Granite countertops remain in demand because of their beauty and naturalness. Quartz countertops are similar in appearance and strength characteristics with granite, but completely different in their composition. Products made of granite are made of natural stone. Granite is a igneous rock, which is mined in quarries, it is sawn into plates, called slabs, which are later made into products.
Quartz agglomerate is used to make quartz countertops. Quartz agglomerate is an artificial material made from crumbs of natural quartz, which is mixed with a coloring pigment and polyester resin as a binder. The content of refined quartz is usually between 94% and 96%.
Both materials have their strengths. Granite has natural shades. Its colors range from shades of blue to blue, green, pink and red. The coloring of quartz is available in a wider range of colors because it is made with the addition of dye pigments. If you want natural stone countertops, granite is the only choice.
Disadvantages of granite countertops
Although natural granite is very beautiful, it has its drawbacks, it absorbs moisture, oils and other liquids and therefore gets dirty quite easily. Granite countertops need to be treated with protective agents immediately after installation and then they need to be treated periodically during use. If they are treated with protective agents, they will be more resistant to contamination than untreated products, but still not as resistant as quartz countertops. Quartz does not require the same level of maintenance as granite.
Finally, granite is more susceptible to chipping and cracking than quartz. Both granite and quartz products have a lifespan of 25-50 years, depending on the level of care, and how they are used. In terms of durability, quartz has an advantage over granite.
The cost of quartz ranges from $80 to $250 per square meter, while granite costs from $80 to $250 or even more for a high quality material.
Advantages of granite countertops
Here are the main reasons given by homeowners who choose natural granite over quartz.
Nothing beats natural stone. This is really the main reason for choosing granite countertops, or slate, marble or other natural stone over quartz. Some say that quartz is up to 94% natural because of the crushed quartz content. That’s true, but that’s like saying concrete is also a natural material because its ingredients occur in nature. Like concrete, quartz is heavily processed, which takes away from its natural feel and discourages some homeowners.
If you look at natural stone, you can see streaks and slight variations in color that make the stone unique. The color and design are real, created by nature. Quartz countertops have designs that have been artificially developed. Lovers of natural materials would rather have a piece of stone mined from the earth decorate their homes than something factory-made and artificially colored.
Bottom line: if you end up preferring granite, take care to treat them with protective products. Keep cleaning products on hand to clean up stains immediately. Pour wine and juice into glasses by holding them over the sink, not over the granite countertop. Do not leave dirty dishes on them. By taking extra precautions, by doing so you will maintain the natural beauty of the stone that you wanted when you installed the product.
Benefits of quartz countertops
Below are the benefits of quartz countertops that people who have chosen them for their homes are talking about. Because quartz is a specially formulated product, it is not porous. Granite, slate and other natural stones have pores and tiny capillaries in the minerals. These natural structures absorb liquid and, as we mentioned, staining can be the result. That’s not all: these pores and capillaries can contain various microbes or bacteria. The non-porous surface of quartz agglomerate will not collect these contaminants, so quartz is the best choice for cleanliness.
Properly treated with protective agents, natural stone is protected from germs, but only as long as the protective impregnation is effective. The ease of keeping quartz agglomerate clean is one of the main reasons they are preferred by parents with young children.
Bottom line: If you want more choice in color and less maintenance, then quartz countertops are the choice for durability, dirt resistance and beauty.