Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years as a stylish, durable, and low-maintenance option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. However, many homeowners wonder – are quartz countertops expensive compared to other countertop materials? Let’s take an in-depth look at quartz countertop costs and factors that influence pricing.
An Overview of Quartz Countertop Pricing
Quartz countertops range in price from $50 per square foot installed on the low end, up to $150 per square foot installed for high-end designer brands. The average price is around $70-$100 per square foot installed.
This puts quartz in the middle tier in terms of pricing – less expensive than natural stone like marble or granite, but pricier than laminate or ceramic tile.
Some of the factors that influence quartz countertop pricing include:
- Brand – Higher-end brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are more expensive than low- to mid-range brands.
- Color and Pattern – Unusual or premium colors and patterns cost more than basic white or beige.
- Thickness – A standard 2 cm thickness is fine for most applications. Going up to 3 cm thick costs around 10-15% more.
- Edge Profiles – Decorative edges like ogee, bevel, or laminated edges add $10-$20 per linear foot.
- Size of Project – Bulk orders for larger kitchens may qualify for discounts from some fabricators.
- Fabrication – Prices vary between local quartz fabricators. Get 3-5 quotes.
- Installation – Complex projects with special cutting or installation requirements cost more.
Factors That Impact Quartz Countertop Prices
Below we’ll explore the main variables that affect the installed price of quartz countertops for your kitchen or bath remodeling project.
Quartz countertop prices are heavily influenced by the brand. Leading quartz manufacturers include:
- Caesarstone – This pioneer quartz brand is known for quality and variety, priced in the high-middle range. Popular styles like Calacatta Nuvo have premium pricing.
- Cambria – Regarded as a high-end, luxury brand, Cambria quartz is on the pricier side. Many unique designs available.
- Silestone – Created by Spanish company Cosentino, Silestone offers a wide color selection at mid-range prices.
- LG Viatera – High-end styling and patterns made by electronics giant LG. Priced competitively with top brands.
- Quartz Master – Budget-friendly quartz line carried exclusively at Home Depot. $50-$70 per sq. ft. range.
- Pental Quartz – West-coast brand with affordable pricing and wide color selection. Great value.
Higher-priced designer brands like Caesarstone and Cambria can run from $80 up to $120+ per square foot installed. Value brands like Quartz Master and Pental Quartz are priced in the $50-$75 per square foot range. Choosing a less expensive quartz brand is an easy way to save on your countertop budget.
Color and Pattern
Quartz comes in a vast array of colors – from pure whites to dramatic dark hues. Neutral colors like white and beiges are generally the most affordable options. Unique patterns and bold colors tend to cost more.
If you want an unusual color like emerald green or vibrant orange, expect to pay a higher sq. ft. price for most quartz brands.
The standard thickness for a quartz countertop is 2 cm, or about 3/4″. This provides adequate strength for most residential kitchens and baths. If you prefer a thicker countertop, 3 cm (1 1/4″) slabs are available for approximately a 10-15% upcharge.
Extra thickness is generally not needed for quartz’s sturdy construction, but some homeowners prefer the small increase in depth. Thicker options may be recommended for longer spans between supports.
Quartz countertops can be finished with a variety of edge profiles – also called edge treatments. The most basic (and affordable) option is a standard square edge. Upgrades like beveled, rounded, or ogee edges add $10-$20 per linear foot to the final price.
Fancy edges like triple bullnose, chamfered, or laminated edges can cost $30+ per linear foot. Avoid upgrades like full bullnose edges which weaken the countertop. Simple eased or rounded edges are ideal.
Size of Project
Larger quartz countertop projects may qualify for a discount from your fabricator. This is because they can cut down on material waste and processing time with bulk orders.
For example, a kitchen with 45 sq. ft. of countertop likely will be cheaper on a per sq. ft. basis versus a small 25 sq. ft. bathroom vanity top.
Be sure to get your total square footage measured precisely by your contractor or installer. This ensures you get an accurate quote.
Quartz countertop prices can vary between regional fabricators. Installers who cut and polish the slabs in their own local shops often offer better rates than companies outsourcing pre-fab quartz.
Get quotes from 3-5 reputable local quartz fabricators. Look for shops specializing in quartz over lower-volume players. Ask about their experience, fabrication facility, and certifications when comparing bids.
For straightforward countertop installations, quartz offers a great value. But for complex projects with tricky dimensions, cutouts, or unusual designs, expect to pay extra installation fees. Your contractor may charge 20-30% more for intricately shaped counters requiring special fabrication expertise.
