The truth about Granite countertops vs Quartz countertops
Quartz countertop surface
Granite Countertop Surface
The difference is quite clear in this photo.
2023 UPDATE GRANITE VS QUARTZ
QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS APPEARANCE
The appearance of quartz countertops has come a long way. They have mastered the technique to replicate marbles. This has been a huge advantage for quartz countertops. People love the look of marble but because that is less practical in the modern kitchen people can have the look of marble with the low maintenance of quartz countertops.
THE BASE PRINCIPLES FROM BELOW REMAIN THE SAME.
Quartz Countertops are made up of ground quartz materials held together with a polymer or plastic. For this reason these materials should not be put in an area with high UV light or in an outdoor setting. The material will warp and discolor over time. Quartz countertops cannot be stored outside for long periods of time for these reasons. Clean up spills quickly as various chemicals could react to the polymers.
don't take my word for it"
The claim is now.. some quartz countertops can be used outside... I ask ... Why.
You may have seen some videos showing how quartz countertops can catch on fire with high intensity open flames directly on them. In a real world setting this is not practical.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
Quartz Countertops are easier to clean because the surface does not have areas to hold bacteria. All these voids are filled in the manufacturing process This is the reason for sealing a natural stone to fill the voids and imperfections in the surface.
GRANITE COUNTERTOPS IS A NATURAL STONE
A natural stone is exactly that . Made by nature. It has imperfections, these same imperfections are part of what makes natural stone so desirable. No one else has the exact same countertops as you. They are your own. They can be installed in both inside and outside applications. They will need an annual sealing application, more or less depending on the amount that you use the surface.
THE TRUTH ABOUT GRANITE VS QUARTZ
Both surfaces for countertops are very close and the specific choice that is best for you is based on the details of your application and your personal preferences. Each material has some slight advantages over the other depending on the application. From an environmental standpoint I think granite's have a slight advantage as they are a natural material and will eventually return to nature. Quartz Countertops are made in a factory with polymers to hold them together. Both materials have an element of mining to them. Slabs are taken from the earth. Quartz being an abundant resource is also mined and crushed in a factory where they add the polymers to it as well as the design.
So much fake news around these materials its incredible. Maybe its just a lack of knowledge but these are "reputable sources."
3 Misconceptions of custom Countertops from leading sources
- Forbes states "Quartz countertops are sealed and therefore not porous, they are primarily made of quartz," source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2015/10/26/quartz-vs-granite-countertops-geologists-perspective/#46204fb3196c This statement is misleading. Quartz is not sealed. Its held together with plastic. and this process seals any pours in the quartz pieces. Quartz is one of the mineral in granite countertops and happens to be the hardest material available in quanity. Quartz is brittle and cant be produced in slab form but its what makes it perfect for the quartz countertop process. What is also left out is that the problem with these countertops isnot the quartz but what holds the quartz together.. which is 7% plastic...
- "Granite starts at $80/SF" source sebring - If you buy from a box store.. which is actually bought from a local fabriactor and installer.. Cut out the middleman and Save almost 50%.. WOW
- "but in the quartz vs. granite popularity contest, quartz wins. When it comes time to sell your home, this could be a factor" source consumerreports - I have to disagree. I think this article has a heavy designer slant. Designers are always pushing for the next trend. Designers are also typically working with retailers not the home owner. They have to to keep current customers paying. In my experience working with direct to consumer fabricators all over the country. Granite is the choice for the home. Quartz is more popular in industrial applications such as food chains and retail stores. This is more due to design requirements for branding an consistancy.
I will find more ...
Countertops Material Makeup
Granite for countertops is natural Stone. Formed by heat and pressure deep in the earth.
Quartz is some of this same material ground up into tiny pieces and held together with a polymer "plastic". Quartz Countertops are 93% solid material and 7% polymer.
- Heat resistant. Because it was formed with great heat and pressure it is able to withstand great heat. This makes the material perfect for kitchen applications.
- Every stone is Unique and your kitchen is the only one with your exact stone. No 2 kitchens will be exactly the same.
- The beauty of natural stone is un matched by man made materials.
- This will signifigantly increase the perceived value of your home.
- Seams can be well hidden but a good fabricator.
