Recently there has been a huge upswing in the numbers of people buying quartz countertops for their kitchens and bathrooms. For many years Formica and other laminates have by and large been the most popular substance for making countertops, since they’re cheap, reasonably durable, and can be made to look like real wood, but recently stone countertops have been much more popular. Stone countertops are much more durable than laminates, can be obtained in a wide variety of colors, and tend to look far nicer than any kind of laminate countertop.
Now the big decision when choosing a countertop is picking between granite and quartz. Granite was the stone of choice for many years, but recently engineered quartz has been popular for a number of reasons. Both make excellent choices for a kitchen or bathroom countertop, but which one makes the best choice for your home?
Granite countertops are beautiful and durable, and made from natural stone. Due to their incredible size and weight, they are incredibly difficult to install on your own, so you should always go with a professional installer. One of the main downsides to granite is its porous nature. With a granite countertop you have to remember to seal it at least once a year to keep it from getting stains. Without a proper seal, anything you spill on your countertop can seep into the granite and leave a permanent stain, marring your investment permanently. That being said, a well maintained granite countertop can raise your property values immensely.
Granite comes in a wide variety of natural colors and patterns, which means you can generally find a good color and pattern that will accentuate the style of your kitchen or bathroom. Though be careful when shopping for a granite color and pattern, because the actual slab can vary greatly from the sample, make sure you get to see the actual slab itself before you buy.
Quartz countertops have been wildly popular lately, with sales increasing dramatically over the last ten years. While granite is natural stone that is cut from large slabs, quartz is factory engineered. It’s usually made from 95% ground natural quartz and 5% polymer resins that hold it all together. This makes for an incredibly hard, non-porous surface, that’s great for just about anything you can think of. Since it is non-porous, you don’t have to worry about it getting stains or absorbing any harmful bacteria. This is one of the major reasons that many people choose quartz over granite. Granite can harbor bacteria because of its porous nature, but quartz can be sanitized quickly and easily.
Another factor that has contributed to quartz’s widespread popularity is the ability to dye the engineered material. Quartz can be purchased in a vast array of colors, ranging from dull olive greens, to bright oranges and pinks. This allows for much greater customization of your new countertops aesthetic. Granite is mostly found in natural neutral colors, though there are some exceptions to that rule, but quartz has virtually no limitations on the amount of colors available.
Much like granite though, quartz is incredibly heavy and cumbersome to install. It generally takes a team of several people to ensure that it gets done right, and can be very dangerous to try and tackle this project by yourself, or even with help from your family. You should take into account the structural supports that hold up your current countertops, and make sure that they are stable enough to support the weight of a granite or quartz countertop well before you make the decision to buy one. Many respectable granite contractors will assess this for you as part of your quote when they come to measure your counters.
When trying to choose between a granite or quartz countertop there are many different pros and cons to consider between the two options. Every space is different and while granite might be perfect for one person’s home, quartz might be better for someone else. It all comes down to personal preference. Make sure when you are shopping that you choose a granite distributor that has a large selection of stones to choose from, to make sure you are getting the most options possible. There are thousands of different types of stones out there, both natural and engineered, and you want to make sure you get the perfect one for your home.