Quartz vs. Granite: Which One Comes Out on Top?

Quartz vs. Granite: Which One Comes Out on Top?

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column][vc_column_text]Spoiler Alert: Quartz isn’t better than granite, but granite isn’t better than quartz, either. That’s like asking whether red or white wine are better.  Like the best wines, it all comes down to personal taste, and what you are pairing it with. Quartz is the more resilient of the two, but some kitchens don’t look right without the unique colors and flow of granite.  While we won’t be able to tell you which one is right for you, we can definitely help you get closer to making the right choice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column 0=""][vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_n9W37McaY&autoplay=1" align="center"][blockquote layout="4"]

Like the best wines, it all comes down to personal taste, and what you are pairing it with.

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Natural Stone Vs Engineered Stone

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1507216344550{margin-bottom: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}"][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1510608906939{margin-bottom: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;}"]Granite—a natural stone—is indeed 100% natural as it is quarried directly from the earth in large blocks. These blocks are then sliced into slabs and polished on one side at the quarry before being shipped to the broker or fabricator. Fabricators cut shapes from the slabs according to your countertop specifications. They then profile and polish the edges.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1507216358735{margin-top: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}"][vc_column][vc_column_text]Quartz, on the other hand, is an “engineered” stone, meaning a manufacturing plant uses various grades and sizes of quartz crystals and mixes them with resin and pigment (for color) in a ratio of 93% quartz to 7% resin (yes, we’ll still refer to quartz as natural stone, but it’s not as natural as granite). Fabricators create quartz countertops in much the same way as they do granite countertops: by cutting the shapes from the slab and then profiling and polishing the edges.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which is stronger?
A. Quartz.

Quartz is one of the strongest materials on the planet; significantly stronger than granite.  However, just because granite isn’t as strong doesn’t mean it’s a wimpy choice either.

Q. Which stone looks better?
A. Well…

We are back to red wine vs white wine.  Quartz looks simpler and has excellent color choices, but every granite countertop is one of a kind.  Granite slabs are known for having a lot of “movement” and variations in its natural color, while quartz tends to be less dramatic in its colorization.  If you are a minimalist that prefers a monochromatic kitchen, go with quartz.  If you want a counter with character that is unique as you are, go with granite, especially if you enjoy a sunlit kitchen. (More on that later…)[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2="Can't decide between the two?" h4="Completely understandable. You should call us." txt_align="center" style="custom" add_button="bottom" btn_title="Click here to get in touch with us." btn_style="outline-custom" btn_outline_custom_color="#ffffff" btn_outline_custom_hover_background="#ffffff" btn_outline_custom_hover_text="#739dcb" btn_size="sm" btn_align="center" btn_button_block="true" custom_background="#739dcb" custom_text="#ffffff" btn_link="url:%2Fcontact-us%2F|title:Contact%20Us||"][/vc_cta][vc_column_text]

Q. Which stone is easier to clean?
A. It’s a tie.

Both are easy to clean, but granite is more prone to staining than quartz, since natural stone is porous, and quartz is not.  Warm soap and water will get the job done on either surface.  The better question is…

Q. Which stone is easier to maintain?
A. Quartz.

Quartz wins this one, hands down.  Not to say that granite is a nightmare – you just need to seal it once a year – but quartz requires zero maintenance.  Keep your counters clean, and they will take care of you.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTQBdj9tEG8"][vc_column_text]

Q. Which stone should I use for my outdoor grill/table/decor?
A. Granite.

Granite takes the crown this time.  Quartz will discolor over time in direct sunlight.  Even in your kitchen, you should try to keep the sun away from your counters so they maintain the same look they had when they were first installed.  If you like sunlight, go with granite.

Q. Which stone is more expensive?
A. Here’s the thing…

Quartz used to be more expensive than granite, but things have changed fairly recently.  With advances in technology and production methods, both quartz and granite are now closely priced.  Granted, you may come across some rare exotic slab of granite that was unearthed in a remote Brazilian jungle during a lunar eclipse, but for the most part, the cost is a non-factor.