- Starting Price is Less than Quartz Countertops
- Because this is a natural stone its probable that the surface may have small imperfections that could collect bacteria. This is why the stone is sealed typically from the factory adn then sealed again at install. This sealer application fills those imperfections with a material that is designed to last 1-5 years or more in some cases. It is recommended to re seal your countertops each year. Avoid harsh abrasives that could remove the sealer.
- Granite being a natural stone does not come with a warranty typically.
- Sharp edges may chip and can be repired with epoxy
- May scratch with repeated actions. Recommend a cutting broad.
- Surface may etch with extended exposure to harsh chemicals.
- Heat resistant for short periods.
- Surface is impervious so no need to seal.
- A more uniform look typically.
- Less variation from slab to slab.
- May come with a warranty
- Extended exposure to Heat & chemicals May discolor polymer.
- Will scratch at exposed polymer.
- Is uniform in appearance
- Not unique aesthetically
- May have less impact on perceived value.
- Starting Price is more than granite countertops
Quartz Countertops are 93% solid material and 7% polymer.
I assume this to be accurate to some brands but now that the market has expanded and other countries have started to produce knock off materials I believe this to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Be sure that you do your research on the brand before you grab the least expensive price for this material. Typically Quartz countertops will come with a warranty of some kind based on that it is a man-made product.
Quartz and heat
"When a solid surface material is used in a rental unit, there should be a clause in the rental agreement requiring the tenant to avoid exposing the countertop to excessive heat. As a countertop repair specialist, I often see solid surface countertops discolored or cracked by hot pots or portable heat producing appliances such as electric griddles and crock pots. "
Quartz v. Granite Showdown ‘19
"It’s also worth noting, though, that Consumer Reports didn’t find sufficient evidence linking granite countertops and health worries concerning radiation, which helped deflate the radon-scare bubble a few years ago. And, it’s been fair about the need for sealing granite surfaces, using the words "some" and "periodic" instead of "all" and "annual."
Consumer reports on Countertop Surfaces
• Quartz came in first, and granite second – but it’s a close one. On the 0-100 scale, quartz scored 84 and granite followed closely at 81, with test results running dead even. No other surface scored more than 70.
• Recycled glass made a large impression, coming in third with 69 points despite less-than-stellar stain and impact tests.
• Soapstone came in second among quarried stone, but seventh overall at 46 points.
• Marble finished 12th with 14 points, as the surface performed miserably in tests.
• What finished dead last? Well, marble may be porous, but bamboo countertops just suck.
3 Reasons Granite is BETTER (MORE VALUE) than Quartz.
- "granite countertops
increase the resale value of a home," 90 percent of the surveyed consumers
either strongly or somewhat agreed.
- which countertop surface they would most want in their dream kitchen. At 55
percent, "granite countertops" 12% Solid Surfaces
- U.S. Consumers Overwhelmingly Prefer Granite Over Any Other Countertop Surface for their
dream kitchen and believe that granite
countertops increase the resale value of a home. (Solid surfaces are compaired to Laminate and do not add to the
Please read this publication from the MIA mia_radon_brochure_aug19
Largest Study of Granite Countertops Finds No Stones That Pose Health Threat Study
Samples Measure Less Than Background Levels for Radon, Radiation
CLEVELAND, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The most comprehensive scientific study of health threats from granite countertops did not find a
single stone slab that poses a health risk
. Quantities of radon and radiation emitted by stones included in the
analysis all fell well below average background levels commonly found in the United States.
The scientists conducted more than 400 tests of 115 different varieties of granite
countertops, including stones cited in media reports as being potentially problematic. The stones tested
include types of granite that comprise approximately 80 percent of the annual U.S. market
share for granite countertops, based on the most recent market data available. The study specifically included
types of granite most commonly used in countertops in the United States and more exotic stones that represent a tiny
share of the market. The study found:
-- Not one stone slab contributed to radon levels that even reached the average U.S. outdoor
radon concentration of 0.4 picocuries per liter-- one-tenth the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency level for
remedial action within a home. The stone slabs found to emit at higher levels -- though still well below average
outdoor background levels -- represent a tiny share of the U.S. market for granite countertops, less than 1 percent of
-- Not a single stone emitted radiation levels that even approached a radiation dose of
0.3 milliSievert per year (mSv/year), the level determined by the European Commission to be negligible for
human health risk; the U.S. has no such standard. However, this European standard is just 30 percent of the 1
milliSievert per year annual dose limit recommended for the general public by the National Council for Radiation
Protection & Measurements.
