Granite Vs. Quartz-based Engineered Stone

Know Your Stone:  Granite Confusion??

It happened again. A customer called looking for some advice on an unidentified material. So far a few different companies had been brought by to assess the natural stone in her home and it had been identified as granite, black absolute granite, and even limestone. Improvement was at a standstill until the mystery material was identified…..Quartz! Increasingly popular, engineered material is created from mostly quartz with epoxy binders. Man made using nature’s materials – Quartz material has a durable finish and can be a close imposter to granite in appearance.

In the case of this customer, the quartz flooring product was treated incorrectly – and is showing its limits now. Engineered material is allegedly maintenance free – but when something is done to change it – it can become very problematic to fix as it is not possible to refinish engineered flooring in the same straightforward manner as it is to refinish natural material. The floor may be permanently dull or low shine after the bad treatment.

Here’s a quick reference comparing granite and quartz



  • Unique – no two pieces alike – Nature’s Design – Has speckled or grainy texture
  • Appearance is controlled by manufacturing and can provide wider range of colors than natural material –
  • Composed of Interlocking mineral crystals of Feldspar (50%), Quartz (35-40%), and Mica (10%)– Very Hard Material-
  • Composed of 93% quartz and 7% binder material – Marginally harder than granite
  • Stain, scratch, and heat resistant – and almost completely etch resistant
  • Stain, scratch, and heat resistant
  • Some porosity – Sealing Recommended but optional on many varieties
  • Engineered to be virtually non-porous – and
  • Used on all surfaces interior or exterior – facades, commercial floors, residential floors, countertops, stairs, wall
  • Mostly used as countertop material, or interior wall material
  • Hard to dull but when it does dull, may be diamond honed and refinished
  • Hard to dull, but when dullness or scratching does happen, can be difficult and even impossible to restore to original luster