Quartz and granite countertops are two of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom countertops today. Many homeowners wonder if quartz costs more than granite. The answer depends on several factors. Here is a detailed comparison of quartz vs. granite countertops on cost and other considerations.
Quartz Countertop Cost
Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from approximately 90% ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymers and pigments. The exact cost of a quartz countertop depends on several factors:
- Brand – Popular quartz brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are more expensive than generic or store brands. Premium designer brands can cost up to $100 per square foot installed.
- Thickness – Standard thickness is 1 1/4 inches. Thicker material, like 2 cm or 3 cm, costs more.
- Edge treatments – Decorative edges like ogee, bevel, or bullnose add $10-$20 per linear foot.
- Color and pattern – Unique colors and designs cost more than plain white or neutral tones.
- Installer – Hiring an experienced fabricator and installer is advisable for the best results. Their labor costs can range from $50-$100 per hour.
On average, expect to pay $40-$100 per square foot installed for a quartz countertop, with most homeowners spending between $3,000-$5,000 for a typical 10-foot kitchen countertop.
Granite Countertop Cost
Granite is a natural stone mined from quarries around the world. Cost factors for granite include:
- Stone type – Rare or imported granites like Uba Tuba or Blue Bahia cost more than domestic options like Ubatuba or New Colonial Gold.
- Finish – Honed or leathered finishes add texture but also add $10-$15 per sq.ft. to the price.
- Edge details – Ogee, bevel, bullnose edges cost $15-$25 per linear foot more than straight polished edges.
- Thickness – 3 cm slabs are standard. Thicker slabs are available at a higher price.
- Fabrication – Complex stone cuts, seam placement, and precision polishing take skill that’s reflected in the install price.
Expect to pay $35-$75 per square foot installed. The total cost for a 10-foot kitchen granite countertop typically ranges from $2,500-$4,500.
In general, quartz countertops tend to cost 10-20% more than granite. However, the gap is narrowing as technology improves and quartz becomes more competitive with natural stone.
For an equivalent color, thickness, and edge treatment, quartz may cost $50 per square foot installed compared to $40 per square foot for granite.
However, prices can overlap. Higher-end granites may exceed lower-priced quartz options. It depends on the specific materials chosen.
Pros and Cons Beyond Cost
Price shouldn’t be the only consideration when choosing countertops. Key differences between quartz and granite include:
- More consistent color and pattern
- Stain, scratch, and heat resistant
- Easier maintenance
- Natural material with unique veining
- Can be locally sourced
- Matches other natural stone finishes
- Can be repaired, not replaced
- Engineered material lacks natural charm
- Limited number of styles
- Visible seams
- Needs periodic sealing
- Can stain, scratch, or chip
- Heat and impact sensitive
- Can have natural flaws
While quartz countertops tend to have a slight cost premium over granite, prices vary depending on the exact materials and fabrication details selected. Quartz requires little maintenance, while granite needs periodic sealing. Both offer beauty and durability if properly installed and cared for. Consider the pros, cons, and cost trade-offs carefully before deciding between granite vs. quartz countertops.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quartz more expensive than granite in general?
Yes, quartz countertops are generally 10-20% more expensive than granite. However, high-end designer granites can sometimes exceed lower-priced quartz options.
Why is quartz more expensive than granite?
Quartz fabrication involves more processing like blending polymers and pigments with ground quartz. The manufacturing and marketing of popular quartz brands also adds to costs versus unbranded granite.
How much more does quartz cost versus granite?
On average, expect quartz prices to range from $40-$100 per square foot installed, while granite averages $35-$75 per square foot installed. In direct comparisons, quartz often costs $5-$15 more per square foot than granite.
Should I choose quartz or granite based on cost?
Cost shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Consider how each material fits your lifestyle in terms of maintenance needs, durability, and aesthetics. Quartz requires less maintenance while granite offers a natural stone look.
Does quartz add resale value like granite?
Both quartz and granite are seen as premium countertop materials that can increase home values. However, granite may have a slight edge as a natural material that buyers recognize. Quartz is still relatively new but gaining popularity.
While quartz countertops are predicted to slightly outpace granite in growth and popularity over the next few years, natural granite maintains a strong demand. Cost is just one of many important considerations when choosing between these two excellent countertop materials for kitchens and baths. Consult a design expert to compare quotes and help determine whether granite or quartz best fits your project requirements, lifestyle, and budget.