Cambria Quartz VS Granite Countertops: The Pros and Cons

Both natural granite and quartz countertops are similar in appearance and performance but completely different in their composition.

When it comes to kitchen countertops, granite is still the most popular choice among homeowners. Granite is a natural stone, mined from the ground in large blocks processed, sliced and polished into slabs which are then cut into beautiful stone countertops.

Quartz countertops are a popular alternative, often called engineered stone. While they possess many of the characteristics of natural stone, they are manmade and composed of 92 – 94% natural quartz chips and dust combined with resin and formed into countertops.

Both natural granite and engineered stone countertops are similar in appearance and performance but completely different in their composition. Is there a clear cut winner between the two? Both have their advocates, but the key to choosing lies in understanding them more fully in order to determine which most closely meets your personal needs and style.

Let's look at the pros and cons of each material to help you gain an understanding of each. As you look at the options, you'll get a feel for which surface is right for you.

The pros and cons of Cambria quartz

Like granite, quartz has both pros and cons. While the price for both materials is about the same, ultimately your choice will depend on your specific needs and aesthetic preferences.

The pros of quartz

Quartz countertops are just as strong as granite but are also more flexible. This makes them easier to work with during installation.

Because quartz is manmade, it is completely non-porous and does not require any sealing...ever! Quartz is a virtually maintenance-free countertop option.

Quartz is very durable, but it isn't indestructible. It is however, stain resistant so a spilled glass of wine simply requires a quick cleanup.

The cons of quartz

Quartz can sometimes discolor over time if exposed to direct sunlight. If one area of your counter is exposed to UV rays, and another isn't, you may see a slight color variation over time.

Quartz is actually heavier than granite. This means that to ensure proper installation requires professionals who understand load.

You can see seams with a quartz counter, but darker colored quartz can hide seams better. Quartz can hide seams better because it is uniformly colored and is a manufactured product meaning more consistency. Solid, dark colored quartz is best for hiding seams.  Because granite has natural veins and various colors throughout the stone you will never be able to hide the seams. If this is an important point for you, quartz is your best choice.

The pros and cons of granite

If you are looking for a natural stone, granite is your choice. Because it is a naturally mined stone each slab is unique. It is durable and similarly priced to quartz. Here are some of the pros and cons of natural granite.

The pros of granite

Granite is a beautiful natural product. Because granite comes out of the ground slabs have natural variations. This can appeal to some homeowners, and be a drawback to others. One selling point is that because it is natural, every slab is completely unique!

Granite countertops are one of the most durable choices available. While it is not indestructible, it is a natural stone and can be chipped or cracked if abused. For regular day-to-day use, with proper maintenance, granite countertops will last a lifetime.

The cons of granite

Granite countertops need to be sealed before you use them, and again annually for as long as you own them. Unlike quartz, granite is a porous stone and if improperly sealed, or neglected can stain. While some professionals say sealing should be done every three years, it's best to do it yearly.

Granite is heavy and inflexible, as a result, it requires expert professional installation.

Because granite is varied in color and design, it is impossible to hide seams. Expect seams to show up once it has been installed. If this is a major issue, granite might not be right for you.

When buying granite, try to choose from complete slabs. Samples can give you a general idea of what you may be purchasing, but because this is a natural material, if ordering based on samples it may not give you a 100% accurate reflection of your finished countertops.

Both quartz and granite have plenty of advocates. When shopping, do your due diligence. Read reviews, speak with a Toulmin Cabinetry and Design kitchen designer, and examine your needs before you make a final choice. The bottom line, whether you choose quartz or granite for your kitchen countertops you'll end up with a beautiful, durable and functional countertop that you're sure to love!