worktops last as long as possible.
The surface itself is not the only thing you will need to consider the price of. There are several other factors that affect the cost and long term investment value of a countertop, including:
- Maintenance and Durability
- Real Estate value
These 3 can both add or subtract from the overall value of a worktop, both immediate and long term.
Both of these materials are incredibly heavy, a fairly small 36 inch countertop weighs around 100 pounds. These surfaces require a lot of experience and skills to install correctly that most people simply do not have. This means that you will need to contact a professional to fabricate and install your countertop. Fortunately, we at Granite House can provide you with the granite or quartz surface you are looking for, cut and fabricate it and then install it for your convenience.
Fitting and installing Quartz worktops is slightly easier in comparison to granite countertops. Quartz surfaces are generally more flexible and easy to work with, which makes it a better choice for long worktop lengths that require cut outs for sinks and hobs.
Ensuring that your countertops are installed correctly is crucial, a poorly installed surface can not only damage the material itself but the area around it. We have plenty of experience in installation of both granite and quartz worktops, visit our case studies page to see some of our previous work.
Maintenance and Durability
Here is where Quartz surfaces gain a big advantage over granite. While granite worktops require sealing upon installation and then periodic sealing every year or so afterwards, quartz does not. This is because quartz surfaces use resins during fabrication to ensure they are completely non-porous, whereas granite is naturally porous.
While both surfaces will rarely ever chip or crack, granite comes out as the winner in terms of long term cost efficiency. Repairing small damages in granite worktops is much easier and can be done at home without the need of a specialist, you only need to invest a little time into learning and the correct products to do it. Quartz surfaces are much more complicated to repair and 9 times out of 10 you will need to contact a professional to assist you, which will cost you more in the long term.
When it comes to cleaning stains, spills or any other minor mishaps, both surfaces are relatively easy to clean. Sealed granite and quartz countertops can usually be cleaned using simple warm soapy water and a cloth. The only additional cost for cleaning comes from sealing the granite, which we previously discussed.
Real Estate Value
This may not be a factor that you consider straight away, as you are only just looking to install your countertops. However, in the future you may consider selling your house and the value of your house will begin to become an important factor. Both granite and quartz countertops will likely improve the real estate value of your home and impress potential buyers as long as your surfaces are still in good condition. While this could change over time, there may be some buyers who prefer a granite countertop over a quartz countertop as it is the more natural material.
This shouldn’t necessarily completely put you off Quartz surfaces as they will both have a positive impact, it is something worth considering. Again, this could very easily change over time so try not to have this factor as a priority.
Conclusion: Granite or Quartz worktops
As a whole, Granite and Quartz worktops have a lot of similarities. Quartz is much easier to work with, is slightly stronger than granite, requires less maintenance and is available in a much wider range of colours and styles. On the other hand, Granite is a completely natural, durable material that provides an entirely unique style to each interior and can survive much higher temperatures in comparison to quartz surfaces. It is important that you consider your own preferences when it comes to appearance as well as your lifestyle requirements. If you simply do not have the time to reseal, clean and maintain a granite surface, go for quartz. If you are looking for a truly unique, durable surface that is difficult to damage yet easy to repair, you should consider granite. As long as you are able to look after your surface, it will last you a very long time.
We hope that this breakdown of the main differences between the two surfaces has been helpful to you. If you believe that you are ready to find a great looking granite or quartz surface for your kitchen, you should take a look at the brands we supply and discover the perfect style for your needs. You can also visit our Case studies page to see some of our previous work.