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Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 2:30 pm by admin No Comment

While working with our clients, we frequently get questions about the difference between granite and quartz countertops. Which one is better? That’s a personal decision- but hopefully this article can help you decide what’s best for you and your family.

Granite vs. Quartz CountertopsGranite vs. Quartz

By: Jeanne Kinsella

Solid vs. Engineered Stone

The first difference to consider between granite and quartz is that they are different types of stone- one is naturally occurring and one is manmade. Granite is mined from the earth in solid chunks. After the granite is extracted, it’s broken down into slabs or tiles and polished so it can be used in your home. Granite is 100% natural, so if you want an authentic stone countertop, granite is the choice for you. Quartz is an engineered stone created from crushed quartz mineral pieces as well as resin, which binds everything together, and pigment, which adds color to the stone. The common makeup of quartz countertops is 93% quartz and 7% resin and pigment. While a quartz countertop may look natural, the colors and patterns are artificially created, unlike granite countertops.

Aesthetics and Appearance

Both granite and quartz are beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but have some important differences in appearance to be considered. Because granite is a natural stone, the patterns and colors are limited as compared to quartz. Granite can range from being ‘speckled’ to ‘wavy’ in pattern. While there is a wide variety of color options in granite,  the possibilities aren’t numerous due to it being completely natural. You will see color and pattern variation throughout granite slabs – even within one solid slab you are likely to see differences! If you want a consistent color and pattern in your countertop, then quartz is likely what you are looking for. The colors of quartz are limitless due to the pigment process. Because patterns are manmade, they will not vary.  Quartz countertops can look completely solid with no visible crystals, or can have chunks of crystal and stone throughout.  Which look is better? That’s really up to you!

Durability and Maintenance

Granite, while being an extremely durable stone, does have weaknesses. While it is very strong, it should not be considered unbreakable. It is possible for granite to crack and chip- however, it is not uncommon for granite countertops to last over 50 years without any type of significant damage. Additionally, granite is not naturally stain resistant. At J.W. York Homes we do seal your granite countertop with a 15-year sealer, which should help protect the granite from most stains. Of course, if you spill a glass of red wine on your granite countertop, it is not a great idea to let it sit! Granite is a porous material- so if you do not seal it, bacteria can grow in your countertop. Quartz does not require the same level of care as granite. It never needs to be sealed due to its non-porous surface. Quartz is also a more flexible surface than granite, meaning that it is less likely to crack and chip. Again, this does not make the countertop invincible, but it is a very hard and durable surface. When it comes to durability and maintenance, quartz countertops have a little bit of an edge over granite.


Granite and quartz can range greatly in price. While you can buy extremely expensive granite countertops, you can also get very affordable granite. Quartz is similar in the fact that the prices can range greatly, but in general, quartz tends to be more costly than granite. Overall, you can purchase a granite for a lower price than quartz.


To summarize, granite is a naturally occurring stone with color and pattern variation. It does need to be kept sealed, but can certainly add lots of character to a space. It can be extremely cost-effective. Quartz is an engineered stone with consist color and pattern throughout. It never has to be sealed, and is also very strong and durable. While a few available colors can be found in the mid-level granite price range, most colors and patterns will be more expensive than most of your granite options. Both types of countertops are great options for you home.

Which countertop material do you like best and why? Let us know!


Information gathered from: http://www.countertopguides.com/guides/granite-vs-quartz-countertops.html; http://countertopinvestigator.com/quartz-granite/; https://blog.udemy.com/quartz-vs-granite-countertops/

Picture from: http://imagineerremodeling.com/kitchen-design-trends-new-trends-will-debut-2014/

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Encapsulating the attic in a home with open cell foam and removing the normal attic ventilation allows for a semi conditioned attic that replicates the temperature of the conditioned area of the home. The benefit is a more comfortable home, reduced load on the air conditioning, and energy savings.
Energy Star qualified metal roofing has reflective qualities that significantly reduce heat gain on the home resulting in lower energy bills and a more comfortable home.
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Energy Star qualified wood or vinyl windows come standard in all of our homes. With LoE2 coating on the glass and Argon gas in between panes, these efficient units allow the home to have an abundance of natural light while maximizing comfort and performance.
Our use of high efficiency air filtration systems rated at MERV 8 or 10 capture more airborne pollutants and particles than a standard 1" filter thus significantly improving the indoor air quality of your home. These 5" think filters also need to be changes less frequently and contribute to the longevity of your HVAC system.
High Efficiency 15 Seer or better electric heat pump systems come standard in our homes and are paired with programmable thermostats. Our systems and duct work are properly sized using a Manual J calculation for each individual home. The system is then third party inspected by a duct blaster test to make sure the system is tight and has minimal leakage. The combination of these efforts will ensure a comfortable, efficient, and long lasting system for our homes.
We use open cell spray foam insulation to encapsulate all of our attics and R-19 exterior wall insulation which both exceed code requirements for insulation. These items will help ensure a comfortable and efficient home.
The use of a tank-less gas water heater or a heat pump water heater can greatly reduce the cost of heating water.
Energy Star rated appliances in our homes save an average of 30% in energy cost over standard models.
Advanced framing techniques are used to put more insulation and less wood in the exterior walls of the home while maintaining structural integrity. These techniques include California corners, 2x6 exterior walls @ 24" on center, and ladder framing of exterior T-walls.
Caulking all plates, stud-to-stud gaps, foaming around windows and exterior penetrations, and properly installing house wrap lends a tight seal to all of our homes. Our homes are third party inspected upon completion with a blower door test to check for gaps and leaks.
Basements and crawlspaces are areas of the home that must be properly insulated, dehumidified, and kept free of moisture to ensure a healthy home. We properly waterproof these areas, install footing and foundation drains, and grade around the home to ensure no water will end up in or under your home. We insulate the exterior walls of both basements and crawlspaces and then introduce an HVAC air handler or heat pump water heater inside those areas to semi- condition those spaces and keep humidity under control.
Most builders are advertising and using fiber cement siding. The problem is they are using wood for their fascia, soffit, corner boards, and other trim pieces because it saves them a few hundred dollars per home. When you go back and look at their homes 3 or 4 years later; the siding looks great but the trim boards all need to be painted again. If they are not painted they start to decay and weather very poorly. At J.W. York Homes we "full wrap" our homes in fiber cement siding and trim boards. This ensures the trim and siding on your home will stay on the same maintenance cycle and will prevent costly repairs in the future.
At J.W. York Homes we are mindful of our impact on the environment. Even though we use long lasting products, advanced framing, and proper planning to reduce the amount of job site waste; a new construction home still produces a good amount of waste. We have partnered with a local waste management and recycling company that hauls off 100% of our jobsite waste. They take the waste to a facility that sorts the waste and recycles as much of it as possible. We are currently able to recycle non pressure treated lumber, block, brick, stone, asphalt shingles, metal, cardboard, plastic, drywall, and much more. These products are then reused for such purposes as soil additives, erosion control methods, or resold to help offset the cost of recycling.