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!
- 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