Quartz or Granite? Surprising Facts

Countertop Decisions 

You are ready for new countertops and can’t decide between granite and quartz? You are not alone. We consult with homeowners often who are struggling with this decision. We decided to write this post because our thoughts on this debate may surprise you. While it is true that both materials make durable work surface, there are several reasons we believe granite is superior to quartz.

Granite is Heat Resistant

Before you set a hot pot on a quartz counter, think twice. Quartz is made using non-organic resins that can literally burn, leaving a stain that cannot be removed. Even Silestone, the best selling engineered stone manufacturer in the world, tells you never to place hot objects on their product. This quote from this page on their website says: “It is always recommended to use a hot pad or trivet when placing hot objects on the surface”.

In comparison, granite itself was formed by intense heat, so it is naturally impervious to hot pots and pans. The sealants may scorch, but those marks can be removed. So if you prefer not to stock up on hot-pads and fret about heat marks, cross quartz off your list. Granite wins this comparison.

Quartz is More Likely to Scratch

The same resin that makes quartz susceptible to damage from heat also makes it more likely to scratch. While quartz is unlikely to scratch under normal use, we’ve seen significant scratches caused by slipping knives and dropped pans. As fabricators, we know that granite is a tough, rugged stone. It’s so durable it will dull your kitchen knives if used as a cutting surface.

Granite Can be Repaired

Let’s face it, accidents do happen. Drop a pot or whack a corner of your beautiful counter with a heavy dish, and both granite and quartz can chip. The difference is that chips in quartz are notoriously difficult to repair and are often noticeable. In contrast, chips in granite are generally easy to fix and polish out.

Granite Needs to be Sealed

Granite is susceptible to stains because of its naturally porous composition. Stains are a real possibility unless you take 10 minutes once or twice a year to seal it. Quartz is more stain-resistant than granite because it is a non-porous material made from a man-made resin and stone mix. Before you assume that this makes quartz superior, consider the reason it is non-porous. The same resin that makes quartz low-maintenance also increases its risk of discoloration from heat. Sure, sealing countertops once or twice a year is a hassle, but we think heat marks that cannot be erased are worse. Granite wins this match-up.

Quartz manufacturers claim their slabs contain about 7% resin. What they don’t tell you is that they calculate this ratio is by weight. The actual volume of resin makes up about 30% to 40% of the finished product.

Granite Costs Less Than Quartz

The final cost of a countertops installation depends on several factors, but generally, granite countertops cost $40-50 per square foot, including installation. Quartz ranges from $50-75 per square foot installed. This difference really adds up if you have a large kitchen.

Granite is Not a Renewable Resource

At first glance, quartz may seem more environmentally friendly because it can be engineered and manufactured close to home. However, both quartz and granite are comprised of quarried stone (sometimes sourced in the US, but usually abroad). Quartz is manufactured from stone that is crushed and mixed with non-organic resins (glue), moulded, and then cured. Granite is cut out of the ground in big blocks, cut into slabs, and polished to a shiny surface. Quartz and granite require similar expenditures of energy and resources to bring to market. Granite is formed by Mother Nature over millions of years so it is not considered a renewable resource.

Quartz Gives Off Less Radon

You may have heard that granite is dangerous to use in countertops because it emits radon gas. Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that is produced by the breakdown of decaying uranium. The fact is that there is such a minute amount of radioactive material that it poses no threat to people. Even if radon gas is released as the radioactive materials in the stone decay, the released gas is diluted to such weak levels that it poses no threat to people. Of course, that’s not to say that radon gas can’t be a problem in some homes where the foundation is open to the soil and ground. However, radon from granite countertops? There’s just not enough to be a health concern.

Quartz Fades In the Sun

When you drive by Cost Less Carpet in Kennewick, you will see rows of granite slabs sitting outside in the sun. This is possible because granite is impervious to fading and sun damage. This also allows local wholesalers to keep a great selection available.

Quartz will fade within a few weeks of direct sunlight, especially in the darker colors. If you have a lot of direct sunlight in your kitchen or bathroom, we recommend that you avoid quartz for your installation.

Granite is Mother Nature’s Art

We love granite because each slab has personality and beauty worthy of a fine piece of art. Don’t be fooled by limited options on display at Home Depot and Lowes. Head to Cost Less Carpet or another wholesaler. They’re open to the public and have hundreds of slabs for you to choose from. We can even help you find the perfect masterpiece for your project.

Since quartz is more uniform, wholesalers don’t usually keep large quantities in stock. When you select quartz, you may not be choosing the exact slab that that will be installed in your home or business. Some people prefer the uniform appearance quartz offers rather than the natural variations in color and pattern left by Mother Nature’s hand. Personal preference will guide your final decision.


1925 Fowler St. Richland, WA 99352

Phone:  (509) 737-0547

Tri-Cities’ highest quality flooring, tile and countertops at low, low prices. Cost Less Carpet will beat any competitors’ price on identical products.

Tri-Cities Diamond is a licensed, bonded and insured general contractor in the State of Washington. References are available upon request. 

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