What are the important similarities between granite and quartz when used for kitchen countertops?
Countertops can have built in accessories or appliances like sink, stove, racks etc for holding plate glass and for many other services. Even though there are many types of kitchen countertops, quartz kitchen countertops are the most popular these days. Next is granite countertops. Let us examine the peculiarities of these countertops one by one.
Things to consider while purchasing countertops
A countertop which is also known as a worktop is a horizontal surface in bathrooms, kitchens, lavatories etc which are often installed upon cabinets. The slab on the countertop is positioned at ergonomic height suitable for the tasks and the person performing the tasks. Various materials like granite, Quartz, marble, laminates, wood, glass etc can be used for making the countertops which have special qualities like durability, resistance to heat, scratch resistance, stain resistance etc.
Selecting the best countertop material
Though granite was considered as the most costly material used for countertops, things have changed recently. As quartz is an artificial material and as it requires more engineering to turn quartz into smooth shining surface it is little bit extra costlier than granite.
Granite is naturally beautiful and its unique patterns of striations make it naturally attractive which cannot be matched by anything naturally occurring or manmade materials which are used for countertops. Therefore every granite is unique and matchless.
But engineered quartz is liked by many people for its ability to get dyed matching to the decor in the room where it is being used. It can be given a very smooth and shining appearance and it can be made of the particular color that is required to match with the color of the room or the cabinets. This is a great advantage of quartz.
Granite slabs are made by mining granite ore. After cutting and polishing the granite slabs that we see are obtained. As the countertops are made of granite slabs, longer countertops may require more than one slab or multiple slabs. Different samples of granite will be having slight change in its colors, shades and veins. Sealant has to be applies along the seams between the slabs.
Quartz countertops are prepared using 95 percentage of crushed quartz and 5 percentage of other materials and they are engineered to become quartz countertops. After including required color pigments the above combination is poured into molds set according to the individual needs. There for no seaming is seen in quartz countertops and regular re-sealing is also not necessary in this case.
Granite is formed by the fusing together many minerals under great pressure and high temperature in natural surroundings. The name granite has come from the Latin word grain. In fact a chunk of granite is nothing but amalgamation of grains of different minerals. Therefore it is natural that granite contains pockets of air. Therefore if spills are not cleaned up immediately there is possibility of forming permanent stains. They have to be sealed regularly. Otherwise it can become a breeding centre for mildew and mold.
Quartz is a non porous material and therefore it is considered as more hygienic. Water cannot enter or sink into these slabs and there is no possibility of mildew or mold formation in them.
Granite countertops can get scratched or chipped. But quartz is so dense that it is not possible to get it chipped or damaged in any way. It is the hardest material on earth. It is resistant to weathering. This is another plus point that makes quartz a natural choice as countertop material.
The modern trend in kitchen countertop is to provide a overhang of 1 to 1.5 inches so that the countertop becomes larger and the floor area of the kitchen is not reduced as these overhangs are extending beyond the front end of the cabinets. As quartz is an engineered material it is very strong and it is the best material for providing larger overhangs according to quartz countertop contractors rockville md. Granite on the other hand is not well suited for larger overhangs. In this matter also quartz has an upper end over granite when considered for the purpose of kitchen countertop.