Unlike some media reports of questionable scientific accuracy, this study evaluated a large variety of stones and
used a number of complementary, well established scientific techniques to assess the exposures that people could have
to radon and radiation in real-world environments and to determine whether the presence of these specific stones could
compromise consumer health.
"The study showed that you are more likely to have a fatal fall from bed than to develop a
health problem related to the most common granite countertops," said Dr. John F. McCarthy, president of
Environmental Health & Engineering, the independent environmental testing firm that conducted the study. "Stones were
selected for the study based on their prevalence of use as countertops and media reports suggesting specific types of
granite pose health risk.
"Our research program was designed to assess exposure and risk to individuals in real world conditions. The scenarios that we evaluated were selected to ensure that they represent what people will really
encounter in U.S. homes," McCarthy said. "Our research shows that some of the reports published by the media
significantly exaggerate risk because they report raw data without considering real-world conditions as commonly
defined by the scientific community. It is very important to put the results of these product evaluations into a
context that is meaningful for the consumer."
Study findings are consistent with an earlier review of the scientific literature, which assessed results from
every identified study of radon emissions from granite published in the scientific literature to evaluate potential
exposures in homes.
The new study is being submitted for peer review and publication in a scientific journal, a process that can take
"Our study included detailed mapping of radiation emitted from various stones that had areas that we identified as
being elevated above levels for typical granite countertop material. We found that it's easy to get what appear to be
high readings of radon or radiation from a small fraction of granite countertops, but those
readings do not reflect the actual risk to consumers because they do not assess the real exposure, only isolated,
extreme measurements," McCarthy said. "As with any other type of environmental measurement, assessing the real
risk to consumers must take into account more than isolated readings from small spots on a countertop. It must reflect
real- world exposure scenarios and be interpreted using well established principles of environmental health."
The study also concluded:
-- Radon levels associated with emissions from granite countertops in homes are low in
comparison to typical background levels of radon exposure. In other words, natural stone is a minor contributor
to concentrations of radon gas within homes. These findings are consistent with an earlier review of the scientific
literature that EH&E performed.
-- Absorbed dose associated with radiation emissions for all of the slabs tested are well below health-protective
guidelines, including the exemption limit of 0.3 mSv per year recommended by the European Commission. The United
States has yet to establish an exemption level for building products based on radioactivity to our knowledge.
-- A portion of stones used as countertops may contain limited areas that are enriched in radioactive materials
relative to the remainder of the slab. The areas of enrichment in the stones evaluated for this study make up a small
proportion of the stone, on the order of less than 10 percent of the surface area. Detailed
measurements of these enriched areas showed that they make a negligible contribution to potential doses of ionizing
-- Assessing exposure to radon and radiation requires accounting for duration and frequency of exposure, not just
absolute magnitude. Additionally, careful consideration of several key parameters is warranted. For radon,
measurements of radon flux from a countertop must account for variability across the countertop surface, the effect of
any backing material on the stone, and diffusion through the slab. It is critical that ventilation is accounted for
when estimating radon concentrations in indoor air from measurements of radon emissions from stones. For radiation,
distance and geometry must be incorporated into dose assessments.
-- While significant variability was observed across stone types, the stones at the lower end of radon emissions
were found to account for the vast majority of sales and also exhibited little variability among slabs. The varieties
of granite countertop that exhibited the greatest variability of radon flux among slabs represent a small fraction of
the U.S. market.
"You can never rule out anything, but [the likelihood of a granite countertop posing any
health risk] is as close to zero as you could hope to get about a risk in your life based on what I know," said
David Ropeik, risk consultant and author of the book "Risk." "Cumulatively, we have a huge
body of evidence that suggests that this particular risk from granite is negligible."
Marble Institute of America President Guido Gliori said, "This study once again proves that granite countertops do
not pose the risk that some exaggerated media reports would suggest. While some organizations that benefit financially
from consumer concerns about granite attempt to spread panic, this study was designed to withstand the closest
scientific scrutiny and should reassure the public about granite countertops."
