Because granite is mined in large, natural chunks, and because it is not treated by manufacturing, granite slabs are imperfect. They are stunning to the eye, but some people find it hard to find a slab that has enough consistency to fit in their homes. For others, however, this is granite’s strongest asset. The imperfections make it unique.
Certainly one big advantage quartz has over granite is that it is stainless and never needs to be sealed. The quartz countertop requires zero maintenance, which is a significant incentive for a lot of people.
Unless you are using granite for a small, square countertop, you will need several different pieces to complete your project. Where these pieces join, the seams, are impossible to hide. A professional installer can usually match the seam color to the granite, as well as make the cuts in the most unobtrusive manner, but the seams will still be quite noticeable if you’re looking for them.
But Not Quite Stainless
And yet, while no Earthly products may stain quartz, over-exposure to sunlight can cause it to discolor. If your countertops are in front of large windows, you might think twice before spending thousands of dollars on a quartz countertop.
Durable, But Not Unbreakable
Granite is unusually strong, but it has a tendency to chip if it suffers a severe blow from a dropped pan. If you own granite for long enough, and use it regularly (in the kitchen), you will probably suffer a few very small (dime sized) chips. But it’s not uncommon for granite countertops to last for 50 years without a scratch. It all depends on how well they are maintained.
Strength vs. Weight
Quartz and granite are relative equals when it comes to which one chips easier, but quartz tends to be considered stronger because it is more flexible. Granite that is not installed properly or that received tremendous weight strain is more liable to crack than quartz. On the other hand, quartz is even heavier than granite, and that’s saying something. Both granite and quartz need to be professionally installed, they’re simply too heavy and unwieldy for the average amateur.
Best practices for maintaining granite countertops require you to seal them every one to three years, depending on use. The sealant keeps the countertop from collecting liquid and staining. Granite is not naturally stain-resistant. It is extremely porous and only a strong seal will keep it from staining under heavy use.
Yes, the seams are still there and yes, they are still barely visible, but most darker quartzes do not show their seams, which makes for a very clean, modern look. Quartz that has multiple colors or patterns can be more difficult to hide, but almost nothing would be as conspicuous as granite.