Kitchen Countertops: Quartz Vs Granite

We regularly hear many questions about the difference between quartz vs granite kitchen countertops, such as:

  • What’s the difference between quartz vs granite?
  • Is quartz better than granite?
  • Which is harder, quartz or granite?
  • What is the heat resistance of quartz vs granite?

The answer?  Quartz and granite are both stone products and they’re both in high demand, but the similarities end there. Read on to see how these kitchen countertops differ in terms of appearance, heat resistance, scratch resistance, and care.  In the quartz vs granite debate, Vanway Kitchen + Bath prefers quartz because it comes in an unlimited array of colours and patterns.  It cuts and polishes beautifully, too.  Browse through our website to see plenty of quartz countertop photos, or check out our quartz ideabook on Houzz.

Appearance

Granite is natural stone. It’s composed of three different minerals (quartz, feldspar, and mica) and is cut from rock quarries in giant slabs. Because it’s natural, granite comes in a wide range of colours and patterns. No two granite countertops will be the same due to the natural variations in the stone.

Quartz is engineered stone. Ground quartz is combined with resins and polymers that form near-indestructible bonds. Because it is engineered, the appearance can be controlled somewhat. The colours and patterns can be customized to a certain extent and you can expect consistency in appearance.

When it comes to appearance in the quart vs granite debate, quartz wins.

Scratch Resistance

Granite is a durable stone, used in buildings and memorials for centuries. You’ll need to use a cutting board on your granite kitchen countertops – but that’s to protect your knives. Because granite is one of the hardest materials in the world, cutting directly on it will dull your knives quickly. The polished granite surface can become dull and scuffed without protection, too.

Quartz is harder than granite. In fact, quartz is as scratch resistant as a countertop can be – but that doesn’t mean it can take prolonged abuse from knives or other kitchen tools. A cutting board is always necessary, not only to eliminate any danger from knives but also to keep your finish looking shiny.  Scratches will dull the appearance.

Stain Resistance

Granite is a porous stone.  It is susceptible to stains and needs to be sealed once it is installed.  In general, it needs to be maintained on an annual basis with additional applications of sealer.

Quartz is non-porous, but is still considered to be stain resistant rather than stain proof.  Contaminants such as bacteria from raw meat will not penetrate the surface.  Still, we find that highly pigmented substances such as red wine, spaghetti sauce, red berries, curries, or mustards can all have an effect on white or light colours.  For best results, wipe up all spills as soon as possible.

Heat Resistance

Granite is extremely heat resistant.  The stone itself can handle hot pots or pans placed directly on the surface.  The sealant used on the granite might not handle that heat, however, and could discolour under the high temperatures.

Quartz is heat resistant up to a point.  The resins and pigments are less so, which is why it’s essential to always use trivets and hot pads on your countertop.  A sudden temperature shock can also impact quartz countertops and cause them to crack in rare circumstances.

When it comes to heat resistance in the quartz vs granite debate, granite wins.

Cleanability

Quartz is easy to clean. Use a soft cotton cloth or paper towel with warm water and mild dish soap. You can also spray it with a cleaner designed for quartz countertops then wipe it clean. Dried on food, grease or gum can be scraped up with a plastic putty knife, then cleaned as usual.

Granite is also easy to clean—a soft sponge and soapy water, a gentle cleansing scrub for stubborn stains. Don’t use abrasive pads or steel wool, bleach, ammonia or ammonia-based products, acidic products such as vinegar. As with quartz, read the labels before using cleaners.

Quartz Vs Granite: They Both Need Care

Both quartz countertops and granite countertops have advantages and disadvantages.  In general, they have the same care requirements if you want to keep your stone countertop looking beautiful for years to come.  Both should be protected from scuffs and scratches by using cutting boards.  Both should be protected from stains by wiping up spills right away.  Both should be handled carefully to avoid chips and cracks caused by dropping heavy objects.  Both should be cleaned using soft cloths and gentle cleansers.  Stone countertops are a major investments – you’ll need to treat them with more care and attention than you do an old laminate countertop!

Request a design consultation to find your dream quartz countertops