So, eager kitchen remodeler, quartz vs. granite countertops: which will it be?
For many homeowners, this is not an easy decision simply because they are not clear on the distinction between quartz vs. granite countertops. After all, quartz and granite are both types of stone–purely natural stuff, straight from the Earth. How different can they be?
One complicating factor is that we are not comparing just two materials. We are comparing three: quartz vs. engineered granite vs. slab granite. Due to the manufacturing process, quartz countertops and engineered granite counters are closely akin (more on that below). Slab granite stands alone as the one material quarried directly from the ground.
Quartz vs. Granite: Stone or Not?
If your only concern is whether or not your counters are 100% stone, this is pretty much a tie. Granite can come in the engineered stone version, but quartz is always engineered. What does “engineered” mean?
Prominent quartz countertop maker CaesarStone notes that 93% natural quartz aggregates are mixed with the remaining 7% of color pigments and polymer resins. The resins are there to bind the particles together. Engineered granite is made in much the same way. However, since a 100% version of granite (slab granite) is available, the balance shifts to granite.
Quartz vs. Granite: Cost
Prices of quartz and granite countertops are continually shifting, depending on the availability of the source product. Not only that, costs vary according to manufacturer, installer, homeowner’s location, and so on.
The moment you think you have a handle on the price of quartz and granite countertops, the price changes. However, at the moment of this writing, we can say generally that the prices of both range from $60-$100 per square foot installed. Neither is a great bargain.
And the Winner Is: Tie.
Quartz vs. Granite: Radon
Radon in granite and quartz countertops is a contentious issue, and like pricing, one with shifting parameters. Radon is a radioactive gas that has been linked to lung cancer. Radon can be found in granite and quartz.
Consumer Reports indicates that a scientist found “almost no radon” in the engineered stones, and very little coming from the granite.
And the Winner Is: Engineered granite or quartz (vs. slab granite).
Quartz vs. Granite: Durability
Natural, slab granite, for all its beauty, has flaws and imperfections that homeowners either love, accept, or hate. But engineered granite has the flaws engineered out (quartz, too). In these two products, you will not find invisible striations just waiting to crack open some day, as you will find with slab granite.
And the Winner Is: Quartz or engineered granite.