- Granite worktops
- Quartz worktops
- Stain Resistance
- Heat Resistance
So, you’ve narrowed down your choice of kitchen worktop material: It’s Quartz vs granite. In this handy guide, we’ll examine these two popular materials in greater detail, and more importantly, see why should choose one over the other.
When planning your kitchen, it’s important to select the appropriate worktop material. Since it’s a long term investment, you need to take your time and do your homework.
The choice between quartz and granite worktops can be tough, especially because the difference between the two isn’t very noticeable. On the outside, both appear to be made of purely natural stones. They not only look similar in appearance but also match performance and lifespan wise. However, if you look a bit deeper, you’ll learn that each of them has a unique makeup.
In order to choose the right worktop for your kitchen, you should understand the material inside out. Instead of making assumptions about it, you should get your facts right. Doing so will give you a clear idea of what to buy. It will also reduce the chances of you buying a product that you quickly grow to dislike. Nobody likes purchase regret!
Now before we dive into the pros and cons of both the worktops, let’s first look at how they differ.
What makes granite worktops appealing is the fact that they are mined from 100% pure, natural stone. The stone is quarried straight from the earth in the form of a large sheet or a single chunk. After which it is sliced into individual slabs and polished to give it a smooth plus shiny look before installation.
Since granite occurs naturally (it’s formed by the cooling of magma), each slab is unique in its own way. Many people buy granite worktops just because they get something distinct and beautiful. The granite that goes into making kitchen worktops is commonly found in natural monuments/structures.
Before buying a quartz kitchen worktop, you should know that although they look natural, they’re not. These worktops are made from crushed quartz along with polymer resins (which act as a binding agent) and colour pigments mixed together. In this mixture, the percentage of quartz is 93 percent and resin is 7 percent.
The quartz material is extremely hard, second only to precious stones — making it highly durable. It’s worth noting that quartz that is used to create worktops is far better than natural quartz.
Also, when it comes to design, it offers an array of choices if you’re looking to match a specific colour or pattern in your kitchen. However, unlike granite, the patterns and colours found in quartz worktops are artificial.
Granite: Granite worktops have a strong appeal. They have rich, eye-catching beauty that very few worktops have. In short, they can add to the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen and make it look even more sophisticated. With many soothing shades (ranging from earth tones to greens), granite worktops give you the freedom to choose colours that perfectly blend with your kitchen’s interiors.
Do keep in mind that since granite is not manufactured artificially, the granite slabs have their imperfections. So if you want a slab that matches your kitchen’s decor to the tee, you’ll find it hard to find the right design. But if you are only concerned about the uniqueness of it, then granite’s imperfection becomes perfection. So it all depends on your outlook and choice.
Quartz: Unlike granite, quartz is not natural – it’s manufactured. Since the designs are man-made, they can be highly attractive. You’ll also find a wider range of colours to choose from. When compared to other worktops, quartz worktops have a unique, glossy finish that’s both luxurious and rich.
However, these worktops can discolour over a period of time if over-exposed to direct sunlight. So remember, if you have large kitchen windows with sunlight streaming in, it may not be a good idea to invest in a quartz worktop.
Granite: Granite is an extremely hard substance, making it the perfect choice people for whom durability is important. When you compare granite versus quartz for durability, you won’t have to worry about scratches with a granite worktop.
One of the key advantages of buying a granite worktop is that it won’t depreciate in value. For a homeowner who has the goal of selling their home in the future, a granite worktop can actually help in boosting the property value and appeal in the market.
Quartz: When compared to granite, quartz is equally durable. It basically has the same “working thickness”, but what makes it slightly better is that it doesn’t crack or chip as easily due to its superior strength. It’s important to note that most quartz worktops don’t come with a full lifetime guarantee.
Granite: With a granite worktop, stains are not a problem because it doesn’t absorb liquids. However, it does need to be effectively sealed to avoid any liquid seeping in. Hire a professional to ensure that it is sealed properly so that you don’t have to worry about any accidental spills.
