what are people using today granite or quartz countertops

matdrewMay 8, 2013

hi guys
I was on this forum a while back to do my kitchen . everyone was so helpful. a ver close friend of mine is doing her kitchen over and is trying to decide on countertop material. She was thinking granite all along. However the kitchen designer and one of the places that sell oth granite and quartx told her the granite is "old school" (old fashioned). she asked me for my opinion and I thought I would turn to the experts, you guys. thanks in advance. if granite she is considering a creamy beige color and is open to suggestions if there are any. thaanks

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I don't think that natural materials will ever go out of style. If you like a homogenous appearance, then man made materials are an option. However, if you like movement and variations, then go with a natural material.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I will second that. If you want a material that is hard and performs like granite essentially, but has a monolithic color, go with quartz. If you wants something organic with variation, go with granite or some kind of stone.

If she wants a very plain creamy beige she may be better off going with quartz.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:56AM
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A coordinated look is never out of fashion. Both granite and quartz are good durable products. IMO, one should choose which ever particular one looks best with the other elements of the kitchen - cabinets, flooring, tiling, etc. Look carefully at the undertone colours. If you screw up on the colours in your kitchen, something will always look "off", even if most folks can't identify exactly what. And it can be very expensive to rectify bad colour choices in permanently installed items.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Granite is certainly not dated. We still put far more granite than quartz into the high end homes we do. Quartz is a man made product and I suspect it will have the same product life cycle over time as corian and other "solid surface" materials.

Quartz products are also subject to fading over time which could certainly become an issue in the future. A quartz top left outside will fade dramatically in only a few weeks. Dark colors, which have more coloring agents, are worse.

We have already replaced a few kitchens under manufacturers warranty (Kudo's to Cambria for backing up their product) for fading and I suspect there will be more in the future as the existing installations age. Even a relatively small area that fades is enough to spoil the looks of the countertops.

The attached pic is a quartz color that was mostly covered by a slightly smaller piece. The level of fading in the pic occurred in about 3 months of sun exposure. I am not specifying the color or manufacturer because it is not important since all quartz colors have the problem to a greater or lesser degree.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:27PM
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I am at the tail end of our remodel and everything is covered for the painters or I would send pictures. I used granite on my island and quartz on the perimeter counters. Since my island has a lot of movement, I wanted the perimeters to be a pretty solid color without a lot of pattern. Ceasarstone quartz offered a color that was exactly was I was looking for, so I mixed both in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:12PM
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We went with Cambria. It has movement and I like it.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Granite continues to be a very popular countertop choice, but quartz is gaining in popularity. There are styles of quartz that have variation and movement as well as the uniform designs. They are comparable in cost, though quartz is supposed to be lower maintenance because it does not need to be resealed over time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen countertops comparison

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Cambria fades? That's news to me. We've had Cambria in our kitchen for about 10 years when we did a minor remodel. It's Welshpool Black, so very dark. It hasn't faded at all. We'll be going with Cambria again when we do a full remodel this summer. I love quartz counters.

However, in our neck of the woods, granite is used far more often despite being in the home state of Cambria.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 3:27PM
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I am a fabricator with experience in thousands of jobs in granite, quartz, marble, soapstone, travertine, schist, and others.

the "countertop comparison" is inaccurate.

Granite or any other natural stone never fades.

quartz countertops, in practice, are not "harder than granite". While quartz is the hardest component in granite quartz countertops are an amalgam of quartz chips, other inclusions, coloring agents, and resin. In practice most natural stones used for countertops are more scratch resistant than quartz tops. The consumer cares about scratch resistance.

Additionally, the comparison rates quartz countetops as "heat resistant" when the biggest negative of quartz countertops material is their susceptibility to heat damage. EVERY manufacturer of quartz tops specifically excludes heat damage from their warranty. The consumer cares about susceptibility to damage, not some esoteric engineering material property.

Finally, the comparison notes that granite requires resealing "regularly". Many stones requires no sealing at all. Most granite countertops materials need, at most, sealing once a year. The process is also no more work than a good cleaning.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 3:38PM
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