Let’s talk about what this material is and how to tell when a stone is granite.
Very large granite island with quartz perimeter countertops.
Granite is an igneous rock formed slowly by cooling magma in the earth’s mantle. As a result of this, granite is composed of many minerals, but the primary ones are quartz, feldspar, and mica. Because granite has a high-mineral composition, it is full of coarse grains. This often provides a speckled, uniform pattern across the entire slab, such as the above example.
Along with being coarse-grained, granite can also contain large splotches of varied minerals. These randomly scattered minerals and colors create interesting and extravagant stone designs. Lennon granite is a great example of this.
Granite also comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. For example, granite slabs can be found in white, black, gray, brown, beige, and even more interesting colors like blue, red, gold, and green. Malibu and Blue Dunes granite are both really interesting examples of color diversity.
Blue Dunes granite.
Quartz is an engineered, manufactured stone, and it’s just about the most popular material available today besides granite.
Beautiful quartz kitchen with a farmhouse sink in the island.
As the quartz manufacturing industry grows, so does the intricacy of the designs and styles. Today’s quartz is made to replicate granite and marble, and in some cases it is very well done, to the point that it’s difficult to tell the difference. To see a deeper comparison of today’s specific quartz designs, you can read another blog here.
With a contemporary trend present today, simplicity is triumphing in kitchen and bath designs. Many people choose quartz today for its warm, clean appeal. Also when it’s matched up with light-colored cabinets, it really brightens up the room.
Since quartz is made up of over 90% of the quartz mineral, which has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, it’s an extremely durable material, more so than granite. It is also particularly resistant to water damage and scratches/cracks.
As I said in the beginning, there are some similarities between granite and quartz. Let’s take a look at these.
While Quartz is a slightly more durable material, granite is also rather durable in comparison to other natural stones, such as Marble, Dolomite, Onyx, and similar stones. Granite on the Mohs scale is about 6.5 which is very close to the hardness of quartz. Both granite and quartz have chip and crack resistance as well.
Many people say that quartz is very scratch resistant, but the bottom line is that pretty much any material can be scratched depending what you drag on it. While it’s true that both quartz and granite are scratch resistant, it is important to remember to always take care of your countertops and to avoid dragging heavy items across them that could potentially cause damage.
Quartz and granite both virtually need no maintenance besides some daily cleaning after meals. Granite, however, does need to be sealed periodically, but that is quite a simple task. To learn more about maintaining your countertops, check out this blog. Now when it comes to spills and leaks, both countertop materials are relatively resistant; however, since granite is porous, it is more prone to stains, so it’s a good idea to clean up any spills as soon as possible, no matter the material.
The price per square foot is similar for granite and quartz. For granite, the price range is around $40 to $200 per sqft, and quartz is approximately $60 to $200. Prices do vary, however, depending on the installation cost and the supplier.
So Which Is Better For Your Kitchen?
The answer to this depends on a few factors, such as design, usability, and mood/tone.
If you are going for a more contemporary look, quartz may be a better alternative to granite. That’s not to say, though, that granite doesn’t fit into a modern kitchen. Most of the time quartz is simpler and has less movement than granite, so it normally fits better in a simple contemporary kitchen. But granite fits well in any kitchen as there many styles and design types. So, it’s up to what you prefer.
This goes back to resistance to such things as scratches, cracks, heat, and water. And when thinking about usability, you also need to consider who is going to use the kitchen and what you’re using it for. If you have children who could cause spills and do reckless things, keep in mind that if granite is stepped on, it could likely crack. But on the other hand, if you cook a lot and need a good workspace, remember that quartz can be burned if you set a hot pan on it for an extended amount of time. Usability kind of balances out for the two materials.
Mood and Tone
When it comes to the mood and tone of your kitchen, it most often depends on the color of your cabinets, the lighting, the flooring color, and the size. Just as an example, imagine you have a small kitchen with brown wood cabinets, dark hardwood flooring, and limited lighting as you don’t have a window. Unless you prefer the dim, warm mood, a dark granite may not be a good idea. A brighter white granite or quartz would probably be a sound idea for a kitchen of this type. The white would brighten up the room, and because of the brightness, the size of the room could even feel bigger.