Help With Choosing Granite or Quartz Countertops

Today Mitch writes:

I’m picking out new countertops, but I am not sure which one is the best choice.Granite or Quartz? Please help!

Mitch, if I had a dollar for every time I got asked that question. . . I wouldn’t be a millionaire, but I would definitely be a couple hundred dollars richer! When it comes to picking out granite or quartz countertop surfaces, many people are at a loss of what to choose. Rest assured though that you’re not alone in your quest for the best countertop surface!

Let me also assure you that there’s no real right or wrong countertop when considering these two wonderful surfaces. Simply put, both granite and quartz are great countertop options. To better help with your dilemma, I’ve got a couple of questions to help us narrow down which countertop will work best for you.

Naturally occurring beauty that will be unpredictable or a consistent countertop pattern and color?

Granite is a beautiful choice, but it’s not appropriate for everyone or every kitchen. This comes into play because granite often makes for a bold statement, especially considering that some granite patterns are difficult to ignore. Confused by that last statement? Think back to the last kitchen you saw with a bold granite countertop. Do you remember anything else about that particular kitchen? Often times granites with large designs and a lot of color can become the focal point of the kitchen, making the rest of the features barely noticeable by contrast. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is something to keep in mind when you go countertop shopping! If your kitchen already has a lot going with patterns and colors, then you may wish  to find milder colors and patterns when looking into a new countertop. With regard to style, typically speaking, granite fits in more with a traditional design.

Granite or Quartz CountertopsI also strongly recommend going to the warehouse yourself and picking out your own granite slab for your countertops.  This way, you can avoid any “surprises” that may arise after installation.  As splotches may be bigger or smaller than at the showroom, a tone or hue may be different or the rock formation could change the pattern as the granite is mined, it’s best to be there in person to inspect things. You just don’t know what little change may happen in the rock from the time it was mined and put in the showroom to the slab that actually gets installed in your kitchen.

While granite is natural and unpredictable, Quartz is man-made and more uniform.  What you see in the showroom is almost exactly what you’ll get installed in your home.  The two biggest brands of quartz are Silestone and Zodiaq, each have between 30 to 50 different colors.  Some have small splotches while others are bigger.  They even come in different textured looks. For example, Silestone has a line that reminds me of honed limestone or marble.  Because of the uniform appearance and smaller splotches some colors in quartz work well with a heavily patterned kitchen backsplash. This makes quartz perfect for more modern kitchens.

How much countertop upkeep are you looking for?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54BKL7jvhks

Most granite surfaces require sealing.  There are some that do not, but many granite countertops do.  For those surfaces, you’ll have to seal them when they’re installed and then you will need to re-seal the countertop every 1 to 2 years. This will help protect your investment and keep your countertop from staining. If you’re instead looking for a countertop with minimal upkeep, I’d suggest quartz. Because quartz is nonporous and doesn’t require sealing like granite.  This makes for a great selling point for quartz since it makes it’s more difficult to stain and happens to be antimicrobial.  Neither granite or quartz is completely stain proof, however quartz offers greater stain resistance.  The final point I would make between the two countertop surfaces is that  quartz is slightly harder than granite. This means that it’s less likely to see scratches during daily use than a granite countertop.

Now I must tell you that I’m slightly biased when it comes to choosing countertops because my countertop happens to be quartz. That said, understand that I chose my countertop based on its color and pattern, not the type of surface. At the time, I was going for a modern look that matched well with my cabinets and flooring. The fact that it is low maintenance turned out to be a bonus.  So when it comes to choosing your own countertops, you’ve got to decide which is the best for you and your kitchen. As I mentioned earlier, there is no true right or wrong answer for your question.  What it boils down to are the above benefits I’ve explained, your own personal preference and which countertop surface looks best in your kitchen.  Either way, whichever countertop you choose will be great I’m sure!

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog.