Are There Different Grades of Quartz Countertops?

Grades of Quartz Countertops

There are no universally recognized “grades” of quartz like there are for granite or marble. However, there are differences in quality between quartz brands and product lines:

Premium vs. Budget Brands

The highest-end quartz countertop brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are known for better quality controls, more consistent patterns, and durable performance. Lower-priced brands may have more variation between slabs or be prone to issues like staining.

Higher-Priced vs. Entry-Level Product Lines

Within a brand, higher-priced quartz product lines feature more complex, often natural-looking patterns. Entry-level quartz lines tend to have more consistent speckled patterns. Premium lines have more durable polymers and denser quartz for better scratch and stain resistance.

Color and Pattern Consistency

Premium quartz brands tout the consistency of their colors and patterns. Even within the same product line, though, there can be some natural variation from slab to slab. Consistency tends to be much better than with natural stone.


Quartz slabs are typically available in 2cm and 3cm thicknesses. Thicker countertops are more durable and resistant to damage. 3cm provides the best performance for heavily used kitchen countertops.

How Quartz Countertops Are Graded

Unlike natural stone which uses terms like “commercial grade” or “premium select,” quartz has no industry-wide grading scales. However, quartz countertop slabs are informally graded:

  • First-quality slabs have minimal surface flaws and excellent pattern consistency. These are selected for full-slab installations.
  • Second-quality slabs may have small chips, cracks, or consistency issues. These can be used for smaller cutouts like backsplashes.
  • Remnant pieces are irregularly shaped leftovers from other jobs. They can be creatively placed in small areas.

Factors That Determine Quartz Quality

Instead of grades, several factors influence the overall quality and durability of a quartz countertop:

  • Brand Reputation: Well-known premium brands have stricter quality control.
  • Percentage of Quartz: Higher quartz content makes a harder, more durable surface.
  • Pattern Complexity: Simple patterns hide flaws better than bold, varying designs.
  • Resin Binders: More durable polymers increase stain and scratch resistance.
  • Slab Thickness: Thicker 3cm slabs withstand impact better than 2cm.
  • Warranties: Longer warranties often reflect better anticipated performance.

The Bottom Line

While there are no official “grades” of quartz slabs, factors like brand, price, quartz percentage, pattern, thickness, and warranties give a good indication of quality and durability. Higher-priced premium quartz generally provides better scratch, stain, and impact resistance compared to lower-priced products. But even entry-level quartz usually outperforms laminate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grades of Quartz Countertops

Are higher-priced quartz lines better than cheaper ones?

Generally, yes. Premium quartz brands and product lines within those brands offer better quality controls, more consistent patterning, and use advanced resins and higher quartz density for improved durability. They cost more but tend to outperform entry-level quartz.

Does the consistency of quartz patterns indicate quality?

Yes. More premium quartz has very tightly controlled patterning so all slabs of a color look uniform. Lower-priced quartz often shows more variability between slabs. Consistent patterning is a sign of stricter quality control.

Is a thicker quartz countertop better?

Quartz slabs come in 2cm and 3cm thicknesses. The thicker 3cm option stands up better to impact, mechanical damage, and bending stress over time. Thicker quartz is recommended for heavy-use kitchen countertops.

Should I choose quartz from a well-known brand?

Sticking with leading national quartz brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone is advisable. Their reputation for quality and performance is backed by strict quality control and warranties. Lesser-known brands can be hit or miss.

How much does the warranty indicate about quartz quality?

Better quartz brands offer 15-year or lifetime limited warranties. Longer warranties typically indicate the manufacturer has more confidence in the product’s expected durability and performance over time. Shorter warranties could signal lower-quality materials.


While quartz countertops do not have distinct grades like natural stone, factors like brand, price, thickness, and warranties give consumers a good indication of quality and durability. Investing in premium quartz typically means better long-term performance, stain and scratch resistance, and consistency. With quality quartz becoming more affordable, it is a great option for long-lasting and low-maintenance countertops.