Comparing Granite & Quartz
In the stone industry there are two materials that get asked about quite a bit. They are granite and quartz. Each of these materials have built reputations and have consumers that prefer on over the other. Because of this, we decided to put together an article that spoke about granite compared with quartz. As we progress through the comparison, we will talk about of the properties that each of these materials possesses. Additionally we will highlight some of the benefits each material has to offer.
Granite & Quartz - A Comparison With A Purpose
Looking at these two materials side by side is interesting for a number of reasons. One reason is that both of these materials are similar in some fascinating ways. Yet, they are different in others. Looking at the differences and similarities between these materials is a great way to highlight the comparison. In the end, each reader must determine which material is right for them. The purpose of our comparison is not to promote one material over another. Rather, it is done with the purpose of simply talking about the qualities these materials share and discussing how they are different.
Properties of Granite Countertops
Let's start by looking at granite. Granite for the purpose of this discussion is natural granite; that is, granite that is carved out of a mountain of the Earth and formed into slabs. Natural granite has some very desirable qualities. One quality that appeals to consumers and fabricators alike is longevity. Natural granite is a material that has been used for countertops for many, many years. It is familiar and people have grown up with it as the material from which their kitchen countertop was made.
Besides being familiar to many people, granite is also durable. As a natural material cut right from mountain, granite is capable of taking a lot of wear and tear. In fact, granite is considered a hard stone; measuring a 6-7 on the Mohs scale. You can see how that hardness compares on our
material hardness list.
Granite is also a versatile material. When we say "versatile", we mean that it can be used in many places and for many things. Is is available in a range of colors and every single stone is completely unique. It compliments various design styles and there are granites that look formal and granites that look free form. In fact, there are so many different ones that you could spend a significant amount of time looking at slabs during the selection process.
Engineered Quartz Characteristics
Quartz too is a hard material. In fact, engineered quartz carries its name because up to 90% of the material (by weight) is the mineral quartz. And guess what one of the minerals is that makes granite so hard. You guessed it; quartz. Not only is engineered quartz hard, but it is also non-porous. That adds to the resilience of quartz, as we will see in a bit.
Besides being a hard, durable material, quartz is available in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Additionally, there are some brands of quartz that incorporate recycled materials into the slabs to make use of what would otherwise be wasted resources.
Quartz also is available in a range of colors and an array of manufacturers product this material. There is virtually every color you could imagine available in engineered quartz. Because of this quartz is readily available for every design project.
How Granite and Quartz Are Similar
Now that we have explored some of the properties of both granite and quartz, let's elaborate on how these materials are alike and what they have in common. One of the similarities you may have noticed during your reading is that both of these materials are hard. This is a key trait to consider because it plays a large role in how durable the surface will be. The harder the surface, the more resistant it is to scratches. As a result, both granite and quartz are scratch resistant because they are hard materials.
Because both of these materials are about the same hardness, companies provide tools for use on both granite and quartz. So don't be surprised to find some blades or core bits described as "blades for cutting granite and quartz". We offer
diamond blades designed to cut quartz and these are available in three sizes; 14", 16", and 18". And even though they are designed to cut quartz, they will work as a granite blade if needed.
Another commonality these materials share is that each is versatile and can be used in a number of design styles. Touring quartz showrooms and granite slab yards will afford consumers many options that could be used in a variety projects. So, granite and quartz share the characteristic of design compatibility.
Quartz & Granite Differences
Sure granite and quartz have some common benefits, but that does not mean that they are the same thing. They do have some features that make them very different from one another. For example, granite is a natural sotne and quartz is an engineered stone surface. Let's explore some of these differences now.
Since granite is a natural stone, it is porous and this means that it must be sealed. Granite surfaces are usually sealed by the fabrication professional before installation. However, over time, the seal will wear and it must be re-sealed periodically. This can be done using an impregnating sealer designed for sealing natural stone. Additionally,
using a water test to determine whether it is time to reseal is recommended. Quartz though is non-porous and does not need to be sealed. Although, it can get discolored from chemicals that will react with the material or from liquids that dry on the surface. Even water can leave a lime scale on the surface of engineered quartz. Hence, lime scale remover is a great product for removing stains from quartz that has mineral deposits from hard water.
Another difference between quartz and granite is that high temperatures can discolor and even burn quartz. The resins in engineered quartz surfaces are not delicate by any means. However, if the temperature is high enough, the resin will be affected. As a result, quartz care instructions often recommend the use of hot pads or trivets. Granite on the other hand is a natural material that was formed from volcanic activity.
In the end, there are good points about both surface materials. Both granite and quartz are hard materials that are scratch resistant and hold up well under normal household use. Granite surfaces will require a bit of maintenance in the way of applying sealer every so often. Quartz requires that the owner be mindful of the need for hot pads or trivets when setting pots and pans on the surface. Yet, both materials thrive in the countertop industry because each has compelling reasons for use.