Quartz and granite are two of the most popular countertop materials for kitchens and bathrooms. Many homeowners wonder if quartz is a more affordable option compared to granite. The answer depends on several factors.
When choosing between quartz and granite countertops, cost is often a primary consideration. Granite used to be the leading material for luxury kitchens, but quartz has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its attractive appearance, durability, and competitive pricing. Understanding the cost differences between the two materials can help homeowners decide which fits their budget.
On average, quartz countertops are 10-20% cheaper than granite. Here is a breakdown of typical installed costs per square foot:
- Quartz: $60 – $80
- Granite: $80 – $120
However, costs can vary depending on the brand, pattern, edge treatments, and more. Here are some factors that impact pricing:
Granite is a natural stone that comes in many grades, while quartz is engineered from natural materials. Higher-end granite can be more expensive than luxury quartz. But lower-end granite is often cheaper than economy quartz.
Color and Patterns
Complex granite patterns and rare colors usually cost more. Quartz has consistent speckled patterns, making pricing more predictable. Unique quartz styles can be pricier.
Popular quartz brands like Caesarstone and Cambria are premium-priced. Lesser known brands offer better value. Some granite suppliers also command higher prices.
Quartz is easier to fabricate, keeping labor costs lower. Cutting granite is more labor-intensive. Intricate edge profiles and backsplashes add to costs for both materials.
Regional labor costs make installation prices vary. Quartz and granite prices also fluctuate based on local supply and demand factors.
Why Quartz is Often Cheaper
There are a few reasons why quartz countertops tend to be more budget-friendly than granite:
Quartz is made in a factory under controlled conditions to create consistent color patterns and minimize flaws. This predictable process results in good value. Granite’s natural variations make some slabs pricier.
Quartz resists stains, scratches, and heat better than granite. Costly sealing and repolishing granite is unnecessary with quartz. This saves money long-term.
Quartz’s uniformity makes cutting and fitting easier. Less experienced fabricators can install quartz. Granite requires skilled specialists, driving up labor fees.
Quartz lasts longer than granite without showing wear. Quartz rarely needs replacement, while granite may need replacing after 10-15 years. Avoiding a big future expense justifies quartz’s lower initial investment.
As quartz has grown trendy, economies of scale have made manufacturing more efficient. Consumer demand enables quartz to be priced competitively with granite.
Why Granite is Sometimes Cheaper
Despite typically higher costs, granite can occasionally be the budget option:
Lower-quality granite slabs are very affordable. These have more imperfections but offer cost savings.
Limited Quartz Options
Home centers may carry only a few quartz lines that are marked up. Check stone yards for better quartz pricing.
Granite importers sometimes have excess inventory they discount heavily. These limited-time sales provide big bargains.
For DIYers, granite tile is easier to install than quartz. This avoids professional fabrication fees.
Thicker 3cm granite may be cheaper than 2cm quartz when comparing overall square footage costs.
Making the Decision
Choosing between granite and quartz ultimately depends on your budget, style preferences, and needs:
- If you prioritize value, durability, and convenience, quartz is typically the cheaper route.
- If you want a premium natural look and can find discounted granite, it may be more affordable.
- Balance initial costs with long-term maintenance. Quartz saves over time while granite needs sealing and eventual replacement.
- Compare total installed prices, not just material costs. Labor differs between the two.
Carefully weighing the many cost factors will determine if granite or quartz best fits your kitchen design and spending plan. With either of these beautiful and functional options, you can’t go wrong!
FAQs About Granite vs Quartz Costs
Is quartz actually cheaper than granite?
In most cases, yes. On average, quartz countertops are 10-20% less expensive than granite when considering the total installed price. Quartz has competitive manufacturing and installation pricing that makes it a great value buy.
Why is quartz so affordable if it looks nice?
Quartz contains over 90% ground natural quartz mixed with resins and pigments. This engineered combination creates an attractive, consistent appearance at a reasonable cost compared to natural granite which has more variability.
Can you find inexpensive granite cheaper than quartz?
It is possible to find discontinued granite remnants and lower-grade slabs for under $50 per square foot. These budget granites can potentially be cheaper than some entry-level quartz options. But quality granite is almost always more expensive than quartz.
Is quartz worth the extra cost over granite?
In most cases, quartz is actually the more economical choice when you factor in total installation expenses and long-term maintenance. The added benefits of durability, stain resistance, and ease of care make quartz well worth a slightly higher initial investment over granite.
Should I just choose the cheapest countertop material?
Price shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Less expensive laminate and tile come with trade-offs in looks, durability, and resale value. Granite and quartz offer an excellent balance of affordability, beauty, and performance. Opting for quality often saves money and disappointment down the road.
When comparing installed costs, quartz consistently beats out granite as the more budget-friendly countertop material in most situations. Even though quartz looks premium, technological advances have made manufacturing efficient, dropping quartz prices below many types of granite. With proper research and shopping, granite deals can also be found. Considering your unique needs and priorities will determine whether quartz or granite countertops make the most financial sense for your next kitchen or bath remodel.