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artsfan

“Go Granite or Go Home”

artsfan
2 months ago

Comments? Very interesting blog post We have had granite for over 20 years and it has been indestructible. Have not sealed it once. It’s a workhorse. Seems as though it doesnt fit the current aesthetic. Really too bad! As I look at alternatives — quartz, quartzite, marble — every one of them has maintenance issues.

Comments (49)

  • itsourcasa
    2 months ago

    Quartz has maintenance issues? Like what?

  • chispa
    2 months ago

    I used Taj Mahal quartzite in my last kitchen and will use it again in my next kitchen. No maintenance issues at all. I treat it the same way I treated the granites in 3 houses and Corian in another house.

    I used quartz in all the bathrooms of my last house and had no maintenance issues with those, including regularly splashing hair dye on Cambria White Cliff and never having an issue cleaning it up.

    That article is about products being mislabeled by stone yards, which has nothing to do with the actual durability of a correctly labeled product.

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  • anj_p
    2 months ago

    I have quartz in my apartment and I hate it. It easily etches, has water spots, and everything marks it. I used to clean my granite (at my house) with a wet rag and that's it. When I accidentally left a cast iron skillet on it and it left a rust stain, it came out with a bit of elbow grease and some baking soda & vinegar.

    I haven't found a product that takes care of the quartz. I think I etched it by trying to clean it with baking soda & vinegar. Part of it is probably because 1) it's an apartment and they used the cheapest they could find, and 2) it's dark gray so everything shows.

    But I'm really at my wit's end with it. Looks terrible. I'm crossing my fingers that the quartz in my new house is easier than this stuff. We chose granite for a few of the bathrooms and I'm thankful for that now!

  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Yes im thinking for us the beauty of natural stone outweighs the alleged advantsges of quartz, which don’t seem to be experienced universally. Can’t find a granite that will work for us but exploring other natural stone options.

  • vinmarks
    2 months ago

    We put granite in our current house. We had granite in our last house. It looked just as good as the day it was put in when we left 14 years later. I can't stand quartz. It may be durable but looks fake and reminds me of cultured marble.

  • Caroline Hamilton
    2 months ago

    I've had granite counter for 22 years when we built the house. And choose granite again when remodeled 7 years ago. I also have granite in the kitchen in my beach house. Never an issue and still looks perfect, would never choose anything else.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    2 months ago

    IMO granite polished is as close to bullet proof as you will get and I too have never used a sealer . Quartz is IMO a silly product for space where heat is always an issue . It can't handle hot pots and can't go behind a cooking appliance , it.s plastic how do you think it holds up to a hot pot. There are 100s of white granites check them out.

  • SeattleMCM
    2 months ago

    I don't care, I don't like granite. I don't want anything high maintenance, but I will put up with some minor issues -- such as having to use trivets, or being ok with it not looking 100% "real". as long as it looks good to me.

    also, just to differentiate quartz vs. quartzite. the former is manmade, the latter is natural stone. I like the manmade kind and am hoping there are some brands that are good. I haven't done that deep dive yet. my main worry is these things yellowing with age.

    as for natural stones, from what I understand, there are some quartzites that are strong and amazing, and some granites are weak and porous. like my bathroom counter: I can feel the natural cracks in it, and the surface has some shallow chips where the stone was naturally really flaky (masking tape pulled it up). IDK, maybe it was cheap, I didn't choose it.

  • Amy Glasscock
    2 months ago

    Everyone here will have strong opinions on the quartz vs granite debate! I suggest you read some articles from reputable sources on the pros and cons of the different countertop materials--it may come down to the aesthetic you are after. And one more thing to add--not all quartz is created equal. There are cheap slabs from China and higher quality ones so keep that in mind as you shop.

  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I dont actually plan on getting granite again this time. Not immune to peer pressure haha. But giving up on quartz, which I dont find my aesthetic favorite, because it is not the maintenance holy grail I initially thought. going for a higher maintenance natural stone.


  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 months ago

    "And one more thing to add--not all quartz is created equal. There are cheap slabs from China and higher quality ones so keep that in mind as you shop."


    Nonsense. It's all the same stuff.

