Quartz vs Granite Countertops Comparison Guide

Kitchen countertops are one of the most important elements of any kitchen remodel or new construction. Not only do they need to be beautiful and stylish, but countertops also need to stand up to daily use without showing excessive wear and tear. Two of the most popular options on the market today are quartz and granite countertops, each with their own sets of pros and cons. This guide will provide an in-depth comparison between quartz and granite to help you select the best material for your next kitchen project.

Durability and Maintenance

When it comes to durability, both quartz and granite are excellent choices that will last for many years in the kitchen. However, there are some differences regarding maintenance requirements.

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are composed of ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This engineered material makes quartz non-porous, so it will not absorb stains from spills. The resin binders also make quartz more flexible and resistant to cracks and chips.


  • Highly resistant to scratches, chips, cracks
  • Non-porous so does not need to be sealed
  • Can be cleaned with mild soap and water
  • Stains easily removed


  • Can be damaged by excessive heat
  • Requires replacement if heavily damaged

Granite Countertops

Granite is a natural stone that’s mined from quarries. It’s extremely hard and dense, making it very scratch and chip resistant. However, granite is porous and can absorb liquids if not properly sealed.


  • Withstands heat better than quartz
  • Can develop patina over time, adding character
  • Can be refinished and re-polished as needed


  • Porous and requires periodic re-sealing
  • Can stain without proper sealing
  • Chips and cracks may form and need repair

Based on durability and maintenance alone, quartz generally has an advantage over granite due to its non-porous composition and flexibility. Granite’s hardness does give it marginally better heat resistance.

Appearance and Styles

In terms of aesthetics, granite and quartz both come in a wide array of colors and patterns to suit any design style.

Quartz Countertop Styles

One of the key advantages of engineered quartz is that manufacturers can create consistent patterns and effects. Options include:

  • Solid colors like white, black, gray
  • Speckled appearance with colored flecks
  • Metallic and glitter finishes
  • Faux marble or granite patterns
  • Concrete, stone, and wood-like looks

Quartz allows for great creativity and customization in colors and patterns. There’s a huge variety available.

Granite Countertop Styles

Since granite is a natural material, it presents unique colors, veining, and movement in each slab. Popular options include:

  • Whites – Carrara, Kashmir White
  • Tans – New Venetian Gold, Santa Cecilia
  • Blues – Baltic Blue, Blue Eyes
  • Blacks – Absolute Black, Nero Marquina
  • Reds – Red Dragon, Ruby Red

Granite offers one-of-a-kind visual appeal. However, limited availability of rare granite colors can drive up costs.

Both quartz and granite provide attractive options. Quartz offers more consistency while granite provides more uniqueness.


Cost is often a primary factor when choosing between quartz and granite countertops. Here is an overview of typical price ranges:

Quartz Countertops

  • Low end: $50 per sq. ft.
  • Mid-range: $70-$100 per sq. ft.
  • High end: $100-$150 per sq. ft.

Granite Countertops

  • Low end: $40-$60 per sq. ft.
  • Mid-range: $60-$100 per sq. ft.
  • High end: $100-$200+ per sq. ft. for rare granites

In general, mid-range quartz and granite prices overlap around $80-$100 per square foot installed. The highest end granite slabs can be much more expensive than quartz.

Other cost factors to consider:

  • Quartz requires less frequent sealing than granite
  • Granite can often be refinished instead of replaced
  • Special patterns and colors impact costs for both

Environmental Impact

For homeowners concerned about sustainability, the environmental differences between quartz vs granite may also play a role in the decision process.

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are engineered from raw quartz minerals combined with resins and pigments. The manufacturing process requires energy consumption and emits greenhouse gases. Since quartz counters are man-made, they must be disposed of in landfills eventually.

Overall, quartz has a higher carbon footprint than natural stones. However, manufacturers are taking steps to reduce environmental impact through energy efficiency and recycled materials.

Granite Countertops

Granite is mined from quarries, so material extraction itself has an environmental toll. However, granite is entirely natural and can be recycled indefinitely. Granite has stood the test of time from an ecological perspective.

If environmental impact is a concern, granite would be the more sustainable choice over quartz surfaces. However, both materials can be sound options. Proper maintenance and long lifespan prevent the need for frequent countertop replacement.

Which is Better for Kitchen Countertops?

So is quartz or granite better for kitchen countertops? Here is a quick summary:

Quartz Pros

  • More consistent patterns and colors
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Resists scratches and stains
  • Non-porous

Granite Pros

  • Unique natural patterns
  • Withstands heat better
  • Can be refinished over time
  • More eco-friendly

In the end, both granite and quartz make excellent choices for kitchen countertops. Key factors include budget, preferred visual style, and how much maintenance is acceptable. For busy kitchens that demand hassle-free care, quartz counters may fit the bill. For those seeking a classic high-end look with artisan appeal, granite delivers on that vision.

By weighing the pros and cons covered in this guide, homeowners can decide whether durable quartz or timeless granite makes the best addition to a dream kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions homeowners have regarding quartz vs granite countertops:

Which material is better for resale value?

Both quartz and granite can positively impact resale value. Granite may have a slight advantage as a premium material desired by high-end home buyers. But quartz is also seen as an upscale countertop that adds value.

Can you cut directly on quartz or granite counters?

It’s best to avoid cutting or chopping directly on either surface. For everyday use, a cutting board should be used to protect counters from knicks and scratches. Both materials can suffer damage from sharp knives or heavy impact.

Does quartz stain as easily as granite?

Due to granite’s natural porosity, it’s more prone to staining than non-porous quartz if not properly sealed. However, sealing granite makes it quite stain-resistant as long as the sealant is maintained.

Is quartz cheaper than granite?

In most cases, the cost of mid-range quartz and granite is fairly comparable, around $80-$120 installed per square foot. Very high-end designer granite can get much pricier than top-tier quartz options.

Which requires less maintenance?

Quartz is the clear winner when it comes to lower maintenance. Its non-porous composition never requires sealing and it resists scratches easily. Granite must be sealed to prevent staining and may need periodic re-polishing.

Which material is safer for food prep?

Both materials are considered food-safe and non-toxic. Neither will interact with or absorb foods in ways that affect safety or health. It comes down to keeping surfaces clean more than the material.

How do you clean quartz vs granite counters?

For regular cleaning, soap and water is fine for both. Disinfectant wipes or sprays can also be used. Granite requires periodic sealing to maintain stain resistance. Avoid abrasive cleaners on either surface.

Can you put hot pans on quartz or granite?

Both can withstand moderate heat, but sudden temperature changes can damage stone. Using hot pads is recommended. Granite is less prone to damage from hot pans, but it’s still best to exercise caution.

Which material is best for busy kitchens?

Quartz may work better for busy kitchens with heavy daily use. Its non-porous surface and scratch resistance makes quartz more worry-free. Granite requires a bit more care and maintenance for longevity.


In summary, both quartz and granite offer attractive and functional options for kitchen countertops. Quartz delivers durability and fuss-free maintenance but lacks the natural uniqueness of granite. For traditional high-end style, the natural beauty of granite still shines through. By weighing the key differences covered here, homeowners can confidently choose the material that best fits their needs, lifestyle and budget. With proper care, both quartz and granite countertops can provide many years of elegant performance enhancing any kitchen design.