Updated: Nov 15
Granite and quartz countertops are high-end countertop materials that add real estate value to a home. Granite appeals to people who like all-natural materials, while quartz offers easier maintenance and slightly better durability. But is one better than the other, or is it merely a matter of aesthetics? To help break down the granite vs. quartz difficulty, we came up with five categories to help show the differences between the two.
Quartz and Granite Composition
Granite countertops are purely natural stones that come directly from stone quarries and are then cut into thin slabs, polished, and fabricated into countertops.
Quartz countertops are engineered stone products that may contain a large percentage of natural quartz and other minerals. They have not quarried stone slabs but are formed from stone byproducts that are ground up and formed into slabs for countertops and other products.
Quartz countertops and Granite countertops appearance
The one advantage of granite countertops over quartz countertops is that every granite slab is slightly different in mineral pattern and color, meaning that your countertop will be unique. But many people find that quartz countertops offer different and better looks than natural stone. As an engineered product, quartz countertops are more uniform in appearance, though many colors and unique patterns are available, including forms that do not resemble granite countertops. The choice here is a matter of personal preference. If you truly want the look of natural stone, choose the natural product—granite.
How much granite countertops and quartz countertops cost?
Granite countertops and quartz countertops are premium, high-dollar countertop materials. If you are on a budget, these are different from the countertop materials for you because neither one is much cheaper than the other. Granite countertops cost $80 to $175 per square foot, installed. The price differences depend on the style chosen and the type of edging treatments requested. Installation of quartz countertops ranges from about $80 to $140 per square foot. As quartz has become more popular and widely available, costs of essential countertops have fallen, with unique design styles and colors commanding upper-end pricing.
Pricing for both types of countertops varies because both are sourced overseas. Tariffs and other factors can also affect pricing. All these products are container-shipped across oceans, which is dependent on petroleum prices, all of which keep quartz and granite expensive.
Countertops Environmental Impact
Both countertop materials are overwhelmingly made of natural materials. Still, granite countertops come out slightly ahead since they are made from 100 percent stone, while quartz countertops include natural materials, color pigments, and polymer resins that bond the materials together.
On the other hand, granite countertops require quarrying out of the earth, while quartz countertops are effectively made from left-over stone byproducts, with no quarrying required.
For a time, beginning around 2008, there was some media-induced fear regarding radon emissions from granite countertops. Still, recent studies report that there is little or no radon from granite or engineered stone countertops. In the words of the EPA: "It is improbable that radiation from granite countertops would increase annual radiation doses above normal, natural background levels.
Real Estate Value
Compared to laminate or ceramic tile countertops, granite countertops and quartz countertops may slightly improve the real estate value of your home. These are both superior building materials that will impress prospective buyers. Some buyers may give a slight advantage to granite since it is a more natural material.