Quartz vs. Granite: Which Countertop Material Is Better?
This important face-off in the kitchen is a battle between two contenders.
Whether you want to update your Birnamwood kitchen, are thinking about a future renovation, or want to dream how you'll spend your lottery winnings, you can make the big decision between quartz and granite here.
Both quartz and granite are superior materials that do well in lots of Consumer Reports tests.
They both can withstand attacks from sharpened steak knives attached to a rig that hits the countertop at 25 slices per cycle. They emerge unscathed from a a weighted 400° F saucepan of shortening without burn marks or distortions. When faced with 100-grit sandpaper, even 25 back-and-forth strokes don't show much wear. After a battery of tests for abrasion, cutting, and heat resistance, both are excellent.
Quartz and granite are also pretty equal in terms of impact. Specifically, neither is indestructible.
“They’re made of rock, so if you’re not careful—say you hit the edge too hard by dropping heavy weight on it—either material can chip,” says the project leader on countertop testing, Chris Regan.
So which one is the overall winner? These two materials come down to two factors: stain resistance and looks.
Results of staining tests have a big impact in countertop ratings.
Both quartz and granite both are resistant to stains from lots of household products and foods. To test this, we piped half-inch splotches of materials onto the surface, including hot coffee, chocolate syrup, hot vegetable oil, and grape juice, among others. Effects were recorded after twenty hours.
Certain substances, like beet juice and food coloring, did better with quartz compared to granite, giving quartz a rating of 2.3 points higher (out of 100 points) for quartz countertops.
Certain surfaces make it difficult to get the clean line that most people seek in countertops, especially with non-uniform materials. Since each slab of granite is unique, it can be hard for installers to cut and install multiple slabs to get a streamlined effect.
Since quartz is manufactured instead of natural, the pieces are uniform, and you can count on where the seams will go. In addition, quartz offers lots of colors and potential for marble veining, which is attractive to lots of people.
Quartz and granite are about the same in cost, with the average install running between $50 and $100 per square foot based on where you live. However, in the popularity contest, quartz wins, and when selling your Birnamwood home, this can be a factor.
According to a National Kitchen & Bath Association survey, most people installing countertops choose quartz, which means this material may be more attractive to house buyers. Granite is a distant second in that same survey. Some people think of granite as outdated.
Quartz. The material is easier to cut to size, and it's more durable against stains. It looks good, and it could be a selling point for homebuyers, giving it a slight advantage in CR's testing.