Material Misconceptions: Granite vs. Quartz
There are a lot of material misconceptions out there, which is why we like to educate our clients on what products and materials will best serve their needs, and their budget. One of the biggest misconceptions we see regularly is when it comes to selecting granite or quartz countertops.
Granite vs. Quartz: Many people believe that quartz is substantially more durable than granite. While that may be true in some respects, it’s not as indestructible as the genius marketing reps behind it would have you believe. At Mulberry Builders, we believe both materials have their place, and both come with a long list of pros and cons.
These countertops are composed of many different minerals, the strongest of which is quartz. These natural stone materials are porous and do require sealing. The sealers on the market now are much more durable than they used to be and are rated to last about 15 years. We recommend doing this every ten years or so if you’re in the kitchen often to ensure that you don’t wear down the sealer and leave your tops vulnerable to damage. You can do this simple process yourself; if you prefer, your local fabricator can come out and perform the service.
You’ll want to avoid cleaning with acidic products, but mild soap and some water will easily clean your sealed tops. You might be surprised to learn that it isn’t red wine but actually oil that’s the biggest culprit for damaging stone tops. If the oil gets under the surface, it can wick out, and what started as a small drop can become a large spot. As long as you clean up spills quickly, you shouldn’t have much trouble with staining, wicking, or etching.
Granite can also be susceptible to damage caused by a rapid change in temperature, so we always recommend using a trivet under anything that will retain heat. However, this is true of quartz as well. We always encourage you to protect your investment, as countertops are a significant budget item in any space.
These countertops are made up of about 97% pure quartz and 3% resin and dye. There are a lot of inferior products on the market these days that have a higher resin content and are prone to discoloration. We encourage our clients to do their research and make sure the brand they are getting is made up of comparable percentages, or their countertops may not stand the test of time. This resin goes through the entire slab, meaning it’s not porous, is more sanitary, and is less likely to stain. Quartz is excellent in commercial applications for this reason.
While quartz is the strongest and most durable part of a natural stone slab, solid quartz countertops are not as indestructible as marketers might have you believe. These countertops can still be prone to staining, so you will want to be sure to clean up spills quickly. A rapid temperature change can still damage them, so use a trivet and don’t apply heat directly, or it can shock the material, causing it to crack. Quartz counters are also prone to chipping, as the resin is much softer than the stone itself, so be careful with your countertops.
If you’re looking for a clean, white aesthetic, we recommend quartz, as it’s the best way to achieve that look. If you’re going for a marble look, quartz can also make a great substitute, as marble is soft and requires more maintenance.
Know Your Options
At Mulberry Builders, we love both granite and quartz countertops, for different reasons. Make sure you work with a contractor that gives you the facts, and treats your project like it’s their own. We take the time to educate our clients on the pros and cons of each, so you can feel confident that you are making a decision that will best suit your family’s needs for years to come.