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In this corner we have the challenger that has come a long way to become one of the most popular countertop materials. In the other corner stands the champion, which continues to lead the pack in the design and construction of kitchen and bathroom countertops. Which of the two countertop materials will win the battle of the pros and cons?
Let closely examine the attributes and drawbacks of quartz and granite countertops.
Quartz: The Pros and Cons
Manufactured from one of the strongest minerals on Earth, around 94% of ground quartz combines with binding resins to produce quartz. This is the primal material to construct bathroom and kitchen countertops. The quartz slabs manufactured in factories are sometimes integrated with small doses of metallic flecks and recycled glass to enhance the visual appeal of the countertop material.
Quartz countertops are considered to be just as durable as granite countertops. But with the capability of being more flexible to resist chipping and cracking. Because of its seemingly impenetrable surface, quartz is ideal for countertops that need to withstand constant abuse, such as the pounding of meats and the slicing of vegetables. The non-porous composition of quartz eliminates the need to apply a sealant, which makes the material virtually maintenance free.
Although considered highly durable, you cannot refer to quartz as a material capable of remaining in pristine condition for years to come. Scratches can diminish the visual appeal of quartz and the surface of a quartz countertop can lose its color over a relatively short period. This is especially true if you build a quartz countertop under sunlight. Harmful UV rays will quickly trigger an unattractive color change. Your best color option for quartz is one of the darker colors.
Granite: The Pros and Cons
Along with marble, granite has for years represented the standard for kitchen and bathroom countertops. The natural stone represents a crystalline rock that contains large mineral grains, which allows the stone to form a harder surface than the surface found on marble stones.
As the material of choice for many homeowners that want to install a bathroom or kitchen countertop, granite is highly durable. The natural stone handles the punishment delivered by typical cookware, as well as cooking knives and dining cutlery. In fact, manufactured materials such as Corian and Formica are no match for the durability produced by granite.
However, granite can ship or crack if the material has to endure prolonged periods near high heat sources. Granite does not present a uniform color scheme. Because of this it can be positive for some homeowners, while making other homeowners turn to another countertop material. You have to seal a granite countertop one time a year. Some can see this as both a costly and a time consuming project. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to conceal the seams found in granite countertops. Although an effective fabricator can make the seams difficult to see.
Cost Comparing Quartz and Granite
Because of its natural state, granite cost less per square foot than the square foot cost of quartz. The starting price for a square foot of quartz is $70, which is $30 more than the square foot starting price of granite. However, the highest quality square foot price of granite approaches $200, while quartz tops out at $175 per square foot. Throw in the cost of maintaining a granite countertop, and the price comparison battle nearly ends in a draw. The pivotal factor that determines the cost of both materials is durability, and quartz knocks out granite in this comparison category.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Homeowner
Aesthetic appeal often represents the factor that breaks a tie between two countertop materials. Yet, for comparing the visual appeal of quartz and granite, you have to consider the factor to be a personal choice. Although it is true the resins that comprise a part of a quartz countertop can make the fixture sparkle under natural and artificial light sources, the fact remains the sparkling effect is not for every homeowner. Think of judging the aesthetic appeal of both countertop materials just like two people judge the appearance of a painting. What fits one person’s criteria of a beautiful painting might be another person’s ugly canvas.
Granite presents an earthy appearance, while quartz offers you a sleek countertop that pairs well with stainless steel appliances.
The Impact on Air Quality
If you are concerned about the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) inside of your home, you might want to consider going with a granite countertop. Quartz countertops contain binding resins and acrylic, with both substance containing more VOCs than the VOCs found in granite countertops. The VOC difference between quartz and granite is not significant. On the other hand it is enough to warrant giving granite a negative attribute.
Finally, we must consider home value. Both quartz and granite countertops increase home values more than the increase in home values generated by fabricated countertops like Formica and laminate.
Read more: Quartz vs Marble Countertops: Pros and Cons
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