First, answer the question: How do you use this space?
home depot kitchen island
Credit: The Home Depot

Granite and quartz-two luxurious and long-lasting countertop options that can be difficult to choose between thanks to their comparable price points and long list of advantages. Or, as Antonia Marinucci, an architect and designer in Cleveland, Ohio, describes from her own experience: "Whether a veined quartz or a speckled granite, both options have a depth that is lacking in a solid surface product. They're considered high-end, desirable materials-status finishes, if you will-but they're also practical choices with very few disadvantages."

So, how can you choose between them? Here's advice that will help you make the right choice for your home.

How much design control do you want?

Quartz is a man-made product, created from quartz and polymer resins. And because it's man-made, quartz's finishes can be customized-which means "a designer or homeowner can control the aesthetic of the finished product without worrying about any natural imperfections or variations," such as thick, long veins or discoloration, as Marinucci explains. Granite, on the other hand, is a natural stone product mined from the earth, then cut into slabs. Each slab is unique, which is appealing-unless you want to retain complete control.

Consider those few disadvantages.

While there are very few disadvantages to either granite or quartz, those that do exist can help you decide between them. For example, because granite is a natural stone, it should be treated periodically to prevent stains from penetrating its surface-making it a more high-maintenance option than quartz. Granite can also crack or break at pain points-think: the external corner of the countertop-if something heavy is dropped on it, Marinucci explains. Quartz, on the other hand, can burn. A hot pot or pan placed directly on quartz can leave a permanent ring on your countertop, Marinucci warns. Plus, quartz can also scratch-though that's unlikely, Marinucci explains, "unless you try cutting directly on the surface."

Are you tough on countertops? Go with granite.

Unlike quartz, which can easily burn or scratch, "granite is heat-resistant [to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit] and a very hard material, which makes it a great option for 'kitchen abusers' who don't want to worry about scratching or burning their countertops," Marinucci says.

If you really wanted marble, but it wasn't in your budget, then you'll love quartz.

Quartz is made to look like marble without the price tag. And it's non-porous, "making it a great alternative to marble for those who want the veined look but don't want the risk of staining," Marinucci says. "It makes long-term maintenance a breeze and cleaning simple."


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