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Granite or Quartz?

Updated: Nov 8, 2018

Debating between granite and quartz for your new kitchen surfaces? Understanding the different traits of each will help you select the solid surface that best fits your needs and budget.

Pictured above is granite on the left and Cambria quartz on the right.

The early stages of a kitchen remodel can be some of the most fun and difficult days of the project. Choosing colors, styles, cabinets, flooring, fixtures, tile- it’s all so exciting and yet so nerve-wracking.

How much do I really want to spend? Will I still like this pattern in a year? Should I upgrade the lighting too? THIS is how much that backsplash costs? If you are working with a designer, already a lot of the stress of envisioning the final project is taken off your plate, but it is still your kitchen and your input on the design decisions is crucial.

One of these important decisions is the counter top, a kitchen component where beauty and functionality are equally significant. We find that many people go into a kitchen remodel picturing their new space filled with stunning natural granite, but hesitate when presented with the cost and process involved. In this post, we have put together a pros and cons overview of granite vs. quartz, our top granite alternative, to help you make the choice that is right for you.


The Look

Granite Pro: No two slabs of natural granite will be exactly alike. These one of a kind, exotic slabs contain unusual gems and great visual depth. Natural granite’s variety of styles, including fleck and chunky stone appearance, marbling patterns, and large veining patterns, add striking beauty to a kitchen.

Granite Con: Although desirable for many, granite’s unique visual beauty can also be a drawback. Mined from around the country and internationally, there is no guarantee on the finished product’s look without viewing the slab in-person at the granite yard before it is cut for installation. Even then, the granite may still look different than expected once installed.

Quartz Pro: Because quartz counter tops are a man-made surface, their look is predictable from sample to finished product. This is a major plus for people who want to be certain about how the slab color and style will look in their home. Quartz is available in hundreds of styles and color options. It includes enough random and high variation in patterns to very effectively create the appearance of natural stone and an artistic statement.

Quartz Con: The predictable and constant patterns of man-made slabs can be a downside for those seeking one of a kind works of art for their counters.


Performance & Maintenance

Granite Pro: Granite is considered one of the hardest natural solid surface counter top materials. It is very durable and resistant to heat.

Granite Con: Granite should be resealed annually.

Quartz Pro: Extremely durable, quartz ranks higher on the hardness scale than granite. No need to reseal, polish or recondition quartz. Quartz is nonporous, nonabsorbent, repels stains, and safe for food prep.

Quartz Con: Although highly resistant to damage, quartz must be repaired by a professional if it does become deeply scratched or fractured. Quartz is not heat proof and hot pans should not be placed directly on the surface.


Selection Process & Cost

Granite: Owning a unique slab of granite is a gorgeous feature in any kitchen, but the process takes time and patience to find the style homeowners have their heart set on. In some cases, the homeowner has seen a particular granite already installed in another home or business and they want that look. The process to track down a particular granite can be time-consuming, especially if it is an exotic variety. If a local granite yard does not supply it, they usually know from where they can resource it. However, in the event that it will come from another state, the homeowner will need to make a decision based only on photos. The alternative is to decide on a general color and then accompany a designer to a granite yard to choose a slab within that color range.

Pro: In the end, you have a remarkable slab of natural granite.

Con: To choose and receive granite can be time-consuming and may involve travel if you do not live near a granite yard.

Cost: Granite prices are usually categorized into three price levels. Low cost for common rock and low color contrast. Medium cost for more unique combinations of stone and distinct veining patterns. High cost for very exotic stones, minerals and gems, as well as a high contrast of veining, color, and visual depth.

Quartz: Choosing quartz is like choosing most other home design elements. The homeowner compares a variety of samples and selects the style they like best. The slab is then ordered and installed.

Pro: The option to review samples in your own home is quick and convenient.

Con: We can’t think of any!

Cost: Quartz prices are comparable to those of a medium cost granite.


In our experience, most clients working with our designers prefer the practicality and predictable finish of quartz. We have installed some breathtaking granite, however. If you are the type of person who’s ready to go the extra mile for a truly one of a kind statement, then granite is the choice for you!

Interested in our preferred brand of quartz?

See why we love Cambria for gorgeous carefree counter tops.


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