Granite is the often the surface of choice for most residential applications. It provides a look that is incomparable for natural beauty and elegance. If you are considering granite countertops you should be aware of the general characteristics of granite and the options available to you, including engineered quartz, before making your final decision.

Natural granite comes from the ground and is cut into slabs of ¾” (2cm) or 1¼” (3cm) which are then surface polished.
Engineered stone is a man-made material consisting of natural quartz and high strength polymers that is compressed into slabs. This material is also available in ¾” (2cm) or 1¼” (3cm).

For the residential market there are no advantages and disadvantages to either.


  • Natural But Not Perfect
    Granite is crystalline in structure and contains natural quartz, so it is very strong and scratch resistant. It is minimally porous and will have natural imperfections. It also contains natural fissures and veins that may appear to be cracks, but they are not structural defects and will not impair the function or durability of the material. They occur naturally and are considered to be part of the beauty of stone.
  • Appearance Is Not Uniform
    Movement is a term that is used to describe the shift in color and pattern in natural stone. Most natural granites do not have a uniform pattern or color. The appearance can vary widely between slabs, and even within a single slab.
  • Samples May Differ From The Actual Stone
    A sample in a showroom may differ from the slabs currently available. They may have been mined from a different part of the quarry, mined at a different time or they may have occlusions or color variances that give them a different appearance. You should always visit a yard and personally select your slabs. We always ask our clients to examine the actual slabs of material before we begin fabrication.
  • Seams Are Typically Visible
    It is impossible to hide the seams in granite. Some granite can be top polished to help hide the seam. But some cannot be top polished so we bevel the edges and fill with a flexible caulking. Some seams can be epoxy glued but this may crack with movement over time. Please inquire.
  • May Need To Be Sealed
    Because granite is a natural stone product it has a certain degree of porosity and in some cases must be sealed before use. All of our stones are factory sealed with a process known as Resin Coated. A resin is applied and polished to seal the porosity in the stone. There is no further maintenance or sealing required.
  • Can Discolor
    While granite is ordinarily considered to be stain-resistant, some pigments or oils such as permanent markers can be absorbed into the resin coated surface. This could cause discoloration. The sealer does not prevent this discoloration, but it slows it down to allow more time for clean up. Staining is rare and can usually be cleaned. Please consult us if your material becomes stained.
  • Durable But Not Indestructible
    Granite is extremely durable, scratch resistant, and impervious to water and heat. If not abused, it will hold its luster forever. However, because it is a natural rock, it can be chipped and broken if abused. Most damage can be repaired. It is important that you not stand on or cause the finished product to be flexed or impacted.
  • Contamination Resistance Is Better Than Most Materials
     Bacterial contamination, mold and mildew in a granite countertop is a not usually a major concern. It is easily cleaned and maintained.
  • Cost
  • $60 - $110 per square foot installed.

Quartz Surfaces (Engineered Stone)

  • Man-Made Synthetic Quartz
    Engineered Stone is a completely non-porous material, made from a mixture of about 93% natural quartz and 7% resin binders and pigments. It has even more strength than granite, but is also more flexible - making it somewhat easier to transport and handle. Because of it’s durability it is a prime choice for commercial applications as well as residential.
  • Needs No Sealing
  • We may apply a color enhancer upon completion.
  • Contamination Resistance Is Better Than Most Materials
    Bacterial contamination, mold and mildew in a Quartz countertop is a not a concern. It is easily cleaned and maintained. Extremely hygienic, making it a food-safe choice and it is completely non absorbant.
  • Uniform Appearance
    It has the general appearance of natural stone, but with a consistent pattern and color. The product will be very close to the sample.
  • Seams are Typically Visible
    As is the case with natural stone, seams are visible - although the darker colors tend to minimize the seam. This material cannot be top polished so seams are usually beveled and filled with a flexible caulking to prevent future cracking.
  • Durable but not Indestructible
    It is very resistant to most stains caused by most typical household products and residential use. However, Permanent markers can stain these materials.
    It can be damaged by high heat and prolonged exposure to heat. As with any other stone or natural surface material, strong chemicals and solvents such as Drano®, Liquid Plummer®, oven cleaners and floor strippers can damage the surface.
    Continuous long-term exposure to direct sunlight (UV rays) may result in slight discoloration of synthetic quartz countertops. Most indoor applications will not have any issues. It is not recommended for exterior applications.
  • Brand Names
    Caesarstone, Francini Stone, Silestone, Chroma, Titan, Zodiac, Technistone, 
  • Cost
    $50 - $100 per square foot installed.
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