Are Quartz Countertops Worth It? A Detailed Look at the Pros and Cons

Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. Often touted as an affordable and stylish alternative to natural stone and other high-end countertop materials, quartz offers some distinct advantages. But is the hype about quartz justified? Are quartz countertops really worth the investment? In this detailed guide, we’ll examine the pros, cons, costs, and other factors to consider when deciding whether quartz is the right countertop material for your next remodeling project.

What is Quartz?

Before weighing the pros and cons, it helps to understand exactly what quartz countertops are. Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed natural quartz blended with polymer resins and pigments. The combination results in a durable, non-porous material that can be fabricated into countertops, backsplashes, vanities and more.

Unlike solid surface materials, quartz contains a high percentage of natural stone – usually around 90%. The resins bind the stone particles together to create a material that is much harder and less prone to damage than other engineered countertops. The pigments also allow quartz to be colored in an astonishing array of patterns and hues.

The Pros of Quartz Countertops

So what exactly makes quartz a popular countertop choice? Here are some of the key benefits and advantages of quartz:

Extremely Durable and Low Maintenance

One of the standout features of quartz is its incredible durability. It’s one of the hardest countertop materials available, even more resistant to scratches, chips and cracks than granite. The non-porous nature also means it won’t absorb stains from spills like some natural stones can.

Quartz’s durability translates to low maintenance requirements. Simple wiping with a soft cloth and mild soap is often all that’s needed to keep quartz counters looking like new. No need for regular sealing or polishing. For most homeowners, quartz delivers a lifetime of hassle-free, worry-free use.

Hygienic & Non-Porous

The non-porous quality of quartz makes it an extremely hygienic option. With nowhere for mold, mildew and bacteria to hide, quartz counters are easy to keep germ-free. For kitchens and bathrooms, this level of hygiene can provide important health benefits. The non-porous surface also never needs to be sealed to prevent staining.

Design Flexibility

From sleek solid colors to dazzling patterns that mimic granite and other natural stones, quartz offers exceptional design flexibility. The pigments blended into quartz allow for striking visual styles that can be tailored to match your decor. Edges can be finished in different profiles as well. This versatility gives quartz broad aesthetic appeal.

Easy Installation

Quartz slabs are thinner and lighter than many natural stone options. This makes transportation, handling and installation much easier than with heavier materials like granite or marble. More basic tools and less structural reinforcement are required in the installation process too. Overall, Quartz offers a pretty straightforward installation compared to other natural stone countertops.

Increased Home Value

A kitchen or bath remodel using quartz will recoup a significant portion of the project costs when it comes time to sell your home. Quartz is increasingly sought-after for its durability, aesthetics and reputation as a high-end material. Upgrading to quartz can noticeably increase resale value.

Long Warranties

Confidence in long-term performance is boosted by warranties offered on quartz countertops. Most manufacturers provide 10-year or 15-year warranties. This is significantly longer than the 1-year warranties common on lower priced surfaces like granite tile or laminate. Extended peace of mind comes standard with quartz.

Less maintenance than natural stone

As a manufactured material, quartz requires far less routine maintenance than natural stone options like granite, slate or marble. No sealing or polishing is required to keep quartz looking pristine. The extensive hand-polishing needed for granite can also be avoided with quartz.

The Cons of Quartz Countertops

For all its advantages, quartz isn’t perfect. There are a few potential drawbacks to weigh:

Higher Upfront Cost

The biggest downside of quartz is its initial cost. Pricing depends on the manufacturer and color/pattern, but expect to pay $80-$150 per square foot installed. This puts quartz at 2 to 3 times the cost of options like granite tile, laminate or cultured marble. For many homeowners, the higher initial investment is worthwhile long-term, but the upfront cost can be prohibitive.

Limited Colors/Patterns

There are hundreds of color/pattern options offered by various manufacturers. However, quartz lacks the truly unique patterning of natural granite and marble that no two countertops are exactly the same. The range of tones and visual styles is still more limited in quartz compared to real stone. Those desiring a specific natural look may not find a perfect quartz match.

