Have you ever been completely perplexed by the differences of quartz vs. granite countertops? What is the big difference and what is the big deal? When we were considering pulling the ugly yellow and black counters from the Littleton Project, I had to decide which route to go – granite or quartz.
The kitchen is a very tight galley kitchen with only one wall of cabinets and countertops. Since the space was so tiny our initial thought was to go high impact. I decided on a gorgeous white quartz with grey veins for the countertops AND backsplash. This decision was made without much consideration of the difference between quartz and granite. The only consideration was ascetics. Luckily, the quote came back at 6k which made us reconsider quartz (and having a quartz backsplash). This exceeded what we wanted to spend on countertops and we then started to do a bit more research on the difference between the two stones.
The differences between the two stones:
Quartz is not naturally occurring and man-made. It is strong but flexible (with less likelihood of chipping or breaking). Quartz can become discolored due to direct natural sunlight it is non-porous and does not need to be sealed. An additional benefit is quartz is stain resistant. Although, quartz is not as resistant to heat. Direct heat (crockpot, grill, etc.) can morph the material. Quartz tends to be more expensive than granite.
Granite, on the other hand, is naturally occurring which means colors are not uniform. This stone is porous and needs to be sealed. It is heat resistant and there shouldn’t be a worry putting hot items directly on granite. It can stain easily (I have found even with a seal, if something sits on the granite, it can stain). Direct sunlight will not discolor this stone.
As you can see, both granite and quartz are really great options for countertops with just a few cons. We ended up changing our decision and opted for granite. The factors to buy granite for this home were direct sunlight and the ability to put hot items on the countertops (as a rental we cannot enforce not putting hot items on the counters). We have one window with direct sunlight in the kitchen which would mean only half of the countertops would get direct sunlight. It is not ideal that granite isn’t resistant to stains. However, we seal it when it is put in and just about yearly.
The use of the stone should be one of the first thing you should ask yourself before doing any renovations. What will the home be used for? Rental? Primary residence for a short term or a longer term? Knowing the use of the home helps outline things like budget, durability, ascetic, etc. This home is currently a primary home, although, it will most likely become a long term or short-term rental in the next 12-18 months. We need something neutral but durable. I was bummed to let go of the original quartz that I picked out but on a whim, I went back to the quartz store (KLZ Stone) and found a (cheaper) white and grey granite that ended up bring the price down to 3k (no stone backsplash, we will do a tile backsplash). Installing new kitchen countertops can be a great upgrade to your home. Feel free to reach out to me for advice while renovating to ensure you are completing the right upgrades and will make your money back (plus some!)
Liz is broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.