Quartz vs. Granite – What is Right for my Kitchen?
A common question we hear at Kitchen Solvers of the Gulf Coast when working with a client to design a kitchen in the Clearwater and St. Petersburg areas is, what are the major differences between quartz and granite, and which is best for my home? For many that have remodeled their kitchens in the last 20 years, they were pushed towards installing beautiful granite countertops in their kitchens as that was the popular trend of the time. Often, this time around those clients are automatically geared towards incorporating a new granite countertop in their new kitchens. With the rise of quartz countertops, many clients are unaware of the differences between quartz and granite, and which countertop is right for their kitchen. In order to provide some clarity, we will compare these two popular countertop options in terms of style, care, and cost.
Granite countertops are a natural hard stone that is formed from the cooling of molten materials and is formed over many thousands of years. Granite is mined all around the world and each region it is mined from will produce a unique style of granite. Because of the natural processes at work, no two pieces of granite will be the same. Granite is mined and cut into more manageable slabs that are then polished to a fine sheen that brings out the brilliant colors and patterns that we see.
When looking to purchase granite countertops for your new kitchen, it is important that you take a trip to the granite fabricator to pick out your slab of granite, as sample tiles will not be able to give an accurate picture of what the slab of granite will look like. For those clients looking for a new granite countertop, part of the design process at Kitchen Solvers of the Gulf Coast is to include a meeting with our granite fabricator so that our clients know exactly what their granite countertops will look like.
Many are amazed to find out that quartz countertops are a manufactured product. Unlike granite, quartz countertops are created in a very controlled process that uses ground up natural quartz and other materials (dyes, stones, glass, glitter, and more!) along with polymer resins to create a very hard, durable, and style-consistent product.
In terms of style, one of the major reason’s quartz has become so popular is that the appearance of quartz can be very well controlled. Quartz countertops can be created to have an exact look that is sure to match perfectly with the rest of the space. A small quartz countertop sample can certainly provide an accurate picture of what the quartz countertop will look like, however, if you are looking to purchase quartz with more elaborate designs, it is recommended to also take a trip to the countertop fabricator in order to see a large size slab of the countertop in person.
In terms of care, there are also some major differences when it comes to having a countertop that will look great for many years to come. In terms of care, granite certainly comes with more upkeep than quartz. Granite being a natural product, and an aggregate of different materials coming together to create its fantastic colorations, means that unfortunately it is a porous surface. In terms of a surface that we work on in the kitchen, this can create issues if not treated properly. If you have a porous surface that is not sealed regularly you can run into issues of staining, discoloration, burning, and can also provide a microscopic habitat for germs/bacteria. It is recommended to clean granite daily with water and mild soap, and to have your granite countertops sealed once a year.
Quartz on the other hand, being a manufactured product, has the benefits of being a nearly indestructible and non-porous surface. Unlike granite, you never will need to seal a quartz countertop, and quartz will be much more user-friendly and forgiving for those of us that are not always on top of cleaning up spills etc. (although it is always recommended to do so right away). For these reasons, combined with a beautiful and consistent look/style, it is no wonder why quartz has become the new champion of kitchen surfaces.
When weighing the pros and cons in terms of style and care, for many, quartz can seem the hands down winner. However, with more control all around, one would assume that it will come with an increased hit to the pocketbook. In many instances this is true, however, there are different manufacturers of quartz countertops, so you can certainly shop around for better quartz pricing.
For both granite and quartz, you will find different pricing levels, or groups. In terms of granite pricing, the cost of a slab of granite will increase depending on how rare that style of granite stone is. As with any natural stone, the rarer the more expensive. In terms of quartz, since it is a manufactured product, one will generally see an increase in price as the level of design and intricacy in the quartz goes up.
When you get down to the nitty gritty of comparing prices between granite and quartz, here at Kitchen Solvers of the Gulf Coast we offer 7 levels of both granite and quartz countertops. Level 1 granite will always be the lowest cost option; however, level 1 quartz will consistently fall right in between a level 1 granite and level 2 granite. So, it is very possible to get a great quartz countertop for your home without having to break the bank to do so. One thing to keep in mind as well is that with quartz, being a manufactured product, there is sort of a max price level that you will eventually hit. While when you are talking about granite, one can see prices continue to go up and up the more elegant and rarer that the stone becomes. As an example, our level 7 granite will come in at a higher price point than our level 7 quartz.
The battle between quartz and granite will undoubtedly continue on. Quartz has certainly come onto the scene and quickly became the favorite choice for kitchen surfaces in many homes today, however, one should never count out the resilience of granite as a great stone countertop option. Both surfaces have proven their value in the kitchen, and much of the decision for homeowners comes down to style and use.
Ready to remodel your kitchen and need some countertop inspiration? Kitchen Solvers of the Gulf Coast is happy to help with a complimentary design consultation. Find us at gulfcoast.kitchensolvers.com.BACK