I have been involved with the import of granite for over 20 years. The appetite for this material in the western developed countries is huge and with the ongoing obsession of “interior Design” this trend is only growing more each day. I decided its time to impart my knowledge in a bid to answer a question I’m asked all the time – should you go with Quartz or Granite for the chosen material for your kitchen worktops?
Kitchen Worktops – The Definitive Guide To Quartz Vs Granite
Coming to a decision on which type of kitchen worktop to use for your home or business establishment is a process that should not be taken lightly. A good choice of worktop will dictate whether using the area is a joyful affair or a long-term headache. It is for this reason that one must consider multiple factors that go beyond just how good the material looks or what it costs. Below are some of the major criteria that you should factor in when deciding between granite worktops vs. quartz worktops.
How Do You Use Your Kitchen?
One of the first things that have to be considered is how you use the kitchen. A lot of people do not really think about how often or the manner in which they will use the countertop. If for example, you need a countertop for your restaurant business, you will use it more frequently than the one needed for a single individual’s apartment kitchen. This means that it would have to be more durable to endure the frequent use. An individual’s kitchen would also have to factor in whether they cook at home a lot or usually buy take out that they eat on the tabletop. The use of the kitchen will determine the next point to consider.
The frequency and manner of use of the kitchen worktop will dictate just how durable your option should be. Both granite and quartz rank very high on the Mohs Hardness Scale. They will both endure a lot of rough treatment before they chip or crack. The only decisive factor on which of these two options is more durable comes from the edge detail that you choose. If you choose a worktop which has square corners, it will be more susceptible to chipping and cracking. The more durable of the two materials in this case would be the Quartz. Granite has invisible striations that can easily crack with time. To make the most of your choice when it comes to durability, go for a top with a bullnose or rounded edges.
Which is More Natural?
Natural materials in a home or business establishment always achieve a breathtaking look. This is only one of the reasons that many people opt for a natural material. Both granite and quartz worktops are made from natural materials. The granite tops are simply carved out of quarries and then cut to the various sizes and designs needed by the end consumers. Quartz on the other hand is usually mixed with other materials like color pigments and polymer resins that make all the components stick together. While granite is 100% natural, the quartz would come in at about a maximum of 97% natural.
When you consider that there will be a lot of food and drinks on the kitchen counter that can stain it, the more strain resistance the material has, the better. Quartz is nonporous which means that it does not have any tiny holes in which substances that stain can penetrate through. A simple wipe with a domestic cleaning solution will keep the quartz worktop looking as good as new for many years to come. The 100% natural granite on the other hand has a crystalline structure. This means that wine, coffee or oil can get into its tiny fissures if it is not sealed leading to a buildup of stains and bacteria.
In an ideal situation, the cost of granite vs. quartz kitchen worktops is practically the same. The difference all comes in on your choice of manufacturer, the color and any unique patterns. With the widespread availability of granite, it tends to be just a tad cheaper than quartz (at the time of writing). When you think of the added maintenance needed for granite however, quartz is the clear cheaper option in the long run.
As previously mentioned, the only way to keep the granite from staining and easily cracking, is to seal it when it is installed. Every year after that, regular sealing will be needed to make sure that it remains in “tip top” condition. This makes quartz easier and cheaper to maintain than the granite.
Being both mainly natural, both quartz and granite worktops are safer than many other kitchen worktop materials. The quartz is made from nonporous material so it prevents a buildup of bacteria within it. Granite has also been observed by researchers to emit radon, a naturally occurring gas that can cause lung cancer.
In short, granite is a unique and finite material that needs care and attention if you want it to shine in your kitchen for years to come. Granite worktops tend to suit more traditional style kitchen designs. Quartz on the other hand is a partially man-mad material, is non-porous and looks stunning in a more modern style kitchen.
I hope you take something away from this information, and most importantly, enjoy your chosen worktop for many years to come!