Recently, I got a message from
reader and friend Barbara -
"I would love your opinion on kitchen counters, we are looking at replacing our tile. Do you have to use granite? Is quartz any cheaper? Is there a reason to go with one over the other? I want something light colored. What is the thinking these days?"
(My granite countertops)
I thought other readers might benefit
from this information too.
So, here are some of my opinions . . .
Both granite and quartz are great for counters. Granite is natural - quartz is manufactured. Granite has natural striations and patterns - quartz is more uniform in it's appearance. (It's a matter of personal preference which looks better). They are similar in cost. I've read that quartz can cost more depending on the grade of granite you choose. Quartz is less porous, so it's a better choice for a kitchen that way. We chose granite and we've really loved it (see photo above). I hand picked a slap with a lot of "character". The edge you choose makes a HUGE difference in the price of your natural stone.
(This is an "ogee" edge - mid-priced)
The more elaborate the edge, the more machining it takes (which increases the price significantly.)
I really would have liked to use limestone, but it can stain--so that wasn't an option for a kitchen. You'll love either granite or quartz SO much more than your tile (no grout to clean!).
Another great choice for countertops is concrete. A variety of colors are now available and it's really cool and industrial-looking. But BEWARE, because it's so labor intensive to install, it's usually not less expensive than natural stone.