In the absence of comprehensive, independent scientific analysis of granite countertops, the Marble Institute
financed the study as part of its continuing effort to define a standard test protocol to assess radiation and radon
emissions from different stones. The goal is to develop protocols for testing granite in the home, in showrooms or
fabrication shops and at the quarry. The fact that no single protocol exists has allowed
individuals to make claims about granite countertops based on inconsistent and often incorrect tests, methodologies or
The MIA is working with the scientific community to develop a single, acceptable standard for the proper testing
of granite countertops and other granite building material. Work on the standard will involve scientists and several
independent and governmental agencies.
A copy of the study's executive summary can be downloaded from the Marble Institute's Web site, www.marble-institute.com.
EH&E (www.eheinc.com) has provided an extensive range of environmental and engineering consulting services for 20
years. The EH&E team consists of more than 60 experts with an outstanding record of providing business-focused
solutions for issues that affect the built environment. EH&E has a depth of knowledge and credibility unmatched in the
industry. The firm's wealth of readily-accessible information is a powerful resource for its clients.
About the Marble Institute of America
For over 60 years the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has been the world's leading information resource and
advocate for the natural dimension stone industry. MIA members include marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and
other natural stone producers and quarries, fabricators, installers, distributors, and contractors around the world.
Cambria counter tops are extremely resistant to chemicals, heat and scratching (just like granite). But, they are not heat or scratch proof and can be damaged by intense
heat, prolonged heat from say a crock pot or certain chemicals and food products such as, wine, vinegar, tea, juice,
coffee, soda, some fruits and vegetables if these substances are left to dry.
Cambria vs. Granite
It's All Marketing. Despite marketing efforts by makers of engineered stone to
try and convince you otherwise, there isn't any significant difference regarding performance,
function, cleaning or price between granite and Cambria or other brands of quartz counter tops.
Natural quartz can emit trace amounts of radon.
More Info: Natural quartz is the fourth-hardest substance on our planet. It can emit trace amounts of radon, much like any other natural stone product used in replacement countertops, tile or hardscape. What is usually called "quartz" and made into countertops is more properly called engineered stone. Engineered stone -- a blend of crushed quartz, glass and resins -- does not release radon because it is permanently sealed during the fabrication process. The vast majority of quartz countertops installed in the United States are engineered, and sold under brand names such as Silestone, Cambria and Zodiaq. Source: http://www.sophisticatededge.com/do-quartz-countertops-emit-radon.html
Radon has been in the news recently with reports that some granite countertops can release dangerous levels
of radon. This isn't a new claim - it surfaced in the 1990s - and it's fairly
controversial. In April 2008, BuildClean, a nonprofit that aims to educate consumers about safe and healthy
building materials, made news when it announced that its pilot project would provide free
in-home radon testing of 300 homes in Houston to determine whether granite countertops emit harmful levels of radon.
It's worth noting that two big makers of quartz countertops, Cambria and Cosentino (which also sells granite counters), are the sole funders of
BuildClean. "By its nature, granite emits radon - the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.,"
said Sara Speer Selber, BuildClean's president, in a press release at the time.
Next, in early May, W.J. Llope, Ph.D., a senior faculty fellow at the T.W. Bonner
Nuclear Laboratory at Rice University in Houston, released a report in which he analyzed 18 articles covering 95 granite samples. In "Radiation and Radon from Natural Stone" (PDF
download), Llope reported that 92 of the granite samples emitted no or very little
radon, though two were in the 3.1-to-3.4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) range, and one registered 4.2. (These
measurements assume a hypothetical unventilated room, not a standard home, according to
Llope's study.) The EPA estimates that the average indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L and suggests that you reduce
radon when the level in your home is 4 pCi/L or higher.
Shortly after Llope released his report, the Marble Institute of America trade group announced the results of a study of its own.
A professor of geology at the University of Akron tested 52 samples (four each of 13
different types) of the most popular granites used for countertops in the U.S., representing the majority of
granite countertops sold here, according to the MIA. Ten added "almost immeasurable
amounts of radon to the house," reads the study, while two had radon levels of 0.04
pCi/L. The highest level of radon emitted from one stone was 0.27 pCi/L.
