Granite vs Quartz Countertops: Which Material is Best?

When you’re planning a big kitchen remodel, it’s easy to research materials until your head starts to spin. One of the big decisions that must be made is choosing what kind of countertops you want. There are so many options on the market these days that picking the best one can be overwhelming. Of course, you want something that looks great. Your countertops need to hold up to daily use and abuse. But you’ll also need something that won’t blow your entire budget, as you still need to plan for that luxurious new stove you’ve always wanted.

Two popular countertop materials are quartz and granite. Although you can find quartz that looks very similar to granite, the two materials couldn’t be more different. Let’s take a look at quartz and granite and discuss the pros and cons of each.


Granite vs Quartz CountertopsA popular kitchen countertop material for many years now, granite can be found in homes everywhere. It’s a safe choice for those who don’t want to go with anything unusual or outrageous (stainless steel countertops, anyone?). Granite comes in a variety of colours, so it’s easy to find the perfect slab to fit your kitchen decor. Because it’s a natural stone, no two pieces of granite are alike. Fans of this stone appreciate it for this and love it because of its rustic appeal.

The first drawback to granite is its price. Natural stone is significantly more expensive than man-made materials. For those who can afford it, this can be a plus if they plan to sell their home later. Advertising that your kitchen has new granite countertops will definitely set you apart from the engineered-stone competition. The initial hit to the wallet is substantial, however.

Also substantial is the amount of care and attention you’ll need to put into maintaining your granite. Because it’s a porous material, it will need to be carefully sealed to keep out dirt and stains. Over time, the sealant will wear off, so you’ll need to update it every year or so. Unsealed granite will stain very quickly if exposed to certain spices or liquids such as wine. Acidic liquids or harsh chemicals will etch granite and leave blemishes.


Granite vs Quartz CountertopsFor those who don’t want to take the plunge into granite, quartz is a visually-appealing choice. It’s a man-made, engineered material that is available in a huge variety of colours and patterns. Those who appreciate the look of natural stone but don’t appreciate the cost and maintenance can find quartz that mimics materials such as granite or marble. 

Speaking of cost and maintenance, that’s where quartz really shines. It’s much less expensive than natural stone, giving you more money in your budget to spend elsewhere in your kitchen. Because it’s non-porous, it doesn’t need to be sealed and resealed. Quartz is virtually impermeable to stains, making it a headache-free countertop material. It stands up well to chipping and scratching and will last for many years.

There are very few drawbacks to quartz except that it won’t fool those who are extremely familiar with the look of natural stone. Quartz does look like a manufactured countertop—albeit an incredibly attractive one. If you don’t think of quartz as a replacement for natural stone and consider it as its own beautiful medium, you’ll not be disappointed. The colours, low cost and low-maintenance will make it a very valuable asset, indeed.