Quartz vs Granite countertops

August 2nd, 2012

For most people, when selecting which material to use for their countertops, the choice usually comes down to either quartz or granite.

It’s a tough decision to make. Quartz and granite both have their pros and cons. So we turned to interior designer Enid MacIntosh from Bryon Patton and Associates for some help in explaining the difference between the two and the pros and cons of using each.


What is the difference between Quartz and Granite?

Granite is carved from the earth, cut and polished into slabs of stone. Time and gravity have compressed the earth to create the stone.

Quartz countertops are a man made material made from over 90% crushed Quartz. It is the most common mineral found on the surface of the earth. The slabs are created using intense vibration, and pressure to create a dense non-porous material. Polymer resins and pigments are added to create many different looks.

What are the pros and cons of using each?

Granite causes harm to environment as it is carved from the earth. There are many variations in its colour and veining including different densities. Some granites are less porous than others so selecting a granite which is not too delicate that will withstand the staining that can happen in a kitchen is a good idea. Granite needs to be sealed to prevent staining.

Depending on the type of granite, the colour and general appearance can be tricky to predict. It is a beautiful stone if the look fits with the overall effect to be achieved. It also command attention since it is usually very visually attractive.

Quartz countertops are a man made material which resists staining and is available in a wide variety of colours and granular compositions. It is available in beautiful consistant coloured whites and creams through to brighter colours – which is not a look that is not available in granite.

Quartz slabs create less harm to the natural environment (less than granite) since they are man- made.

In a way, we are improving the speed and the process taken from nature to make a more advanced product.

How do you decide which one to use for a project?

We are using more quartz countertops instead of the granites of the past. In particular, a clean modern look is created with the white coloured quartz. It is a timeless material. We love the look of it.

What advice would you give to a potential buyer who is trying to choose between the two?

It really is a matter of the overall look. This is a very personal decision. However, the calmer less busy look of quartz and its ease of maintenance makes it a great choice for the long run.