Are Quartz Countertops Cheaper Than Marble?

When it comes to kitchen countertops, quartz and marble are two of the most popular options. They are both natural stone materials that offer elegance and style, but they have some key differences when it comes to cost.


Kitchen countertops are one of the most important design elements in any kitchen. They need to be beautiful, durable, and easy to maintain within your budget. Quartz and marble countertops are leading choices for luxury kitchens, but which one is more affordable?

Marble is a classic natural stone prized for its veins and swirls that create unique, sophisticated patterns. Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from crushed quartz blended with polyester resins and pigments. It offers a more consistent appearance than natural marble.

While they have overlapping appeal, quartz and marble differ significantly in price. When considering bottom-line costs, quartz countertops are generally cheaper than marble. The price difference depends on the stone grades, colors, edge profiles, and other custom options selected.

Understanding what impacts the costs of quartz and marble can help homeowners decide which material fits their budget for a kitchen countertop replacement or remodel.

Cost Factors of Quartz Countertops

Quartz counters offer distinct advantages that make this engineered stone more budget-friendly than marble for many homeowners. Here are the key factors affecting quartz prices:


The biggest contributor to a quartz countertop’s price is the brand. Higher-end brand names like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone range from $80-150 per square foot installed. Lower-priced quartz options from IKEA or local suppliers can cost as little as $50 per square foot.

Colors and Patterns

Quartz has a consistent background color throughout, unlike the veining in marble. Some premium quartz colors and unique patterns can increase costs up to $25 more per square foot. Neutral tones tend to be the most affordable options.


The standard thickness for quartz is 3 cm (1.25 inches). Upgrading to a thicker 4 cm (1.5 inches) slab can add $10-15 per square foot. Most homeowners opt for the standard 3 cm thickness to control costs.

Edge Profiles

Quartz edges come in different finishes, such as squared, bullnose, beveled, and ogee. Decorative edges like an ogee edge cost around 25% more than a standard eased or straight edge.


The fabrication fee depends on the complexity of the project and techniques needed. The average rate ranges from $75-150 per linear foot. Simple countertop layouts with few seams or cutouts will have lower install costs.

Bottom Line Cost

In total, expect to pay $70-120 per square foot installed for a mid-range quartz countertop. Higher-end quartz with premium features can cost up to $150 per square foot. The lowest budget quartz options fall between $50-70 per square foot installed.

What Impacts the Cost of Marble Countertops?

Marble has a majestic elegance unmatched by engineered quartz, but that beauty comes at a price. Here are the primary factors that make marble a more expensive kitchen countertop choice:

Stone Grade

Marble comes in different grades determined by the stone’s quality and rarity. Higher grades have less veining and uniform backgrounds preferred for countertops. Specialty rare stones like Calacatta Gold marble can cost over $200 per square foot.


Subtle white, gray, and neutral marble grades are more affordable than dramatic bold veined patterns. Unique colors like green and black marble will fall on the higher end of the cost spectrum.

Veining Patterns

Marble with unusual artistic veining has greater demand driving up costs. Minimal linear veining is the most economical, while whirling circular patterns increase pricing.


Most marble countertops are 3 cm thick. Going up to a 4 cm thickness adds approximately $15-20 per square foot. Thicker stone provides more durability and strength.

Edge Styles

Like quartz, marble counters can have different edge treatments. Eased edges are the lowest cost, while hand-carved ogee and bullnose edges cost around 30% more for the extra labor.


Due to the sensitive nature of marble, fabrication requires specialized cutting and finishing skills demanding higher fees. Expect to pay $100-200 per linear foot for quality marble fabrication.

Bottom Line Cost

With all cost factors combined, homeowners pay $100-250 per square foot installed for marble countertops, with unique high-end marble grades reaching above $300 per square foot.

Comparing Quartz vs. Marble Pricing

To see the cost differences between the two materials, here is a pricing comparison of quartz and marble using mid-range options:

| Countertop Material | Cost Per Square Foot Installed |
| Quartz | $100 |
| Marble | $175 |

The marble costs approximately 75% more than the mid-range quartz. As you go up in grades and quality, marble easily exceeds over double the price of quartz.

While quartz counters provide cost savings, keep in mind part of what you pay for with marble is the uniqueness of each natural stone slab. However, for homeowners prioritizing affordability, quartz is substantially cheaper than marble.

Cost to Install New Kitchen Countertops

To give an idea of full costs for a kitchen countertop installation, here are the typical price ranges:

  • Quartz Countertops
    • Total costs = $3,000 to $5,500
    • $70 to $120 per sq. ft. materials + $100 per linear ft. fabrication + installation
  • Marble Countertops
  • Total costs = $5,000 to $12,000
  • $100 to $250 per sq. ft. materials + $100-200 per linear ft. fabrication + installation

As shown above, you can expect to pay nearly double for marble over a mid-range quartz. Variables like the size of your kitchen and layout complexity also impact the bottom line.

Pros and Cons of Cost Differences

Understanding the trade-offs between quartz and marble costs allows you to make the best selection for your kitchen and budget.

Pros of Choosing More Affordable Quartz:

  • Cost savings of $50-100+ per sq. ft. over marble
  • Less impact on your kitchen remodeling budget
  • Wide range of quality quartz grades and colors fit different budgets
  • Can get durability of stone without the high price of marble

Cons of Cheaper Quartz:

  • Doesn’t offer the unique beauty of real marble’s veining
  • Less prestige than luxury marble countertops
  • Fewer unique colors and patterns available

Pros of Choosing More Expensive Marble:

  • Timeless, iconic natural beauty and sophistication
  • Vast diversity of marble grades, quality, colors and veining
  • Highest resale value of any countertop material
  • Enhanced prestige for luxury kitchens

Cons of More Expensive Marble:

  • Budget-breaking costs, especially for larger kitchens
  • Limits kitchen design options within reasonable budget
  • Not child-friendly due to etching and staining
  • Requires resealing for maintenance

Is Quartz or Marble Better for Budget Shoppers?

For most homeowners, quartz is the clear winner if keeping project costs affordable. Luxury kitchens can justify splurging on marble’s beauty and unmatched visual appeal. However, quartz offers over 90% of the visual impact of marble for half the investment.

Bargain hunters can find quality quartz grades from Home Depot, IKEA, or local suppliers starting at $50 per square foot. High-end quartz isn’t cheap, but still costs 35-65% less than comparable marble.

With technology advancing quartz realism, the affordability and lower maintenance of engineered stone outweighs the cost premiums required for natural marble. While marble will always get top billing for prestige, quartz provides the best value for money.

Factors That Can Change the Costs

Several factors can alter the equation that makes quartz the cheaper option compared to marble. Here are considerations that can shift costs:

  • Sales, discounts, or clearance pricing on either material
  • Comparing low-end quartz vs. high-end exotic marble
  • Smaller size kitchen requiring less countertop coverage
  • Simple slab layout vs. complex fabrication requirements
  • Significant fluctuations in material and labor costs
  • Geographic region and local supply costs

In any situation, always get multiple quotes tailored to your specific kitchen project requirements to accurately compare quartz and marble pricing.

The Takeaway

While marble will retain its status as the premium countertop choice, quartz offers beauty and quality at a more attainable price point. For budget-minded homeowners, choosing quartz over marble delivers significant cost savings that can be allocated towards higher-end appliances, fixtures, or other kitchen upgrades.

Unless you have an unlimited budget, quartz countertops provide the best combination of beauty, practicality, and value for investment. For cost-conscious homeowners, opting for quartz over marble makes it easier to get your dream kitchen within budget.