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Consider Granite Versus Quartz Counter Tops

We walked into the kitchen and saw quartz counter tops, which usually invites the question as to which is better - and so what's the difference - granite versus quartz counter tops.

Walking into the kitchen on a home inspection my client asked what a quartz counter top was.

So, when you walk into the kitchen for the first time - which do you want to see?  And what is more important - style, design, color, originality?

Both are hard.  Both are heat resistant.  Both are exceptionally durable.  And both are attractive.

Quartz and granite are very hard minerals, but a diamond is 16 times harder on the Mohs Scale.  Both quartz and granite rank at 7 on the Mohs Scale.  They are both quite hard enough for family living.

Quartz is man made, 93% quartz (broken into chips) and 7% resin to hold it together.  As such, quartz is less porous than granite and does not need to be sealed against stains.  Being porous makes granite bacteria prone.  Sealing it not only protects against bacteria invasion, but also staining.  Granite is acid vulnerable.  Don't leave acid sitting on it for long!  The stains - tomato sauce, vinegar, soda, wine - are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove.

Granite is natural and comes in as many patterns and colors as nature creates.

It is marketed with sexy names - Ubatuba, Rosa Beta, Juparana Boreal, Venetian Gold, and so on.  The fancier it is the more expensive it is!

That is our kitchen island, and it is the Classico granite. Our counter tops are Venetian Gold.  It has the same colors as Classico, but a different look.  You can't call them Speckled Brown and expect them to have such marketability!

While quartz is getting more and more granite looking, it also is sold by fancy names in addition to simple color names - Bianco Drift, Calcutta Nuvo and Frosty Carrina.  Well, they have to compete!

Cost?  Quartz is typically cheaper, but granite has been a round a long time and is very competitive.  Both have higher and lower prices depending on style and color.  When we bought ours, the granite was sold with different "levels," 1 - 5, with 5 being the most expensive.  Those grades may vary depending on where you buy.

Pick what you want!

Tips: 

  • Rounded edges chip less.
  • Rounded corners are less dangerous to faces and hips!
  • Radon?  Forgetaboutit.  Urban legend.  If there is any radon in the granite the gas is dissipated by house air.
  • When buying granite don't buy from a chip.  Be sure to look at as big a slab as possible.  Your island or counter top can be mapped out onto the slab you choose so you know exactly how it will look when installed.  That way you can take advantage of gorgeous spots and swirls and splashy veins and incorporate them into your kitchen design.
  • You might be able to buy a remnant!
  • Keep it clean.  Seal it regularly if necessary.
  • Get professional installation!
  • If a section is cut out or cut off, have it turned into a cutting board!  The cutting board of Classico stone on top of the Venetian Gold stone in our kitchen looks really fun.  And functional.

My recommendation:  pick out what turns you on.  Do you like the pattern?  The color?  The style?  The originality?  Which appeals to you more - granite or quartz?  It's probably six of one, half a dozen of the other.  And remember the tips!

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 45 commentsJay Markanich • January 19 2015 03:25AM

Comments

Your comment about rounded corners is interesting from a chipping standpoint but a first reaction from several of my Buyers is "is it granite or laminate" given the rounded corners of so many laminate installations.

If quartz is cheaper, why haven't the production builders changed to it from granite?

 

Posted by Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC, CNS (Everything Pines Partners, LLC.) over 3 years ago

Great and balanced view.  I personally prefer the real thing - looks so much nicer and I love the variation.  Here, generally quartz is a bit more expensive.  But, it's the look that has the impact and the majority of my customers also prefer granite.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

What sells best is what sells best, and probably answers your question Betsy.

Debbie - like I said, 6 of one, half a dozen of the other!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Jay Markanich I have granite in one bathroom..... but decided on another solid surface counter in the kitchen.... granite is not forgiving!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 3 years ago

Geez, Barbara, you aren't supposed to sleep on it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, you are right, pick out what you like and understand the pluses and minuses. I chose Silestone for duarability. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

Interesting post Jay but not knowing much about granite what do you seal it with?  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 3 years ago

Works for me Wayne!

James - stone sealer available at any hardware store.  It takes five minutes.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. I'm not a fan of granite and actually have quartz that reresembles marble.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 3 years ago

I cannot for the life of my imagine anything manmade that would be more appealing or beautiful than a natural material.

Rayon was never more beautiful than silk either.

I've seen quartz countertops.  They are easily recognized and can't compete with granite.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 3 years ago

I lik eth elook and feel of granite in my homes.  I see that soem of the  rehab shows ar eshowing other alternatives though.  I guess I will never be a trend setter.