  • Carolae
    2 months ago

    @artsfan, I suggest you visit as many marble and granite yards as you can to see what is available. Some more common, less expensive granites may be considered “dated” but there are exotic, less common granites that are not, as they were never overused.

  • anj_p
    2 months ago

    I think there are a lot of lovely granites out there. I was limited in choice since I'm doing a production build and the granite options were meh so I went with quartz (hearing so many good things about it) - but that was before I had to deal with it. If I could go to stoneyards and pick a slab, I would absolutely do granite again. I just hope the quartz in my new house is at least a little better than what I have now. I don't know why people like it so much if it's anything like what I have now.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    2 months ago

    I’m super happy with our quartz. But everyone should choose what they want for their home. No need to bicker

  • eld6161
    2 months ago

    Exactly.

  • Shannon_WI
    2 months ago

    Eh, people are giving their opinions. That is what this Kitchens Forum is for. I wouldn't wag my finger and say people are bickering. A spirited discussion of various people's viewpoints which is good.

  • WestCoast Hopeful
    2 months ago

    Bickering is disagreeing about trivial matters and granite vs quartz is most certainly that. Doesn’t mean people won’t do it but it is for sure trivial big picture. Of course fine within a forum to discuss pros and cons of different choices but some of the absolutes aren’t discourse. To each their own.

  • Shannon_WI
    2 months ago

    "Bickering is disagreeing about trivial matters and granite vs quartz is most certainly that."

    @WestCoast Hopeful - I know you are trying to be provocative, with your use of "bickering" and saying how granite and quartz are trivial matters. Trolling. And not helpful to the OP. Anyway, to others reading this thread, of course granite or quartz means several thousands of dollars expense in a kitchen. It's fairly permanent; it can't be changed easily like a faucet. It's good to read threads like this and others on the topic.

  • tedbixby
    2 months ago

    I've had 7 homes and all the different countertops spoken here. I'm in the midst of a remodeling my 8th home and if you asked me 7 months ago what my countertops would be, the answer is not what I ended up selecting. The beauty of dolomite made me change my mind for my Master Bath from Corian that I originally was dead set on having as I like it in my current bathroom. The dolomite will be much more maintenance but every time I see that slab it makes me smile. And I'm at that age where I want to smile as much as possible.. The Corian doesn't. Though I had problems with quartz in another house, the Powder Room will have a quartz top as it was the only remnant I could find that enhanced the vanity and flooring without paying for a whole slab. The kitchen currently has quartz which I will eventually replace with a beautiful granite. The previous owner used something that they shouldn't have on several areas to clean it and now there are matt and shiny spots. I talked to my fabricator about polishing it out, like you can with granite, and he said it isn't that easy and would be more cost affective to replace it! Laundry Rm TBD.

    So the take away is do your research, determine what boxes you want to check off and then go shop with an open mind. As you may end up with not what you thought but you will know what the trade off is for going to another material.

    artsfan thanked tedbixby
  • WestCoast Hopeful
    2 months ago

    Of course it expensive and deserves discussion. My point is that absolutes don’t exist on this topic. There are clearly a variety of opinions and it all comes down to preferences.

  • Sherry Brighton
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @WestCoast Hopeful is right. to each his own.

    I have strong opinions on any countertop with lots of busy movement, veining and splotchy colors. I don't like them. I don't like anything gray, brown, tan or gold. That doesn't mean they don't look great in other people's homes. I just don't like them.

    The only thing I considered for a countertop was soapstone or the quartz with no movement and a solid appearance. I ended up choosing Cambria Hadley.

  • RTHawk
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I used to have polished granite - never sealed it - didn't get staining, chipping, etc. I now have quartz and no staining. I leave sliced lemons, strawberries, etc and it is fine. But to Patricia's point, the one big drawback is that I have to be careful about setting hot objects on it. I used to be able to put a cast-iron pan straight from the oven onto my granite counter. Now I have those collapsible trivets ready on the counter when I need to get something out of the oven. I love the clean look of quartz though and cleaning is a breeze so I am okay with the inconvenience of being more careful of putting hot objects on the counter.

