Tips from the Trade: Granite and Quartz Countertops Compared

July 05, 2017

With so many options available for your countertop surface, making that crucial choice is tougher than ever. Granite and quartz are among the most popular materials in modern kitchen design ideas, thanks to their beauty and durability.

Granite is a natural stone, while quartz is a premium manufactured material – but natural is not always the best choice. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so we’re comparing them here to help you decide which is right for you.

Care and Maintenance


Featured: Calacatta Verona Quartz 

Since granite is a natural stone, it needs conscientious care and maintenance to keep it looking its best – but when properly cared for, granite countertops can last a lifetime. You’ll need to apply sealer to your granite countertop at least once a year.

Also, you should protect it from scratches and harsh chemicals that may etch the surface. Granite is prone to staining, especially light colors. However, these maintenance needs aren’t time-consuming or difficult, and granite countertops are as tough as they are beautiful.

Low-Maintenance

Get the look with MSi's Fossil Gray Quartz (Photo Credit: Houzz

If near-zero maintenance is important to you and your family, a quartz countertop is the way to go. As a man-made surface, it never needs sealing to maintain its impermeable, non-porous surface. It’s also worth mentioning that Q Premium Quartz from MSI comes with a lifetime warranty (see our website for details). 

Appearance

Recreate the look with MSI's Bianco Antico Granite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

Simply put, granite countertops are nothing less than stunning. It’s well known in the industry that granite kitchen countertops can add significant resale value to your home. Granite runs the range from pure white to midnight black and everything in between – including eye-catching patterns that are unique to natural stone and are hard to replicate.

Modern quartz countertops also run a wide range, from white quartz countertops to dramatic patterns. These manufactured slabs are made to resemble natural materials such as marble, travertine, and more. Quartz is versatile, and is ideally suited to modern, contemporary designs.

Where to Use

Featured: Fairy White Quartz 

Both granite and quartz are used throughout the home, as countertops in kitchens and baths, flooring, walls, and outdoors. If you are planning an outdoor installation, granite is much better suited. It does not react to intense sunlight, can withstand freezing temperatures, and is heat-resistant, which also makes it the ideal choice for fireplace surrounds.

The low-maintenance, completely nonporous surface of a quartz countertop makes it a particular favorite in wet areas such as bathrooms and even shower walls. Quartz is available in pre-fab countertop shapes and sizes, which cuts down on labor and cost of materials. 

Featured: Tan Brown Granite 

As you can see, your choice between a quartz countertop and granite is dependent on many things. You’ll need to consider where it will be used – indoors or out? If you are using it near heat sources such as fireplaces or cooktops, granite is the best choice.

If your highest priority is one-of-a-kind, unique beauty, again, you might prefer granite countertops. However, quartz countertops win the race in terms of maintenance needs, range of color and patterns available, price, and warranty.

Visit MSI’s gallery to see all the different options available in both granite and quartz countertops.