Granite countertops cost $80 to $175 per square foot, installed. The price differences depend on the style chosen, as well as on the type of edging treatments requested. Quartz countertops range from about $80 to $140 per square foot, installed. As quartz has become more popular and more widely available, costs of basic countertops have fallen, with unique designer styles and colors commanding upper-end pricing.
Pricing for both types of countertop varies because both are sourced overseas. All of these products are container-shipped across oceans, and this is dependent on petroleum prices. Tariffs and other factors can also affect pricing.
These are not products that lend themselves to do-it-yourself installation, except for small bathroom vanity countertops. Granite and quartz are very heavy materials, and even a relatively small 36-inch countertop weighs close to 100 pounds. It is best to have a pro fabricate and install your countertop. If you do choose to do it yourself, granite and quartz countertops are installed in the same fashion. If you are spending the money on either costly material, it does not make sense to take risks on DIY installation.
Maintenance and Durability
There is a decided advantage here to quartz over granite, though both materials are very durable. Granite is a relatively porous stone that requires sealing upon installation, then periodic sealing on an ongoing basis. And granite slabs may have inherent flaws that make them prone to cracking. Quartz, on the other hand, does not require sealing, thanks to the resins used in the fabrication of the slabs; and the material is uniform throughout, which means it rarely cracks.
The resins in quartz countertops make them considerably more resistant to staining than granite. By some reports, quartz is also less susceptible to harboring bacteria, again thanks to the resins that make the surface less porous.
Real Estate Value
These are both high-end building materials that will impress prospective buyers. When compared to laminate or ceramic tile countertops, both granite and quartz may slightly improve the real estate value of your home. There may be some buyers who give a slight advantage to granite since it is the more natural material.
Both countertop materials are overwhelmingly made of natural materials, but granite countertops come out slightly ahead since they are made from 100 percent stone, while quartz is roughly 93 percent natural materials, with the remainder comprised of color pigments and polymer resins that bond the materials together. And the production process for natural granite produces fewer carbon emissions than quartz.
On the other hand, granite countertops require quarrying out of the earth, while quartz countertops are effectively made from left-over stone byproducts, with no quarrying required.
For a time, beginning around 2008, there was some media-induced fear regarding radon emissions from granite countertops, but recent studies report that there is little or no radon coming from either granite or engineered stone countertops. In the words of the EPA: “It is extremely unlikely that radiation from granite countertops would increase annual radiation doses above normal, natural background levels.
Both granite and quartz (engineered stone) are premium countertop materials that add real estate value to a home. Granite appeals to people who like all-natural materials, while quartz offers easier maintenance and slightly better durability