The Difference Between Quartzite & Granite (And Which Is The Better Option)

Incorporating stone to your home can add natural color and texture. But with plenty of options, it can be overwhelming to decide between the varieties. Whether you're looking for countertops to place in a kitchen or bathroom, it's important to consider factors such as durability and maintenance, along with aesthetic appeal. And, of course, cost will play a major role when deciding between certain materials or slabs. Two great options for countertop materials are quartzite and granite. Both are durable substances that can hold up in high-traffic areas. Granite tends to be a more popular choice. The two also tend to differ in appearance, with granite being bolder while quartzite is a bit more subtle in texture.

Overall, quartzite and granite have a lot of similarities, including maintenance requirements and hardness. So it really comes down to the small areas where they contrast, such as the appearance and cost, when you're trying to choose the best option for your home. Of course, you'll also have to evaluate your lifestyle and how a room is used. One material may be a better option for one home, while the other would work best for a different household. Comparing the two side by side will help make the decision. But ultimately, the better option is going to the one that works and looks best in your abode.

Durability and maintenance should be considered first

Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the most heavily trafficked spaces in a home. That means the materials used in that room should be able to stand up to the constant daily activity. For this reason, durability should be a factor that's top of mind. The more hard-wearing a stone is, the more resistant to scratches it is. Susceptibility to acidic foods and liquids, as well as resistance to heat, are also factors that impact overall strength.

Natural stone's durability is measured using the Mohs Hardness Scale, where a 10 is the hardest material. Granite falls between a 6 and 8 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, while quartzite is a 7. Both are hard stones that can stand up to the daily use of bathrooms and kitchens, but quartzite tends to be a little more reliably hard. While both would stand up to cooking, kids, and heavy use, quartzite has a little bit of edge when it comes to durability.

As with most natural stones, both are porous, which means they can be vulnerable to staining if liquids or messes are left to sit for too long. Both quartzite and granite require sealing to make them resistant to stains and should be sealed about once a year to keep them protected. Both materials require less maintenance, which works well for busy households that need a more hands-off solution.

Aesthetic and cost are also deciding factors

Both quartzite and granite are available in a range of colors, providing a ton of options when designing a kitchen or bathroom. Beyond the neutral whites, grays, and browns, quartzite can also come in shades of pink, blue, orange, green, red, yellow, and purple. Granite has similar shade options, with neutrals being black, white, gray, brown, and beige. Bolder and more colorful choices include shades of red, yellow, blue, and green. Though they're available in a rainbow of hues, granite tends to be a little bolder in texture with showy veining and speckling in the slabs. Quartzite, on the other hand, tends to have veining that is more subtle. So, if you're looking for a statement design in a kitchen or bathroom, granite is the better option. For something a little more understated, opt for quartzite.

Whether you're upgrading just the countertops or undergoing a full renovation where countertops are just a part, budget is a major factor. Granite countertops cost about $40 to $100 per square foot, while quartzite can cost between $50 to $120 per square foot. The final price depends on the rarity of the stone and the size of the slab. Granite is one of the most popular options because of its affordable price. Quartzite is a little more expensive, so if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, granite is the way to go. Granite and quartzite are similar in many ways, but which is the best choice depends on what you're looking for.