Quartz vs Granite Worktops: Everything you need to know

If you’re considering renovating your kitchen or bathroom, choosing the right countertop material might be one of your biggest decisions.

You’ve already done some research, and you’re now torn between two popular stone work surfaces: granite and quartz. This blog will give you all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision and choose the perfect work surface to transform your home!

 

What is quartz?

Quartz is a natural mineral made of the crystalline form of silicon dioxide and is one of the most abundant materials on earth. 

Most quartz worktops are ‘engineered’ quartz rather than natural quartz. Engineered quartz is made from crushed natural quartz mixed with adhesive or resin. This is then heated under intense pressure to form a slab. 

 

What is granite?

Granite is a widespread igneous rock made from quartz and other minerals. It was formed when magma cooled beneath the earth’s surface millions of years ago. It’s mined in huge slabs from stone quarries. It’s usually referred to as a natural stone work surface. 

 

Appearance 

Quartz and granite worktops can look similar and come in similar colours, but their appearances have some significant differences. 

Quartz is manufactured, so it has a consistent and uniform appearance with a luxurious glossy finish. This appeals to many people because it makes it easy to hide seams. Quartz worktops come in a huge range of colours and patterns, so it will be easy to find the perfect style to suit your kitchen’s design. 

Granite is a natural stone and has a distinctive and unique look. However, this means that it can contain natural imperfections, and seams between slabs are more obvious. Granite worktops are available in lots of natural colours, but there aren’t as many options as there are for quartz worktops.

 

Composition 

Although quartz and granite worktops look similar, they have very different compositions.

Granite countertops are made from natural stone mined from stone quarries. This natural product is then cut into slabs, polished and cut into worktops. 

However, quartz countertops are made from engineered rather than natural stone. Most quartz countertops contain 90 – 95% natural quartz, which is ground up and combined with resin to produce slabs. 

 

Durability 

Both granite and quartz worktops are popular for their durability, especially when compared to cheaper alternatives like laminate worktops. Bathroom and kitchen worktops have to be hard-wearing enough to withstand everyday wear and tear, so a material’s durability is likely a deciding factor when making your decision.

Quartz is incredibly strong but also flexible because the natural quartz is bonded using resin. This means it doesn’t chip or crack easily. Quartz worktops are also highly resistant to scratching but are not entirely scratch-proof. 

Granite is also an incredibly strong material and is similarly scratch resistant. This makes granite ideal for kitchen countertops as it stands up well to everyday wear and tear. However, the edges and corners can be vulnerable to cracks or chips if something heavy is dropped on the wrong spot.

If a stone countertop gets damaged, it can be repaired. Generally, natural stone worktops, like granite, can be repaired more easily than quartz worktops.

 

Resistance 

How resistant a worktop is to stains, heat, and bacteria will also factor into your decision. 

When it comes to stain resistance, quartz is far superior to granite. The resin in quartz countertops and the fact that it is non-porous make it extremely stain resistant.

Similarly, quartz is also better when it comes to bacteria resistance. It’s a non-porous material, so it doesn’t harbour any bacteria. This makes quartz an excellent choice for both kitchen and bathroom countertops. Granite can be stain and bacteria-resistant as long as it is sealed regularly and professionally. 

However, granite is the clear winner when it comes to heat resistance. Both materials are considered heat resistant, but granite is capable of withstanding much higher temperatures than quartz. You can place a hot pan directly on a granite work surface, and it will not damage the surface. However, it’s not recommended to do this regularly. 

 

Sealing 

Most natural stone work surfaces need to be sealed regularly, and granite is no exception. If you opt for a granite worktop, it must be sealed at least every year to keep it waterproof and stain resistant. 

However, a quartz worktop will never need to be sealed, which means it is a great option if you want a low-maintenance work surface. 

 

Seams

Most stone worktops will have at least one seam unless it is a small worktop or counter. Stone slabs are usually not big enough to cover an entire kitchen work surface or island continuously. So, instead, smaller slabs are used, which are easier to manoeuvre into place. This results in seams between the slabs. 

Because granite worktops are made from natural stone, the seams are more challenging to hide. However, hiding seams with a quartz worktop is much easier because they are artificially coloured and manufactured. Seams in quartz worktops can look almost invisible if you opt for a solid dark colour.

 

Cleaning 

Both work surfaces are fairly easy to clean and are considered low maintenance.

Granite worktops just need to be cleaned with a pH-neutral cleaner, warm water and a soft cloth. You should avoid using alkaline cleaners and products with a high chlorine content, as these can damage the natural stone. If you want more guidance on cleaning granite worktops, have a look at our guide. 

Quartz is similarly easy to clean with soap and water. Cleaning your worktop regularly helps to keep it shiny and in good condition. You should avoid using aggressive cleaners as these could damage the quartz material. Have a look at our guide to cleaning quartz worktops for more information. 

 

Price

How much a work surface costs to purchase and install will likely be a significant factor in your final decision. You might wonder, ‘are granite countertops more expensive than quartz?’

That makes sense, as granite is made from completely natural stone, and quartz is made from engineered stone. However, they are usually very similarly priced. With both materials, the colour you choose can have an impact on the price of the slab.

Check out this blog for a more detailed breakdown of quartz vs granite prices in the UK. 

 

Quartz vs granite vs marble

If you’re considering quartz and granite, you might also consider choosing marble countertops. Both granite and marble are natural stone work surfaces with many similarities. 

However, the main difference is that marble is less durable than granite and quartz and more prone to scratches. Also, marble worktops are usually more expensive than quartz and granite.

 

How Mo’s StoneX can help

If you’re considering investing in a granite or quartz worktop, then we would love to help you transform your kitchen or bathroom. Mo’s StoneX has over a decade of experience supplying and installing high-quality granite and quartz worktops. We offer a huge range of colours, styles and finishes to help you find the perfect fit for your new bathroom or kitchen. Our professional and experienced team handles everything from the initial quote to creating a template to installing your stunning new worktop!

Fill out our online enquiry form for a free quote, or contact our team, and we’ll be happy to advise you on whether granite or quartz is right for you.