Comparing Granite and Quartz and Marble Countertops
If you’re building a new home or remodeling your kitchen, you’re probably comparing granite and quartz and other countertop materials. There are numerous options that each offer their own unique benefits and disadvantages. One family of options that has gained popularity over the last couple of decades is natural and engineered stone. Three of the most popular materials in this family are granite, marble, and quartz because they offer a beautiful, high-end look. If you’ve been thinking about installing one of these three types of materials, you will want to know the pros and cons of each material and the cleaning and maintenance methods that will protect your investment.
Comparing Granite and Marble
Both granite and marble are natural stone materials, and different cuts of each stone have varying levels of porousness. Due to their porous nature, determining if your granite or marble needs to be sealed is important. Sealing will cause spills to bead up on the surface rather than immediately soak into the stone. If you are not sure if you need to seal it, test to see if water beads up on the surface or soaks into the granite. If there are beads, there is no need for a seal. Additionally, sealing granite or marble that doesn’t actually need it will create a noticeable film on the surface because the stone is too dense for the sealer to soak in. If the test water soaks in after less than ten minutes, you should use a sealer, such as a carbon resin sealer.
Comparing Granite and Quartz
A quartz countertop is made of engineered stone. Engineered quartz is made by taking small pieces of quartz and bonding them with resins and pigments. Since quartz countertops are partially comprised of resin, a nonporous material, it is less porous than granite and marble. Because quartz is less permeable, it does not need to be sealed, and any sealer that you would try to use would not permeate the surface, leaving a residue.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Granite vs Marble and Granite vs Quartz
Granite and marble are both materials that require proper maintaining to prevent etching and staining. A sealer slows the absorption of liquids into the granite or marble. However, spills on countertops made of either material require prompt attention. Acidic foods will create an etching, and highly pigmented foods will cause stains when spills are left for a half an hour or more.
To clean granite or marble countertops, use water and a lint-free cloth for most spills. If debris has accumulated, you can also mix in some mild dish soap. You should never use harsh or acidic cleaners, and you should avoid scrubbing or using anything rough on the surface.
Spills on quartz countertops require proper and immediate cleaning, as food items such as red wine can permanently stain the surface. For everyday spills, water with a mild dish soap will suffice. You can also use rubbing alcohol for lifting ink stains.
When choosing a kitchen countertop material, selecting a material that you think is beautiful is essential. However, also understanding the cleaning and maintenance required for your particular piece of granite, marble, or quartz is also important. Understanding your option makes it easier to select what is right for you.