So, Who Wins?

So what do truly “objective” sources have to say in the debate between granite and quartz? Every year, Consumer Reports puts out an issue that ranks kitchen countertop materials. Quartz and granite are always neck-and-neck.

But as we said in the beginning, the debate comes down to this: what’s the right countertop material for your specific needs, your lifestyle, your design? Do your homework, answer those questions, and then decide.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="6109" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" css=".vc_custom_1507220796146{margin-bottom: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}" link="https://towercountertops.com/meridian-quartz/"][vc_cta h2="Do you think quartz is the choice for you?" h4="(We have a lot of colors choices.)" txt_align="center" shape="square" style="custom" add_button="bottom" btn_title="Click here to see more" btn_style="outline-custom" btn_outline_custom_color="#ffffff" btn_outline_custom_hover_background="#ffffff" btn_outline_custom_hover_text="#509584" btn_size="sm" btn_align="center" btn_button_block="true" custom_background="#509584" custom_text="#ffffff" btn_link="url:%2Fmeridian-quartz%2F|title:Meridian%20Quartz||"][/vc_cta][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="6111" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" css=".vc_custom_1507220818773{margin-bottom: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}" link="https://towercountertops.com/natural-stone/"][vc_cta h2="Do you think granite clearly came out on top?" h4="(We have a lot of these colors, too.)" txt_align="center" shape="square" style="custom" add_button="bottom" btn_title="Click here to see more" btn_style="outline-custom" btn_outline_custom_color="#ffffff" btn_outline_custom_hover_background="#ffffff" btn_outline_custom_hover_text="#d37735" btn_size="sm" btn_align="center" btn_button_block="true" custom_background="#d37735" custom_text="#ffffff" btn_link="url:%2Fnatural-stone%2F|title:Natural%20Stone||"][/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Comparing Quartz to Solid Surface Countertops: Knowing the Differences

Comparing Quartz to Solid Surface Countertops: Knowing the Differences

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]When it comes to remodeling your kitchen or creating a custom kitchen, three of the top projects in this space involve the floors, cabinets, and countertops. Selecting the best countertop not only provides you with the right amount of space for prepping meals, but it also gives you a beautiful, functional surface that can withstand daily wear-and-tear while lasting for decades.

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Quartz vs. Solid Surface?

Two popular countertop materials you’ll encounter are quartz and solid surface. Both are manmade materials that have the amazing appearance of natural stone, yet each possesses certain qualities that can affect the longevity and functionality of the countertop. Take a look at the differences between these two materials to decide which one to place in your kitchen.

Solid Surface Countertop Qualities

Solid surface countertops are created by using dust from minerals, such as quartz, that is combined with resins and polymers. When combined with different colors, the surface has a smooth look and matte texture throughout without any variations. The seams nearly disappear into the surface when bonding adhesive is used to give a smooth appearance.

One of the top advantages to solid surface countertops is that they do not have to be sealed to prevent stains. Another advantage to solid surface materials is their strength due to the polymer and mineral dust used throughout the material. Solid surface countertops can be scratched, but the scratches can be sanded out. You should also be careful of placing extremely hot items on the surface as the material can be scorched.

These countertops are priced moderately as costs can range from $35 or more. Once installed correctly by a professional, they can last ten years or more.

Quartz Countertop Qualities

Quartz countertops are manufactured by taking ground quartz and combining it with plastic resin. This engineered material creates a rock-like solid surface. It also has a smooth look, unlike certain natural stone materials that can have varied textures, designs, and colors. The surface is buffed to a smooth, glossy appearance.

Unlike solid countertops, seams are more pronounced on quartz countertops although professional installers can hide them better. A quartz countertop is extremely hard and can withstand scratches. It is virtually maintenance free as it also withstands stains without the need for the surface to be sealed. As with solid surface counters, homeowners should avoid placing hot items on the surface.

