Countertops

Granite and Quartz

Nothing makes a kitchen stand out in the way a well selected countertop does. However, as tempting as it is to choose a countertop based on looks alone, the durability of a material, the maintenance involved, and of course, cost are very important items to consider when making a selection for a kitchen remodel. Once you have established an appropriate budget for your project, it's time to start selecting the right kind of countertop to best suit your needs.

The basics

In the current market, there is no shortage of countertop materials to choose from. To give you an idea of your options, here are the most popular products to choose from for countertops in Idaho.

Granite, and other forms of natural stone, such as Quartzite, Schist and Marble, have been the preferred material choices for countertops in Idaho for many years now. As this is natural stone, no two pieces are the same, therefore giving every homeowner the chance to create a look that is stunning and completely unique to them. There are very few items on earth that are as hard as natural granite which makes this product very resistant to scratches. As a great conductor of heat, a granite countertop is also an ideal product for those that love to cook, as hot pans can be placed directly onto granite, and in most cases, have no effect. However, please bare in mind that this is a natural stone, so in many granite slabs there are unique combinations of natural minerals that could be impacted by extreme changes in temperature, so you should always check with your granite fabricator to make sure it is safe. From a maintenance perspective, a granite countertop is very easy to take care of. This is a porous stone and some slabs have a higher porosity than others, but an impregnating sealer applied correctly will prevent most liquids from being able to absorb into the stone. The frequency of the sealing process is completely dependent upon the needs of the specific slab you choose, but a general rule is around once a year. As this maintenance is one of the only negatives to selecting granite for your countertop, you should rest easy as the process is not too much different from a regular spray and wipe cleaning. For a beautiful, timeless, yet durable countertop application, granite is definitely still a product leader in our local market.

Quartz (not to be confused with natural Quartzite) has become an increasingly popular choice for countertop material in recent years. Unlike granite, quartz is man-made and engineered from recycled quartzite. A product once known for its basic appearance has made major progress due to recent technological advancements, which have allowed for much more elaborate slab designs. Quartz manufacturers have been able to capitalize on the disadvantages of natural granite and marble; granite being limited in white color choices, and marble not being suitable for kitchen applications, due to being more susceptible to scratches and stains. There is an ever expanding array of quartz slabs coming onto the market, each with different features and benefits. There are vast amounts of slabs that are now able to convincingly replicate movements of exotic natural stone, but also a range of metallics and even materials that look/feel like wood. Quartz shares its high durability with granite, in that it is very difficult to scratch. As quartz is an engineered product, it is not porous so maintenance is limited to basic cleaning. However, as there is a resin content mixed into the slab during manufacture, it is not quite as safe to be exposed to high temperatures, especially the white colored slabs. It is also not safe for use outdoors as UV rays will discolor the countertop. Quartz is definitely a great product to consider for your kitchen and bath countertops.

Formica countertops that have been made and installed correctly, still have a firm place in the Idaho market. There are a number of different designs and textures that can create a beautiful appearance, including but not limited to, prints that are designed to look like granite and marble. The finish itself will hold up without any maintenance for years and is still regarded as the most affordable countertop product on the market.

Granite vs. Quartz

In the stone industry there a number of constant questions, pertaining to Granite and Quartz. Which one is better? Which one is more durable? The answers to a lot of these questions are completely opinion and condition based but we will try to give you a better understanding.

There really is no way to say that one is better than the other, but there are ways of weighing up the benefits to see which one is best for you. As we mentioned earlier, both products are great, so lets break it down into some simple pro's and con's.

Question

Heat resistant?

Scratch resistant?

Needs to be sealed?

Ok for outside use?

Variation in slabs?

Granite

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Quartz

YES

YES

NO

NO

NO

As granite is a natural stone, there will always be variation between slabs. As quartz is an engineered product, it is very unlikely that a shipment will have any variation between slabs, although if more of the same material is ordered later, there may be some noticeable color differences. With the exception of some granite needing to be sealed, there are virtually no functional differences between granite and quartz. This is where the better product, simply comes down to preference and opinion.

What's next?

Now that you have a good understanding of some countertop products that are available, you are ready to discuss your project in more detail. We would love to assist you in selecting the right material and give you all the information you need to help you make a good decision. Please contact us to arrange a convenient time to go over the details of your project.

75 W Taylor Avenue, Suite #300,
Meridian, ID 83642

T: (208) 223-3863
E: info@legacycraft.co

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Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Garden City, Eagle, Middleton, Ada County, Canyon County, and the Greater Southern Idaho region.

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