Islands, curved countertops, and desks are often in this category and cost more to install. Make sure you get accurate measurements and a itemized quote accounting for these factors.
How Much Do Quartz Countertops Cost Compared to Other Materials?
To determine if quartz is expensive, it helps to compare against other popular countertop materials:
- Laminate – At $20-$50 per sq. ft. installed, laminate is the most budget-friendly option. But lower durability and dated styling are drawbacks.
- Tile – Ceramic or porcelain tile costs $40-$100 per sq. ft. installed. Provides great customization, but requires more maintenance.
- Granite – Natural granite runs $80-$150 per sq. ft. A high-end material with unique natural patterns. Requires annual sealing.
- Marble – At $100-$200 per sq. ft., marble is a luxury material. Staining and etching are concerns.
- Solid Surfaces – Like Corian, solid surfaces run $70-$100 per sq. ft. Seamless installation but less durable than quartz.
- Butcher Block – $40-$100 per sq. ft. range. Requires diligent oiling and sealing to prevent water damage.
As you can see, quartz countertops occupy a middle ground – pricier than lower-end options like laminate or tile, but more affordable than premium materials like granite or marble. For the combination of style, durability, and non-porous practicality, quartz delivers excellent value for money compared to other countertop types.
Cost Saving Tips for Quartz Countertops
If your budget is tight, here are some smart ways to reduce the overall expense of quartz countertops:
- Select a value brand over premium names to save per square foot.
- Stick to a neutral color rather than trendy or unique hues.
- Choose the standard 2 cm thickness instead of a 3 cm upgrade.
- Minimize decorative edges which add cost.
- Reuse existing countertops on other surfaces like islands to reduce new purchase sq. footage.
- Have countertops fabricated locally by a quartz specialist instead of big box stores.
- Supply your own sink and hardware to avoid markups.
- Install counters yourself if experienced. Otherwise, get 3+ installation bids.
- Purchase remnants or smaller pieces for projects like laundry rooms.
With some savvy design choices, you can install beautiful quartz countertops without breaking the bank.
Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops
Though not the cheapest option, quartz still provides great bang for your buck. Here’s a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages:
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant
- Easy maintenance – no sealing needed
- Resists stains, etching, and heat damage
- Wide variety of colors and styles
- Non-porous so doesn’t harbor bacteria
- Consistent color and styling throughout slab
- Costs more than lower-end options like laminate
- Not quite as heat and scratch proof as granite
- Seams more noticeable than materials like concrete
- Limited stock at home improvement stores
- Can’t match unique pattern of natural stone
For most homeowners, the pros of quartz’s durability, practicality, and style outweigh the higher initial investments costs when compared to materials like laminate or tile.
Is Quartz Worth the Extra Cost?
Quartz countertops occupy an appealing middle ground – priced above low-budget options but below the cost of luxury materials.
The extra price buys you:
- Unparalleled durability – resistant to scratches, stains and heat. No sealing needed.
- Easy care – just use soap and water to clean. Minimal maintenance.
- Healthy material – non-porous so it won’t harbor bacteria. Safe for food prep.
- Range of colors – white, beige, grays plus bold hues. Consistent pattern throughout the slab.
- Stylish appearance – modern, sleek look. Designer upgrades available.
- Good ROI – adds resale value to your kitchen or bath remodel.
When the long lifespan, practical benefits, and appearance are factored in, quartz delivers noticeable value over cheap countertops. For homeowners planning to stay 5-10+ years, the extra investment in quartz pays dividends.
The Bottom Line
Are quartz countertops expensive? Compared to materials like granite or marble, quartz represents a cost-effective alternative that still provides style and luxury. When you consider the durability, low maintenance, and resale value, quartz becomes an even more attractive option for busy families.
By picking a value-priced brand, shopping sales, and finding an experienced local fabricator, you can install beautiful quartz countertops without breaking the bank. For homeowners wanting to maximize the return from their remodeling budget, quartz countertops are worth the extra investment over lower-priced materials.
Style and Design Options for Quartz Countertops
With technology advances, today’s quartz displays remarkable variety in colors, patterns, and finishing options that mimic both natural stone and solid surface materials. Here’s an overview of the many quartz styles available:
Early quartz slabs were limited to a homogenous solid color look. Now, advanced manufacturing creates realistic patterns that rival granite and marble:
- Flecks – Speckles of mica and quartz crystals lend depth. Popular in darker colors.
