Few decisions in a renovation project get more attention than choosing the right kitchen countertop. The same is true for a bathroom countertop when this important space in your Waukesha WI home is upgraded. For decades countertops have been a huge part of kitchen décor. In the bathroom they are often taken for granted.
Your choice of countertops in either room sets the tone. They’re the main space where daily tasks are accomplished. When it comes to countertops there is a vast selection of materials, styles, sizes and finishes to reenergize the room.
Today, nothing has generated more discussion and debate than choosing between granite and quartz.
Not that many years ago quartz appeared on the scene as a high-end alternative to granite. Modern granite, taking advantage of the latest technology, never fell far from being the top choice. A natural stone, granite is strong, durable and stylish. Quartz resists staining, is strong and durable. Available in many colors and patterns, quartz mimics natural stone.
When planning your renovation, professionals advise getting a hands-on preview of your countertop options before making this vital decision. Deciding based on what you read, hear or see on TV isn’t a great plan.
A Granite Kitchen Countertop Remains Popular
Once the expensive option, granite countertops have shifted to a more popular price. Before making your final decision, consider the advantages and disadvantages. The more options you consider the more complicated it gets. So, it makes sense to list pros and cons.
The advantages of granite countertops include:
- Unique Pattern – each slab of granite is one-of-a-kind and totally unique. Granite comes from a mine in big slabs and no two sheets of natural stone are exactly the same.
- It comes BIG – sheets of granite are available in very large sizes so they work for big spaces like the top of a kitchen island. In addition, slabs cover a lot of space without seams.
- Multiple colors and shades – there are hundreds of shades and colors. Textures and imperfections in the stone make granite sheets distinctive.
- Durable – granite stands up well to normal wear and use.
- Versatile – if you’re considering adding an outdoor kitchen granite is safe to use outdoors. As a natural mineral it withstands the elements. It doesn’t weather or fade in the sun. Professionally sealed it doesn’t soak up liquids and doesn’t stain.
Granite countertops are not perfect, consider:
- Not always seamless – if your plan on replacing a large span of countertops with more than one slab there will be seams. Skilled installation makes seams hard to spot, but they show up.
- Absorbent by nature –granite naturally absorbs liquids. Unsealed surfaces will absorb spills. Additionally, things like wine and juice stain. Unsealed granite also absorbs bacteria.
- Potential chips, cracks – granite is tough and long-lasting but dropping a heavy cooking pot or cast iron frying pan on a corner may crack or chip it.
- Bucks contemporary trends – with all the variations in granite this highly-textured stone doesn’t always fit well in a trendy monochrome kitchen or bathroom design, and if you want to install fitter in your bathroom, services as bathroom fitters in Cheltenham could really help you with this.
Quartz Steps Up As Kitchen Or Bathroom Countertop
If you’re looking to tap the latest trend, quartz heads the list. Quartz is the No. 1 choice. Especially for a kitchen remodel. While it’s extremely popular it, too, has pros and cons. Within your decision-making process consider these advantages:
- Vast supply – quartz is a natural mineral that’s found all over the globe.
- Engineered stone – man-made, quartz countertops are an “engineered stone” product. All its many colors and patterns are 100% synthetic. Countertops result from a mixture of crushed quartz, a resin of binder and color tints.
- Multiple options – quartz counters are available in many standard colors and patterns. In addition, quartz products can be mixed to fit monochrome designs ideal for contemporary designs.
- Require little maintenance – quartz countertops don’t need sealing and are stain-resistant. A quartz surface easily handles spills of the worst kind including wine, coffee, oils and juices. Quartz is also impervious to bacteria and viruses. A quick wipe-down is all you need to clean it.
- Durable – quartz is tough. It won’t crack or chip because it is flexible.
Quartz countertops have their drawbacks. Consider these disadvantages:
- Not seamless – to cover a big surface you’ll need more than one piece and the seams will show. Darker quartz doesn’t show seams as much as lighter colors. Using quartz with patterns or colors makes hiding seams more difficult.
- Doesn’t look “natural” – because it isn’t real stone, a quartz top doesn’t provide the look or feel of natural stone. Creators are working on better natural stone look-alikes but they aren’t here yet.
- A costly option – cost comparisons between granite and quartz come down to the time it takes to create quartz sheets vs. quarrying granite. In general, quartz costs more than granite to cover the same surface area.
Compare Granite And Quartz Side-by-side
To bring the differences into focus, a side-by-side comparison works best. Compare things like:
- Overall visual appeal –
- Granite – available in many different colors and patterns. It can subtly complement your kitchen or create a statement piece. No two granite tops are the same. Natural stone is still considered a premium building material so using it in your kitchen or bathroom sends a message of luxury.
- Quartz – good looks is one of the main reasons quartz counters are popular. Because it is man-made it allows for customized designs. Unlike granite you don’t have to search for the right piece to fit a design, it can be created to your specifications. Quartz countertops provide the option of integrating a sink basin within the product, much like earlier composite materials.
- Environmentally-friendly –
- Granite – a natural stone, granite is quarried. Many high-end pieces come from Italy. Cutting, shaping and polishing granite countertops uses a lot of energy. However, it is a natural product.
- Quartz – an engineered product it is often created locally. The blending process takes energy and uses chemical compounds. Resent medical studies show that the fine dust created when cutting and polishing is extremely dangerous to lungs and respiratory systems.
Choose Tough, Easy To Maintain
Both materials are rugged and good looking. A huge factor in deciding between them is their overall toughness and maintenance demands. Consider:
- Durability –
- Granite – resists heat and many kitchen elements. However, because it is porous it absorbs liquids and it stains.
- Quartz – the man-made countertops are actually harder than granite, thus more Quartz almost indestructible. It is also almost bacteria-free. Excessive heat is a threat – beware of a misplaced cooking pot.
- Care and maintenance –
- Granite – clean a kitchen countertop every day with soap and water or a mild cleaner. Keep your bathroom countertop clean by wiping it down daily. Have countertops professionally sealed to protect them from oils and acids. To extend a countertop’s life, seal it once a year – especially in the kitchen where bacteria, spills and stains are more of a threat.
- Quartz – regular cleaning with soap and water or a household cleaning product is all that’s required. There’s no need to seal or reseal. As an engineered product, quartz is less resistant to heat so beware hot pots and pans in the kitchen or a misplaced curling iron in the bathroom.
In the end the final decision on which countertop material is best for your home remodel comes down to which best fits your style, expectations and budgets. Each has its pros and cons. You can find huge fans of both throughout popular publications, websites, videos and TV programs. It’s up to you.
To discuss details of proper, professional installations to coordinate with your sink and fixtures call, email or visit Schoenwalder Plumbing. Make a statement with a kitchen countertop or upgrade to a new bathroom countertop in your Waukesha WI or Lake Country home.