If you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen, choosing your new countertops is something you’ll be thinking hard about. It can affect not only the style of your kitchen but also its durability, how much it will cost and what extra maintenance is needed.
Quartz and granite counter-tops are an excellent choice and perfectly compliment both stylish and modern kitchens as well as a more rustic affair. Quartz and granite give a similar look and are long lasting, but that’s about where the similarities end. So which is best for your kitchen?
What is the Difference between Quartz and Granite?
A ‘quartz’ countertop is made up of crushed quartz (93%) which is mixed with resin (7%). It can therefore be made with different colours and patterns.
A granite work-top is made up from a single slab of stone, meaning that each one is truly unique and taken directly from nature.
Strength and Weight
Whilst both options are very strong, quartz is a little more flexible, meaning that it’s easier to work with during installation. They are both very heavy, but quartz is heavier than granite.
Cleaning and Maintenance
One of the biggest differences is that if you have a granite surface, you will need to make sure that it is regularly given a layer of sealant as it is a porous stone. If this is neglected it can lead to staining, and it is recommended to seal the surfaces once a year.
Quartz on the other hand isn’t porous and therefore doesn’t require any maintenance. Quartz countertops are more susceptible to discolour over time, especially if exposed to direct sunlight.
Both options are long term solutions to kitchen counter-tops and if looked after properly can last a lifetime. They can also be an excellent asset when it comes to the selling of a property.
The main difference visually between granite and quartz is that granite is one single slab that has been taken out of the ground. This means that although it may not be totally uniform like quartz, it is more natural looking, and truly unique.
Seams may be visible if you use quartz (although choosing a darker colour will hide them better than a lighter one) but they will certainly be visible in a granite countertop.
The difference in price is relatively insignificant, although a granite counter-top may come out a little more expensive as the entire slab has to be excavated in one piece.
Environment and Air Quality
There has been some concern that both quartz and granite counter-tops have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and radon present; VOCs is higher in quartz surfaces, and radon in granite. Both amounts however have been proved to be insignificant to human health.
Whilst both surfaces are meant to last a life-time, the initial impact on the environment can be relatively high. However, the long term benefits of not needing to re-fit kitchens makes it more environmentally viable in the long run. Quartz has a lesser impact due to the amount of energy used to get it out of the ground and transport it to the factory.
Ultimately, the choice is mainly an aesthetic one. Both quartz and granite have their pros and cons, but both are a much better option than wood or laminate.
Matt Morley is the Director of Medusa Stone, the leading stonemasons in Essex. Based in Basildon, Medusa Stones makes and fits stone kitchen worktops.