Countertops come in many materials, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Granite, quartz and marble are the most popular, and with renovations being so expensive, you don’t want to make the wrong choice.
To that end, let’s compare them to:
- Get an unbiased view about all three.
- Understand the reasons behind their popularity.
- Make a more informed decision.
Quartz vs. Marble vs. Granite – Pros and Cons
Making the right choice here is tricky. All are durable, functional, and appealing choices for both bathroom and kitchen countertops. Marble and granite, on the one hand, are natural stones; quartz countertops contain additives. Each has distinct grains, veins and colours.
So, how do they compare?
These beautiful countertops are made from one of the hardest minerals in nature and come in a wide range of colours, including black, cream and earthy brown. Quartz countertops can even be made to resemble the veins of granite or marble for a more natural look.
However, unlike countertops made from naturally-mined stones, quartz countertops are engineered. They mostly contain natural quartz but also use polyester resins, pigments and sometimes recycled glass or metallic flecks. The resin makes them highly resistant to stains and scratches. They’re also non-porous so you don’t need to seal them, which can be a recurring problem with granite countertops.
Quartz is a relatively new material and initially lacked variations in colour and patterns. But today’s quartz countertops come with as many flecks and random patterns as their natural stone counterparts.
Marble consists of crystallized limestone. A countertop made from this material boasts a luxurious surface that exudes elegance, warmth and sophistication.
However, its vulnerability to stains makes it less advisable for the kitchen. Instead, consider installing marble countertops separately on an island or baking centre to reduce the chances of daily wear and tear.
The material comes in rich colour variations and offers many shades, such as cream, green, pink, black and white.
Marble countertops come in seamless slabs or tiles. But if you opt for a curved countertop then a seam will be required. Marble tiles are cheaper than slabs. Hint: keep tiles left over from the installation for repairs.
To give your marble countertop a longer life, take certain precautions. For instance:
1. Place your pots and pans on a trivet to avoid direct heat.
2. Use cutting boards when slicing food.
3. Keep glasses on coasters and wipe up spills immediately.
4. Avoid cleaners that contain acids as marble is susceptible to etching. Instead, clean regularly using a soft cloth and warm water.
It’s not true that marble doesn’t last. Though not the most durable material on this list, you can increase its lifespan with daily maintenance.
Granite forms when molten rock crystallizes due to extreme heat and pressure. These countertops are the preferred choices of homeowners when it comes to countertop materials. This is due to their durability, stain resistance and ability to withstand heat, which makes them ideal for kitchens. The best part about granite is that watermarks aren’t visible on it and it’s very difficult to break or crack it through daily use.
Available in a wide variety of colours, including grey, yellow-gold, brown, off-white and peach, this natural stone makes a very interesting choice. This is especially true if you’re looking for a low-maintenance countertop that doesn’t fade or become discoloured easily. Granite is also not sensitive to cleaning chemicals, and you only have to apply sealants occasionally to maintain its lustre and durability.
Tips to Choose the Right Countertop Material
Keep these factors in mind when figuring out the best choice for your home among these three materials:
Influence on Property Resale Value
A good-quality kitchen countertop that is well maintained can easily last 10-12 years or more. This makes it a permanent home improvement structure that can add to your home’s resale value.
Hence, when you undertake a kitchen remodelling project and replace it, the material, quality and design should be considered as it will significantly influence your home’s value. Quartz and granite are timeless and durable materials that complement any interior and will be considered an asset by new owners.
Want a different colour other than classic black and white? Do so wisely so it both complements the current interior and can accommodate future changes.
Not all colours will be compatible with your decor and choosing the wrong one can make your kitchen countertop appear out of place. Its colour is a dominant feature of your cooking space, hence a good amount of thought should be given to it before choosing. Quartz comes in a limited number of colours, but quartz has many. Marble also comes in a variety of natural colours but is not the best choice functionally.
Efforts for Maintenance
Kitchen countertops get dirty and greasy so must be cleaned regularly. So why not choose a material that’s easy to maintain, doesn’t damage easily, can camouflage minor scratches and stains, and doesn’t trap dirt?
Granite fits this bill perfectly, even more so if it’s properly sealed. However, it must be sealed every few years to maintain its overall lustre and functionality.
Quartz is very durable and easy to clean as well but get damaged if anything too hot is directly placed on it.
Cost-Effectiveness of the Material
Budget is a major concern for many homeowners, and everyone wants a product that gives them maximum value for money. But how much you spend not only depends on the material you choose but the dimensions of your countertop, the product grade, as well as additional sealant and installation charges. Consider all these factors when choosing the best option .
Purpose and Utility of the Countertop
The amount of traffic and activities taking place affect the type of kitchen countertop material suitable for your home. If you regularly cook and use the area for multiple projects, opt for a durable material like quartz or granite. In a home where the countertop is not put to much use, consider marble which is comparatively more brittle.
Your choice of countertop material will depend on your needs, preferences and budget. Always consider the positive and negative features of each material when shopping for the best kitchen countertop. This will help you make the best decision.