The Pros and Cons of the Big Three: Granite, Quartz, and Quartzite
When choosing a material for your kitchen countertops, you may be a bit confused about which one works the best. Between granite, quartz, and quartzite, and all of the variety within each type of stone, there are a lot of options. It’s important to understand the difference between the three before you make your investment. This article will explain each stone and its pros and cons.
According to Treehugger, granite countertops are overwhelmingly the most popular countertop material, with over 60 percent of homes using granite. The classic material offers durability, elegance, and longevity, making it a longstanding favorite in homes.
Granite is an igneous rock, formed in the deep confines of the earth from solidifying magma. It’s made up of quartz, feldspar, amphiboles, micas, and assorted trace minerals in varying degrees so no two slabs of granite are exactly alike. If you’re considering granite countertops, be aware that they come in a tiered order. There are more rare or higher quality pieces of granite that will cost more or less. The variety means you will be able to find the perfect option for your budget and the look of your kitchen or bathroom.
Here are a few pros to granite:
- It lasts a lifetime with proper maintenance.
- It’s a renewable resource.
- It is resistant to heat, scratches, and chips. Protective measures, like heat pads and a cutting board, are still recommended.
- It provides a unique but classic look that will boost the value of your home.
Some of the cons include:
- Granite is a porous stone, so it isn’t naturally resistant to stains. You need a sealant installed periodically to prevent stains.
- It’s recommended to invest in specialized granite cleaners to maintain the sealant. Regular household cleaners will wear it out faster and potentially make the stone vulnerable to scratches and stains.
- The higher-end granite is more expensive than quartz or quartzite.
All in all, granite is the most popular material used for countertops for a reason. They cost a bit more and require more maintenance, but you can get an elegant look with serious longevity when cared for.
Quartz is a mineral known as an engineered stone. In its raw form, quartz is pulverized sand. The mineral originates in mountains naturally, making it a very durable material. In fact, it’s harder than granite. To form the mineral into a countertop, it is mixed with adhesives, resins, polymers, and other materials, so it isn’t exactly naturally occurring.
A few of the major benefits of quartz are:
- It is engineered with a variety of patterns and looks, so there are still plenty of options to choose from. Quartz can even be engineered to look like natural stone like granite and marble.
- No maintenance is involved other than cleaning with an all-purpose cleaner and paper towel (or something similar).
- It is engineered into an extremely durable and stain-resistant countertop.
- Quartz is non-porous, so no sealant is required. It is totally waterproof.
Some of the disadvantages of quartz are:
- Quartz is similar in price to mid-range granite.
- You can’t put anything too hot on the surface. It will crack the quartz.
- Quartz is not as eco-friendly as natural stone.
Overall, quartz is a tough countertop with very low maintenance. Even though it’s engineered, it can be made to look like granite, although you won’t necessarily save money.
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock formed beneath the intense pressure of tectonic plates. Quartzite does not come in as much variety as granite or quartz, so it is better for homeowners that want a more uniform feel. A few of the benefits quartzite provides include:
- It is harder than both granite and quartz. It is a super tough material and the most resistant to scratches and other damage.
- Quartzite is also heat resistant, like granite.
- Again, like granite, quartzite is a natural and renewable resource.
Some of the cons include:
- Like granite, quartzite must be sealed periodically to prevent staining.
- It does not come in as many colors. However, this can be a good thing if you prefer a clean and uniform look.
- The cheapest end of quartzite is less expensive than quartz, but not the middle and higher-end.
Depending on your valuation, all three materials can be the perfect fit. It all comes down to how you balance the look, price, and maintenance. To speak with an expert about which stone is best for your countertops, contact the experts at New York Quartz in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas. We offer all three materials, and more, so you can be sure you’ll find the best option for your home. Call today for more information.