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Granite vs. Quartz Kitchen Countertops: Which is better for my kitchen?

April 19th, 2024 | 6 min read

By Callie Lovejoy

Granite, quartz, marble, laminate, butcher block, tile, onyx, stainless steel, OH MY!

Kitchen countertop material options are many and choosing the right one for your lifestyle is no simple task. One of the most important decisions you will make for your kitchen is what your countertops are made out of. Not only are they one of the most used and abused kitchen items, but they also make up one of the largest visible surfaces in your kitchen. You need a blend of style and function to make your kitchen countertops work for you.

But how do you narrow down the options for your kitchen countertops?

The folks at JSB Home Solutions have 46 years of technical kitchen countertop experience from renovating central Ohio kitchens. And not to be overlooked, we have combined hundreds of years of life experience with kitchen countertops. We know what looks great and worthy of remodeling awards but we also know what works well in busy homes. Regardless of who you work with as a contractor, you will feel confident in choosing a countertop material that will fit best with your lifestyle.

In this article, we will address the advantages, disadvantages, and average costs of granite and quartz kitchen countertops. After reading this article, you will feel confident in choosing a countertop material that will fit best with your lifestyle. After all, this decision will be set in stone (get ready for some rock humor!).

Image from

What is Granite and Why is it Used for Kitchen Countertops?

Image from geology.comGranite is a naturally occurring type of igneous rock. Igneous rocks are formed from melted rock deep inside the Earth under mountains or volcanos. It is the most common igneous rock found on Earth’s surface. Granite is used to make many everyday objects: countertops, floor tiles, paving stones, stair treads, buildings, and cemetery monuments.

Granite is useful as a kitchen countertop because it is an extremely hard and durable stone. It is heatproof so being near a cooktop or setting a hot pan on it, won’t hurt the surface of the granite. It is difficult to scratch and even kitchen knives directly on your countertop (which we still don’t recommend) are unlikely to scratch the stone.

It can be very fun to explore the variety of granite countertop colors available through Columbus Granite. This is our most common source of granite countertops here at JSB Home Solutions. Then, you will also want to compare the costs, advantages, and disadvantages of granite to quartz.

Mount Rushmore: Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills, South Dakota is a sculpture of United States presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln sculpted from a granite outcrop. Image copyright iStockphoto / Jonathan Larsen.

Cost of Granite Countertops

Mount Rushmore: Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills, South Dakota is a sculpture of United States presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln sculpted from a granite outcrop. Image copyright iStockphoto / Jonathan Larsen.While granite prices can range from $40 to $300 per square foot, the average cost of granite is $50-$70 sq. ft. installed.

Granite countertop price is largely determined by supply and demand. Some colors and patterns of granite are rare in nature causing a supply limitation. Homeowners, like yourself, often have preferred colors and patterns which increases demand. Both of these situations increase the price of particular styles of granite.

4 Advantages of Granite Countertops

  1. Heat, Scratch, and Etch Proof: Granite is a very hard, durable material. It is the most durable NATURAL stone countertop material. It will resist heat, scratching, and etching and the darker colors will not have obvious staining.
  2. Natural Atmosphere: Granite brings natural warmth to a kitchen and is made from other rocks and minerals. The minerals in granite usually give granite red, pink, brown, tan, gray, or white hues with darker flecks throughout. Your kitchen will have a very natural, warm atmosphere with these colors of granite countertops.
  3. Uniqueness: Every slab of granite is unique. Because granite is a natural stone, no other granite countertop will look exactly like yours.
  4. Low-maintenance: Granite is relatively low-maintenance. Granite is a porous material, meaning that it can soak up liquids that are left sitting for long periods of time. Yet, granite is much lower maintenance than other natural stones such as marble and onyx.

3 Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

  1. Low-maintenance, not No-maintenance: Granite is not a no-maintenance countertop. It is recommended that you reseal granite countertops every 1-5 years depending on the stone and use of the kitchen.
  2. Limited Colors and Patterns: Granite colors and patterns are limited to what nature can make. One of granite’s great strengths can also be a weakness if nature does not make the colors or patterns that you want in your kitchen countertops.
  3. Stainable: Granite is a porous rock which means that liquids left on the surface can seep into the pores. If this liquid is colored like red wine or food coloring, it can stain the granite. Light colors of granite are more prone to showing signs of staining than dark colors.

