All you need to know about Granite and Quartz Countertops for your kitchen project
Granite Countertops continue to be the leading material for residential applications.
Quartz Countertops are gaining traction but more for commercial applications.
Marble continues to be a solid choice for bathrooms and decorative elements throughout the home.
Granite and Quartz countertops will continue to be a battle for what is the best countertop material… the answer is that it depends.
So let’s Dig into some details about Granite and Quartz Countertops!
Granite countertops are sold in slab form typicality 117″ x 66″ slabs. This varies from each slab as this is a natural stone harvested from the earth. Quartz slabs are slightly smaller and more uniform in size as they are man made and produced in a plan.
Granite Countertops main advantage is its durability over all other materials for use in the kitchen. It also is very attractive to look at and the natural variations of the material make it the perfect addition to your kitchen. Many other materials mimic the look of granite such as quartz and laminate materials.
“Granite is formed by
heat, Pressure and is a mixture of many minerals
naturally occurring in the earth
and is a renewable resources!!!!”
What is Granite?
Granite is a light-colored igneous rock with grains large enough to be visible with the unaided eye. It forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth’s surface. Granite is composed mainly of quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other minerals. This mineral composition usually gives granite a red, pink, gray, or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.
So what about Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are starting to mimic the look of granite very well and have an advantage in that the surface is impervious to staining due to the process to create quartz countertops. the plastic used to create the countertops fills these imperfections found in natural stone. Quartz will never have the visual appeal of natural stone but they have made great strides to create interesting looks and functionality.
“Quartz countertops are man-made
engineered stone countertops formed by combining
90% ground quartz with
8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments.
This forms a very hard granite-like surface…”
With the current trends of white countertops, quartz is becoming more and more and interesting option. Marbles in the kitchen are really not practical due to etching and staining potential. Marble is also harvested from the earth but marbles creation process is from pressure and primarily limestone. This makes the material less sustainable for the interaction of chemical exposure in the kitchen. Quartz is a great alternative if you want the look of white marble and with the durability of granite in the kitchen. It is difficult to fine pure white in granite countertop material and with quartz ability to mimic this style fairly closely this is adding to the appeal for quart countertops.
One word of caution coming from the quartz countertops findings is like any plastic exposure to UV rays can change the color of the pigments and resin(plastic) used to create the countertop material. So if your kitchen is full of natural light you may want to lean towards natural stone.
Quartz countertops are great for commercial applications because of the low maintenance as well as the more uniform look of the material. When branding is concerned color palete of a design is more controllable when the material that is being used is consistent. This then make quartz countertops a choice for designers looking to control the overall appearance of the design. Also more modern designs looking also to control color and looking for a more consistent color in the design would opt for quartz. this eliminates variables from a design.
Granite’s are typically names by the country of origin and the colors that are more prominent in the material. Each stone will typically have a prominent color but will be made up of many other colors and can vary from one area of a slab to another. This is important to see the entire slab to ensure the prominent color is what you are looking for. Some more uniform colors this is less important but its a good idea to see the entire slab during slab selection. Check out our granite countertop selection here
Here are some minerals and the typical colors associated with them:
- Biotite Mica : black & dark brown tones.
- Muscovite Mica : metallic with light refraction with silver & gold.
- Amphibole : black & green.
- Quartz : milky white, grays or blacks.
- Sodium Feldspar : typically white or off-white.
- Potassium Feldspar : pink, salmon & shades of red.
What makes us different from the competition:
Quality Custom Countertops,
High Attention to detail,
High Production capabilities,
See our reviews and you’ll see why our customers enjoy working with us!
Here are some quick points from “Use Natural Stone”
- Sustainability …granite is a “renewable” resource…Since granite countertops can last a lifetime, contain no harmful chemicals and do not emit harmful radiation or gasses, they have a place in the green building movement…
- Heat Resistance...one of the most heat-resistant countertops on the market…
- Scratch Resistance …Granite scores a seven on Moh’s scale of hardness. This means that very few minerals are able to scratch it…
- Repairs … It is rare to get a crack or chip in your countertops, but if you do, contact the fabricator who installed your countertops to schedule a service call. Most of the time, a color-matched epoxy can be used to fill the void and it will be virtually invisible.
- Sealing …Most fabricators will apply a sealer to granite countertops before they are installed which will protect them from absorbing liquids too quickly…
- Maintenance …Granite countertops are considered to be a low maintenance countertop surface. The likelihood of needing to be repaired or resurfaced is low…
- Price … There are a lot of variables such as edge profile, total square footage, backsplash, etc. Lower-range granite’s will cost less than high-range laminate…affordable options that will start at around $35-$55 per square foot…
- source for these points: https://usenaturalstone.org/pros-cons-granite-countertops/
Here are some quick point from “TheKitchn” about Quartz Countertops
- How It’s Made: Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining 90% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface…
- Major Brands: Italian company Breton owns the patent to manufacture solid surfaces from quartz and resins. All other companies use that patent for their own brand of quartz countertops, including Cosentino (Silestone), DuPont (Zodiaq), Cambria, CaesarStone, Avanza, and Technistone.
- Environmental Impact: Light-Moderate. Quartz is the second most abundant material in the earth’s crust (which is good), but the acrylic resins used in quartz countertops are petroleum by-products, and they often contain alumina trihydrate fillers made from bauxite ore, which is mined primarily under toxic conditions in developing countries. However, the countertops are still extremely durable and non-porous. Additionally, a few major brands including Zodiaq, Formica, Wilsonart and Silestone have been certified by GreenGuard as low emitting. Other brands, like Cambria Quartz, are mined and made entirely in the USA.
- Pros: Extremely hard and durable; glossy sheen; non-porous and stain-and-crack resistant; does not require sealing or resealing; wide range of colors; easy to clean with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth.
- Cons: Expensive; not heat tolerant; seams are inevitable for large countertop designs.
- Installation: Professional installation strongly recommended. Quartz countertops are quite heavy!
- Price range: $60 – $100 per square foot (Due to current market conditions we have some options that are significantly less than this)
Granite and Quartz Countertops are both great options and they are currently leading the market for custom countertops. You really can’t go wrong with either option. Just be sure to pick the right look to match with your kitchen theme.
Granite vs Quartz countertops will continue to be a battle for what is the best countertop material… the answer is that it depends. It depends on your personal preferences, your intended use of the material and how you want it to look.