  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I posted not so much in favor of installing granite but because I am surprised to discover that my granite is more durable than quartz. As I plan a new kitchen, that is a major ding in quartz, pun intended.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    2 months ago

    I've had laminate - looked great forever! I've done Corian - like the matte finish and being able to buff out any issues. I have granite in the bathroom - some issues with soap ( natural soaps tend to leave a build up that can be a pain to remove if you don't catch it- the top is very patterned so I don't always see it ). I have quartz in my kitchen now and it has been indestructible for me. I use trivets, mostly because I always have - it's a habit that won't change. I only clean it with dish soap and water - not all these ridiculous chemicals , so no issues with the finish.

    My next top - hard to say - but I love a beautiful soapstone!

  • Fori
    2 months ago

    I've never had granite but I've had laminate, Corian, marble, tile, and stainless steel. I have found stainless steel to be the easiest.


    I suspect the spouse would balk if I pushed for a stainless steel shower stall when we redo the master bath though...

  • laswift
    2 months ago

    I don’t understand the love affair with quartz. I’ve had every type of counter over the course of owning several homes and quartz is by far the worst. Never again.

  • itsourcasa
    2 months ago

    @laswift and I don't understand how anyone doesn't love it. It's definitely based on experiences with each. I've had quartz in 3 homes with zero issues. We've had granite that had a big crack, quartzite that had major water staining issues and marble that etched. Quartz, for us, has been zero maintenance and (when a subtle pattern) looks great.

  • darbuka
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    “My next top - hard to say - but I love a beautiful soapstone!”

    @Debbi Washburn…exactly!

    When renovating the home we bought 6 years ago, I knew I wanted soapstone. DH was on board.

    We drove to M. Teixeira’s location near the NY/NJ border. Spent quite a long time talking with the wonderful staff, and looking at slabs. Picked out a beautiful slab of Belvedere, one of the hardest varieties. It has green and white inclusions, which we love. The stone is bulletproof, and a snap to clean. Here’s a closeup of the baking center:




    There’s nothing like the sensual matte feeling of soapstone…

  • MizLizzie
    2 months ago

    I have had at least four different Cambria quartz slabs installed over the years and they are awesome, almost maintenance free. I had granite in a previous kitchen for many years and never felt it was as sanitary as I wanted it, and even sealed, it retained damp water shadows around the faucet handles. Maybe I had a bad slab but at an angle, I could see a sort of crackling in the surface sheen. I was happy to swap it for Cambria because I’m a germaphobe. In my current home, I have Cambria in the main kitchen plus granite, Corian, Formica, Wilsonart and even a small sinktop of cultured marble in various places. All have pros and cons, all look good. But I strongly prefer quartz for ease of use and cleaning.

  • kculbers
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Oh no: not another Granite versus Quartz war❣️ Countertops are a personal choice. There will always be granite lovers and quartz lovers. Variety is the spice of life. My daughter in law and sister are granite lovers. I love my Silestone charcoal soap stone quartz kitchen countertop and my white quartz bathroom / laundry room countertop.








  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Agree it is subjective! Just think it’s premature to vote granite off the island! Has a lot going for it

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    Interesting actual heat tests on both granite and quartz.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIo1QAJmtEU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUYYjVb6hRM




  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    Here is another testing both for stains

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlCYNyv5pRo


  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    I bake and cook with my sisters all the time. Betty has granite, Susie has Quartz and I bought an MCM home with the original white with gold fleck Formica counters and backsplash with the strips of metal on the backsplash edges.


    I am planning on renovating the kitchen in about 2 years, and replaced the black and gold Formica that was in the bathrooms. (removing the black velvet and gold wallpaper at the same time). I replaced with a solid surface counter and have had no issues.


    My kitchen counter has a few scratches, but not anything that someone would notice without a flashlight shining across the counter. I do use trivets all the time. There are no burns, stains or cracks. Susie's quarts has no issues, no burns, stains or cracks. I think she is at about 10 years since she built her house. Betty has been in her home closer to 20 years. Her granite has had 2 cracks that had to be repaired, but they are also not noticeable. She also has a few chips on the edges. The marble in her master bath has no issues, but the green marble in her guest bath has some noticeable scratches.


    I think everyone should pick what they like. The only counter I wouldn't consider at this point is marble, due to staining and scratching.




