Quartz and granite are definitely in the same family of stone and share many of the same attributes, but they are not the same and that bears noting when choosing between the two for your sink, tub, kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity.
But, how different are they? Let’s see:
<strong>Manufacture and Durability</strong>
Wait, <em>manufacture</em>? Yep, you heard it right. While true granite products are crafted from whole chunks right out of the quarry, quartz products (often referred to as “engineered stone” or by brand names like <a title="Elkay" href="http://www.atgstores.com/elkay_m190.html" target="_blank">Elkay’s</a> e-granite and <a title="Swan" href="http://www.atgstores.com/swan_m302.html" target="_blank">Swan’s</a> Swanstone) are made of a composite manufactured from quartz powder and resin. That may sound like a raw deal to purists, but each type of stone has benefits and drawbacks that stem from their respective origins.
Both materials are very strong and resist scratches, burns and stains, but quartz’s composite structure makes it nonporous and more "flexible" with regard to installation purposes and resistance to chipping and cracking.
Granite’s porous nature means it has to be sealed – usually once every year. Even so, it’s the hardest of all natural stone, has a particular hard feel absent in quartz and is cut rather than manufactured, which is a big seller for those who love truly natural materials.
<strong>Looks and Color Variety</strong>
Simply put, these are some pretty rocks. Both come in a variety of colors, but it’s fair to say that quartz comes in even more shades than granite because it can be manipulated in a lot of different ways during the manufacturing process.
Granite may also feature many different patterns due to natural veining and speckling in the stone, but these patterns can be approximated in quartz in addition to many other patterns besides.
<strong>Cost and Installation</strong>
Both quartz and granite are very heavy and hard to cut, and present difficulties best addressed by a professional during the installation process. This, of course, plays into the cost when compared to other materials that are often less expensive to install.
Absent installation costs, quartz is more affordable than granite, although it's not a blowout. Typically, quartz is easier to manufacture than granite is to mine from a quarry, which may give it a cost savings advantage depending on the brand and seller.
<a title="ATG Stores Home Page" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes this helps you on your next quartz or granite purchase.