Can Chip if Misused

It’s extremely durable for normal wear and tear, but quartz isn’t completely impervious to chips and cracks. Dropping a heavy object with a sharp corner directly on a quartz countertop could potentially cause damage. However, quartz is still far more resistant to chipping than materials like solid surface, laminate or tile. Avoiding abuse will prevent issues.

Needs Professional Installation

DIY installations are not recommended for quartz countertops. Flawless seams between countertop slabs and proper support underneath require specialized tools and skills. Hiring a professional is advised, adding to the overall project cost. Many manufacturers also require installers to be certified to honor the product warranty.

Requires Some Extra Care

Simple routine cleaning is often enough for quartz, but more care is required relative to materials like stainless steel. Quartz can be permanently marked or dulled by harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing. While durable for normal use, quartz does need some extra care to avoid accidental damage during cleaning or use.

Can Be Difficult to Repair

Manufacturer warranties often cover repairs, but quartz is not quite as repairable as some other surfaces once installed. Seamless spot repairs require color-matched materials and skills beyond what a homeowner can easily do. This makes damage prevention through proper care and avoidance of abuse especially important with quartz.

Lacks Natural Stone Feel

Engineered quartz lacks the cool, iconic feel of natural granite straight from the earth. For some homeowners, man-made quartz simply can’t replicate the visual impact and allure of true stone. Of course this subjective drawback doesn’t apply to everyone, but it limits quartz for some applications.

Quartz Pricing Guide: What Factors Impact Cost?

If deciding on quartz, it helps to understand what impacts the price. Here are the key factors:

  • Brand – Price varies somewhat between leading manufacturers like Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone and Viatera.
  • Patterns/Colors – Unusual patterns, abundant veining, or popular colors tend to cost more. Simple solid tones are often the most budget-friendly.
  • Thickness – Standard thickness is 3cm (1.2 inches). Going thicker increases material costs. Thinner 2cm slabs save money but are more prone to cracks.
  • Edge Style – Decorative edges like ogee, chamfer, or eased cost extra compared to a standard straight edge. Complex edge profiles increase labor too.
  • Installation – Simple countertop replacements in existing cabinets cost less than complex remodeling builds or cases requiring structural reinforcement.
  • Fabrication – Intricate fabrications with intricate seams, built-in drainboards, cutouts and other custom work requires more time/skill increasing project costs.
  • Countertop Size – Larger total countertop square footage requires more material and time, increasing overall spend. Smaller kitchens and baths cost less overall.
  • Geography – Material and labor rates vary regionally. Quartz costs somewhat more for installation in areas with higher wages and transportation costs.

With many variables impacting the final price, it’s impossible to give an exact cost estimate that applies everywhere. However, expect a total installed price of $80 to $150 per square foot for reasonably priced quartz installed by a professional. Excellent deals can sometimes be found during promotional sales. Luxury brands or lavish installations can also drive costs above $150 per square foot.

Quartz vs. Granite: Key Differences

Granite remains the most popular natural stone countertop option. Many homeowners deciding between quartz and granite get stuck comparing the two. Here are some key differences:

Appearance – Granite offers unique natural patterns. Quartz looks more uniform. Granite comes in more color tones.

Durability – Both are very durable, but quartz is harder and more scratch/chip resistant.

Maintenance – Quartz is basically maintenance free. Granite requires occasional sealing.

Heat Tolerance – Quartz can stand up to heat better than granite without cracking.

Stain Resistance – Non-porous quartz resists stains better than porous granite.

Cost – Materials cost is similar, but granite requires more handwork driving up installed price.

Resale Value – Quartz and granite can both boost home value. Granite has more prestige for now.

Overall, there is no universally “better” option. Much comes down to personal preference on factors like appearance, maintenance and budget. For those wanting maximum durability and least maintenance, quartz often wins out. But granite still carries more prestige.

Smart Strategies for Choosing Quartz Countertops

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided quartz is the right choice for your kitchen or bath project, use these tips for getting the best results:

  • Inspect quartz slabs in person before finalizing a purchase – colors and patterns can vary from samples.
  • Ask about warranties – they often cover manufacturer defects and reasonable repairs.
  • Hire an experienced installers that follows manufacturer guidelines.
  • Consider an integrated sink for a seamless quartz look.
  • Use a cutting board and trivets/hot pads to prevent abuse that might chip quartz.
  • Keep quartz away from harsh chemicals that can dull the surface.
  • Research quartz brands online and read reviews from past buyers.

