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Granite vs. Quartz: A Bathroom Countertop Comparison

Granite vs. Quartz: A Bathroom Countertop Comparison

Granite vs. Quartz: A Bathroom Countertop Comparison

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between granite and quartz bathroom countertops? Do you find yourself struggling to choose between these two popular countertop materials?

In this blog post, we'll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of both granite and quartz countertops, providing you with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your bathroom remodel.

By the end of this post, you'll have a clear understanding of which countertop material best suits your unique needs and preferences. And if you're looking for tips on how to plan a bathroom remodel, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to bathroom remodeling.

Natural Stone vs. Engineered Stone

A gray-colored speckled countertop material surrounding a sink on a bathroom vanity

Granite is a natural stone formed deep within the Earth's crust, while quartz is an engineered stone made from a blend of natural quartz minerals and resin. (Keep in mind that quartz and quartzite are not the same--quartzite is a natural stone like granite that also requires sealing.)

Natural stones like granite are known for their unique appearance and variation in color and pattern, as no two slabs are exactly the same.

On the other hand, engineered stones like quartz offer a more consistent look and can be manufactured in a wider range of colors, allowing for greater customization.

Potential Issues With Engineered Stone

An engineered stone (quartz) bathroom countertop material surrounds the double sinks on this bathroom vanity

It's important to note that there are potential issues with engineered stone that you should be aware of before making a decision.

Since engineered stones such as quartz are a blend of natural quartz with resin and other ingredients, the quality of the engineered stone may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from batch to batch produced. In other words, inconsistencies in factory finishes are not unheard of and should be expected.

So while engineered stone typically has a more consistent appearance than natural stone, this does not mean it is blemish-free.

Common Engineered Stone Blemishes

Scuffs, streaks, pits, and other blemishes are all possible, even with new engineered stone installations. Unfortunately, these blemishes may not be apparent until the countertop is viewed closely under bright light--especially natural light.

Common blemishes seen in engineered stone include barely visible "ripples" on the countertop surface that may be the result of the material cooling incorrectly during the manufacturing process.

Circular ring marks can also sometimes be seen on quartz countertops from the suction cups that manufacturers use to lift the slabs after they have cooled.

Lastly, some fabricators use abrasive diamond pads to remove scratches or other marks from countertops that end up leaving scuff marks on the surface.

So, while engineered stone materials such as quartz tend to be more homogeneous than their natural stone counterparts, that doesn't necessarily mean that engineered stone countertops will be flawless.

It's essential to carefully consider the potential issues with engineered stone and weigh them against the benefits before making your final decision.

Natural Appearance vs. Color Selection

White quartz countertops in a newly remodeled bathroom

When it comes to appearance, granite is prized for its natural beauty, with each slab displaying its own unique blend of colors and patterns. This can give your bathroom a luxurious and one-of-a-kind look.

However, this uniqueness also means it can be more challenging to match granite countertops with your existing bathroom decor.

Quartz countertops, due to their engineered nature, offer a greater range of color options and a more consistent appearance. This can make it easier to find a quartz countertop that complements your bathroom's design scheme.

That being said, some homeowners may feel that the uniformity of quartz countertops lacks the character and charm of natural stone countertops.

Granite Pros & Cons

A double sink vanity with a granite bathroom countertop

Pros

Resists Heat Better

Granite is a natural stone that is formed under extreme heat and pressure, making it highly resistant to heat. This means that it can withstand hot curling irons or hair straighteners placed directly on its surface without damage.

Durable

Granite is an incredibly durable material, thanks to its natural composition. Its resistance to chipping, scratching, and cracking makes it an ideal choice for bathroom countertops that see a lot of daily use.

More Unique

Granite countertops add a luxurious element to a double vessel sink vanity

Since granite is a natural stone, no two slabs are identical. This means that each granite countertop will have a unique pattern and coloration, giving your bathroom a one-of-a-kind look and feel.

Higher Resale Value

Because of its luxurious appearance and reputation for durability, granite countertops can contribute to a higher resale value for your home. Potential buyers are often willing to pay more for a property with high-quality granite countertops.

Luxurious Aesthetic

Granite countertops elevate this double sink bathroom vanity

The natural beauty of granite adds a touch of elegance and luxury to any bathroom. Its rich colors and intricate patterns can enhance the overall aesthetic of your space, making it feel more high-end and sophisticated.

Surface Polishing Can Remove Most Flaws

If your granite countertop becomes scratched or damaged, it can often be repaired by professional surface polishing. This process can remove most minor flaws and restore the countertop's original shine and beauty.

Cons

Granite Countertops Must Be Sealed

Granite is a porous material, which means it can absorb liquids and become stained if not properly sealed. To protect your granite countertop from stains and damage, it must be sealed periodically--usually every 12-18 months.

Can Be Cracked by High-Impact Blow

White and Grey nature granite wall surface sealing with silicone

Although granite is a durable material, it is not immune to damage. A high-impact blow, such as dropping a heavy object on the surface, can cause the countertop to crack or chip.