- Veining – White wispy veins are reminiscent of marble. Caesarstone’s London Grey shows this well.
- Agglomerates – Small aggregates of quartz crystals mixed in. Adds texture.
- Metallics – Mica flakes create a glimmering sparkle.
- Cracking/Fissures – Small cracks resemble oxidized metals like Cambria’s Berwyn design.
Manufacturers continue innovating with unique quartz patterns resembling natural stone, concrete, wood, and other textures. This expands the design options for quartz.
From bright whites to inky dark shades, quartz comes in a vast spectrum of colors:
- Whites – Clean, bright whites like Silestone’s Blizzard are hugely popular.
- Beiges – Warm, welcoming beiges like Almond Rocca suit traditional to modern designs.
- Grays – Dramatic dark grays like Caesarstone’s Piatra Grey are on-trend. Lighter grays also available.
- Blacks – Inky solid blacks make a bold statement. Cambria Blackpool is a favorite.
- Oranges/Reds – Vibrant orange and reds like Silestone’s Tango add warmth.
- Greens – Emerald and forest greens give an earthy yet modern look.
- Blues – Cooler hues like Cambria’s Brittanicca for a soothing palette.
- Browns – Rich chocolates and camel hues, often with movement.
Designer brands release new colors every year, pushing quartz possibilities. Talk with your fabricator about special order or discontinued legacy colors.
Quartz allows for different surface finishes beyond the standard glossy polish:
- Matte – A gently brushed finish that rejects glare and fingerprints. Brands like Caesarstone offer matte.
- Honed – Smoothed but not glossy. Provides a soft, low-sheen effect.
- Concrete – Made to mimic poured concrete. Usually honed but can also be textured.
- Lappato – Shows more texture like a semi-honed limestone. Not fully glossy.
- Sandblasted – A distressed, coarsely textured finish.
- Metallic – Shimmering metallic flecks provide a glitzy look, often paired with a rippled texture.
Choose a finish that matches your style – from sleek polished sheens to rugged concrete textures. Many brands offer design studios where you can see different quartz finishes in person.
Quartz can be finished with decorative edge treatments to enhance style and functionality:
- Eased – A slightly rounded corner for a softer profile.
- Bevel – Angled along the top and bottom edges.
- Ogee – An elegant double curve edge.
- Bullnose – A rounded, curved profile. Full bullnose wraps over sides.
- Chamfer – A flat beveled edge with a straight profile.
- Laminated – Contrasting edge material fused on, like wood or metal.
- Mitered – Crisply joined edges to create seamless transitions.
Edge upgrades range from $10-$30+ per linear foot depending on intricacy of detail. Avoid full bullnose on quartz, as it compromises strength.
While 2 cm (3/4″) slabs are standard, quartz comes in several thicknesses:
- 2 cm – The most common thickness, provides ample strength for most uses.
- 3 cm – A popular upgrade around 1 1/4″ thick. Minimal upcharge.
- 5 cm – Extra-thick slabs of 2″ for a luxurious solid feel. About a 30% upcharge.
- 1.2 cm – Some brands offer slim 1/2″ pieces for vertical wall applications.
- Jumbo Size – Caesarstone has pioneered giant 5 x 12 ft slabs in 3 cm for expansive designs.
Don’t over-buy on thickness – 2 cm is fine for most residential uses. Go thicker on longer spans for stability.
Size of Slabs
Quartz countertops are cut from large slabs, usually measuring about:
- 30″ x 120″ – Common size from major brands like Caesarstone. Weighs 100-200 lbs.
- 30″ x 144″ – Extra-long slabs offered by Cambria and Silestone. Up to 300 lbs.
- 55-60″ x 120″ – Jumbo slabs pioneered by Caesarstone provide vast single pieces.
Standard 30″ width allows design flexibility for residential projects. Longer widths reduce seams on big kitchen counters. Super-sized slabs create stunning continuous surfaces.
Some quartz collections feature distinctive characteristics:
- Recycled Content – Eco-friendly quartz using recycled glass, mirrors, and shells. Brands like IceStone and Paperstone offer.
- Translucence -allows light pass through, perfect for backlit islands. Caesarstone’s Clarity series has this.
- Metallic Coloring – Small metal flakes provide a glimmering look. Silestone’s [Eternal Collection](https://www