Taking the time to make educated choices will help ensure you wind up with gorgeous, durable quartz counters that live up to your expectations and enhance your home.

Are Quartz Countertops Worth It? Our Verdict

In most cases, yes – quartz delivers an outstanding combination of aesthetics, low maintenance, and long-lasting durability. For homeowners who want stylish counters that can handle years of worry-free use with minimal upkeep, quartz is absolutely worth the investment.

The higher initial cost can discourage some buyers. But those who can afford quartz are unlikely to regret choosing this engineered stone material for counters and surfaces throughout the home. With more colors, patterns and styles than ever before, quartz offers looks to suit almost any design vision.

Weighing all the pros and cons, quartz countertops do live up to their reputation and deliver meaningful benefits above lower cost options. For those willing to pay a little more upfront, quartz presents an opportunity to elevate the visual appeal of your home while enjoying truly hassle-free counters that last.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz Countertops

Is quartz really maintenance free?

Quartz requires far less maintenance than natural stone. No sealing or polishing is required. Simple cleaning with mild soap and water is enough to keep quartz counters looking like new over decades of use. This makes quartz about as maintenance-free as countertops can get.

How durable is a quartz countertop?

Properly installed, quartz can last a lifetime in most homes. It resists scratches, stains, chips and heat damage better than almost any other countertop material. The non-porous surface never needs to be sealed either. Durability is one of quartz’s biggest selling points.

Does quartz add value to a home?

Kitchen and bathroom upgrades using quartz countertops often recoup over 50% of the project cost in added home value. Quartz is increasingly popular with buyers, and seen as an upscale surface that enhances property value. The long warranties also signal quality construction.

Is quartz toxic or unhealthy?

Quartz surfaces contain no toxic materials and are very safe. The polymer resins used to make quartz are non-hazardous. Quartz emits zero radiation unlike some natural granite. Clean quartz surfaces harbor minimal bacteria as well. There are no health risks associated with quartz countertops.

How much does quartz cost compared to granite?

Quartz typically costs $80-150 per square foot installed. Granite can be found for as low as $50 per square foot, but unique granite often ranges from $100-200 installed. Materials for granite vs. quartz are similarly priced, but quartz requires less hand labor. Overall costs for nice quartz and granite are comparable.

Can you repair quartz countertops?

Small scratches or chips can often be sanded/polished out by a pro. But seamless repairs are difficult with quartz. Spot repairs stand out and often require replacing an entire quartz slab. The best approach is preventing damage in the first place through proper care. Manufacturer warranties may cover some repair costs too.

Does quartz need to be sealed?

Never. Because it is non-porous, quartz does not absorb stains or need sealing. No sealing or resealing is required for the life of the countertop. This is a major advantage quartz has over granite and other natural stones that require regular sealing.

Is quartz stain proof?

Not completely, but quartz is highly stain resistant. Most everyday food and beverage spills can be wiped away with no trace. Prolonged exposure to strong pigments could potentially stain quartz. But it stands up very well overall thanks to its non-porous nature and density.

Is Caesarstone the same as quartz?

Caesarstone is one popular brand that manufactures quartz countertops. But quartz countertops are also made by Cambria, Silestone, Viatera and others. Caesarstone does specifically offer a large selection of quartz countertop styles. But it’s just one brand, not synonymous with all quartz.

Does quartz break easily?

Quartz is remarkably resistant to breaks, cracks and chips under normal use. Heavy impacts in certain areas can potentially crack quartz. But overall, quartz is exponentially more crack-resistant than materials like ceramic tile, concrete, or laminate. When fabricated and installed properly, quartz countertops are built to last.


After reviewing the pros, cons, costs and comparisons, quartz clearly delivers an outstanding combination of aesthetic appeal, extreme durability, and hassle-free maintenance. While the initial investment is higher than some other options, quartz countertops stand the test of time and can retain their beauty for decades to come. For most homeowners, choosing quartz means enjoying gorgeous worry-free counters for life.