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  • Jeff Chaignot

What is the difference between granite and quartz countertops?

Updated: Jun 4

What is the difference between granite and quartz?

So you started your kitchen or bathroom remodel and now you have to choose a countertop. Now you have to make the big decision… Do I do quartz or granite countertops? The answer is not going to be the same for everyone, it depends on how you plan on using it. Hopefully this article will help you make the correct choice for your needs.

calacatta quartz countertop slab

What are quartz countertops?

Quartz is a generic term for an engineered or manufactured stone countertop. “Quartz” in this case refers to the man made stone, not to be confused with quartzite. Quartzite is a natural type of stone. Quartz countertops are made in most cases of about 90% quartz material and about 10% resin. The 90% quartz material is made up of crushed natural minerals. These minerals consist of granite, marble, ceramic and other products. The resin and quartz material is mixed together to make a slab of quartz. The resin that is mixed in makes the quartz countertops not able to absorb anything and makes it durable to handle. Quartz however is very susceptible to damage from heat, it cannot expand under extreme heat without cracking.

Granite countertop material

What are granite countertops?

Granite of course is a natural stone. Granite is cut out of a mountain in a large block or cube. The cube is roughly the size of a minivan. Then the block is put into saw and pieces are cut off like slices of bread. These slices will then have saw marks in them just like a piece of wood cut into a board. Each slice (slab) needs to be sanded to get rid of the rough saw marks. Granite cannot be sanded with regular sand paper, it needs to be sanded with something harder than granite which is diamonds. Usually it starts with a 50 grit which is a coarse grain, then slowly progress to around 3000 grit which is a fine grain. Once the sanding is done the granite will have a nice polished sheen to it. Because granite is a natural stone and all natural stones are absorbent by nature it would require sealing. Most granite companies will seal the granite it is installed. Light color granites are more absorbent and dark are less absorbent.

How often do I need to seal my granite?

The frequency that you seal your granite will depend on the color and absorbance rate of your granite. I usually recommend throwing several coats of sealer on the granite right after it is installed about a week apart. You cannot over seal your granite, it is a very easy process. If you ever set something wet on the counter and the granite gets a dark spot on it, you need more sealer. This doesn’t mean it was never sealed, it just means you need more. Most sealers will last for years as long as you are not using harsh chemicals to clean the granite.

Can I cut on my granite with a knife?

I have been asked this question a lot. There is no coating on top of the granite, it is just a stone sanded until it is smooth. Granite countertops can only be scratched by something harder than granite like a diamond. A kitchen knife will not scratch the granite, but it is the equivalent of taking your kitchen knife and sawing on a rock. It will take the sharp edge off your kitchen knife.

So which is better quartz or granite countertops?

When trying to decide which countertop is right for you, you need to take into consideration what you will be using your countertop for. If you are planning on putting hot stuff on the counter, granite may be a better option for you. If you are planning on lots of grease and oils on the counter, than quartz may be a better option. The main thing is looking for a color and style that you like the most. Granite and quartz are both very durable products and will last for a lot of years if treated properly.


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