When renovating a kitchen or bathroom, one of the biggest decisions to make is what type of countertop to install. Granite and quartz are two of the most popular choices, and often the question arises – which one is more expensive? There are many factors to consider when comparing the costs of granite vs quartz countertops. This comprehensive guide examines the pros, cons, prices, and other considerations to help you determine if quartz counters are more expensive than granite.
Introduction to Granite and Quartz Countertops
Granite and quartz are both natural stone surfaces that are excellent choices for kitchens and baths. They are durable, attractive, and add value to a home. However, there are some key differences between the two materials:
- 100% natural stone quarried from the earth
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Needs periodic sealing to prevent stains
- Can be prone to cracks and chips if struck
- One-of-a-kind look with natural variations
- Made from natural quartz crystals combined with resins
- More consistent color and pattern
- Non-porous so does not need sealing
- More resistant to scratches, stains and heat
- Manufactured in slabs for consistent sizing
While granite and quartz share some similarities, quartz offers man-made advantages in terms of practicality and consistency. However, the natural beauty and uniqueness of granite is hard to replicate.
Cost Comparison Between Granite and Quartz
The biggest question homeowners have is: which one costs more – granite or quartz? Unfortunately there is no simple answer, as the price depends on a variety of factors. Here is an overview of how the costs typically compare:
The base material cost of quartz is generally more expensive than granite. Quartz slabs run $50-100 per square foot on average. Granite slabs run $40-80 per square foot on average.
However, the material cost is only part of the total project cost. Other factors like installation, edges, transportation, etc also affect the final price.
Installation charges are typically similar between granite and quartz, running $40-100 per square foot depending on complexity. However, quartz is often slightly cheaper to install due to the consistent sizing of slabs.
Edge options like polished, beveled or decorative edges can add $10-20 per linear foot to the total cost. Granite and quartz generally have similar edge costs.
Transporting heavy granite and quartz slabs from the fabrication facility to your home costs around $150-250 on average. Slightly cheaper for quartz since slabs are standardized sizes.
Adding a granite or quartz backsplash adds $30-50 per linear foot typically. Cost is similar for both materials.
Appliances and Sink Cutouts
Cutouts for sinks and appliances cost extra, averaging $50-200 per cutout depending on the intricacy. Slightly cheaper for quartz since slabs are uniform.
Other considerations like demolition, disposal, countertop size, special orders, and installation of any new supports can influence the final price as well.
Given the above costs, quartz countertops are generally $10-30 per square foot more expensive than granite when all is said and done. However, for larger projects the overall costs often balance out. The final price depends largely on your specific project requirements.
Pros and Cons of Granite vs Quartz
Beyond just the cost differences, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of quartz and granite countertops to make the best choice for your space:
- Natural beauty with distinctive veining
- Can complement variety of design styles
- Available in wide range of colors
- Adds value to home for resale
- Durable and heat resistant
- Scratches and stains blend well
- Surface sealing required
- Can chip, crack or stain more than quartz
- Limited size and color consistency
- Needs re-polishing over time
- Porous so can harbor bacteria if not sealed
- Consistent color and styling
- Low maintenance, no sealing needed
- Resists scratches, stains, heat damage
- Easy cleanup
- Long warranty coverage
- Flexible sizing options
- Less natural looking than granite
- Limited colors/patterns compared to granite
- Chips and cracks can be more noticeable
- Manmade rather than natural stone
- Higher material costs
Typical Pricing Ranges
Here are some typical total installed price ranges for granite and quartz countertops based on a 10×10 kitchen:
- Granite: $2,500 – $3,500
- Quartz: $3,000 – $3,500
- Granite: $3,500 – $5,000
- Quartz: $3,500 – $5,500
- Granite: $5,000 – $10,000
- Quartz: $5,500 – $12,000
Keep in mind you may pay more or less depending on your actual kitchen size, layout, edge options, and other customizations. Larger projects with greater surface area will be at the higher ends of these ranges. Smaller bathrooms or laundry rooms will be at the lower ends.
Be sure to get an itemized quote for your specific project. Visit showrooms to view slabs in person and get an accurate estimate.
Factors That Impact Granite and Quartz Costs
Many factors beyond just the material influence the total installed price of granite and quartz countertops. It is important to consider these details as you budget and plan your project.
The overall size of your countertops is a major cost factor. Larger surface areas require more material, fabrication time, installation work, and edges. Be sure to measure accurately.
Simple layouts like kitchen peninsulas are most affordable. Numerous seams, corners, cutouts increase costs for both materials. Quartz may have a slight edge with uniform sizing.
Fancier edges like triple waterfall, beveled, or ogee can add $10-30+ per linear foot. Simple eased or straight edges are most economical.
Standard thickness is 3cm for granite and quartz. Thicker 2cm options are available at added cost. Thinner 1-2cm profiles can provide modest savings.
