Should you choose granite or quartz countertops for your Connecticut kitchen remodel?
There are a million different countertop options, from recycled materials to butcher block wood. However, of all the countertop materials that you could buy for your home, two popular options stand out. Granite and quartz are homeowner favorites for a variety of reasons. Their durability and longevity make them investments that can be used for decades or even a lifetime. They come in many colors and patterns, so there's a good option for nearly any kitchen design. Finally, they're also high value, so when it's time to sell your house, granite and quartz don't fail to impress.
Picking between these two materials can be challenging because the differences are nuanced. Knowing how they compare can make the choice easier. If you're replacing your countertop with granite or quartz, working with a reputable CT contractor and a good stone supplier can help.
Granite is natural stone material that's quarried from the earth, cut into slabs and sold by stone fabricators. There are many different types of granite, so if you're not finding the one you want, shopping around can yield good results.
Granite comes in many colors. Most granite is an earthy color like brown, black, cream or red. However, granite can come in other colors as well, including green, blue and so on. Often, stone fabricators provide samples of different types of granite to make the decision easier. It's always recommended to bring samples home and look at them next to the wall color, floor color and so on.
Because granite is natural, there's no way to control for variations. Small spots of unexpected color can pop up in a granite countertop, which is why it's important to choose the right slab for your home improvement project. Look at the whole slab before making your decision.
The cost of granite varies quite a bit, from $15 to $200 per square foot. Work with your stone fabricator to find the granite that works best in your budget and in your home improvement project.
Granite can last for decades, if it's properly maintained. Although it's incredibly hard and scratch resistant, granite is also porous and can absorb liquids like water, wine, oil and juice. Some of these liquids (such as wine and oil) can stain your granite countertops easily, and permanently. To prevent this from happening, it's important to keep your countertops sealed. Granite must also be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the spread of germs.
Cleaning. Clean your granite with a dry microfiber cloth every day, or wipe down your granite with a cloth dampened with warm soapy water. Do not use abrasive or acidic cleaners.
Seal your granite. Seal granite with a commercial stone sealer that says it's safe for use with granite. Most sealers are easy to apply without help from a handyman - just apply the sealer per the instructions. Sealer can last several years before it needs to be reapplied, depending on how you use your countertops. You'll be able to tell your granite needs to be sealed if the water is absorbed into the stone instead of beading up on top of the stone.
Engineered stone, more commonly called quartz, is made from resin and crushed stone cured into a slab shape.
Quartz can be formed to resemble nearly any type of stone, including granite. In fact, most people can't tell the difference between granite countertops and quartz, so people who want the look of granite and the other qualities of engineered stone often turn to quartz.
Quartz countertops can come in a variety of unnatural colors like red, blue, purple and so on. For homeowners seeking a countertop material in an unusual or very specific color, quartz is a go-to product.
Like granite countertops, quartz countertops start at a price point of approximately $15 per square foot and go up from there.
Quartz is a highly durable, long-lasting countertop material that is resistant to scratches, chips and more. Unlike granite, quartz is non-porous, which means that it will never absorb liquids or be susceptible to staining like granite. As a result, quartz never needs to be sealed or resealed. Regular cleaning aside, quartz is considered to be virtually maintenance-free.
To keep your quartz countertops clean, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away crumbs and loose food pieces. To keep your quartz countertops safe for use with food preparation, clean your countertops with a dampened, soapy microfiber cloth, then dry with a towel. Do not use acidic or abrasive cleaning products to clean your quartz.
Granite or Quartz Countertops - Making a Decision
Both granite and quartz are highly durable and long-lasting countertop materials. If you're undecided about which type of countertop is best for your home, visit a stone fabricator and view the options in their showroom.
A good remodel starts with a good contractor. Once you've hired the right professional, the other pieces of your project will more easily fall into place. In addition to pointing you in the direction of the right stone supplier, your contractor can also advise you on the other aspects of the remodeling process.
Need help choosing a Connecticut contractor for your upcoming remodel? Litchfield Builders offers a free guide for homeowners to help with this decision. Call today to book an appointment for a free consultation about your upcoming remodel.
About Kevin Ahern
Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.