Granite or quartz worktop – which is best?
As part of planning a new kitchen, inevitably the worktop debate will come up and two of the biggest competitors for high quality finishes are granite and quartz. In the guide, we hope to help you answer the question: A granite or quartz worktop, which is best?
As part of planning a new kitchen, inevitably the worktop debate will come up and two of the biggest competitors for high-quality finishes are granite and quartz. In the guide, we hope to help you answer the question: A granite or quartz worktop, which is best?
A kitchen worktop is one of the most notable and used elements of a kitchen, so it’s important you choose the right material and design for your home. Given that both a granite or quartz worktop can cost a pretty penny, you’ll want to do your homework before making a final decision. Keep reading to find out more.
What’s the difference between a granite or quartz worktop?
That’s a very valid question because both granite and quartz worktops can look very similar from the outside. Kitchen suppliers will often say that these two materials have a very similar profile in terms of performance and lifespan. But, they are in fact quite different.
- Granite is actually a 100% natural stone that’s formed from molten magma and is quarried in large blocks, cut down into slabs and polished to achieve the sleek final result for your worktop.
- Quartz, on the other hand, is actually a manufactured stone that is combined with another material (usually resin) and engineered to achieve an endless number of colours and designs.
7 factors to consider when choosing a granite or quartz worktop
Let’s face it, what you really care about is how your new quartz or granite worktop will deal with daily life in your kitchen. That’s why we’ve put together some of the common factors that might influence your decision.
1. Colours and designs
Being a natural stone, granite has a very authentic look and is available in a range of colours. However, as quartz is an engineered stone it has the upper hand when it comes to the range of colours and designs – with hundreds, if not thousands, of options available.
2. Heat resistance and burn damage
Both quartz and granite worktops are excellent options for busy kitchens. Quartz has a slight weakness in the fact that a resin is added during the manufacturing process. This resin can potentially be damaged by extreme heat. That said, it’s never a good idea to put a hot pan directly on a quartz or granite worktop – instead, use a worktop protector or heat mat.
3. Scratch resistance
When it comes to scratches appearing on your worktop, you’re in good hands with a granite or quartz worktop. Both materials are extremely hard and are more likely to blunt your knife than get scratched. Although, we always recommend using a chopping board rather than cutting on your bare worktop.
The marvel of being engineered means that quartz is non-porous and almost impossible to stain. On the other hand, granite is more prone to staining, especially if any seal or polishing has started to wear away. Granite is particularly vulnerable to stains from substances like lemon juice, vinegar, oils, butter, red wine and other foods with strong colours. If you do want a granite worktop, always go for a highly polished granite to make sure its stain-resistant as granite with a honed / matt finish isn’t suitable for kitchen worktops.
5. Strength and breakages
Being two very hard, durable materials, both quartz and granite will cope with a lot of use. That said, they’re not completely immune to damage. If you hit the edge of the worktop with a very heavy object or drop one on the worktop, you could cause a chip or break. But, for most day to day use, you’re more likely to break crockery and glassware rather than the quartz or granite worktop itself.
6. Maintenance and cleaning
Whether you opt for a granite or quartz worktop, you’re in for a fairly easy ride when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Both materials can be cleaned using a bit of soap and water, or perhaps a non-abrasive cleaning pad if you have more stubborn stains to clean. Good quality quartz worktops will keep their shine and look good with very little effort, whereas a quartz worktop may need to be polished regularly to keep it looking its best.
7. Hygiene levels
Once again, granite and quartz come up trumps when it comes to hygiene levels. Highly polished surfaces are excellent choices for keeping a clean and hygienic kitchen, as they don’t allow bacteria and mould to grow. For a granite or quartz worktop, make sure you clean it thoroughly after use and you’ll have a beautiful, hygienic worktop that lasts for years.
Should I have a quartz or granite worktop?
A lot of the time it will come down to personal preference and budget. For the most part, granite and quartz are extremely comparable in terms of style and functionality. There are just a few points that might make a difference:
- If you plan on doing lots of cooking and dealing with extreme heat, quartz might be the best option
- If you want a very specific colour or finish, quartz has more options to choose from
- If you want a 100% natural material for your worktop, you’ll want to opt for granite
Cost of granite vs quartz worktops
If you’re buying or replacing a kitchen worktop, you’ll want to plan a budget for the worktop you choose. The average cost of a granite worktop is around £1,700, and the average cost of a quartz worktop is about £2,730.
The actual price you pay will depend on the size and dimensions of the worktop, as well as the specific type of granite or quartz that you choose. To find out more about kitchen worktop prices, check out our guide on the cost of replacing kitchen worktops, or our quartz worktop price calculator.
Granite or quartz worktop reviews
One of the most helpful ways to decide if a quartz or granite worktop is best for you is to check out reviews. Speak to your local worktop suppliers to find the options that you like the most, then check the reviews of those specific worktops to see what other customers have to say about them.
Quartz or granite worktop quotes
Want to get quotes from trusted local kitchen worktop specialists? As with all home improvement projects, we always recommend obtaining at least three quotes from different tradespeople in your area. You’ll want to shop around to make sure you’re paying a fair and competitive price for the work. And, thankfully, we’ve got a tool that makes finding multiple quotes super easy.
Our request a quote feature is perfect for getting quotes: you post details about the work you need doing and we’ll send it out to local tradespeople in your area. Try it out – it’s quick and easy!