Bailiwick Interior Design


The Age-Old Question - Granite Or Quartz?

Copy of Not Your Grandmothers Accent Wall.jpg

Picking a countertop surface for your kitchen or bath can be a daunting task. With so many
different products to choose the decision-making process can be overwhelming for most
homeowners. One question that I am always asked by clients is to explain the differences
between granite and quartz, as most consumers struggle to know which would be best for their
needs. Here are a few pointers I give my clients to help them make the decision easier for their
renovation project.

1. Cost? - Let’s get this one out of the way. This is probably the most important question
by homeowners when picking any product knowing that countertops and backsplashes
will consume a big piece of any remodeling budget. When speaking about granite or
quartz there is no real bargain here.

TIP: Look for remnants – a great option for lowering the cost of smaller kitchen islands
OR bathroom vanities!

For granite, you’re probably looking at about $60-$70 a square foot and quartz will
probably run you from $70-$100 a square foot. A WORD OF CAUTION: These are ball-
park figures and I caution against “shopping” resources by square foot pricing alone!
Homeowners MUST keep in mind that a major component of countertop pricing is based
on the craftsmanship and customer service involved in a QUALITY template, fabrication and installation!!! I’ve seen many bad “seam” jobs when homeowners were bargain
shopping! (If you have a countertop surface more than 8’ long – you will need a seam!)

2. Which is more natural? Granite and quartz are both natural products. Granite is 100%
natural. It’s a slab naturally sliced from quarries from all around the world and then
finished to a matte, textured or polished surface. Quartz is manufactured from ground-
down quartz and will have color and resin added to the mix so they are at about 93-95%

3. Color Options? Granite comes in many colors and is almost limitless with options.
Since it’s natural though you have to pick what you want from what is available. Quartz,
on the other hand, has a stone-like look yet offers more variety as it pertains to color,
pattern and movement. Often my clients are drawn to Quartz because of the consistency
it offers.

4. Durability? It’s important to understand the type of daily wear-and-tear a countertop
may encounter with the lifestyle habits of the homeowner. That’s why I always discuss
this with a client; HEAT and STAINS are the two main points to consider in this qualifier.
As durability pertains to heat – Granite being a natural product can hold up to heat better
than Quartz, which can be damaged by intense or constant heat.

TIP: The constant heat of a crock pot could possibly damage your quartz surface. –
I place mine on top of a cutting board!

But Quartz wins out when it comes to stain resistance and anti-bacterial qualities so it’s
a great choice for kitchen AND bathroom countertops! Granite is 100% natural so it is
porous so it can stain from acidic foods and liquids like lemon juice or red wine.

5. Maintenance? This is actually one of the most common misconceptions – Yes, Granite
needs an initial sealing during installation BUT only needs repeat sealing once each year
thereafter – and it’s really simple – taking about 15 minutes!

6. Environmental Concerns? When it comes to being “Green” you’ll be surprised that
Quartz is going to rank higher on the environmental-friendly scale since it can be
sourced locally and manufactured. This cuts down on oil used to transport, as Granite
would be coming from overseas and sourced with the additional environmental footprint
of shipping.

Since both of these surfaces have pros and cons, sometimes it just comes down to the overall
look, feel and “movement” of an individual slab of either product. Let’s face it – nothing can
totally imitate a natural product like granite. But some clients feel more comfortable with a more consistent pattern of a quartz product. I’ll wrap up by saying; I always recommend the
countertop selection be considered as just one element in the total design of your kitchen or
bathroom AND then consider which element is going to be the “star” performer in your space.

Carrie OesmannComment