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Quartz Countertops versus Granite Countertops

By on Oct 7, 2013

Homeowners are enjoying the wide selection of materials currently available for their remodeling projects, especially in their kitchens, where many wonderful surfacing choices are in style. Granite, quartz, and laminate surfaces are gaining in popularity and each has something to offer, but the real competition seems to be going on between quartz, and granite.

Both of these materials are produced from natural stone, according to Askville.com. Quartz is “mostly” natural stone, mixed with pigments and resins to produce a consistent quality product. Granite, however, is 100 percent natural stone that is quarried overseas, cut and sliced to the appropriate sizes, then polished.

Both surfaces can be beautiful when properly installed, but granite must be sealed after installation, and then resealed regularly. Quartz does not require this extra step in its installation or upkeep. Both surfaces require maintenance, but more so with granite. And while granite is susceptible to staining and discoloration from heat or harsh cleaning chemicals, quartz suffers no such shortcomings.

Granite is also fragile. The lovely striations and colors inherent in this solid stone may be what’s making it the “in” thing right now, but someday those lines may become cracks. You can also produce your own cracks by dropping a frozen turkey on it, leaning against an overhang to heavily, or sitting on the countertop. Granite is also expensive to repair, and because it is natural stone, the color and grain of the replacement piece is unlikely to match your existing surface.

Quartz is engineered to be durable, colorfast, and dependable – one great advantage to using manmade materials. And while quartz countertops are generally heavier than granite, that appears to be its only shortcoming against granite. Quartz countertops are completely non-porous, and simply cannot be stained. They are completely resistant to heat, and will not fade or discolor with years of hard use. They don’t require sealing, or anything beyond routine maintenance, to keep a beautiful color and shine in your kitchen.

Price is usually the final consideration in deciding on a new kitchen surfacing material. In comparing prices, remember that both of these products are sourced overseas and container shipped to the United States, so shipping costs affect final product pricing, according to About.com. Overall, though, granite is the more expensive option, both initially and in the future.

The one selling point granite has over quartz, according to most homeowners who choose granite, is that this natural stone has “personality.” Over time, the natural grain, fissures and eventual cracks that some may view as disadvantages, are the real reason to buy, according to others. The subtle variation in colors – and even the stains, patches, and burns – become part of what makes your kitchen “yours.”

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