Quartz countertops can last for a long time — the life of your home — if taken care of properly. Most manufacturers will offer a 10-year to 15-year warranty. Prices for quartz are more expensive than solid surface countertops as you could pay anywhere from $60 or more.

When debating between quartz vs. solid surface countertops, the best way to determine which to use is to think about the functionality, price, and maintenance of these two types of materials. Then pick the right one that fits your preferences.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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How to Select the Right Countertop Material

How to Select the Right Countertop Material

As you begin planning for your next kitchen or bathroom build or remodel, there are many factors that play a role in the project, such as design, labor, timing, and budget. And, one of the biggest areas is sure to be the question of materials.

Focusing specifically on countertops, we all know we need to look at the expected use of the countertop and the needs of the user. As a result, an imperative question to ask is: what is the right countertop material for this project?

Because there are a plethora of options available, let’s take a deeper dive into countertop material options to be able to best answer.

Natural Stone

Natural stone, such as granite, is heat resistant, long lasting, and durable. Sealing is generally required, as well as regular maintenance, to uphold the appearance through the years. Granite is available in a large variety of colors and patterns giving a custom look to every installation. Because granite is cut into long slabs, there are very few seams. Tower Industries has sophisticated software allowing us to digitally select the placement of seams to keep the look flowing nicely.

Quartz Surfacing

A blend of quartz and added pigments creates quartz surfacing, which has the look and feel of natural stone. Available in a variety of color and texture options, quartz also offers uniformity in color, unlike natural stone. Quartz is heat and stain resistant, easy to clean, and does not require sealing.

Stainless Steel

A modern choice, stainless steel is resistant to heat, bacteria, and stains. The material can be susceptible to dents, which could be difficult to repair. Additionally, very regular cleaning is required, as the surface is susceptible to smudges, streaks, and fingerprints. An analysis of the end user and frequency of use would be best advised when selecting this material, which could work quite well in the appropriate kitchen.

Solid Surface

Available in hundreds of colors, textures, and patterns, solid surface countertops are resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture. Solid surface is durable, repairable, and virtually maintenance free. Any potential scratches can be sanded away. With solid surface countertops, the design possibilities are endless. This beautiful material can be made to resemble stone or concrete, and can be manufactured to create almost any custom countertop imaginable.

Laminate

Made with a thin plastic resin covering plywood, laminate is durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean. The lowest cost option, this material is available in hundreds of colors and patterns, and can be made to mimic stone, metal, and wood. Scratches and cracks, though, cannot be repaired.

Tile

A great-looking option, tile is classy and available in a variety of colors. Unfortunately, the installation is more complex due to grouting, and regular maintenance is required with re-grouting, deep cleaning, and sealants. Tile is also susceptible to chips, cracks, and staining in the grouting area. An option is to utilize this material in a secondary area, such as the backsplash or on a kitchen island.

Wood

Wood is a natural beauty and is always striking in appearance. The material must be sealed or oiled regularly, though. Wood can also be vulnerable to stains, heat, and moisture, so like tile, might be better suited for a secondary area.

Concrete

Made to resemble natural stone, concrete is available in a variety of colors and is cured and finished to provide a smooth and flat surface. Concrete requires regular maintenance, must be sealed, and is extremely heavy, so is often times saved for projects where the customer specifically requests it.

In the end, the final countertop material decision weighs on the amount of tolerable maintenance by the user in comparison to the desired appearance and durability. All of these materials have pros and cons that must be analyzed, yet solid surface countertops have a tendency to rise to the top of the list. Being virtually maintenance-free, offering many beautiful and custom options, and providing long lasting durability, solid surface is a countertop material that just might solve all needs for your project.

Wondering which material is right for your next project? Contact us today to discuss all the options Tower has to offer!

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