The Benefit of Choosing Granite or Quartz over Porcelain

Porcelain countertops have recently become a popular choice among American homeowners — a style adopted from what has been a common practice in European home design for quite some time now. Though this new trend is, no doubt, a beautiful addition to any home, we’ve found that there are a few drawbacks to choosing porcelain which makes the decision to choose Quartz or Granite a better long term investment.

The first drawback to consider is the availability. Again, porcelain countertops are a fairly new trend in American home design, so the decision to install them in your home will probably be heavily influenced by whether or not you have a local provider for them. With that in mind, you’ll want to consider the cost to bring in a material with beauty that is largely superficial.

One key difference between porcelain and stone is that porcelain is…well…not stone! It’s made out of a mineral rich clay called China Clay. Though extremely durable, it is not naturally occurring and so the design of the countertop is added during manufacturing or printed on afterwards.

If you elect to install an unglazed porcelain countertop, you run the risk of staining because porcelain is somewhat porous depending on the skill of the manufacturer (a risk you mitigate by installing quartz). However, unglazed porcelain also has an extended range of color choices.

The design of a porcelain countertop is added on after its manufacture (a process involving firing the minerals and clay at very high temperatures). Because of this, the design cannot wrap around rounded edges. Also, if you experience a chip, you’ll find that any pattern does not occur under the surface of the countertop — it is essentially a print on top of the surface.

Another thing to consider is that any existing ceramic cutlery or dishware poses the risk of scratching the surface.

Overall, porcelain countertops are a beautiful choice, but pose a few risks without the proper manufacture, design and installation. Without a significant amount of research, a bad long term investment could be made — we are available to you for counsel about the various kinds of countertop materials we work with.

If you are interested in knowing more about what type of countertops we can offer, consider browsing our site for information about natural stone and quartz. There are various blog posts about the pros and cons of choosing Granite or Quartz — at Fireplace and Granite Distributors, we are offering both granite and quartz fabrication and installation. We encourage you to get in touch with us today and learn about our amazing services in the Charlotte area. Please give us a call at 704-721-0001.

Granite or Quartz? What’s Right for Me?

We field this question a lot, so we thought we’d dedicate a quick blog post to demystifying what seems to have become a rather popular debate in the world of countertops and fixtures!

Here’s the deal…a lot of people are routinely wondering what the distinction is between granite and quartz and whether one is better than the other. We hope we can shine a lot on some of the differences are between these two stones and help you make the most informed choice that suits the needs of both your space and your aesthetic desire.

To begin with, granite is a 100% natural stone that is cut and polished without much adulteration of the original rock. Because of this, you’re unlikely to ever encounter two granite countertops that are exactly identical. They’re a bit like fingerprints in that they carry their own unique identity.

On the other hand, quartz is a little less natural (some polymer resins are included in the final slab) which makes customization a little bit more pragmatic. Quartz has its own individual shine and appearance, but is fully customizable, so (generally speaking) homeowners can make an easy selection when it comes to quartz surfaces.

A key difference to note between Granite and Quartz is the extent to which they are and are not porous. Granite is a very porous stone, and so it’s necessary to keep it sealed and stay on top of the cleaning with soap and water because stains can be absorbed much more easily. Keep in mind, also, that bacteria can invade the porous surface of a granite countertop as well.
Differentially, quartz is a very solid and dense stone. Therefor, you would have no reason to worry about sealing or resealing on annual basis — though you’ll still want to stay on top of those stains!

Because of the fact that quartz is not porous, it’s very solid and essentially indestructible. This also makes it heavier than granite and less prone to damage from solid materials. However, one advantage that granite has is that it’s virtually immune to thermal shock (damage or discoloration because of hot or cold items placed on it) whereas quartz will certainly be damaged by extreme heat.

When it comes down to it, making a decision between granite and quartz is going to depend largely on two things — 1) the maintenance time you’re wanting to invest in your countertops, and 2) the aesthetic goals you are trying to achieve in the space that you are building or upgrading. It’s worth looking at pictures of both granite and quartz countertops to get a sense of how distinct they are at an aesthetic level.

At Fireplace and Granite Distributors, we are offer both granite and quartz fabrication and installation. We encourage you to get in touch with us today and learn about our amazing services in the Charlotte area. Please give us a call at 704-721-0001.