For most people in the stone industry, it is one of the common questions we hear almost every day. It is a dilemma which sparks various opinions from many homeowners, contractors, architects, and even stone traders. Sure, there are a handful of online contents that weigh the pros and cons of both natural granite and engineered quartz as a countertop material.
But is one indeed better than the other? Or, is it merely a matter of taste?
Before we get into the details, we must first know the main difference between the two materials.
Granite is a natural stone which we extract from different quarries all across the globe. Engineered Quartz, on the other hand, is a human-made surface that consists of stone aggregates and polyester resin. Quite simply, the former is a natural material while the latter is a synthetic alternative.
Now that we know the basics let us see how each countertop material compare alongside the other:
What is the difference between the two countertop materials with regards to appearance?
Granite is available in various color and pattern combinations. It ranges from earthy tones of red, black, brown, green, and even blue. Some slabs appear with specks, while others have swirls. Each slab has an inconsistent appearance as a result of its natural formation. Hence, no two slabs are exactly alike. Every piece is a unique product of nature.
Alternatively, quartz is known for its consistent appearance. Unlike granite, the color and pattern of quartz is uniform throughout its entire surface. Moreover, each piece is identical to all the other slabs produced along with it. Some quartz slabs resemble the appearance of natural stones. Some have a simple monotone surface. And there are quartz surfaces, too, that have crystal-like specks in it.
How do Granite and Engineered Quartz compare in terms of durability?
Natural granite is an extremely tough material. It resists heat, scratches, and even sudden impact, which may all occur inside the kitchen. Regarding porosity, granite, depending on its type, may or may not require sealing. Some, like the "Absolute Black" and the "Black Galaxy," do not need any application of sealer because of the stones' compact surface. Other granites, however, like the "Salt and Pepper," require sealing to protect them from staining.
With engineered quartz, you need not worry about the task of sealing. It is a highly dense countertop material. And this makes it impervious to any forms of liquid. Also, it is comparable to granite concerning durability. Thus, it easily withstands the constant use and abuse of most kitchen conditions.
How much do both materials cost?
In the Philippines, the cost of granite can range from Php1,500 to Php5,000 per square meter, depending on the color. Quartz, on the other hand, is around Php4,000 to Php15,000 per square meter, depending on the brand.
The prices mentioned above are for the cost of materials only. The rate for both the fabrication and the installation of your countertop depends on the project's size and degree of difficulty. We know it is tempting to do the work by yourself, but it is always best to leave this task to the pros.
How do you keep these countertop materials looking great?
Should your granite countertop require sealing, always remember to do it once or twice yearly (or as needed).
For both natural granite and engineered quartz, use mild soap and water or a stone cleaning product to keep the surface tidy. Always use coasters or trays under glasses or bottles. And don't forget to wipe up spills and drips immediately with a paper towel. Use a cutting board when cutting or chopping, and never directly on your countertop. Finally, always leave the area clean after every kitchen preparation.
Maintaining granite or quartz requires doing simple tasks that demand a great deal of common sense. But follow these rules, and it should keep your countertop material looking new for a lifetime.
So Which is the Better Countertop Material- Granite or Engineered Quartz?
On the surface, engineered quartz seems to be the apparent winner. Apart from its consistent appearance, it is also easier to clean and maintain. Clients, however, often find its price tag less attractive compared to its natural counterpart. Hence, they opt to choose granite instead. But price should not be the only reason why you should consider granite. If you prefer a natural-looking countertop for your home, by all means, choose granite.
Either way, you can never go wrong with any of the two countertop materials. Both granite and quartz make an ideal worktop for your kitchen. Now that you know the pros and cons of each surface consider, as well, your budget and lifestyle when making the decision. Choose the material which will work best in your kitchen. Either way, you'll be the winner.
Are you planning to build your dream home soon? Or, are you currently renovating your old kitchen? Which countertop material do you want to have in your kitchen? We'd love to hear your insights. Share your opinion below.