  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    2 months ago

    @darbuka OMG - that is amazing - just what I would love

  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Jennifer Hogan thanks for the videos. We are actually looking at marble since no countertop seems to be bulletproof anyway; might as well go for one we love.

  • RTHawk
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Jennifer Hogan Thanks for the videos - that was really interesting. I guess I was lucky with my old granite counters - never had problems with putting hot pans on it. They may not have been as hot or heavy as what they tested on the video. My granite was darker too - I wonder if darker granites can withstand heat more without fracturing. Testing on quartz was also interesting -- now I'm thinking maybe I can relax a bit more with setting mildly hot stuff on my quartz counters.

  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I have no problem using trivets for pots, as I always have on granite. But the manufacturers’ warnings not to take food out of the microwave onto quartz turned me off.

  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I prefer to use natural materials when possible. Nothing wrong with man-made products, but they can never match the beauty of natural stone in my eyes. Never. They're just not the same. FWIW, I had white solid surface countertops in the last house I lived in for 17 years. Held up well, nothing wrong with it, it was there when I bought the house and I never had the funds to replace it. I got to replace my countertops in this house, and granite is what it ended up being, although I did very seriously consider soapstone and also considered quartzite.

    I bought solid surface for a small bathroom refresh as a temporary solution because it was very inexpensive and worked design-wise, but when it's time for a full remodel, it's stone all the way (very possibly soapstone for the bathroom, but too early to really even seriously think about tackling that project). Anyway, I don't love the solid surface like I love my granite but it's functional and looks good -- it's serving its intended purpose and will tide me over for now.

    "BTW, the Quartz counters with the big tree-root veins is the speckled granite of today."

    I can't like this enough. It is going to become a very dated, time-capsuled look.

    ETA: Interestingly, I have Costa Esmeralda and I've only ever seen it classified as granite. But, the fabricator told me it is actually quartzite, it is an extremely hard stone and took him a long time to cut it. I did the tests, nothing stained the unsealed samples. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter because whatever it is, it's beautiful.

  • itsourcasa
    2 months ago

    @artsfan I literally do that every day (both place hot pots on quartz counters after pasta is drained and put back in pot and place plates/bowls straight out of the microwave on the quartz)... zero issues. Did that with granite and quartzite too.

  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @itsourcasa wow! Hot pots off the range? Have never done that with any surface.


    Over the weekend we picked out a gorgeous quartzite. Seems like a great solution for us…

  • itsourcasa
    2 months ago

    @artsfan quartzite is amazing, wasn't in the budget this time around. Just make sure they seal it well around the faucet, soap dispenser if you have one, etc.

    artsfan thanked itsourcasa
  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    @mxk3 z5b_MI - I think dated is only applicable when it is a generic design choice.


    I have an MCM home with mostly teak MCM / Danish furnishings.


    The furniture I own was quite popular in the 60s and is popular again now, I just happen to have owned it for many of the decades when it wasn't so popular.


    I also love nature and wildlife and have a fairly large collection of wildlife art.


    I was pretty set on getting a solid color solid surface when I do my kitchen reno.


    Then I saw this:








    For my home and with my art and décor I think this will work and look like it belongs today and for decades to come.



  • Jill Brooks
    2 months ago

    @Jennifer Hogan is that Bentley by Cambria? I've looked at it and considered it, but have shifted to Hemsworth as my first choice. I do like the dramatic look of Bentley.

  • tedbixby
    2 months ago

    artsfan- glad to hear you found something you liked. What was the deciding factor for you?

  • artsfan
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @tedbixby I fell in love with a photo of a quartzite that looks beautiful with a kitchen very similar to mine, then was lucky enough to find it in a nearby stoneyard! After years of sturdy granite in another kitchen, it was hard to go for anything less durable, so quartzite gives us the look of marble without the headaches.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    It is Bentley. I loved it because it is so bold and bold works in my home.


  • louislinus
    2 months ago

    The heart wants what the heart wants. I ended up with Fantasia Soapstone (or fantasy - same thing). It is only a 2 on Moh's scale and I don't care. I've decided to love each ding and scratch because the feel of it will make me happy every time I touch it.