This is possibly one of the most frequently asked questions relating to stone work surfaces. The answer is not altogether straightforward and the question perhaps needs to be amended to ‘Granite vs Quartz: Which is better for you?’
Both granite and quartz are popular choices for kitchen work surfaces but the different properties of each stone product tend to make one or the other better suited to your lifestyle and kitchen design.
Granite – a natural product – is quarried in blocks, spliced into slabs and polished. Quartz, on the other hand, is an engineered stone surface comprised of over 90% natural quartz stone which is ground down and mixed with resin to form a slab.
So which will look best in my kitchen?
There are hundreds of different granites quarried all over the world – ranging in age from approximately 250 million to over 1300 million years – making each slab entirely unique! Customers interested in granite are welcome to visit one of our many suppliers to select the exact slabs that will be fabricated into surfaces for their home. The variation inherent in natural stone is one of its many attractions but if you prefer something a little different, perhaps a more uniform surface for your kitchen, quartz may be a great option for you. There are many manufacturers of quartz and consequently an enormous choice in terms of colour: pure white, sparkly mirror flecks, bright greens and reds, neutral tones of brown and cream and definitely more than 50 shades of grey.
But which is more practical?
Quartz is virtually non porous meaning that it is difficult to stain. This resistance to staining does not disappear over time and you will never have to seal your quartz surfaces – maintainence free hurrah! Granites do however need to be sealed to help prevent staining. Your granite surfaces will be sealed on installation and the frequency with which you will need to re-seal is dependant upon the granite you have chosen (darker granites are naturally denser and as such require less frequent sealing than lighter granites). If you are considering granite for your kitchen then the fact that sealing is required should not be a deal breaker – it is a very simple process which you can do yourselves relatively quickly.
As quartz contains resin, extremely hot objects (pans from the hob or casserole dishes from the oven) should not be placed directly onto the surface as this may cause a burn mark. We recommend the use of trivets with granite also but the natural stone is more tolerant to hot temperatures without causing damage.
Both granite and quartz are durable and strong materials capable of looking as beautiful as the day they were installed 20 or 30 years down the line. This makes either choice a thoroughly worthwhile investment. It should be remembered however that stone surfaces are not completely indestructible and severe knocks can cause damage in the form of a chip (for example if one were to drop a heavy dish from a significant height on to the surface).
Can I see some samples of different granites and quartz to help me decide?
You are more than welcome to visit our Oxford premises at any time to have a closer look at some of the timeless granites and beautiful quartz available. One of the team would love to talk to you about your kitchen plans. We hope to see you soon!