Natural stones such as quartz and granite make beautiful and trendy natural stone countertops. The main differences between these kitchen countertop materials are explained below.
Since more engineering is required to turn quartz into a shiny, smooth surface, quartz kitchen countertops are typically pricier than granite kitchen countertops.
Visual Appeal: Color Matching v. Natural Striations
Granite’s unique beauty makes it a trendy material for kitchen countertops, in spite of the fact that it needs more upkeep than engineered quartz. Granite’s natural attractiveness stems from its swirling patterns and striations – these features cannot be found in engineered quartz. Every granite countertop is unique. At the same time, many people like the way engineered quartz counters may be dyed to match the surrounding decor.
Basic Construction: Solid Rock vs. Molded Countertops
To create natural stone countertops, granite ore is mined, cut and polished. Since granite countertops are created from solid stone slabs, longer expanses of countertop may require multiple slabs. Perfectly matched colors are hard to find in different samples of natural granite. Additionally, sealant must be consistently applied to the seams in-between stones.
In contrast, a mixture of 5 percent resin and 95 percent crushed quartz goes into engineered quartz natural stone countertops. Additionally, color pigments may be included. This combination is then poured into countertop molds. For this reason, molded quartz countertops do not require regular re-sealing.
Permeability: Stains, Bacteria, and Mildew
Granite is typically made up of several different minerals that have been fused together by pressure and high temperatures. Indeed, the word granite comes to us from a Latin word for “grain.” Basically, a chunk of granite is an amalgamation of different “grains” of minerals. This construction means that natural granite includes pockets of air. If spills are not cleaned up immediately, liquids can seep into the air pockets in granite kitchen countertops, causing permanent stains. Moreover, granite countertops must be resealed consistently; otherwise, they may become breeding grounds for mildew and mold.
Since quartz is non-porous, quartz kitchen countertops are often considered more sanitary. Water cannot sink into quartz counters, so mold and mildew cannot grow in them, either. Finally, many homeowners appreciate the fact that quartz countertops never require sealing.
Durability: Scratch and Chip Resistance
Here’s another area where granite kitchen countertops are more finicky. Granite may be chipped or scratched; quartz, on the other hand, is so dense it cannot be scratched or damaged in this way. In fact, quartz is one of the hardest materials on the planet; it typically outlasts any surrounding minerals such as sandstone and is often found in stream sediments since it is highly resistant to weathering. This makes quartz a natural choice for kitchen countertops.
Counter Overhang Size
The area that hangs over the cabinet profile is called the overhang. Standard counters 1.5-inch overhangs; in other words, the counter continues for one and a half inches beyond the edge of the cabinet. Wider overhangs may be installed to allow extra room for dining and food preparation. Since quartz is stronger, quartz countertops can feature larger overhangs than granite countertops. (If you want to install granite countertops with wide overhangs, you will probably need to add extra supports under the granite slab.)
Remembering these differences can help you choose the best kitchen countertops for your home.