Posted by Rob Renk, AE | Fast Fix/Flip Loans for Residential Investors (Center Street Lending) over 3 years ago

Great breakdown of both the granite and quartz dilemma Jay Markanich .

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 3 years ago

I had Ubatuba Gold in the house I recently sold. It was goigeous... Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

Different strokes Sheila!

It's hard to beat God, Lenn.  And different granites with the same name can look entirely different!

Rob - wait a minute and all styles change!

Thanks Tom.  I have clients ask me these questions all the time.

Fred - must have been expensive.  I have never seen a tuba that wasn't brass.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich I really enjoyed reading this reminder about the differences between quartz and granite.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 3 years ago

Jay, great information. I installed pure black granite in my kitchen, never again. Way too much maintenance.

Posted by Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC & (Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC) over 3 years ago

Thanks Sybil.  I get these questions from clients often.

Mark - I have heard that black is hard to maintain as it shows everything.  Dirt can't be seen on ours, so we are constantaly worried it isn't clean!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay- you've answered a lot of questions with this post.  I love granite, and my favorite is still the ubiquitous Ubatuba.  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 3 years ago

Kathy - another T and Ubatuba would be redundant, like saying Hornhorn.

But I'm glad the post was informative!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

What I learned

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 3 years ago

Gracias Hermana Mía!  It's always a pleasure to show up there!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Great explanation of the differences, similarities and issues surrounding both types of counters. I seem to always hear the negative about granite!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich I have been obsessing about the stain factor in choosing ...since I am pretty sloppy when cooking and am worried about it especially with the lighter granites...great info to have.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Thanks for the information, Jay. I didn't realize all the differences and the need for sealing. Seems like it needs too much work. 

Posted by Toni Weidman, 26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 3 years ago

Thank you for the information. I will bookmark this post for  later.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I came over from Kathy's post this morning and glad I did. I agree with Lenn Harley and like the real thing! I prefer granite with its natural variations..each one is slightly different..we picked out our slabs for our kitchen and love the look. Just sold a home with Quartz counters..lovely but wish they had used granite:).

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) over 3 years ago

Great post!  Thanks to Kathy too for reposting it since I missed it earlier this week!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 3 years ago

I had granite in my last home and we just redid the kitchen in my current home and went with granite once again.  I am a fan.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 3 years ago

Gary - I haven't heard too much negative about granite and it's really popular around here.

Ginny - there isn't really anything to obsess over.  Just clean it after cooking!  You can Mexican hat dance on it too.  Photo please.

Toni - a couple of minutes once a year isn't a lot of work, but I confess we aren't too regular with the sealing!

Thanks Gita!  Hope you find it useful.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Dorie - the quartz has its place.  I like seeing it in a basement bar or kitchen.

Kristin - you what!?  Let this be a lesson to you.

; >)  Kidding.

Sharon - I am too.  We had a lot of fun picking ours out.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I think I have all the information I need now on quartz and granite.  I've seen some pretty snazzy quartz patterns I love.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 3 years ago

Jay, this is everything most shoppers need to know.  Didn't realize the differences between quartz and granite, but will pay more attention to quartz in the future.

Posted by Michael Dagner, Your Denver Homes Realty Expert (Brokers Guild Classic) over 3 years ago

Chris Ann - I think quartz is getting classier and classier.

Michael - like I said to Chris Ann!  Some is quite boring, but some is not!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I like both quartz and granite depending upon the style of the kitchen. Quartz looks better in a modern sleek kitchen in my opinion. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) over 3 years ago

And no one would disagree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder Nicole!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Really useful information.  Thanks!

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) over 3 years ago

Jay, thank you, I didn't really know the difference except that quarz seems to become more common.

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich this one is for my library - to answer questions from my buyers of new construction. Thanks a lot for sharing your expertise.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 3 years ago

I'm glad that it is Cindy.

Not around here, but obviously it is very common out there Silvia.

Praful - and again, I'm very glad it's useful!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Rounded edges on my counters would be great -- I bang into everything (and then forget what happened when the bruise shows up!)

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 3 years ago

That is something your retailer should have warned you about Kat!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay - thanks for this very informative post.  I plan to share this information with some buyer so that they can make some informed decisions.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 3 years ago

Information is everything when buying or remodeling Joan.  I am happy you can use it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, What a well written informative post! Just starting to look for counters and will be going to pick out the actual stone...no ordering from samples.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 3 years ago

Thanks Margaret, I hope it's helpful.  When we picked out our stone we went to two different quarries and had them physically move pieces we wanted to see.  Then we marked where the cut outs would be with tape so we knew what the counter would look like when we got it home.

Don't forget the cutting boards!  They are a fun addition.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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