The natural imperfections found in granite are part of what makes it very popular, however, the pores, fissures, and cracks found in granite may cause many owners to believe that the stone is not durable. These imperfections are simply cosmetic, and do not reflect structural flaws. Additionally, the granite slabs installed in your home may differ from those that were found in the showroom; what was ordered may not be what you expected to receive. Being that this is a natural material, exact replications of specific stone patterns are not possible. For most people, this is part of the draw when ordering granite countertops.
Granite is also a porous material, and does not come properly sealed in most installations. A professional sealant must be used to protect the color and the durability of a granite installation over time. This may add to the installation cost, bringing the long-term costs above that of a quartz installation.
Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular for those who desire a material that is less brittle than granite. While quartz and granite are similar in terms of strength, quartz is more flexible and is less likely to fracture during installation and use. Additionally, quartz is very practical for use in environments where bacterial contamination may be a concern. Because it is much less susceptible to mold and mildew growth, it is a popular choice for restaurants and other such applications.
Another consideration with regard to a quartz countertop installation is the fact that it does not need to be professionally sealed. Quartz countertops are typically created with a 7% resin binder, making additional sealing unnecessary. This may be a determining factor for those on a budget, or those who prefer maintenance to be kept at a minimum throughout the life of the countertop.