Quartz: Unlike granite (which is a porous stone), quartz is non-porous. It does not have capillary channels between the minerals. Put simply, if you spill a liquid on it, it won’t stain the stone, making it highly stain resistant.
Granite: Placing a granite worktop near a cooker top is not a problem. Due to its heat resistant properties, granite can handle a fair amount of heat. So if you accidentally place a hot pan on your granite worktop, it won’t get damaged or weaken in any way.
Quartz: Quartz worktops are quite heat resistant. However, placing extremely hot saucepans right out of the oven on the worktop surface is not recommended. Doing so can lead to thermal shock and fracture. Use a heat pad or trivet to avoid damage. With that said, it’s safe to place quartz against the hob as it can take temperatures well over 250 degrees Celsius.
Granite: One drawback of granite worktops is that they will show installation seams. The reason this happens is due to the stone’s natural consistency. Since these seams are difficult to hide, it can influence the overall natural aesthetic feel that is the key selling point of granite. The number of seams can also affect the price. In short, the fewer the seams, the better.
Quartz: Granite and quartz worktops both have seams. However, with quartz they are less visible when you go for a dark coloured slab. Also, since the quartz worktop has been artificially coloured and manufactured, it’s easier to hide the seams. Solid coloured quartz worktops are the best when it comes to hiding the seam or joint.
Granite: Cleaning granite worktops isn’t rocket science. All you need is a PH neutral detergent or simply just use warm water. Using a soft cloth to wipe clean it and drying it well with a chamois leather cloth should be enough to remove any streaks and keep its shiny look. You can also deep clean it using a steamer.
Granite can be damaged by products that are highly alkaline, so worktop owners should avoid using them at all costs. Even scouring detergents and cleaning products that have strong chlorine content are not recommended for cleaning a granite worktop. Once you a buy a granite worktop, aftercare is important get the most out of your investment.
Quartz: The quartz worktop is easy to clean and keep looking new. By using a regular soap and some warm water or even a mild detergent, the worktop can look fresh and new. There is no need to buy a special soap for it. However, if required you can use a non-abrasive soap with a non-scratch scrub pad. Cleaning your worktop from time to time helps maintain its radiant gloss and sheen for a long -period of time.
If you choose to buy quartz, never make the mistake of cleaning it with anything that contains methylene chloride or trichloroethane — chemicals found in paint removers. Also, using aggressive cleaners such as dishwashing polishing products should be avoided since they contain high alkaline levels. If the worktop gets exposed to any such product, cleaning it immediately with water should stop it from getting damaged.
Granite: Radon is a gas that naturally occurs in earth. Completely natural stones like granite are known to emit minute amounts of radon. Since granite worktops are fully made from natural rock, chances of them being exposed to radon are high. But this shouldn’t be of worry to you if you’re thinking of buying a granite worktop because the risk is small enough to be ignored.
Quartz: Due to the non-porous nature of quartz, it effectively protects against pathogens. In a way, quartz worktops are naturally hygienic and hinder bacterial growth. Which means you can safely prepare your meals on it, without worrying about food safety.
Granite: When talking about price, granite comes in a wide range of prices. You can go for the cheapest granite but it won’t offer you the quality. So it makes sense to choose better quality granite, even though it costs more. However, since it is more resistant to scratches and chips, it can be a great long term investment. Also, the cost of granite can and will depend on its availability. Granite types that are difficult to obtain will obviously have a higher price.
Quartz: As quartz worktops become more and more popular, the cost of buying one has significantly come down in the past few years. Today, there isn’t much difference between the price of granite and quartz. People are choosing quartz for the colour choice and aesthetic value rather than the cost, so you can do the same.
Buying quartz or granite kitchen worktops isn’t that complicated. Once you know the difference and what your requirements are, it becomes easy to determine what to install in your kitchen. Since you’ll be investing a good amount of money upfront, it’s always better to make a well-informed decision. Take a practical decision and don’t believe in any myths about worktops. Doing a bit of homework goes a long way when selecting a kitchen worktop.