Granite or Quartz?

rdw829March 29, 2012

It seems that almost everyone goes for granite - or maybe soapstone.

Why granite over quartz? We are looking at Espresso Cabinets, so I think I will be going for a light countertop - but I want something that won't stain easily. Am I better off looking at Quartz? Keeping costs down is definitely a priority.

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I vote for quartz! We have espresso cabinetry throughout our house. We have granite in the bathrooms (we bought remnants to save money). They're beautiful, but I don't like how water makes marks on them. They were supposed to be sealed, but I'm thinking they weren't. The quartz are super easy to care for because they don't need sealing, and even with our Hanstone Specchio White counters, no staining!

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

As far as costs, depending on your area and choice, either quartz or granite can be more expensive. So, not much help there. Sorry.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Love the look! Checking out your pinterest page - love your tile too!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:07PM
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We went with caesarstone nougat and cement. At first we thinking granite but we were so unsettled on which stone. Nothing was really jumping out at us. I actually made a post about help for the hopeless because I was so unsettled. I love soapstone and marble but I didn't want the maintenance or something that I would obsess over with having young kids. I love the look of the slabs I saw. I am simple and they were simply beautiful to my taste. It is not installed yet but I can't wait.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:29PM
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This was the hardest decision for me because I liked both and could have gone either way. In the end we went with a granite counter and BS because I couldn't find a tile I liked for the BS. Go with the design you click with the most and the one that best compliments your cabinets. I had always had plain counters, so having the patterns and variations in the granite is a nice change.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Both are great for different reasons. Honestly I went with granite after being pushed by my DH and GC who both love it. I would have picked quartz in a marble pattern if it was just my choice. I like the simple plain look and the ability to have any back splash but I lost that battle.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:25PM
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I chose quartz because it was easier to get a predictable color. I also wanted something without a lot of movement. Next time, I might choose granite or soapstone. I like 'em all.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:48PM
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When we first started thinking about re-doing our kitchen, I considered quartz. At the time I was looking at granite samples at Lowe's and HD. However, once I went shopping with a friend for slabs for her kitchen, I knew we would be using natural stone. I loved the patterns, variations, and colors, and was intrigued with all the different types available. Sealing once a year or so seemed like a lot less maintenance than trying to keep grout clean.

That's why we chose granite. My style (such as it is) is sort of traditional with eclectic and exotic elements. If you are looking for a cleaner or more modern feel, quartz may be the material for you. Browse through pictures here or on Houzz, and try to narrow down what particular elements you like or dislike. It should help you pick the material that is best for you. After all, nobody else is going to be living with it. Good luck with your reno.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 2:34AM
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i also have espresso cabs and we went with granite. i did look at quartz (very quickly) and decided i wanted something with more "movement". quartz for me was to uniform.

i was also "told" to pick a white or light counter to go with my cabs, but i do not like that look, too stark and too much contrast for me. my granite is called "sedna", very similar to poohpup's granite, and could not be happier with the contrast and colors (browns, blacks, terracottas, creams with flecks of gold and silver)

i have read that people with lighter granites have more incidents with stains and they need to to sealed more often, but you can find threads about that here and read for yourself.

all i can say is find what "speaks" to you and go for it. for me, granite all the way and could not happier.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Before you fall in love with anything check out some prices. I was considering both but found in my area quartz is so much more expensive than granite. There is no way we can afford quartz. Thankfully there are many granites I love and can afford. Get prices at as many places as you can. Prices for the same item can vary greatly.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 8:12AM
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In my mind it's primarily an aesthetic choice. They are both hard, workhorse materials and in my area at least, priced similarly unless you are comparing to an exotic granite. Many granites don't need to be sealed and if they do, it's a once a year thing, so that should not really be a huge distinguishing factor. This is why I don't understand the popularity of quartz that mimics granite. Makes more sense to just get granite if that's the look one wants.