Granite countertops are a classic choice and work well with busy families who love to cook. Families will small children who tend to spill bright-colored juice might want a more stain-resistant option than granite. With a solid (get it, it's a rock pun!) idea of what makes granite countertops so desirable, let’s switch gears to explore quartz countertops.

What is Quartz and Why is it Used for Kitchen Countertops?

Quartz found in nature is a hard, crystal mineral. It is the second most abundant mineral on Earth and interestingly enough, it is one of the main minerals found in granite!

Quartz countertops are a man-made stone product made using natural materials. It is composed of approximately 90% ground quartz and 10% resin and pigments. Countertops made from quartz are sometimes called engineered stone or engineered quartz countertops.

Image from International Granite & Stone

How-Quartz-is-Made-600x300Quartz is useful as a kitchen countertop material because it is hard, durable, and non-porous. It is somewhat heat resistant. Being near a cooktop will not damage quartz and just like granite, your kitchen knives will be hard-pressed to scratch the surface. Since quartz is non-porous, there are no small holes for dribbled or spilled liquids to hide in. You can simply wipe up any liquids and continue with your day.

Once again, you can explore the color options for quartz countertops through Columbus Granite, JSB Home Solutions’s most common stone countertop provider. Then compare the cost, advantages, and disadvantages of quartz kitchen countertops to granite.

Quartz and Hematite from Geology Science

Quartz-600x450Cost of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertop cost usually ranges from $45 - $125 per square foot installed. The cost of quartz countertops is determined by brand, material costs, and fabrication costs. Typically, quartz patterns with consistent colors and patterns (granite aesthetic) are less expensive than those with larger patterns (marble aesthetic with large dramatic veins).

4 Advantages of Quartz Countertops

  1. Heat, Scratch, Etch, and Stain Resistant: Much like granite, quartz is a hard, durable material. While granite is the most durable NATURAL countertop material, quartz is THE most durable countertop material, natural or man-made. Quartz also has the advantage over granite of being stain resistant. Your red wine or food coloring will not stain quartz.
  2. Endless Color and Pattern Choices: Because quartz is man-made, the designer can choose any color or pattern that they can imagine. You can find quartz with hues of blues, greys, pinks, oranges, whites, tans, and blacks. You get the picture! You’ll also see fine graining imitating granite or large, dramatic veins to look like marble.
  3. Reproducibility: Again, because quartz is man-made, the fabrication process can be repeated to make multiple slabs with very low variation in colors and patterns. Your countertop may not be unique from every other countertop, but if you need to put two pieces together, the patterns are much more likely to match up and the seam will be more invisible.
  4. No maintenance: This is pretty simple! Your quartz countertops will not need to be resealed. Your regular cleaning is all the maintenance necessary for quartz.

2 Disadvantages of Quartz Countertops

  1. Not Heatproof: While quartz countertops are heat resistant, they are not heatproof like granite is. Quartz will be fine near heat sources like cooktops and ovens, but you shouldn’t set hot pans directly on quartz countertops. 
  2. Not Easy to Repair Chips: Sometimes, countertops get chipped if they are hit with hard objects and natural stones are easily repaired with filler products and buffing. Quartz countertop chips can be repaired but the results are usually not as satisfactory as with natural stone.

Quartz is a great choice for families with small children since their juice will not stain it. Quartz may not be the best choice if you are looking for a warmer color palette in your kitchen. With your rock knowledge foundation built, you should be ready to rock and roll (another rock pun!) with your decision on the best kitchen countertop for your project.

Is Granite or Quartz Better for My Kitchen Countertop?

With the mountain (these puns are getting a little bit rocky…) of kitchen countertop options available, how do you narrow down your choices? Common and modern choices include granite, quartz, and marble. Older or non-traditional choices include laminate, tile, wood, stainless steel, and onyx. Choosing the right countertop material and style can pull your kitchen design together or leave the look disjointed.

We have narrowed down the options to the two most popular kitchen countertop materials: granite and quartz. Ultimately, granite and quartz are very comparable materials in functionality and cost. You can’t go wrong with either choice and the decision will rely on personal preference and intended use of your countertops (everyday, vacation home, etc.).

Countertops are only one piece of a kitchen renovation project. There will be many other choices to make that will influence your kitchen renovation timeline and kitchen renovation cost. Have fun with colors and designs as you move toward your dream kitchen!