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“And the Winner Is!” Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

Granite Countertop
Granite Countertop

There are really only two benefits to installing Granite over Quartz.  Granite is currently less expensive and it has a more natural beauty IF you like the look of the veins, striations, and color variations. 

Quartz is a combination of a manmade and natural product.  Here is a case where nature is not always better. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals making the surface virtually scratch resistant (Granite is softer and scratches).  Quartz countertops are dense and non-porous. Granite on the other hand is porous and requires some yearly maintenance.  Even with the maintenance, spills need to be cleaned up as they occur especially with wine, olive oil and even liquid soap.  I have seen all three penetrate the surface of Granite and leave a noticeable “stain”.  Due to Granite being porous it is susceptible to mildew and bacteria adhering to it.  Some Quartz products have a antimicrobial, product added in during the manufacturing process to help eliminate the adherence of mildew and bacteria to the surface.  The overall Quartz product is stronger allowing for larger overhangs without supports needed beneath it (consult with the installer). 

Quartz has a brilliant shine similar to Granite.

Quartz Countertop

Quartz Countertop

Due to Quartz countertops being manmade they have a consistent pattern and colors throughout the entire product.  This could be considered a drawback if you like the veins, striations, and color variations that are natural to Granite.  If purchasing Granite, it is imperative that you select your countertop from the stone yard so you know exactly what you are getting. With Quartz, you can easily select your countertop color from a small sample piece knowing it will be the color that you will receive.

There has also recently been the Radon scare with Granite.  Radon, which is a radioactive gas, can be trapped in the granite which can be emitted into your house once installed.

I recommend all of my Clients to use the Quartz in all of their Countertop needs. 

Here are some additional usages:  Kitchen- Countertop, entire backsplash between countertop and upper cabinets and any kitchen window sills. Bathroom- Countertop, knee wall cap, window sill, shower seat/shelf, shower curb (entry).

Installation: The quartz installation is similar to granite.  The installer will come out and create a template based on the cabinet layout and additional overhangs. The installers will usually require having the sink (I recommend a undermount sink) on site at the time of creating a template.  Back at their shop, they will cut the countertop the size of the template, cut any holes for the sink and attach the sink to the countertop. They will also add any edging and will usually offer a variety of profiles.  They will usually drill the holes for the faucet on the job site. Once the countertops are installed, they will clean and buff them.

You will need to hire a plumber, to hook up the plumbing drain lines for the sink and to install the faucet.

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October 3, 2009 - Posted by | Countertops | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Veining is the one thing I miss with quartz countertops. Caesarstone quartz makes a nice natural stone that shares the beautiful look of natural stone with granite.

    Comment by Scott | October 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Scott, thanks for the comment and feedback. I will have to look into Caesarstone.

      Comment by Alex Iosa | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. hmmmm I like this post but I would love to see some on how to save on construction costs in this tough market

    Comment by ContractorBids | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yes it would be good to find out more about saving on countertops

    Comment by grant | November 4, 2009 | Reply

  4. the zodiaq okite collection has veining in it

    Comment by countertops | December 24, 2009 | Reply

  5. There are a number of excellent quartz materials available;Silestone, CaesarStone, Hanstone, Zodiaq etc. SileStone is the only quartz material with Microban, a product that prevents bacteria growth.

    Granite is porous, accordingly, it can be susceptible to staining and requires a certain amount of care and maintenance.

    If you are trying to save money re-modeling your kitchen and have modest handyman skills, I suggest you remove and dispose of the kitchen cupboards and counter top your self. Most cupboards are simply screwed into the wall the adjoining cupboard. By unscrewing the cabinets, you can easily remove them. Using an electric screw driver, you should be able to remove your old kitchen cupboards and counter tops in about two hours.

    Most companies will charge between $500 to $1,000 to remove and dispose of your old kitchen cupboards and counter top.

    If the cabinets are in good shape you may be able to sell the used cabinets or re-install them as an upgrade in a cottage.

    Installing your own cabinets is a fair amount of work and requires some skill. When installing the base cabinets, it is important to make sure the cabinets are level.

    I would not recommend installing granite or quartz counter tops your self. Installation of these products requires specialized tools. In addition, stone counter tops are heavy and require two people for proper and safe installation.

    Comment by Latitude | January 5, 2010 | Reply

  6. Granite is required with regular maintenance to keep new-looking.As a natural stone, granite has color variation, each slab may even look quite different for some multicolor granite.

    Comment by stonesupplier | June 21, 2010 | Reply

  7. Propor sealing will keep granite countertop from water and oil, juice stain in daily use.

    Comment by stonesupplier | June 21, 2010 | Reply

  8. I got a granite countertop for my master bathroom at Lowes from a place called Jackson Stoneworks. It only took about a week to get it, and came with all the splashes and the sink. Really good value.

    It’s really all about the sealing. Once you seal it, it won’t be porous or harbor bacteria. One sealing is rated for 5 years, so it should be fine.

    Comment by Twinkle Toes | October 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for your comment! The two main Retail Building Supply Stores do have some great off the shelf granite countertops that you can install yourself. They also help the Homeowner that want custom countertops but don’t know who to trust to install them. They are an asset to me as I recommend my Clients to view samples at these stores to get an idea of what they would like to select for their countertops. Ultimately, I use my preferred vendor to supply and install the countertops for me.

      For granite, it does come down to sealing. Sealing is very easy and quick to do, however, it is rarely done by Homeowners. Granite countertops are beautiful and are an asset to any any home, however, quartz countertops look just as good and are a less of a hassle to select and maintain.

      Thanks again for your comment!

      Comment by Alex Iosa | November 1, 2010 | Reply

  9. I agree I am in installer and I recommend Quartz. I get my slabs from a orange county granite and quartz dealer that imports from Brazil and Chile.

    Comment by Orange County Granite | June 23, 2011 | Reply

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