How It’s Made: Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining 90% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface.
Why Quartz: Extremely hard and durable; glossy sheen; non-porous and stain-and-crack resistant; does not require sealing or resealing; wide range of colors; easy to clean with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth.
Price range: $55 – $200 per square foot
Origin: Granite is a igneous rock that contains at least 20% quartz by volume, but also some mica and feldspar. It’s mined from around the world, including quarries in India, Brazil, Norway, Italy and China. The largest granite quarry in the Unites States is located near Barre, Vermont.
Why Granite: Each slab is unique, hard, durable, scratch-resistant, impervious to stains, heat, and water when sealed, relatively easy to clean, comes in all colors, still highly covetable with an even higher resale value.
Price range: $25-$150 per square foot. Varies depending on stone rarity, thickness and origin.
Origin: Marble is a stone which is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine which is capable of taking a polish. It’s mined from around the world, including Germany, Sweden, Romania, Greece, Spain and more famously Italy, where Carrara marble is from. In the United States, the major marble-producing areas are found in Alabama.
Why Marble: Throughout history, marble has been used in architectural design. The Pantheon in Rome, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Acropolis in Greece were all constructed with marble, and that’s the primary reason they’re all still standing hundreds of years after being built.
Price range: $65-$250 per square foot. Varies depending on stone rarity, thickness and origin.