If you are trying to decide between Carrara, quartz, or granite for your kitchen countertops, it’s a good idea to look into all the pros and cons before you start picking colors.
Right now, quartz is very popular, and there’s a good reason for that. It requires no maintenance, which is probably the biggest appeal, but you’re not going to get the same look and one-of-a-kind feel that you would from a natural stone like marble or granite. Quartz does a great job of mimicking these materials, but if you put a marble-looking quartz next to a real Carrara marble, there is a noticeable difference.
Carrara is what everybody thinks they want. It’s certainly one of the most expensive; however, it’s soft and porous, and it just doesn’t have the same durability as granite – not that the two are interchangeable in any way. They may both be natural stone, but they don’t look the same at all.
Carrara Marble Countertops: Pros And Cons
Carrara marble is easily identified by its white background with gray veining. It’s what everybody thinks of when they hear “marble,” and it’s very trendy on TV lately. So, we can count this as a “pro” – it looks amazing, clean, simple, soft, really classy, and high-end. It looks good with just about everything you match up with it; it’s very versatile in that way.
Because white and grey are trendy kitchen colors these days, you’ll see Carrara everywhere. It’s easy to pair up with things because it’s so neutral and the grey veining is quite subtle.
But why anyone would choose marble, knowing that it is easily damaged, porous, and very expensive? The truth is, some people don’t use their kitchen much for cooking, so this isn’t as much of an issue for them. Even when they entertain, they have a caterer, or they order out. If you don’t do a lot of cooking or if you are more focused on the look than you are on durability, this may not matter so much to you, either. Every homeowner is different.
Quartz Countertops: Pros And Cons
Quartz, in comparison, is much plainer in color and texture. There sometimes isn’t much of a pattern or grain to it, although it does a pretty good job of mimicking natural stone. It is still made of natural stone aggregate but goes through a manufacturing process, so you don’t get the same kind of natural veining.
Also, quartz is non-porous, unlike natural stone. This means you can spill things on it, and it won’t stain; unlike marble, which will hold a stain for posterity.
Additionally, you’ve got lots of color options with quartz that you wouldn’t have with marble or granite. Quartz can even be made to mimic the look of granite. Lastly, it’s extremely durable and will last 50 years or more.
On the cons side, quartz is not as heat resistant as granite, and you just can’t duplicate the veining you get with natural stone. It can also be more expensive than granite, sometimes up to 40 percent more.
Granite Countertops: Pros And Cons
Granite countertops have a lot going for them. They are long-lasting (50 years or more) and highly durable. Granite is heat-resistant, and because it is natural stone, every piece is unique.
Granite can be quite heavy looking and dark, and most feature gold tones, which are naturally-occurring. You’ll find quartz that is made to look like granite, but it’s difficult to duplicate the chunkiness of the natural stone texture.
As for the cons, the look of granite can be pretty dark and even a bit busy. If you prefer a warmer, softer, lighter look, granite might not be the way you’ll want to go.
Price, Quality, Value
The quality of all these types of countertops is very good, so it all comes down to how you’re going to use it and which option gives you the most value.
For instance, staining can be an issue with natural stone. With a quartz countertop, they take natural minerals, and they put them together with resins, so it’s not porous, and it won’t stain.
With natural stone like granite, marble, or siltstone, typically, your installer will seal it. But that sealer is something that’s only on the surface. Every time you cook on it or wipe it down, you’re rubbing off that sealer, which exposes the stone to acids and staining. Natural stone needs to stay sealed to stay protected.
For all-around versatility, quartz is a popular option. Some of the colors emulate the look of Carrara, some have more of a granite look, and some don’t look anything like natural stone at all. There are 150 colors to choose from, so it’s easy to match cabinets, flooring, and so on.
As far as price goes, we often find it’s based on availability. For example, if you use a supplier that either keeps it in stock, or they have a lot of slabs available, the price is going to be lower than someplace that doesn’t typically keep those pieces on hand.
Are you still trying to decide between quartz, granite, and marble countertops? We’d love to help! Reach out today, and let’s start the conversation.