As an Interior Designer, I am often asked what the differences between quartz and granite are. With quartz countertops looking so close to a natural stone these days, it's hard to tell the difference! In this blog post, I will go over the key differences between quartz and granite countertops.
Granite Countertops
Granite is a natural stone and is quarried from mountainsides, cut into slabs, and then polished to a shine. It is durable and heat resistant. The beautiful thing about granite is that since it is natural, no two slabs are the same. This means there are going to be differences between each slab you see in a showroom. Granite with complex veined patterns can vary a lot. While other granites with a more speckled pattern can look more similar, with subtle variations from slab to slab.   
Since granite is natural, it does not come with any sealant built in. Which means that it needs to be applied topically, usually once every year. You can do this yourself with a product from your local hardware store or countertop manufacturer. This is especially important when it comes to countertop stains. The sealant is what will protect the countertop from stains. While granite is mostly non-porous, acidic foods like lemon juice or red wine can stain a countertop if left on too long.
Another common question we are often asked is if it is okay to place boiling hot pot or pan directly on the countertop. While granite can be heat resistant up to a few hundred degrees fahrenheit, it is always recommended to place the pot on a cutting board to cool. Extreme heat can also wear off the sealant layer.
Check out this beautiful leathered black granite in our Fairway Showhome in the Hampton’s:

Quartz Countertops
While granite is 100% natural, quartz is a man-made product. Quartz is also referred to as ‘engineered stone’. Some of the more speckled quartz will have natural pieces in it, adding a natural element. While a quartz that looks like a marble is a high-resolution digital print that mimics natural stone. Both types of quartz will have a resin within, making it inherently sealed. No need to re-apply a sealant on these countertops!
If you are looking for a more consistent countertop, quartz is the better option. Since it is made in a controlled environment, the colours and patterns are very similar from slab to slab. You can get a truer white in a quartz as well because of these factors.
While quartz is a non-porous product, it still can stain if acidic foods are left on the countertops. So be weary of red wine rings after dinner parties!  Daily cleaning of your countertops is vital. That said, there are countertop stain removers you can buy in a pinch.
Look at this beautiful bright white quartz in our Eden Paired Showhome in Midtown:


Like other design choices, the type of design you want can help dictate countertop choice. Something more modern may lend itself better to a quartz countertop with minimal pattern. Whereas a more traditional home may be better suited for a granite countertop with natural characteristics. Some homeowner’s love the natural look of a granite because you can’t mimic it. While others love the consistency of quartz. Ask your designer in your Interior Selections appointment to help you pick the countertop that is right for you!