Granite countertops have been the highlight of real estate listings for decades. Quartz is a little newer to the game, but by now is an established standard, comparable to granite. But which is the right countertop for you? What are the differences, pros, and cons of both materials?
Granite and quartz are both stain resistant, scratch resistant, and heat resistant. Granite is a completely natural product, cut out from quarries and mountainsides. As such, we do recommend sealing granite at least once a year. It’s a simple process (and we seal it during installation to start your off right!) of pouring the hardware-store-available liquid sealer on, letting it soak in for an hour, and voila!
There can also be great variety in the patterns and colors of granite. Some types of granite are more consistent from one slab to another (Azul Porhino, Giallo Vicenza, Blue Pearl), whereas other colors of granite can have great variety (Sienna Bordeaux, Yellow River, and any of the exotics).
Quartz, by contrast, is a completely manmade material. Essentially, quartz (which is the hardest part of granite) is extracted from natural stone and mixed with concrete, colorants, and binding agents to create a static, more predictable pattern. However, a new marbling technique has emerged in the quartz industry over the last few years, which creates a more natural look with swirls and ebbs and flows of color. Regardless of which pattern is your preference, because quartz is a manmade substance, it does not need to be sealed – it actually requires very little (practically no!) maintenance.
The top quartz producers in the world include Cambria, Silestone, and Ceasarstone. Cambria is the only quartz made in the USA; Silestone and Ceasarstone are made in Spain and Israel, respectively.
One of the most common questions we receive pertain to cost of quartz versus granite. It is easiest to discuss pricing in terms of granite first. Granite generally comes in about five different levels: Level A is the least expensive and Level E (or the exotics) is the most expensive. The granite level does not denote quality, however; it is simply a measure of how rare the pattern is found in nature. For instance, Ubatuba (level A) is much more commonly found in nature than White Spring (level D). Quartz is typically priced slightly higher than a level D granite.
There are other countertop options available, including wood countertops – most popular as accenting island countertops with a quartz or granite on the perimeter of the kitchen. Come by our showroom today to see samples of all types of countertops – stone, wood, and more!