Granite (Solid Stone) vs. Quartz (Engineered Stone)

Selecting a countertop for your kitchen can be an overwhelming endeavor.  There are so many colors and even materials to choose from.  Do you use granite, quartz, marble, etc ?  The good thing is, Affordable Kitchens and Baths can work with all stones.  Granite and quartz are the most popular choices so here is some information about each to help in your decision.  Once you decide, we invite you to visit our shop to see how we fabricate the stones
Granite countertops remain in high demand for their beauty and durability. Quartz countertops, often called engineered stone countertops, are similar in appearance and performance, yet quite different in their makeup. Is there a clear-cut choice between the two? Both types have their fans. The key is to understand them more fully, and when you do, you’ll know which type suits your purposes the best.  Here's a summary comparison of the two and then read on for more commentary: 

​Granite VS Quartz​​

Granite (Solid Stone) vs. Quartz (Engineered Stone)

Granite counters are mined from pure stone. The stone is sawed into slabs or made into tiles and then polished for installation. Quartz countertops are manufactured from crushed quartz that is mixed with pigment for coloration and resin as a binder. The quartz content is typically 92% to 94%.  If you want authentic stone countertops, then granite is your only choice here.
The Appearance of Granite and Quartz

Both types have their strong points. Granite shows slight natural variations in the hue of the stone. Colors range from earth tones to blues, greens and roses. The coloration of quartz is more consistent, and it is available in a  wider array of colors since they are produced with pigments added to the quartz.  Which one is “better?”   Beauty is in the eye of the beholder here. They are both very good looking. As you browse your options, you’ll get a feel for which one you prefer.

The Issue of Durability

While natural granite is strikingly beautiful, it does have its weaknesses. The stone needs to be sealed at installation and resealed on a regular basis. Quartz doesn’t require this level of care. In addition, natural stone countertops including granite, slate and sandstone stain quite easily. Granite that has been sealed with a resin-based product during manufacturing will be more resistant to trouble than standard granite, but still not as resistant as quartz.  Finally, granite can crack and chip more readily than engineered stone. Both have a lifespan of 25-50 years depending on the level of care they are given and how they are used. In the area of durability, engineered stone – quartz – has the advantage over granite.

The Cost of Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

It all depends on the slab of granite you select.  Some are more expensive than others based on the quarry it comes from
The Greener Building Material

Natural granite countertops produce fewer carbon emissions during production than quartz countertops. Neither one emits significant amounts of radon or volatile organic compounds. Granite has the slight edge as an eco-friendly building material.
Are you still undecided about which is the best choice for your home, granite countertops or engineered quartz countertops?  If so, here are some of the additional reasons given by homeowners as to why they select one over the other.


* Nothing beats granite, the real thing: This is the approach of homeowners who really enjoy having natural materials in their home. They choose solid wood flooring instead of laminate or engineered wood. They prefer wool area rugs to nylon. Their home’s siding is wood, not vinyl. Their upholsteries are natural materials. If that sounds like you, you’ll appreciate the natural beauty of granite and see its potential flaws as character.  This really is the chief reason to select granite, slate, limestone or other natural stone over quartz. Some say that quartz is up to 94% natural because of the content of crushed quartz. That’s true, but it’s like saying concrete is natural because its ingredients are found in nature. Like concrete, the quartz is heavily processed, and that takes away the natural feel and turns off some homeowners.

*When you look at natural stone, like granite, you see the striations and slight color changes that make the stone unique. The color and design is real. Quartz countertops feature designs that were engineered into them. Fans of natural materials would rather have a chunk of stone mined from the earth adorning their cabinets and not something whipped up in a factory and artificially colored.

*Quartz Is Easier to Keep Germ-Free: Because quartz is an engineered product, it is non-porous. Granite, slate and other natural stones do have pores and tiny capillaries within the minerals. Those natural structures wick up liquid, and as we’ve mentioned, staining can be the result. There’s more: those pores and capillaries also harbor germs such as bacteria and viruses.  The non-porous surface of engineered quartz won’t collect these contaminants, so quartz is a better choice for cleanliness. Properly sealed natural stone does a decent job keeping out germs, but if the sealant breaks down, there can be issues. It’s worth noting that a few of the quartz countertop manufacturers like Silestone and HanStone treat their countertops with a germ-fighting coating that enhances hygiene. Plus, germs can be washed off of quartz with milder cleansers; some recommend using harsher cleansers on granite and other natural stone.  The ease in maintaining the cleanliness of quartz countertops is one of the primary reasons that they are preferred by parents with young children and also make more sense for elderly who may be susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
*The pigmentation in Quartz will remain as good as when you first got it.  Some Granite is dyed -  its color may fade or become blotchy, especially in areas that get wet more often or that you clean more often such as food preparation areas. Quartz, because the pigmentation is consistent throughout the material, will remain very colorfast.
So what did you decide?
Granite? Here's the bottom line: If you ultimately decide on natural stone, make the commitment to seal it yourself or have it sealed by a professional on a regular basis. Keep a dish rag handy to clean stains immediately. Pour wine and juice into glasses while holding them over the sink or a table, not the countertop. Don’t leave wet or dirty dishes on them. Taking the extra care required will maintain the natural beauty you want for your home.
Quartz?  Here's the bottom line: If engineered stone works just as well for you as natural stone, and you want something that offers more color options and requires less maintenance, then engineered quartz countertops are a durable, stain-resistant and good-looking choice. Clean-up is easy, and you’ll be confident you’re getting the dirt and germs.
Either way - Affordable Kitchens and Baths is here to meet all of your countertop needs.