Battle of the Countertops!
Kitchen remodels are difficult and full of hard choices. Everything from the size of the appliances to the flooring that should be used, it all will have an impact on one of the most important rooms in your home.
Over the years, I've discovered that one of the more difficult choices that clients face revolves around the countertop material.
Most people are tired of dealing with tile counters and cleaning grout lines. I don't blame them. Because of that, though, they often decided that a slab of material will be easier to deal with, and much prettier. But now comes the most difficult decision yet:
Granite or Quartz?
Granite is the most durable natural material used for countertops. It holds up to high heats and is less likely to crack or chip than other natural materials are. Most people have seen it used in a home at some point and it is extremely popular. Granite is literally a slab of rock that is cut down and most often polished to a high sheen. More recent finishes include Matte and Leathered. Each piece is unique in its patterns and coloration, ensuring that no one else will have one that looks just like it.
The downsides of granite are that it is slightly porous, meaning you have to be aware that it can be stained by spilled food or drink. It is recommended that you clean it with soap and water every evening (which most people do anyway). As far as other maintenance goes, it must be sealed when first installed and again every so often. It may develop small cracks or chips, but those can be fixed by the homeowner with some epoxy from the hardware store. If the cracks and chips are any larger than an ice cube, a professional needs to be called out.
Quartz is a manmade material that is made up of about 95% crushed quartz and 5% resin. It is incredibly hard and durable, though it is more sensitive to heat than granite, so try not to put hot pots down directly on the counter. While it was relatively unheard of a decade ago, quartz has grown in popularity quite a bit and is being used all over now.
Because it is manmade, it comes in just about any color that you could desire. The look is more uniform than granite (for obvious reasons), and it is completely nonporous. No worries about stains with this one, not even if you spill some food coloring! It is also a bit easier to maintain, as it doesn't need to be resealed, unlike granite. On the other hand, if something does happen to damage the quartz counter, there is no option to fix it yourself. You have to call a professional.
Believe it or not, quartz and granite are about the same price right now. Quartz has been going up and granite has been going down lately, so the difference is pretty negligible, particularly when you add transportation and installation into the equation. To put it simply, quartz is heavy! So is granite, for that matter, but not as heavy as quartz. Common versus unique can become a factor for Granite. Quartz varies by maker and how much it mimics granite. So, as with everything else in life; there are cheap makers and quality makers.
Which is better?
It really depends on a number of factors. Everything from visual esthetic and frequency of use to cooking habits and preference for natural products. I wish I could tell you there is a definite better choice, but there really isn't. On the other hand, you now know that you can't really make a poor decision, as long as it doesn't fight with the rest of the materials in the room!
Or you can choose both! Several of my clients have chosen a granite countertop for their kitchen island and quartz for the rest of the counters, allowing them the best of both worlds. In the end though, all I can do is show you the options. It is up to you to make the final decision.
I hope that this has helped you a little bit and that you have a wonderful rest of your day! Make sure to leave a comment and check out the links below if you want to find out more! 'Til next time!