Are Quartz Countertops Worth the Money?

Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years as a stylish, durable, and low-maintenance alternative to natural stone and solid surface materials. But with quartz commanding premium pricing, many homeowners wonder: are quartz countertops really worth the investment?

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and hardness, while the resins bind the material together.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key characteristics of quartz:

  • Hard and durable – Quartz rates 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it harder than granite (6 to 7) and just below diamonds (10). This makes it very resistant to scratches, chips, and cracks.
  • Low porosity – Unlike granite and marble which are porous, quartz is non-porous and does not require sealants. This makes it stain and microbe resistant.
  • Resilient – Quartz stands up well to everyday wear and tear. It won’t scorch or stain and is heat resistant up to 212°F.
  • Minimal maintenance – With simple cleaning using soap and water, quartz maintains its beauty with little effort.
  • Color and pattern options – Manufacturers offer a wide array of colors and patterns from subtle to bold. Consistent stone-like veining is imprinted through the full thickness of the slab.

Quartz Countertop Cost

Quartz is priced as a premium product, ranging between $80-150 per square foot installed. This is notably higher than materials like granite ($50-100 per square foot) and laminate ($10-35 per square foot).

Factors impacting the price include:

  • Brand – Leading brands Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are priced at the higher end of the quartz spectrum. Lesser known brands tend to be more budget-friendly.
  • Color and pattern – Basic white and light quartz colors are often the least expensive options. Unique colors and bold veining patterns command higher pricing.
  • Thickness – The standard thickness is 1 1/4″. Opting for a thicker 1 1/2″ slab will increase cost.
  • Edge details – Simple square cut edges are standard. Specialty edges like beveled, rounded, or ogee add labour and cost.
  • Installation – Hiring an experienced professional is advised. This typically adds $40-100 per square foot.

With the high cost investment, are quartz countertops ultimately worth it compared to alternative options? Let’s dig into the pros and cons.

Pros of Quartz Countertops


Quartz’s hardness and density make it highly scratch, chip, and heat resistant. Even during daily use and some accidental spills and scuffs, quartz maintains its like-new appearance for years before needing replacement. Quartz’s durability surpasses softer natural stones like marble.

Low Maintenance

Due to its non-porous nature, quartz needs very little maintenance compared to granite or marble that require periodic sealing. Simple cleaning with soap and water is sufficient to keep quartz counters hygienic and looking like new. This makes quartz a great choice for busy kitchens.

Consistent Appearance

While natural stones have variation, an engineered product like quartz has a uniform appearance. The pattern and color permeate through the entire slab. So chips or scratches are less noticeable compared to surface coatings.

Stylish Aesthetic

With a wide array of colors and patterns, quartz allows you to achieve virtually any countertop look you desire from minimalist to boldly stylish. And unlike granite or marble, you don’t have to hunt through slabs to find the perfect pattern.


With zero porosity, quartz repels stains, resists harboring bacteria, and never needs sealing. Spills can simply be wiped away without leaving a trace. This makes quartz an ideal choice for kitchen and bathrooms.

Mold and Mildew Resistant

The dense non-porous surface of quartz does not allow mold or mildew to grow. This makes it ideal for bathrooms and other damp environments.

Cons of Quartz Countertops

Appearance Lacks Depth

While quartz mimics natural stone with imprinted veining, the patterns lack the depth and multi-dimensional qualities of real granite and marble. The engineered nature may be visible upon close inspection.

Limited Recyclability

Unlike natural stone that can be crushed and recycled, current options to recycle engineered quartz are limited. Though some quartz manufacturers are actively working on improving sustainability.

Sensitivity to UV Rays

Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause quartz to fade and discolor over time. Keeping quartz out of direct sunlight is recommended.

Seams More Noticeable

Since quartz slabs are created in smaller sizes than natural stone, seams after installation may be more apparent. Careful installation is required to minimize this effect.

Needs Professional Installation

Due to the hardness and weight of quartz slabs, installation is not a DIY-friendly project. Hiring a trained professional is a must to ensure proper handling and fabrication.

Limited Customization

Outside of selecting a pre-made color and pattern options, quartz offers little customization compared to natural stone which can be mixed and matched.

Quartz vs. Granite

Granite is a leading competitor to quartz. Here’s how the two kitchen countertop materials compare:


  • Quartz is harder than granite on the Mohs scale. It better resists scratches and chips.
  • Granite can crack if excessive force or pressure is applied. Quartz is less prone to cracking.


  • Quartz is non-porous and needs hardly any sealing. Granite requires sealing every 1-2 years to prevent staining.
  • Quartz stays hygienic with just soap and water cleaning. More care is needed to disinfect granite.


  • Quartz offers a wide array of consistent colors and patterns. Granite has more variation within each slab.
  • Granite can be polished to a glassy finish. Quartz has a matte to slightly glossy finish.


