A comparison of Marble, Quartz & Granite Kitchen Countertops
Natural stone is a favorite material for kitchen countertops among homeowners who are looking for style and elegance in their home. Natural stone is solid, durable, easy to care for and beautiful.
Quartz, marble and granite are the most popular materials for countertops. But how do you know which one is going to be the best option for your kitchen? We have compiled a comprehensive review of each material so you can see their pros and cons to make the best decision.
Natural stone is an expensive which makes it a real investment, knowing that your countertops will last for a very long time. Learning as much as you can before you make any purchase is essential for you to make an informed decision that you will be happy with.
Granite Kitchen Countertops
Granite is a natural stone that contains granite, mica and feldspar. This very hard and solid mineral is what basically constitute the surface of the world and is mined in quarries all over the world.
In the past years, granite has become the most coveted material for kitchen countertops across the country. Why? Because it is durable and naturally comes in a variety of colors but most importantly because it is classic and elegant. Virtually everybody looking for a high-end kitchen wants granite countertops. But are they the best choice for you?
- Granite kitchen countertops comes in a variety of colors and finish types (polished, sandblasted, brushed or flamed) which means you are sure to find the perfect stone to match your style and kitchen design.
- Durable: granite is very hard which makes it resistant to pretty much anything from scratches to stains, heat and water.
- Easy to clean: granite does not require specific products and can be cleaned with a wet mop
- High resale value: because of its durability and popularity, granite generally adds value to a home. If you are considering remodeling your kitchen and adding granite countertops, you’ll be able to use them as a selling point later on.
- Requires regular sealing: unless you are very careful and takes extremely good care of them, granite countertops generally require resealing and a new protective coat at least once a year. Regular professional maintenance means that it is a more expensive investment in the long run.
- Expensive: although the material is easy to find, mining and shipping requires a lot of energy and expenses. This makes it one of the most expensive natural stones, running anywhere from $50-100/sq.ft for average granite to $400/sq. ft for rare stones.
- Labor intensive: granite is very heavy which makes slabs more complicated to cut and install. You will most likely need professional contractors to install your countertops and costs can get high for more complex jobs.
Quartz Kitchen Countertops
Quartz is one of the hardest surface in the world which makes it the most durable material for countertops. Slabs can come in a variety of colors either natural or engineered.
While in the past quartz countertops only came in a polished finish, they can now be manufactured to look anyway you like with a honed, sandblasted or embossed treatment.
- Non porous: you can spill water or pretty much anything on quartz without any risk of staining your countertop.
- Resists to scratches: quartz is extremely resistant which makes it great for high traffic kitchens.
- Easy to clean and care for: common household cleaning products or a simple wet mop are enough to keep your counters clean.
- No professional maintenance required like sealing or polishing: quartz will last forever and requires little maintenance to retain its original brightness and look.
- Pricey. Quartz can be more expensive than other materials with prices running around $60 to $100 per square foot (excluding installation)
- Does not resist extreme heat. Quartz is extremely resistant and can sustain up to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit). But if you leave a hot pan on the stone for too long or if it experience a sudden change in temperature, the surface will crack.
- Not weather-proof. The stone is not made to be used outdoors as sustained exposure to direct sunlight will eventually fade the stone’s shade or even cause it to split.
Marble Kitchen Countertops
Marble is one of the most luxurious natural stone on the planet. Generally white, it can also come in shades of gray, green, pink or light blue.
Marble does require more care and attention and is not the best choice for high traffic kitchen areas.
- Smooth surface: marble countertops are bakers’ top choice because of their smooth surface which allows to roll the perfect dough for your cookies, pies and pastries!
- Bright: marble is a naturally bright stone that can immediately add flair and a clean, luxurious air to any kitchen.
- Luxurious: marble is one of the most luxurious natural stones for kitchen countertops. It is not an understated material and will take your kitchen to the next level, giving it a glorious European flair.
- Not versatile: marble has a very specific look and feels which can make or break a kitchen. It is a beautiful material but it has to perfectly fit into your kitchen’s design otherwise you are running the risk that it could look dated and out of place.
- Susceptible to damage: marble is much softer than granite or quartz which means it’s less resistant. Although the stone itself improves with age, it can get stained, chipped or damaged through heat.
- High maintenance: to maintain your countertop in the best condition, you’ll want to use trivets and coasters under pans and glassware to avoid stains or damage. Marble countertops generally require daily cleaning and the use of special cleaning products.
In the end, the choice is really yours. The 3 types of stone are great solutions for any kitchen so the best option will mostly depend on your design aesthetics, your kitchen use and level of cooking intensity, and your budget.