Backsplashes and Wall Applications
Adding granite or quartz to walls or backsplashes adds cost but gives a seamless, upscale look. Price per square foot is similar for both materials.
Pattern and Color
Popular granite patterns like whites, grays, and blacks command a pricing premium. Unique quartz patterns and colors also boost costs.
Supply and Demand
Regional popularity and availability of certain granite colors impacts price. Quartz has more consistent supply.
Highly skilled fabrication using top of the line CNC cutting creates a higher price point. Automation helps minimize quartz costs.
Simple DIY kits cost less than pro installation. Complex jobs, special supports/reinforcements add expenses for both quartz and granite installs.
Countertops must be transported from fabrication shop to home, adding a delivery fee based on distance. This is similar between materials.
Quartz often comes with longer 10-15 year manufacturer warranties. Granite warranties are typically 1 year from fabricator. Extended plans are advised.
Cost Saving Tips for Granite and Quartz
Here are some great ways to get the high-end look of granite or quartz countertops while sticking to your budget:
- Request a combination quote using granite for some areas and quartz for others
- Use granite or quartz on just the islands and cheaper material like laminate on the perimeter
- Get quotes for granite remnants to save 30-40% on cutting costs
- Consider prefabricated granite and quartz kits for DIY install
- Opt for standard eased edges rather than decorative ogee or bevel
- Install backsplashes and accent walls selectively rather than throughout
- Shop warehouses and clearance sales for discounted materials
- Provide your own sink and appliances to avoid markup on cutouts
- Look at alternative stones like marble, soapstone, or onyx for cost savings
- Speak to your fabricator about when they have extra slabs to fill orders
- Avoid rush fees by being flexible with fabrication and installation timing
Should You Choose Granite or Quartz Based on Cost?
With the cost differential between granite and quartz being just $10-30 per square foot on average, your decision should ultimately come down to factors beyond just price. Which material best fits your design vision? What color and pattern do you love? Does low maintenance or natural beauty matter more? Do you prefer the prestige of granite or durability of quartz?
If budget is a major factor, here are a few key points:
- For a mid-range kitchen, granite and quartz will be comparably priced.
- For smaller projects under 30 sqft, granite can make more economic sense.
- For larger projects over 60 sqft, quartz becomes more competitive.
- For a contemporary style, quartz provides more bang for buck.
- For a rustic style, natural granite is worth the cost.
Be sure to thoroughly compare material samples and get multiple quotes. Consult with an experienced kitchen designer to determine if granite or quartz best fits your particular style, space and budget. While quartz may cost marginally more, its benefits often make it worthwhile for many homeowners.
FAQs about Granite vs Quartz Costs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about comparing the costs of quartz and granite:
Which is more expensive to install, granite or quartz?
Installation costs are typically similar, around $40-100 per square foot. Quartz is occasionally cheaper to install since the slabs are pre-cut to standard sizes.
Does quartz add more value to a home than granite?
Granite and quartz add similar value – around 70-80% ROI on average. Granite may edge out quartz slightly due to prestige. But quartz is more modern. Both are excellent choices.
Can quartz be cheaper than granite?
Quartz does start at a lower price point than granite, around $50 vs. $70 per square foot. But with edges, installation, etc – granite is usually the less expensive overall option.
Is Caesarstone more expensive than granite?
Yes, Caesarstone quartz generally ranges from $57-120 per sq.ft. material only. Comparable granite slabs cost $45-70 per sq.ft. Caesarstone is premium quartz with associated higher costs.
Does Home Depot charge more for quartz than granite?
At the Home Depot, material plus installation for quartz runs $80-120 per sq.ft. total. Granite runs $70-100 per sq.ft. So quartz does cost around $10-15 sq.ft. more there.
Which is cheaper, cutting quartz or granite?
Cutting and fabrication rates are similar between granite and quartz, in the range of $40-100 per square foot depending on intricacy. Quartz can cost slightly less with its standardized slab sizes.
Should I upgrade from laminate to quartz or granite?
Upgrading from laminate to granite or quartz adds a significant wow-factor. Quartz provides the most durable and maintenance-free option if you can afford the $3k+ investment for an average kitchen.
Is it worth paying more for quartz over granite?
If you love the look of quartz, the durability and consistent quality make it worth a slight premium over granite. Lower maintenance quartz saves long-term hassles. But natural granite is a classic.
The Bottom Line
When comparing granite vs. quartz countertops, quartz does come at a moderately higher cost – approximately $10-30 more per square foot installed. However, the resale value, longevity, and low-maintenance nature of quartz often justifies the extra investment. Cost differences between the two materials narrow as your project size increases.
Be sure to consider the pros and cons of each carefully along with your specific project requirements. Consult an expert to determine if the added features and benefits of quartz make it the right choice over granite based on your priorities. While the initial price tag of quartz may be more, for many homeowners, the long-term enjoyment, ease of care and enduring beauty provide great return on investment.