You're out and about viewing homes with your real estate agent and you run across a beautiful house with a gleaming countertop in the kitchen. You ask what the countertop is made of and the homeowner lets you know that it's granite. You visit another house with an equally inspiring countertop and find out that this one is made of quartz. While both of these higher-end counters are both very aesthetic, you may be wondering which one is the best, or if there are other countertop styles you should consider.
Quartz and Granite Countertops
Both granite countertops and quartz countertops are extremely durable materials that can last for years. They both cost about the same too, and a lot of the difference between the two comes down to your own personal taste.
Granite is a natural rock and every slab has its own defining characteristics. Large blocks of granite are mined and then cut into individual slabs for countertops. The natural rock consists of mica, feldspar and quartz.
Quartz countertops on the other hand, are made from crushed quartz combined with resin. Usually the ratio is 93% quartz to 7% resin. It is a manufactured product that is available in a variety of different patterns and colors.
The Difference Between Quartz and Granite Counters
The biggest difference between these two countertops is the porous features of the two. Quartz countertops are non-porous whereas granite is porous and will need to be sealed at least once a year. Quartz does not need any type of maintenance and once it has been installed all you’ll need to do is clean it with mild soap and water.
Quartz is available in almost any color under the rainbow and can fit into any type of kitchen decor. Colors range from bright pink and lime green to black and white and everything in between. With granite you'll have your choice between colors but they will all be earthy tones since granite is a naturally - mined rock.
As long as the granite countertop has been sealed correctly, it will be just as durable as one that is made of quartz. If you are prepared to do the sealing every year, a granite counter will be just as hearty as the quartz one.
While granite countertops have become quite the rage with quartz and marble counters gaining ground, there is another type of natural stone that you may want to consider - especially if you have a cottage or a traditional style of kitchen. Soapstone is becoming more and more popular as a natural stone that can complement a kitchen with added rustic charm.
The Benefits of Soapstone Counters
Soapstone is beautiful, natural and may be less expensive to install than other stone slabs. It is softer than the hard types of counters like marble, quartz and granite so it is a lot easier to install. You don't need to hire a professional counter installation company. This countertop can be installed as a do-it-yourself project or you can hire a reliable handyman to do it for you.
One of the best features that you’ll find with soapstone counters is the ability to sand out any scratches or dents in it with a fine piece of sandpaper. You certainly can't do this with a granite countertop! If you have a scratch in your granite, you'll have to call in a professional for advice. With soapstone, you're able to stay on top of the imperfections and keep your countertop looking amazing.
Some people like the look of the scratches, dings and wear and tear that occur naturally on the counter and consider it as a patina that adds extra character to the kitchen. Your preferred look will be based only on personal preference, and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the appearance of a soapstone countertop.
Consider Soapstone as a Countertop Option Today
If you have been looking around for something different and haven't taken a look at soapstone yet, you may want to check this out further. Soapstone has a completely different look to it and it may be something that grabs your attention; especially if you have a traditional style of kitchen or a cottage that could use some counter renovations.
At this point it all boils down to personal preference and appearance. If you're walking in to view a home that has a granite, quartz or soapstone countertop, you're dealing with a counter that's high-end and will last virtually forever.