What’s the Difference Between Granite & Quartz?
Granite has firmly held the position of most popular countertop for over a decade, thanks to its gorgeous natural patterns and remarkable durability. But quartz, or engineered granite, is more durable and comes in as wide a range of patterns as it’s better known cousin. If you’ve always felt slab granite is a no-brainer for your kitchen or bathroom countertops, we think it’s time to reconsider.
1. Porousness is a Concern with Natural Granite – Not With Engineered Granite
Homeowners are always searching for low-maintenance countertops. Granite is slightly porous, and most types require sealing – some on several occasions throughout the life of the surface – to keep it safe from stains, cracks and bacteria growth.
On the other hand, engineered granite is entirely nonporous, so it doesn’t require any sealing and the uniform texture means cracking is almost impossible – even if you place a hot pot straight off the stove directly on the material. Red wine drinkers should take note: granite is prone to staining from this beverage especially, while engineered granite is not.
2. Differences in Colour & Texture
Many people adore the natural look of granite stone, which can have unique patterns on every piece. Engineered granite, however, is fairly evenly patterned since it’s manmade, so each run’s colours are consistent.
Colour choices for engineered granite are also far broader, since they’re manufactured in an array of patterns to suit popular demand (or the unique preference of an individual buyer). Granite is mined from slabs of rock from the ground, so the uneven look and veining is part of the appeal. Some people prefer natural while others prefer uniform – it’s in the eyes of the beholder – but an engineered granite or quartz can very much give the same effect as a natural slab when you stick to a neutral colour.
3. How the Costs of Natural & Engineered Compare
As with anything, prices are a number among a range of possibilities. Engineered granite is more expensive than many brands of granite. Primarily owing to a longer lifespan in the home, quicker installation and greater design precision. When it comes to durability and the length of its lifetime, engineered granite is a superior product.
Because the engineered granite is manufactured, there’s a much broader spectrum of prices than granite, which must be mined in sheets. But this sheet mining can actually cause costs to skyrocket if the slab of granite needs to be cut around problem areas. Engineered granite is created in a uniform style that ensures a consistent texture throughout the piece.
4. Cleaning and Upkeep
The required maintenance of a countertop should be high on the list of considerations for any renovator, and that’s true of both granite and engineered granite. Granite does require some simple care, including using sealers on occasion and antibacterial soaps to ensure a hygienic surface. It’s engineered counterpart does not require sealing and soap and water are enough to clean it – no bacteria growth concerns here. Engineered granite is also less prone to scratches, stains and cracks than slab granite, so homeowners don’t have to worry about how the kitchens and bathrooms will look years down the line. If easy everyday use is your number one priority, engineered granite is comfortably the best choice on the market.
While there are numerous countertop materials available today, these two are the most popular for good reason. Both of these surfaces offer beauty and strength, but they each have their own merits.
In the end, it’s a personal decision. If you’re interested in exploring the world of engineered granite, contact us now to book a free consultation.