When it comes to home countertops, two materials are taking the country by storm: granite and quartz.
In fact, “two out of five homeowners choose one of these two surfaces, often for durability and easy cleaning,” according to a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study.
While they may have equality in public opinion, each material has distinct advantages and disadvantages. When deciding, it’s important to understand their differences.
Here are some facts to consider, as provided by Houzz:
Advantages of granite
Longevity: Granite, notes Houzz, “is time-tested and has universal appeal.” While some colors may seem dated as time goes on, “you generally can’t go wrong with granite as a long-term investment. It almost always helps sell homes.”
It comes in wide slabs: Granite can be found in slabs more than 70 inches wide, while quartz is more commonly 56 inches wide. Wider slabs generally mean fewer seams, and if only one slab is needed, this can cut costs.
It’s cheaper: While “exotic” granite can be expensive, more common types cost from $35 to $55 per square foot installed – “significantly less than most quartz options,” notes Houzz.
It’s natural: Since granite isn’t man-made like quartz, it has the unique patterns and textures only nature can provide. “As durable as quartz is and as innovative as manufacturing processes are becoming, it won’t ever be 100% natural, and that’s a deal breaker for a lot of homeowners,” notes Houzz.
It can be used outdoors: While quartz may fade and discolor with long-term exposure to sun, granite should stay true to its original color, even in sunlight and weather extremes.
Advantages of quartz
It’s not porous: Spills of liquid, such as wine, can stain granite, if unattended too long. By contrast, quartz won’t stain from coffee, citrus juice, cooking oil, etc. It’s also “about as scratch- and stain-resistant as countertops get,” reports Houzz.
It needs less maintenance: Because granite is porous, homeowners need to seal it every two to five years. They must also be careful while cleaning, as some soaps may stain the stone. By contrast, quartz can handle most detergents and doesn’t require sealing.
It offers a clean look: For those desiring a streamlined look, quartz is the best option. Slabs of the same color won’t vary as granite does, and it doesn’t have the swirls and speckles of granite, which can look “busy.”
It’s less brittle: While installing large slabs of granite, there’s always the danger of breakage, particularly if lots of angles are required. By contrast, quartz is manmade with resins and polymers that form strong bonds. Thus, it is less likely to break.
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