In selecting the right material for your countertops there are many aspects to consider. Function, durability, aesthetics and cost are all things that will impact your decision between granite and quartz.
A Few Facts About Granite
Granite is a combination of quartz, mica and feldspar. In other words, it’s a rock. Granite is mined in quarries throughout the world, most predominantly in Brazil, Italy, India and China. Granite varies in appearance. The granite we frequently see has a tight, consistent pattern and tends to be the most cost-effective. The price of granite is driven by the rarity of the stone. Granites with bold, flowing “movement” and variation tend to be the more rare, exotic granites and, therefore, more costly.
As a rock, or formation, granite is a hard and durable, yet porous material by nature. It can have tiny lines (fissures) and pits throughout its surface; these imperfections are not considered defects, but rather the natural beauty of the granite.
Granite does need to be sealed from time to time. Recommendations vary, but a good test to check your granite is to pour a little water on your countertop. If the water ‘beads’ up like on a waxed car, the seal is fine. If the water dissipates, on the other hand, you may want to seal your granite. It is a simple process that can be done by the average homeowner. You can also talk to the fabricator about granite sealants that offer lifelong protection to avoid this issue altogether.
Quartz (an ingredient in granite) is manufactured using a process that mixes approximately 95 percent ground natural quartz with 5 percent polymer resins. The result is an extremely hard, low-maintenance material. Because it is manufactured, quartz is available in a wide array of color options not readily available in granite or natural stone.
Another advantage that quartz offers is consistency. Each slab of granite can vary – there is no control over what comes out of the earth. With quartz, that problem is all but eliminated. Boasting low maintenance (it never needs to be sealed), high durability and endless color choices, engineered quartz offers a great alternative to granite countertops.
Granite vs. Quartz
If you are looking for a specific color, or perhaps even white, quartz may be a better option for you. If it is the rich look of earth tones and variation you are interested in, perhaps one of our more exotic stones will fit your needs.