How Do You Decide Between Quartz or Granite for Kitchen Countertops?

The debate between granite and quartz countertops is one of the most divisive in home design.  Homeowners typically have a strong preference for one and a vehement opposition to the other. Quartz has been trending recently, but there are some unique colors with Granite that may be hard to replicate with quartz.

Five categories that make the difference between these two materials include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Appearance & Uniformity
  • Cost
  • Durability & Ease of Cleaning
  • Maintenance of Stone Type
  • Environmental Impact


Granite is an igneous stone and is entirely natural. It’s mined throughout the world and cut into blocks. These blocks are then cut into slabs and polished to a beautiful finish for use as countertops.  Quartz is also a natural mineral by itself, but it doesn’t occur in large, solid masses like granite. Instead, mined quartz is crushed into smaller pieces and bound together with a polymer resin. The resulting composite material can then be cut and shaped into countertops.

large block of granite that are cut for granite countertops

picture of quartz crystals for manufacturing quartz countertops

Appearance & Uniformity of Stone Countertops

Granite is formed during a repeated process of cooling and solidifying, resulting in many different colors and patterns. The variety is nearly endless, and no two granite countertops are identical. Since its a manufactured material, customers can order quartz countertops in an endless range of colors and patterns that work with their existing color scheme or design.

Cost of Countertops

The cost of granite and quartz countertops are both highly variable due to the number of factors involved. For example, reports that the cost of buying and installing granite ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. The range on the total cost of quartz countertops is even greater at $1,500 to $5,500, largely due to differences in quality and edging style. You can reduce these costs by doing some of the preliminary work yourself, but you should still leave the actual fabrication and installation to a professional.

island quartz countertop from full kitchen remodel in Leawood, KS

Durability & Ease of Cleaning

Granite is durable and highly resistant to heat. However, it’s also porous, so it can stain when you allow liquids to soak into it. Granite is also more difficult to keep clean, since the pores can harbor bacteria. Quartz is even harder than granite and virtually impervious to hard blows. It’s also easy to keep clean by simply wiping it. Quartz’s greatest material weakness is its vulnerability to heat, to you need to use heating pads with a quartz countertop.

Maintenance of Stone Type

You can clean both granite and quartz countertops with soap and water or a mild household cleaner. The most significant difference is that some acids and oils can stain bare granite, so you may want to seal your granite countertops. If you do, you should reseal the countertop once a year. Quartz countertops are not porous and never need sealing.

Environmental Impact

Granite must be mined from a quarry, which damages the environment and requires a lot of energy. It must also be transported, which has an additional environmental impact. You can reduce this cost by using indigenous materials. Quartz must also be mined, but it doesn’t affect the environment nearly as much since it doesn’t require a quarry. Furthermore, quartz is more widely  available, so engineered quartz can be made almost anywhere. Quartz countertops, therefore, have lower transportation costs.

Make a Conclusion Based On Your Needs

Quartz generally wins on maintenance and environmental impact. It also has the edge in durability, except for heat. Quartz also helps increase the value of your home, slightly more than granite, but upgrading to granite from wood or laminate will still increase the value.  On the other hand, granite is usually less expensive and has a more unique appearance. However, you should always consider your specific needs before making your final decision.  For help in looking at different stone options call the experts at Kansas City Countertops and check out our countertop price quoting tool.