I lean modern in my taste, so I prefer the solid, uniform quartz counters for a more contemporary or modern look. I have quartz in my kitchen and I love it. But I also have "silver wave" granite on my DR buffet, and I love that too. Can't go wrong either way.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 8:21AM
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We haven't ordered countertops yet, but it'll be quartz when we do. Cambria Buckingham quartz, which is part of the Waterstone collection, and it has lots of nice movement. Didn't even consider natural stone (though drbeanie's van Gogh and a recently discussed slab of Fusion make me yearn). I like North American made quartz because of the way it's mined and transported, and because it's virtually indestructible, if you believe the manufacturers.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:07AM
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What I think this forum illustrates is that there is no need to go with a trend, or doing something because someone else thinks you should. And the whole resale issue - I think it is more about how the whole kitchen works together, not your countertops alone.

That said, we picked quartz because the natural stone I like I prefer hanging on the wall as art - or, in a large open space. A discussion thread here nailed it..l love long sweeping waves in natural stones but to look at and touch, not work on as my space is too small and my 92" ceilings just way too short. It would have become the dominant element and I wanted other elements to move in and out of view. So, the uniformity of quartz was perfect.

Every other issue became side benefits. Such as, I know my work habits. After the newness wears out. I will go back to my historic self, using my counters as workbenches. The maintenance ease was a huge attractive feature.

Cost wasn't an issue as I did pick a more pricey quartz BUT I did wheel and deal during their year end push to pump sales. My friends - a few who have quartz - applauded me for using something that augmented natural stone with man-made material for its ecological footprint. I like the idea of it using less natural resources, BUT if that was a part of my deliberations, I would have done almost EVERYTHING differently. So, I'd be lying if I claimed that as one of my reasons. (I am very aware of how much waste I produce and am VERY aware that my remodel was / is a luxury that produced waste...oh my, that's just another topic all together... =)

Happy picking.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:24AM
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In my area, too, quartz is quite a bit more expensive than many granites (although not as much as the Van Gogh quartzite). But it does depend on how many square feet you're covering.

It also seemed to me that the quartz had a lot fewer options than granite, largely "speckled" and "solid color." I have samples downstairs of Cambrian Black and some Silestone something that looks really similar. The Silestone tries really, really hard to be as cool as the Cambrian Black, but to me it somehow just isn't. Even if it were as cool, Silestone at $100/sqft vs CB at $60/sqft, at least from our fabricator, would decide it I think.

BUT, I have not had either of them.

For light colors, Zodiaq had some that weren't speckles or solid, that had a bit of "movement" in them. I just couldn't get into them.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 2:36PM
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For me, the fact that I could get a light quartz without much movement or other busy-ness was the selling point. I wanted a unique, colorful backsplash, and I liked the fact that with the quartz I chose, the backsplash and counter did not compete.

It seems like many people on this site buy a granite they love without thinking through the backsplash issue. Then when the granite is installed, they are disappointed that the backsplash tiles they loved are too busy for the counter, or they're totally stumped as to what tiles (if any) would work. It helps to have a vision of what you want your kitchen as a whole to end up as before making your choices. I think having this vision will make your personal choice between granite and quartz much easier.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 3:01PM
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Granite if you're going for cost, and look. Quartz is you're concerned about staining.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 3:22PM
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"Granite if you're going for cost, and look. Quartz is you're concerned about staining."

Jumpilot, actually, my white quartz (Caesarstone blizzard) stains if fresh berry juice or wine is left on a long time before wiping up. Not a big deal, stains come off with a little Soft Scrub with bleach. Don't ask how I know but blue Sharpie toddler masterpieces clean up with Soft Scrub with bleach as well!

If you don't want to worry about stains, use a dark counter surface, then you just won't see them.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:01PM
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We are debating the quartz/granite thing now too. We go back and forth. I love some of the honed and antiqued versions they are doing with granites, but I was told there are very few Quartz products being offered honed anymore. We aren't sure if we want the countertops to be the "star" of the kitchen, or the backsplash to be what catches the eye. Today alone we flip flopped 3 times while out looking at samples. It may all come down to cost for us.... we were gong to do a complete remodel but then faced the fact that neither of us wanted this place to be our forever home and knowing that, we didn't want to shell out all that cash. Chances are we will sell and move in a few years so we want to be "reasonable" when it comes to what we pay, and by staying within our tastes, but considering "neutral" enough for resale. My taste isn't on the wild an unusual side anyway, but we do want to keep it in mind. We plan to do a small update of countertops, a new sink and faucet and a backsplash.

