We sat down with our very own interior designer Lynnette Hardy for some insight on the difference between granite and quartz. Below are her answers to some frequently asked questions.
Which is best for your project surfaces, granite or quartz?
I get this question a lot when I’m designing kitchens and baths, consulting for real estate, or teaching one of our “Name that Surface” Continuing Education classes: “Should I use granite or quartz for kitchen counter tops?”
Most people don’t think a lot about interior surfaces until they are remodeling or buying a new house. Then they rely a lot on what they hear from neighbors, friends, and TV remodeling shows. Without a lot of information about the product itself, it’s often easy to assume that the newest thing out there is the best thing. Granite has been the standard but quartz is the new kid in town, but how do you determine which is best for your project?
Below you’ll find some FAQs on the granite vs. quartz debate:
Which costs more?
In deciding between quartz and granite one of the firsts questions is: “Which costs more?” Cost for either depends on the slab chosen. Both have grade levels at different price points, but overall the cost of installing either is about the same. Because the general cost is about the same, the main things to consider are maintenance, appearance, and size.
Which is easier to maintain?
Both made of natural stone. Granite is stone as it comes out of the ground, then finished. Granite is porous because it’s natural stone. Quartz is bits of stone held together by a resin. It’s nearly 100% non-porous because of the resin. That means quartz never needs to be sealed but granite does. However, sealers have become quite effective over the years and can last up to 10 years between sealings, so maintenance is less of a factor than it is has been in the past.
Which is more appealing in appearance?
Traditionally, granite is available in many more varieties of colors and patterns. Quartz typically has a smaller, more regular pattern. If a larger, more organic looking pattern is desired, granite is more often the way to go. However, quartz manufacturers are getting much better at including sweeping patterns in their designs, so don’t rule out quartz completely. If you are going for a solid color granite or one with a small pattern, it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between some of the styles. When this is the case, quartz is a better option for its maintenance-free qualities.
Are granite and quartz slabs available in all sizes?
As good as quartz is, it’s still more brittle than granite and therefore comes in smaller slab sizes than granite. The typical size for a quartz slab is 56”x120”. Some styles come as large as 130”, called a “jumbo” slab. In any slab installation, seamless is preferable, so if your kitchen is too large to use quartz without seams, go for the granite!
Lastly, never buy granite or quartz without looking at the actual slab you will be purchasing. Any reputable slab dealer will be happy to let you see and choose the exact slab that will be used. It can be fun seeing the slabs being carried around, so take your time and enjoy choosing the perfect slab for your project!
If you are a realtor who wants to learn more about these and other interior surfaces, come to one of my “Name That Surface” continuing education classes. Hold these classes in your office by coordinating with an accredited Continuing Education Provider or by calling Imagine Home Staging & Design directly. We’ll help you arrange a class or help you find an upcoming class in your area.
You can find more of Lynnette Hardy’s work at Hardy Interior Design.