In your eagerness to choose a countertop for your kitchen or bath, you have narrowed it down to two materials: quartz (engineered stone) vs. granite (natural stone). This is not an easy decision because the distinction between the two countertop materials isn't apparent. After all, quartz and granite are each loudly touted by their respective manufacturers as being purely natural, straight from the earth, hard as stone. How different can they be?
Granite is a purely natural stone that comes directly from stone quarries and is then cut into thin slabs, polished, and fabricated into countertops.
So-called quartz countertops are engineered stone products that may contain a large percentage of natural quartz but may also include other minerals. But these are not slabs of quarried stone at all but are instead formed from stone byproducts that are ground up and formed into slabs for countertops and other products.
The one advantage that granite has over an engineered stone is that every granite slab is slightly different in mineral pattern and color, meaning that your countertop will be unique. Quartz countertops, as an engineered product, are more uniform in appearance, though many colors and unique patterns are available, including forms that do not resemble granite at all.
The choice here is a matter of personal preference. If you truly want the look of natural stone, then choose the truly natural product—granite. But many people find that quartz countertops offer looks that are different and better than natural stone.
There is a decided advantage here to quartz over granite, though both materials are very durable. Granite is a relatively porous stone that requires sealing upon installation, then periodic sealing on an ongoing basis. And granite slabs may have inherent flaws that make them prone to cracking. Quartz, on the other hand, does not require sealing, thanks to the resins used in the fabrication of the slabs; and the material is uniform throughout, which means it rarely cracks.
The resins in quartz countertops make them considerably more resistant to staining than granite. By some reports, quartz is also less susceptible to harboring bacteria, again thanks to the resins that make the surface less porous.
These are both high-end building materials that will impress prospective buyers. When compared to laminate or ceramic tile countertops, both granite and quartz may slightly improve the real estate value of your home. There may be some buyers who give a slight advantage to granite since it is the more natural material.
Both countertop materials are overwhelmingly made of natural materials, but granite countertops come out slightly ahead since they are made from 100 percent stone, while quartz is roughly 93 percent natural materials, with the remainder comprised of color pigments and polymer resins that bond the materials together. And the production process for natural granite produces fewer carbon emissions than quartz.
On the other hand, granite countertops require quarrying out of the earth, while quartz countertops are effectively made from left-over stone byproducts, with no quarrying required.
For a time, beginning around 2008, there was some media-induced fear regarding radon emissions from granite countertops, but recent studies report that there is little or no radon coming from either granite or engineered stone countertops. In the words of the EPA: "It is extremely unlikely that radiation from granite countertops would increase annual radiation doses above normal, natural background levels."
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Established in 2007, Joint Home is one of China's major quartz stone slabs companies specializing in the production and supply of quartz slab for many commercial projects and high end residential projects. Our factory offer a diversified range of products, such as quartz slabs, quartz countertops, and artificial stone. With over ten years of combined experience and knowledge in the quartz stone industry, we can also offer custom designs and OEM services.
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