  • Quartz is generally more expensive than granite, but prices can overlap at the higher end.
  • More affordable granite tends to be more limited in color and pattern compared to quartz.

Bottom Line

For those seeking a low-maintenance, striking, and durable surface, quartz is often viewed as worth the premium over granite. But granite remains a top choice for those who appreciate the prestige and natural uniqueness it offers.

Alternatives to Quartz

If quartz is outside your budget, consider these more affordable countertop options:

  • Granite tile – Using granite tiles instead of a slab significantly cuts cost while still providing the beauty of natural stone. Seams are a tradeoff.
  • Butcher block – Wood butcher block offers a traditional look. It requires thorough sealing but is easily renewable if scratched. Avoid direct contact with water to prevent warping.
  • Laminate – Affordable and easy DIY-installation make laminate popular. Durability and heat resistance is limited compared to quartz. Keep laminate dry.
  • Solid surface – Materials like Corian lack the hardness of quartz but provide seamless installation. Deeper scratches and cuts may be repairable.
  • Concrete – Poured concrete creates an industrial modern look. The unfinished surface is prone to staining and etching from acids. Sealing is a must.

Are Quartz Countertops Worth It?

At the end of the day, whether opting for quartz over other countertop materials is worth the investment comes down to your priorities:

Go with quartz if you want:

  • Extreme durability and scratch resistance
  • Low-maintenance convenience
  • Hygienic and stain-resistant surface
  • Consistent, attractive appearance
  • Long-lasting quality with a 15+ year lifespan

Consider alternatives if:

  • You have a limited budget
  • You prefer natural stone aesthetics
  • Your counters won’t experience heavy-use
  • You don’t mind periodic sealing and careful maintenance

For buyers who spend considerable time in their kitchen, entertain frequently, and prefer an ultra-durable and stylish surface that can handle anything life throws at it, quartz often provides value that justifies the cost. But more budget-friendly options like granite tile or laminate can also be great choices depending on your needs.

The key is weighing your must-have priorities and lifestyle considerations when choosing a countertop. Consult with a kitchen designer to determine if quartz, granite, or another material is the best fit. Be sure to review samples to get a true sense of each material’s aesthetic qualities beyond cost.

An investment in quality kitchen countertops like quartz that you’ll enjoy for over a decade can be money well spent. By increasing satisfaction with your space and reducing maintenance hassles, upgrading to quartz helps maximize the value derived from your investment over time.

FAQ About Quartz Countertops

Still have some questions about whether quartz might be the right choice for your home? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is quartz better than granite?

Quartz is harder and more scratch resistant than granite. It also requires less sealing and maintenance. But granite remains excellent in terms of durability. For a low maintenance and consistent look, quartz has an edge. Granite provides a prestigious, natural stone aesthetic.

How long do quartz countertops last?

With proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops have an exceptionally long lifespan of 15-25 years. In most cases it will outlast the time you spend in your home. Granite and marble last 10-15 years before needing replacement.

Do quartz countertops stain?

Quartz resists stains remarkably well compared to granite and marble due to its non-porous nature. But extremely acidic substances like lemon juice and vinegar can damage and etch quartz if left for prolonged time. Wipe spills quickly to keep quartz pristine.

Can quartz countertops chip?

While very minor chips at the edges are possible, quartz is highly resistant to noticeable chipping with its hardness rating. Damage is more likely from excessive impacts than regular use. Use cutting boards instead of chopping directly on the surface.

Do quartz countertops need to be sealed?

Sealing is not necessary for quartz since it is non-porous. Save your time and money on sealers. Simply keeping quartz clean with soap and water maintains its integrity. Granite and marble do require periodic sealing.

Can you repair quartz countertops?

Minor damage like superficial scratches may be buffed out by a professional. But deep cracks, chips, and stains cannot truly be repaired. One of quartz’s advantages is its consistent appearance means small damages blend in well.

Final Thoughts

Quartz offers unparalleled durability and worry-free maintenance that can make it an ideal choice for busy kitchens prone to messy accidents and frequent use. Though the cost can be 50-100% higher than popular alternatives like granite and laminate, quartz lasts remarkably long and keeps its pristine appearance with minimal upkeep required.

For homeowners who can budget for the initial investment, quartz delivers excellent functionality, aesthetics, and longevity. But those with strict budget constraints can find durable and attractive options among more affordable countertop materials that, with proper care and sealing, can also provide years of lasting beauty.

Analyze how you use your kitchen space, entertain, cook, and clean. Consider the pros and cons of quartz compared to other surfaces in light of your lifestyle and priorities. Visit showrooms to see slabs in person. And consult with quartz fabricators to get accurate installed pricing.

Making an informed decision based on the factors above can help ensure you select the countertop that best delivers on the performance, beauty, and value you seek to enjoy for the years ahead.