One other FYI....and you can take this with a grain of salt...but a lady at the tile shop was saying there are already a few of the granites that are being to look "dated" and said if we were truly interested in staying ahead of the curve, she would suggest Quartz products.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 4:17AM
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I went with granite originally because quartz in my area was more expensive. I went a bit "nuts" in DH words about finding the right grdanite for me (and him),I realized I wanted something with pattern, not the beautiful movement that most are looking for when they pick out their granite, and am happy to say I am very happy with what I picked. Look at everything, you will find something that is perfect for you.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:55AM
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I went with granite originally because quartz in my area was more expensive. I went a bit "nuts" in DH words about finding the right grdanite for me (and him),I realized I wanted something with pattern, not the beautiful movement that most are looking for when they pick out their granite, I am very happy with what I picked. Look at everything, you will find something that is perfect for you.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:04AM
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Granite is porous - so it can harbor "bugs". After I learned that from a lab rat friend of mine, I decided on granite. Some of the new quartz has quite a bit of movement

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:24PM
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Hello @at2gemini,
Could you please share with me the name of the granite (?) in the picture above? Or is it quartz? Thanks...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:21PM
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I like them both too. Quartz would be great if you wanted a snazzy backsplash. I went with granite. Some of the granites are amazing. I love all the beautiful colors and patterns.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We went with Caesarstone chocolate truffle quartz. I wanted cleanability and durability. I also liked that it was made with recycled glass...something appropriate for our green house. (and I couldn't resist the name!)

My GF just selected a beautiful granite for her kitchen. Certainly it is a lot more attractive...they are like works of art. But before her kitchen was even finished, there was a nick in the edge that had to be repaired. Beautiful, but more fragile. That's the choice. I believe hers was more expensive than mine tho the fabricator charges more for quartz as its harder to work on as it's so tough.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chocolate truffle quartz

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Thanks Ott
Cambria quartz buckingham.
Can't wait til installed!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 5:21AM
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Rachiele, LLC

After using granite in our kitchen, I think I would try quartz next time. I have chipped it around on of the sinks. Well, someone did! I think a repair on quartz might be easier.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:09AM
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I went with both! I chose quartz on the perimeter because I wanted a very specific yellow cream color. Then I couldn't find a cooridinating quartz for the center island, and after a long long hunt I ended up with leathered antique brown granite. Of primary concern to me was upkeep, which is why I ended up with leathered surfaces on both. The leathered finish doesn't show water splotches and greasy marks like the polished surfaces do. I also wanted counters that could take a lot of cooking abuse and stay looking neat without the fuss of sealing/resealing. My counters have been in for a year and half now and I have been very pleased with both.

I have had neither staining nor chipping issues. We went with a plain semi bullnose edge, not necessarily because of a design choice, but because I had read it was the least likely to chip.

Gardenweb was a great resource for helping me narrow down my choices. I am still thrilled with my choices, which is what good research does!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:44AM
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Ive posted my thoughts above in this thread somewhere, including why we went with quartz. I'm at the stage where I'm having lots of fun creating a BS that can be center stage at a distance - just a benefit of a uniform countertop.

I am getting use to the idea that I don't need harsh chemicals to sanitize my counters - that's true for all types, I suppose. A heavy bleach solution was the only stuff that got my old laminates clean, and that substance is now banned from the new space...nice!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Just echoing what most have already said. I love the movement in my kitchen granite. We have a fairly large kichen and I would do it all again. That said, I am looking at a re-do in our Master Bath and am considering a Cambria quartz just because of it's non-porous properties. I did see some beautiful granite-like pieces at a home show recently that made me think about it. I love the granite in our half-bath and guest bath. Sealing once a year is not a problem. We buy a good product and do it ourselves; it doesn't take long with a clean countertop to start with.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:24AM
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