When many people think about the luxury kitchen upgrades they often think of granite counter tops. I think that granite has grand natural beauty but many people neglect to consider other top of the line options such as quartz. Though I am not an expert in the field of counter tops, I have learned that each type of material has its own pros and cons. I have discovered that I am big fan of quartz counter tops, specifically because they can do many things that granite cannot. Below I have compared some of the qualities of each material. I hope this brief comparison helps you when preparing to buy or sell a home with either of these products in their kitchens.
Granite is a natural occurring rock that is cut from the earth in slabs. The slabs are polished and shined to reveal stunning beauty. Many people appreciate granite because it comes in a wide palette of natural colors and it has beautiful fissures and waves through it. Unfortunately, these beautiful features can sometimes leave weak spots because the rock can be less dense in those areas. Granite is a naturally occurring product so it cannot be reshaped to eliminate these weaker areas.
Quartz is also a natural occurring rock that is taken from quarries. It too comes in a variety of colors from crystal clear to black as night. Quartz counter tops are however, a man made product. The quartz is ground into small pieces and combined with innovative, super strong acrylics to become any color imaginable. These tops have no natural fissures and therefore are considered to be stronger than Granite. In fact, only 3 other natural minerals are harder than quartz- diamond, sapphire and topaz.
Many people do not know that granite is porous. The natural rock, if left unsealed can actually have liquid soak in leaving unsightly water marks. Granite can also harbor germs if left unsealed, which can easily be transferred to food and cooking utensils. Most consumers have to re-seal their tops once a year (depending on the frequency they use their tops) to keep their tops shiny and sealed.
Quartz is non-porous; the acrylic used in making these tops hardens to a diamond like strength. There is no need to seal quartz countertops and they are virtually maintenance free. Although quartz tops may not have a high shine from polish, they will not discolor if moisture is left on them like their granite counterparts.
It is not suggested to place hot pans on granite tops. The heat can discolor your granite or even fracture it due to the thermal shock. Although it is tough stuff, granite can be scratched and scuffed. Replacing these damaged areas can be tough, because as you know, no two pieces of granite are alike. There simply is no aesthetic way to replace a small area of damaged granite and retain the “seamless” look. When it comes to fixing damaged areas, most homeowners wind up replacing the whole slab of granite or even the entire kitchen.
Quartz counter tops are heat resistant, but like granite, they are not entirely scratch proof. Extreme pressure and force can cause damage to quartz counter tops. It is difficult to mess this stuff up, but when something does happen it is easy to make a virtually seamless repair on the affected area.