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Kitchen countertop: Granite or Quartz?

Hello everyone. Hope you're having a perfectly productive day! Last time we were talking about the perfect tiles for your kitchen backsplash. Now, this week we're here to talk about two different materials for your kitchen island/countertop: granite and quartz. How to pick the best one for you? Have you ever wondered which one is better? [According to your needs and likes] Which one is more resistant? You may be able to easily notice which one you like better, according to how it looks in your kitchen, but do you know the propperties they offer?

In the website Cocinas con Estilo, they talk about this dilemma. According to them, granite is an igneous rock of great beauty, its basic composition is quartz, feldspar and mica, which give it a very high hardness and resistance to abrasion. It is also completely recyclable, eco-friendly and easy to maintain. This is why it is a great alternative for the surface of the kitchen, which requires great stamina to daily treatment and an important ally when preparing food.

But granite also has aesthetic limitations: the colors and shades that can be found. It just doesn't fit in today's modern and avant-garde desigs of many kitchens today.

This is why quartz countertops are so successful, it has a great range of colors and finishes that granite just cannot offer. However, despite the effort to create an artificial product from a mixture of pure quartz, pigments and resins with characteristics similar or even superior to natural granite, the weak point of quartz countertops is their lower resistance to direct heat, although it is easily solved if used -for example- with a tabble support.

So, the dilemma here is deciding on the granite -if the design is right- and thinking more about the functionality, or deciding on the quartz, if you are thinking (mostly) about the appearance.

At this point you're probably asking yourself: is quartz really a great option? This Old House offers 3 reasons that will help you decide, why is a quartz counter right for you?

  • It is low maintenance: unlike natural stone or wood, it never needs to be sealed. Just wipe with soapy water for daily upkeep. Surface stains can be removed with a gentle cleansing scrub. Avoid scouring pads, which can dull the surface, and harsh chemicals that could break down the bonds between the quartz and resins.

  • It's antimicrobial: resin binders make quartz counters nonporous, so stain -and odor- causing bacteria, mold, and mildew cannot penetrate the surface.

  • It's design-friendly: some makers offer jumbo slabs for uninterrupted runs of countertop. But even with standard slabs, typically 60 by 120 inches, the seams can be almost imperceptible; added resins allow cleaner cuts without chipping as stone does. The resins also make quartz more flexible than natural stone, allowing fabricators to bend and shape it into sinks or the sides of a curved island. And it's versatile enough to be used on floors and walls. Fabricators can even cut the slabs into standard tile sizes.

As you can see, both granite and quartz have many pros and cons. What do we recommend to help you make the right choice? You just need to take a moment, sit down and think about what you need. Are you looking for something purely aesthetic, or something completely functional?

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