A kitchen remodel is a significant investment, and you need to plan it carefully to achieve results you can enjoy for years to come. One of the biggest choices to make is which kind of countertops to install for those all-important work surfaces.

Two of the most popular countertop materials are quartz and granite, and both have their plus and minus points. Here are the four major areas to consider when choosing between quartz and granite countertops:

1) Maintenance Requirements

Both quartz and granite are solid and durable, but there are differences in the amount of maintenance each material needs. Under typical conditions, it only takes a wipe down with warm, soapy water once a day to keep quartz surfaces looking bright and fresh for years.

In contrast, granite work surfaces need to be professionally sealed before installation, and the seal needs to be refreshed every year or so to stop it deteriorating.

2) Stain Protection

With both materials you should clear up spillages as soon as possible to avoid discoloration. However, catching spills fast is even more important with granite. Its naturally porous surface can soak up staining liquids extremely quickly, especially if the surface seal is starting to wear thin.

3) Health and Hygiene

Granite’s porous surface causes another problem besides easier staining. Bacteria-laden liquids of all kinds can seep into it relatively easily, and they can be difficult to remove. Clearly, if you’re working with raw meats or dairy products, this presents a hygiene risk.

Frequent use of disinfectant cleaners is important for safety, as well as ensuring the countertop’s seal is kept in perfect condition.

On the other hand, quartz is largely impervious to fluids, and any potential contaminants can be easily wiped away with a cloth and mild detergent. Impeccable kitchen hygiene should always be a top priority, but using quartz for your work surfaces gives you a head start.

4) Costs of Raw Materials and Installation

As a raw material, quartz is around 20 percent more expensive than granite, so large installations can work out to be considerably more costly. However, granite requires a greater amount of labor in preparation and sealing, which will push the price up. Nonetheless, if you want the great look of stone for a lower cost, granite is a good choice.

Both quartz and granite look impressive in a kitchen, and both will provide years of service. However, in terms of maintenance, stain-proofing, and health protection, quartz comes out slightly on top. And while it will cost a little more, for a major kitchen remodel quartz makes a sound long-term investment.

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