>> Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Jumping from pink laminate to a perfectly neutral solid surface counter was exactly what my reno loving heart’s dreams were made of. After my countertop install was officially a wrap, I was left oohing and ahhing (and drooling) over my fancy pants new quartz countertops, and it seemed like a good deal of my friends/blog readers were left with one big question: What’s the difference between granite and quartz? Great question! And after many face to face convos on the subject (not to mention a pile of emails and Facebook messages—which I loved!) let’s take a little time to discuss the difference…but before we go any further, a quick revisit to the before and afters…
Nice. I could stare at them all day.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the granite vs. quartz debate, shall we? Keep in mind this is only my opinion based on my own reno research and personal experience.
Color choices: This was the kicker for me. While I love the look of granite, it was a bit more “patterned” than I was wanting for my kitchen…if this even makes the slightest amount of sense. Let me rephrase: I wanted a more solid color than granite choices offer. Granite offers lovely speckles, swirls and streaks, but I wanted a neutral countertop with a few flecks of fabulous. You can also find quarts with more pattern, but it’s tough to find a solid color granite.
Durability: Both granite and quartz kick serious countertop tush in the durability department. Both are hard surfaces and resistant to heat & scratches…but don’t get crazy. I’d still use cutting boards and trivets for hot pans to keep my counters in tip top shape. The biggest difference is that granite should be sealed every so often to fill the natural pores and prevent stains and bacteria growth, while quartz is non-porous and doesn’t require sealing.
Cost: Some online research says that, on average, quartz runs 10-20% more expensive than granite, but in my cases this was not what I found. Of course it all boils down to what color, edge, thickness you want, but my countertops (a basic level quartz, by the way) ended up costing around the same as it would had I installed granite instead.
Resale: I’d have to bury my little Realtor head in the sand if I say this little number didn’t come into play when making the decision between granite or quartz in my own kitchen. It’s no secret that buyers love a solid surface counter and granite has been the trusty choice for years. Every time I show a house, buyers always comment on the counters that are currently in the home and if they would want to change them. Some home pros say that as granite is becoming the go-to, homeowners are opting for quartz to give a more custom look to their kitchen and baths. I say, regardless of whether you have granite or quartz, a buyer will appreciate a higher end countertop.