If you’re remodeling your home, you know how many options are available for every aspect of every room. Colors, materials, and styles are so diverse that it can be overwhelming to pick everything you need to pull it all together into one cohesive design. As you’re considering countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, you have probably considered the sturdier and classier options offered by granite and quartz. Before you visit a granite supplier in Alpharetta, you may want to learn about some of the key differences between the two so you have some idea of what you want. Here are a few points that we think you should consider.
Granite, a naturally-forming igneous rock, is made from quartz, feldspar, micas, and amphiboles, as well as a few other trace minerals. It is formed under the surface of the earth but can eventually rise to the surface, where it is gathered. Quartz, on the other hand, is a man-made material, containing only 90% ground quartz, with the remaining 10% comprised of resins, polymers, and pigments.
These differences in formation may seem incidental, but they are actually responsible for a few structural differences between the two. Since granite is an igneous rock, it is slightly porous. Also, since it rose to the surface of the earth, it expanded and cracked as it was exposed to differences in temperature, leaving small natural fractures. What this means for you is that if you get a granite countertop, you will need to seal it. Otherwise, spilled food and drink can get into the pores, which stains your counter and makes it less hygienic. If you do stain your counter, don’t worry too much. You can draw out the offending oils with a special poultice or paste, and then you can go ahead and seal the counter.
Quartz and granite are actually very similar in strength, with quartz coming in at a 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Granite falls somewhere between a 6 and a 7 depending on the exact mineral content. Both are strong surfaces capable of taking a lot of hits. Heavy direct impacts may do some damage, but the general clunking of your pots and pans, even the heavy ones, should leave your surface unmarred, which is more than many other countertops can boast.
Also unlike many countertops, both granite and quartz are very heat-resistant. That means that you don’t even have to worry if you transferred those pots directly from the stovetop. If you have your counter in your bathroom and set a hot curling iron on it, that’s okay, too. Quartz and granite alike have high melting points, making them a lot more durable than, say, linoleum.
The most important maintenance difference is that if you have a granite countertop, you need to remember to reseal it regularly. This is an easy process taking about 15 minutes, so it shouldn’t cause you undue stress. If you forget, your counter will become dirtier a lot faster. If you remember, granite and quartz countertops are equally low-maintenance, and most of the time, you can get away with cleaning them with a soap and water mixture.
A lot of times, when you are choosing a material for your countertop or for any other home improvement project, it really boils down to which material looks the best, or which works the best in conjunction with your overall room design. Both quartz and composite granite come in a variety of patterns, with quartz countertops looking a little plainer. These might be more appropriate for modern-style kitchens while granite might be better served in rustic kitchens or kitchens with a natural look. Since granite is not commercially dyed like quartz, it generally has a more unique and personal feel to it. If you want your countertop to be different from everyone else’s, keep in mind that each slab of granite is different.