20 October 2023
What’s the Difference Between Quartz and Granite for Kitchen Worktops?
Nowadays the open plan kitchen/diner has become the real heart of every home.
Is your kitchen a party area by night or weekend, but a busy family gathering space throughout the week, for feeding the family and getting homework done – meaning it needs practical, yet aesthetically appealing fittings? If you’re planning a renovation of your kitchen space, or just want to spruce it up for a bit of a ‘wow’ factor to impress your nearest and dearest, then there’s no better way than with stunning, stone surface materials such as quartz or granite. But how to choose? This blog will look at both materials to weigh up the pros and cons to help you decide.
What is granite?
Granite is a type of igneous rock that forms from the slow cooling of magma beneath the Earth’s surface. Composed primarily of three main minerals – feldspar, quartz and mica with some other minerals and trace elements – it has a distinctive appearance that includes a speckled or mottled texture. There are several key qualities to this particular stone surface material including:
- Hardness – it is an extremely hard and durable rock which makes it suitable for a wide range of applications both internally and externally. The durability of the stone also makes it scratch and heat resistant – an excellent option for kitchens where cooking processes and hot pots and pans are being used.
- Colour variations – depending on the mineral composition and geographical location of its formation, granite can be an array of different colours from white, grey, pink, brown and black.
- Natural beauty – being a naturally formed stone, it often has intricate patterns and striking colours to add elegance and visual appeal to any kitchen. The fact it is formed naturally also gives every single piece a unique pattern and colour – adding to its appeal.
What is quartz?
Quartz worktops are engineered stone surfaces used in kitchens and bathrooms. They are made primarily from a combination of natural quartz crystals and resins, along with other additives for colour and reinforcement. The main component of quartz worktops is natural quartz crystals – one of the hardest minerals found in the Earth’s crust, which are crushed and ground into small granules or powder. Polymer resins, often made of polyester or acrylic, are then used to hold the quartz crystals together. Other fillers, such as glass or metallic flecks, pigments and additives are mixed into the quartz and resin mixture to give the worktop its finished colour and appearance. Some of quartz worktop’s biggest advantages include:
- Durability – quartz worktops are extremely durable and resistant to scratches, chips and stains.
- Non-porous – the lack of porosity makes quartz worktops resistant to moisture and bacteria.
- Visual appeal – they are easy to clean and need little maintenance to look stunning for years and, being manmade, they are manufactured to be uniform in colour and pattern.
- Greater choice – as they are available in more colours and patterns than are naturally available, they can be made to suit every design preference and décor theme.
Which is cheaper, quartz or granite?
The cost of quartz and granite countertops can vary widely depending on the quality of the material, the supplier, your location and the specific design and installation requirements. However, as a general rule, quartz countertops tend to be more expensive than granite countertops for a number of reasons. The fact that quartz countertops are manufactured and uniform in appearance, requiring resins, pigments and other additives which will contribute to their higher price compared to the natural variations of granite. The availability of granite will also depend on the location as some rarer or more exotic granite varieties can be more expensive due to their scarcity. The installation of both quartz and granite will be dependent on the complexity of the project and the labour required and while quartz may be initially more expensive it is cheaper to maintain over time as it doesn’t require sealing and is more resistant to staining and damage.
How do you clean or maintain quartz or granite countertops?
Regular cleaning and maintenance will help to keep your countertops looking stunning – and it’s not difficult to do. Simple cleaning involves wiping the surfaces with a damp, soft cloth or sponge to remove any loose debris, crumbs or spills to prevent any loose particles from scratching the surface in cleaning. Use a mild washing up liquid in warm water with a soft cloth or sponge to clean the worktop, using a non-abrasive scrubbing pad if any stains are stubborn or dried on, but be careful to avoid scratching the surface. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a cloth or paper towel to prevent any water spots or streaks. For granite, you may periodically need to seal your surface with a high-quality granite sealer to help it maintain its stain resistance. Generally, avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners and follow any care and maintenance instructions from the manufacturer or installer. Here at Impala Stone we professionally install and provide guidance to help you keep your quartz or granite countertops looking as good as new for years to come.
How to choose between granite or quartz worktops
Ultimately the choice between granite or quartz worktops is a personal one. You may just fall in love with one stone or another, prefer the uniform look of quartz or the random variations of granite. You may choose quartz for being more scratch and stain-resistant or granite for having higher heat resistance. Both surfaces need regular low-level maintenance and to preserve their looks both need you to be vigilant about wiping up spilled liquids that could stain or mark the surface. Using heat trivets is always preferable to prevent heat shocking the worktops into cracking or staining.
The team at Impala Stone are experts at helping you find the right material for your worktops based on the way you choose to use your kitchen space. Choosing the right granite or quartz material for your kitchen and lifestyle is vital to the longevity of your kitchen, and our experts at Impala Stone are happy to advise you and offer you samples and a free, no-obligation quote. So, get in touch with a member of our team today.