Quartz vs Granite Countertops

The quartz vs granite debate rages on. The debate is fueled by no shortage of pros and cons. However, the quartz vs granite debate is usually subdued. In general, news commentators find little interest in the topic. Auditorium marquees seldom highlight the opposing views. Consequently, verbal dueling back and forth on the subject is rare. On the other hand, people shopping for stone kitchen countertops, often find themselves in the middle of the debate. Pulled in two directions at once. Needing to make the optimal choice between one or the other. After all, a stone kitchen countertop is a substantial investment. The stone countertop will stare back at the purchaser for the foreseeable future.
For the purpose of clarification, both granite and quartz are natural materials. Formed deep below the Earth’s surface, under tremendous pressure and heat. When it comes to surfaces in kitchens, offices, and bathrooms, granite and quartz play different roles. Granite countertops are created from a solid slab of stone. Quartz countertops are quite different.
Rather than a single piece of quartz, ground quartz is mixed with color pigments and polymer resins. A granite countertop is 100% granite. A quartz countertop is between 92% and 94% quartz.

Quartz vs Granite Countertops: Price

The price of granite and quartz pass each other like horses approaching the finish line. Many of the factors that drive the pricing of granite and quartz are based on transportation costs. Most of the higher grade granite and quartz are imported. Something that increases transportation costs, such as a rise in fuel price, will be passed along to the consumer. Likewise, civil and/or political unrest in the export country, or ports along the way, can impact what the buyer pays. Hard numbers use here will be invalid at other points in time. However, current price ranges are about $80 to $140 per square foot. Prices vary in different parts of the country, so these are really only ballpark figures.
granite table

Quartz vs Granite Countertops: Durability

Quartz is a very hard substance. Since granite is composed of between 20% and 60% quartz, it too is very hard. Granite countertops are much more porous than their quartz counterparts. Typically, granite is sealed. This not only gives a smoother surface, it also fills tiny cracks and fissures that could otherwise harbor contaminants. Over extended periods of time, contaminants could shorten the lifespan of granite. But we are talking a very long time, much longer than humans live. Some contaminants, such as mold and bacteria are potential health risks. Quartz is much less porous (made that way), so more hygienic.
This is a good article at the HGTV blog about the quartz vs granite comparison. Hope it sheds more light on the subject.
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