Not sure whether to go for granite or quartz? Here are seven quick tips to help you choose which is best for you.
Both quartz and granite could be damaged if you put a hot pan directly on the worktop. We recommend you always use a trivet or pad.
Quartz is one of the earth’s hardest minerals; granite isn’t much different. Try chopping on a quartz or granite worktop and you’re more likely to blunt your knife than scratch the worktop. So it makes sense to use a chopping board, whatever your work surface is made from.
Neither quartz nor granite is impervious to mistreatment. If you drop heavy objects on the edge or hit the worktop with, say, a hammer, it probably will chip or break. But we hope you won’t be doing either of those things!
Quartz worktops are non-porous and are bound together with stain-resistant polymers. That makes them very hard to stain. We do recommend you wipe up spills straight away, however, if only because it’s easier than having to deal with a dried in stain.
Granite worktops are more vulnerable to staining, particularly from strongly acidic/alkaline foods (e.g. lemon juice, vinegar), oil-based substances (e.g. butter, cooking oil), and strongly coloured foods (e.g. red fruits, wine).
Highly polished granite worktops are sealed, and therefore more stain resistant. The more polished the surface, the more stain resistant it will be.
Honed (matt finish) granite worktops are not ideal for kitchens particularly if they are very light in colour, as they can absorb liquids and may stain. Specialist stain removers are available, but we can’t guarantee that you will be able to remove stains that have been absorbed into the stone.
5. Cleaning and polishing
To clean both quartz and granite, all you need is warm water and a small amount of non-abrasive cleaner or a simple vinegar and water solution. Stubborn stains may also need a non-abrasive cleaning pad and a little gentle elbow grease. You can also buy specialist cleaners and stain removers, Astonish is a good example.
Good quality quartz surfaces keep their polish without any effort from you. To keep looking its best, a granite worktop will need to be wiped dry and polished after it has been used.
Strong chemicals and bleaches will damage your worktop, whether it is quartz or granite. The answer is simple. Just keep your paint stripper and nail varnish remover away from the worktop.
7. Food hygiene
Because highly-polished surfaces are so stain resistant, bacteria and moulds don’t have a chance to get established. This makes quartz an extremely hygienic surface, useful if you do a lot of food preparation directly on the worktop rolling out pastry, or kneading dough, for example.
If most of your preparation is of the sort that takes place on a chopping board, then it’s the cleanliness of the chopping board that matters most!
So, in summary:
If your kitchen sees heavy-duty cooking activity, you’ll probably want to consider quartz for its superior stain-resistance and effort-free shine. But otherwise, both quartz and granite will give you a lifetime of service in the kitchen as long as you apply a little common sense and TLC!
Love the look of granite but want the ultimate practicality of quartz? Modern designs mean you can have both. Take a look at three of my favourite quartz colours that mimic granite or marble – Cimstone Nevers, Silestone Alpina White and Caesarstone Shitake.