Quartz vs Granite: How Far Will Your Budget Take You?
Are you considering giving your kitchen or bathroom a much-needed makeover? If the answer is yes, you might already be trying to decide between quartz and granite finishes for the job. Each one of them is beautiful, but every homeowner has their own opinions about which one is superior.
At the end of the day, both have their pros and cons, and will give your room the touch of luxury it deserves. However, it should be noted that quartz and granite come with somewhat different price tags attached. They also have other quirks and maintenance needs that you need to take into account when making your decision.
Here’s a handy guide to help you choose a finish according to your budget and home renovation requirements.
What Are Quartz and Granite?
Quartz countertops and finishes are made using a mixture of natural quartz and man-made resins. They tend to be more susceptible to heat damage than granite is, but are less likely to chip, stain and fade with time.
Granite is a natural stone material that has a special sealant applied to it to maintain its glossy finish. The sealant needs to be reapplied once a year, but this process is still less costly than buying quartz in some cases. The necessary sealant is readily available at most home renovation and DIY stores to make your life easier.
The Pros and Cons of Quartz
There are numerous benefits to choosing quartz for your dream kitchen or bathroom. Quartz countertops are just as strong as granite, but are more flexible, stain-resistant, and less prone to cracks and chips.
This is a non-porous material, and will never require sealing under any circumstances. Using quartz guarantees that you’ll enjoy a maintenance-free kitchen or bathroom surface. This material leaves less of a carbon footprint than granite does, making it better suited to eco-conscious homes.
Now for the drawbacks. While quartz is extremely durable, it’s not altogether indestructible. It can be damaged by heat, especially if you leave hot pots and pans sitting directly on top.
You should be aware that quartz can become discolored, especially when exposed repeatedly to direct sunlight. If certain parts of your counter are exposed to sun more frequently than others, you may eventually spot a patchy color difference between those areas and more shaded ones. There may be visible seams in your quartz countertops too, but this can be remedied to an extent by choosing darker toned slabs.
The Pros and Cons of Granite
Like quartz, granite has its pros and cons. First, granite is not uniform in appearance, or color. It’s up to you to decide if this is a good or a bad thing!
Granite counters will need to be sealed annually for as long as you own the surface. You can do this yourself, or have it done professionally at a higher cost. It’s a very durable material, but it’s not impervious to damage. This is a natural rock, and can chip or break under certain circumstances. With that said, if you care for and maintain it properly, you should have very few issues with visible damage.
You will also never be able to fully hide the seams within a granite slab. Each piece of granite will be individual, but a skilled fabricator can make its seams harder to notice.
Which is the Best Choice?
Spend a few hours scouring the web and you’ll find hundreds of different opinions on whether granite or quartz is the best option. Some homeowners insist on quartz countertops, while others will have nothing but granite in their homes. Some love the visible seams in granite, while others prefer the uniform appearance of quartz.
Ultimately, what you’ll gain from your research is that there is no perfect option. Both countertop materials are attractive and high in quality, so it boils down to preference. However, cost is a factor—so let’s take a closer look at the financial side.
Which is the More Affordable Option?
There’s no doubt about it: granite is more affordable than quartz.
Basic granite can set you back around $40 per square foot, while quartz starts at $70 to $80 for the same size. Premium granite can cost over $200 per square foot, and top-level quartz can cost around the same.
The prices of these materials vary, but at the end of the day, you’ll pay less for granite in most cases. The price of granite has dropped considerably over the past few decades, thanks to quartz competing with it for so long. In turn, quartz manufacturers have upped their prices due to growing popularity.
You may pay more for quartz per square foot, but the cost difference will not be hugely significant unless you’re renovating a large room. If you want to add a stunning backsplash, create a feature wall with subway tiles, or include luxury taps and other fittings, you’ll need to work these factors in too. The best approach is to set a budget according to what you can afford and then choose an option that falls within your range of affordability.
The Bottom Line
Most folks only plan to remodel their homes once, and they do so with great thought and careful planning. It’s in your best interests to do the same, and to choose your materials and styles wisely. You’ll likely want a counter material that requires minimal maintenance, looks great, and doesn’t cost the earth to install.
When it comes to quartz vs granite, the most important factor to take into consideration is which one you prefer. No matter which material you choose, you’ll end up with attractive and functional countertops. If cost is a factor, be sure to work out the square footage of quartz or granite you’ll require, then multiply it by the relevant figure to work out how much it will set you back.
If you can afford to install your first choice, we highly recommend doing so. There’s nothing better than having a trendy renovated bathroom or kitchen that leaves a lasting impression every time you step into it!