The study did not account for natural ventilation in a home,
which would dilute the concentration of radon.
Looking for some clarity on this issue, I interviewed Michael Kitto, Ph.D., a research scientist for the New York State
Department of Health. As part of a study he's planning to submit for peer review, he measured the radon
emissions from more than 40 granite and engineered stones in airtight containers, without ventilation. Kitto found that
the engineered stones emitted almost no radon and many of the granite stones were very low emitters of radon. A few stones emitted slightly more radon,
and only one emitted a substantial amount of radon. (Kitto defines substantial by saying it could produce from a few
to several pCi/L in a room; he adds that the exact value depends on many variables, including kitchen volume and
countertop size.) BuildClean and Cosentino also fund Kitto's study.
In our studies, we have found quartz has a propensity to chip and should not be used as a cutting surface And look into the warranties for quartz products.
Many do not warranty against regular wear and tear.
However, recently, Realtors have told us that their customers are looking at
solid surfaces similar to laminate tops. They say it just
doesn't get any "value added" to their customer's homes.
Quartz is also a non-porous material, which means it will not promote the growth of mold, mildew or bacteria. One
popular brand, Silestone quartz, is taking bacteria protection one step further as the only quartz countertop
available to offer built-in Microban (pesticide) antimicrobial protection. However, many
consumers view this additional pesticide protection as more of a health risk than a benefit.
Some Quartz Products have a product called Microban (Pesticide) do you want a surface to
contain a pesticide? If the surface is solid what is the pesticide for? If
it kills bacteria, How, If it can't get to food on the sirface? If it is on the surface then
how can it not be attacking my food on the counter or my hand on the surface. Personally I would rather use my own cleaning products.
[ more http://fwnextweb1.fortwayne.com/]
If you have any questions please feel FREE to call ()
He will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some manufacturers, particularly those that make quartz countertops,
advertise their products as "natural quartz". And natural quartz it is - but it's
not purely a slab of quartz that's been quarried and cut to size. Quartz is the key
ingredient (usually about 93%), but the product you're getting is still the combination of quartz and other materials.
Some Products Can Be Expensive - Some, not all, engineered stone products can be
costly. Cost per square foot will vary based on manufacturer, color and edge treatment.
It's Still Not Real Stone - This is one of those
considerations that's dependent on your personal taste. Engineered stone can come "pretty
close($$$)" to looking like real stone but it's not the real McCoy and doesn't
have the natural variation of real stone.
(NewsUSA) - By overwhelming majorities, American adults prefer granite to any other countertop surface for their dream kitchens, and believe granite countertops
increase home resale values, according to a new national survey’s findings. [more http://www.homedesign.com/]
CLEVELAND, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national survey finds that by
overwhelming majorities U.S. consumers prefer granite
countertops to any other
countertop surface for their dream kitchen and believe that granite
countertops increase the resale value of a home.
The survey of 2,021 U.S. adults aged 18+ was conducted by Harris
Interactive on behalf of the Marble Institute of America. It asked respondents
which countertop surface they would most want in their dream kitchen. At 55
percent, "granite countertops" was by far the most popular response, followed
distantly by synthetic stone at 12 percent. The survey was conducted Oct. 7
When asked how much they agree with the statement "granite
increase the resale value of a home," 90 percent of the surveyed consumers
either strongly or somewhat agreed.
such as odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. While Microban protection does not
protect users from foodborne illness and is not a substitute for normal cleaning practices, it does result in
countertops that are easier to clean and stay clean.
Several noted microbiologists have said that adding Microban to many consumer goods is unnecessary, and some
have even called it a "marketing gimmick."
Not only have experts said that the benefits of Microban are questionable, but
many are also concerned that the wide-spread use of these substances may cause a major public
health problem. Researchers are concerned that repeated use of products containing
triclosan could be breeding resistant bacteria, or "superbugs." A 1998 Tufts
University study showed that over-exposure created five different triclosan-resistant strains
of E. coli. According to Tufts' Dr. Stuart Levy, "If the idea is to sterilize surfaces, it is misguided. You
can't sterilize surfaces that are open to the air. You will not eliminate bacteria, but rather replace them with other
micro-organisms which could be potentially harmful."
If you have any questions please feel FREE to call (757) 337-2341