Are There Different Qualities of Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are one of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. With their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance, it’s easy to see why quartz has become a top choice for many homeowners. However, not all quartz countertops are created equal. There are some key differences in the qualities and characteristics between different quartz products on the market. Understanding these distinctions can help you select the best quartz countertop to suit your needs and budget.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material, while the rest consists of polymer resins that bind the quartz particles together. The resins make the countertop non-porous, resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. The pigments introduce various colors and patterns.

Unlike natural stone materials like granite and marble, quartz has a consistent appearance because it is engineered in a factory. This allows for more customization in colors, patterns, and finishes. The manufacturing process also makes quartz less prone to defects, cracks, and discoloration.

Factors Differentiating Quartz Qualities

When exploring your quartz countertop options, here are some key factors that affect the quality and price point:

Quartz Content

Higher quartz content indicates a more premium product, usually above 90%. More quartz means increased durability and scratch resistance. Low-quality quartz contains less natural stone material and more resin fillers.


Standard thickness is 3/4″, but thinner or thicker options are available. Thicker quartz of 1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″ has more durability for heavily used countertops. Thinner options of 1/2″ can work for vertical applications like tub/shower surrounds.


Matte finishes hide traces of use better than glossy finishes. Textured finishes like concrete, leathered, or brushed add visual depth. Metallic, sparkly, and marbled finishes create high-end drama.


From solid colors to bold veining to fine speckles, the pattern possibilities are endless. Busy granular patterns can hide flaws well. Minimal patterns show off more of the natural quartz crystals.

Color Consistency

Higher quality quartz has uniform coloring all the way through. Lower quality may have inconsistent spots or blotches of color.

Brand Reputation

Established brands like Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone and Quartz Master have proven track records of quality. Lesser known brands often provide less consistency.

Country of Origin

Quartz made in Germany, USA, and Israel tends to rate higher than products sourced from China and India. Domestic manufacturing allows better quality control.


Better quartz brands offer 10-15 year or lifetime warranties. Check what defects are covered, such as chips, cracks, stains, seam separation, etc.

Are There Different Price Levels?

The qualities above influence the pricing on quartz countertops. Here are some general quartz price ranges you can expect:

  • Economy ($40-$70 per sq. ft.): This is the low-budget end of quartz options. Limited colors, generic patterns, and thinner slab thicknesses keep costs down. Quality is often inconsistent.
  • Standard ($70-150 per sq. ft.): The wide middle range covers products from reputable brands with decent warranties. Streamlined color palettes and patterns keep prices affordable. Most homes find good value in this range.
  • Premium ($150-$250+ per sq. ft.): For top-of-the-line quartz, expect bolder designs, maximum thickness, high-end finishes and exotic patterns. Luxury brands like Dekton and Neolith fall into this category.
  • Custom ($200-$500+ per sq. ft.): Fully customized quartz with intricate inlays, mosaics, hand carvings and designer embellishments entersDesigner
    embellishments enters the high-end custom realm. Costs vary widely based on level of detail.

Key Takeaways on Quartz Qualities

  • Quartz offers much more uniformity and less variation overall than natural stone.
  • However, there are still quality differences between products based on quartz content, thickness, patterns, warranties and brand reputation.
  • Do your homework to understand what factors make up a quality quartz countertop that fits your budget.
  • Carefully review warranties and buy from reputable, quality-driven brands.
  • Your quartz countertop cost will correlate closely with the performance, durability, and visual appeal of the product.
  • Investing in high quality quartz is a wise decision that will pay dividends for years to come in your home’s beauty and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the highest quality quartz brands?

Some of the top quartz brands known for quality are Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, MSI, LG Viatera, and DuPont Zodiaq.

What thickness of quartz is best?

The standard thickness is 3/4″, but for heavy usage areas, opt for thicker 1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″ slabs. Thinner 1/2″ options work for vertical surfaces.

Is quartz more expensive than granite?

In general, quartz runs $10-20 per sq.ft. more than granite. But high-end granite and low-end quartz can overlap in pricing. Durability and maintenance must also be factored in.

Can you tell the difference between cheap and expensive quartz?

Yes, higher priced quartz will have more quartz content, better warranties, name brand reputation, unique patterns and finishes. Performance and durability increase with cost.

What’s higher quality – solid color or patterned quartz?

This comes down to personal preference. Solid colors show off more of the natural quartz. Patterns help hide flaws but can look too busy for some tastes.


While quartz countertops offer many advantages over natural stone and other materials, it’s important to realize that quality can vary substantially. Take the time to analyze the quartz content, thickness, warranty coverage, brand reputation, country of origin, finishes and patterns to determine the best product for your project goals and budget constraints. Investing in high caliber quartz will truly pay off for many years of enduring beauty and hassle-free maintenance. With some prudent research on the front end, you won’t regret installing a high-performing quartz countertop that withstands busy kitchens and bathrooms with grace and style.