Harder to Match the Decor

Since granite has a unique pattern and coloration, it can be more challenging to match with other elements in your bathroom, such as cabinetry, flooring, and wall colors. This can make coordinating your bathroom design more difficult.

Quartz Pros & Cons

A quartz bathroom countertop provides color scheme consistency in this bathroom remodel

Pros

More Color Options and Uniform Consistency

Quartz countertops are engineered using a combination of natural quartz and resin, allowing for a wide range of color options and a more uniform appearance. This makes it easier to find a quartz countertop that complements your bathroom's design scheme.

Resistant to Staining

Quartz is a non-porous material, which means it is highly resistant to staining. Unlike granite, quartz countertops do not require sealing to maintain their stain resistance.

Durable

Quartz is an incredibly durable material, making it resistant to chipping, scratching, and cracking. This makes it an excellent choice for bathroom countertops that will see daily use.

Less Maintenance

A quartz bathroom countertop provides a solid color for you to match your bathroom color scheme to

Quartz countertops are low-maintenance, as they do not require periodic sealing like granite. They are also easier to clean, as their non-porous surface does not harbor bacteria or dirt.

Generally Less Expensive Than Granite Countertops

In general, quartz countertops are less expensive than granite countertops. However, the final cost will depend on the specific materials chosen and the complexity of the installation.

Cons

Not as Heat Resistant

While quartz is a durable material, it is not as heat resistant as granite. Exposure to high heat can cause damage to the surface, so it is essential to use heat-protective pads or trivets when placing hot items on quartz countertops.

May Require a Seam

If your bathroom countertop is large or has an unusual shape, it may require a seam where two quartz slabs are joined together. While these seams can be minimized, they may still be visible, particularly in larger or more complex installations.

May Have Inconsistencies Visible in Certain Light

Although quartz countertops are generally more consistent in appearance than granite, they may still have some minor inconsistencies. These can become more visible under certain lighting conditions, such as natural sunlight or bright overhead lights.

Lighting May Reveal "Ripple" Blemishes

Some quartz countertops may have barely visible "ripple" blemishes on their surface, resulting from the manufacturing process. While these blemishes are generally not noticeable under normal conditions, they may become more apparent under certain lighting or when viewed at specific angles.

May Have Ring Impressions from Factory Suction Cups

During the manufacturing process, suction cups are used to lift and move quartz slabs. In some cases, these suction cups can leave faint ring impressions on the surface of the countertop. While these marks are generally not noticeable under normal conditions, they may become more apparent under certain lighting or when viewed at specific angles.

Not as Easy to Repair as Natural Stone Because It Hasn’t Been Around As Long--And Surface Polishing May Not Restore Factory Finish!

If a quartz countertop becomes damaged, it may be more difficult to repair than a natural stone countertop like granite. Surface polishing may not be as effective at restoring the original factory finish, and in some cases, the damaged area may need to be replaced entirely.

Other Countertop Material Options

While granite and quartz are among the most popular choices for bathroom countertops, there are several other materials available that may suit your needs.

These include laminate countertops, solid surface countertops, and other natural stone options.

Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are a budget-friendly choice, made from layers of plastic bonded to particleboard or MDF (medium density fiberboard). They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, but they are not as durable as stone countertops and may not hold up as well over time.

Solid Surface Countertops

Solid surface countertops are made from a blend of acrylic and natural minerals. These countertops are known for their seamless appearance, as they can be custom-fabricated to fit your bathroom's dimensions. They are easy to maintain and repair, but they may not offer the same level of heat resistance as granite or quartz.

Other Natural Stone Countertops

A marble bathroom countertop surrounds a sink with a chrome faucet and handles

Besides granite, there are several other natural stone options for bathroom countertops, such as marble, soapstone, or limestone.

Each of these materials has its unique characteristics, and they can provide a luxurious and elegant appearance. However, they also have varying degrees of maintenance requirements and costs.

Granite Countertops Cost vs. Quartz Countertops Cost

A quartz countertop provides durability in this bathroom remodel

The cost of granite and quartz countertops can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of your bathroom, the complexity of the installation, and the quality of the materials chosen.

In general, granite countertops tend to be more expensive than quartz countertops due to the cost of quarrying and processing the natural stone.

However, the price difference may not be significant, and it is essential to consider the long-term value and benefits of each material when making your decision. If you need more guidance on how to budget for a bathroom remodel, be sure to check out our blog on cost factors and options for bathroom remodeling budgeting.

Ranney Blair: Your Local Bathroom Remodeling Experts

We hope this blog post has provided you with all the information you need regarding granite and quartz bathroom countertops, so you can make an informed decision for your Georgia home based on your unique needs and preferences.

Whether you choose the natural beauty of granite or the customizable appeal of quartz, Ranney Blair can expertly remodel your bathroom with your chosen countertop material. Don't hesitate to make your dream bathroom a reality--fill out our contact form today or give us a call!

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