Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quartz Countertops versus Granite Countertops

Although granite and quartz are similar in look and composition, they are very different products. Knowing the maintenance and benefits of each type of countertop material is vital to making the best choice for each space.

Granite countertop installed by KHI
Granite is a very hard stone found deep in the earth. It is mined at many locations around the world, including areas of Minnesota in the United States and places in India and Italy. The color and pattern of the stone is determined by the minerals found in the area in which it is located.Granite is composed of approximately 50% quartz; the remaining elements are softer minerals and impurities. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals found on earth, second only to the diamond so durability is not a problem. Quartz countertops are actually 93% quartz crystals, with resins and pigments making up the remaining composition.

Countertop Durability

Both granite and quartz countertops create a very durable countertop. However, quartz countertops, because of the way that they are made, are nearly twice as strong as natural granite. Quartz is very dense and free of the invisible fissures (tiny cracks) that can be found in granite. This is what adds to the strength of quartz surfaces.

Heat and Scratch Resistance

Both granite and quartz are resistant to heat and scratching. Although these products can resist heat from hot pans, it is always recommended that homeowners use trivets when setting a pot on the surface as thermal shock may cause damage. Because granite and quartz have countertops are very resistant to scratching, you should still use cutting boards when preparing food to protect your knives from being dulled by the hard stone surfaces.

Food Safety and Staining

Since granite is a natural stone, it is porous and liquids can penetrate it. As a result, staining, as well as the growth of bacteria, can occur. The lighter granite colors tend to be more porous, making them more susceptible to stains. Keeping the granite sealed periodically is the best way to avoid stains, and keep the stone looking new. Quartz is nonporous and is resistant to nearly all staining. Sealing quartz is not required. The nonporous composition also keeps them from harboring bacteria and many homeowners like the low-maintenance benefits of quartz countertops.

Colors and Patterns

Quartz countertop installed by KHI
Quartz countertops have a completely different look than granite. Granite has patterns that range from the very consistent to the extremely wild. Each slab of granite is unique and comes in a variety of color combinations. For home- owners preferring a more regular pattern, quartz may be the product of choice. Quartz lacks the depth of light that natural granite possesses, and can tend to look flat. However, quartz countertops offer colors that are impossible to find in natural granite.

For more information on countertop materials or if you'd like to obtain a quote on a bathroom or kitchen remodel project call Kruse Home Improvement today at 860-584-8784.

source: suite101.com

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