Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. With their durability, low maintenance, and customizability, it’s easy to see why quartz tops the list for many homeowners. However, with so many options on the market, quartz pricing can vary quite a bit. Here’s a detailed look at what impacts the cost of quartz countertops and how to get the best value.
What Factors Determine Quartz Countertop Pricing?
Several key factors come into play when determining quartz countertop costs:
Not all quartz is created equal. The brand you choose plays a significant role in quartz pricing. Higher-end designer brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone come at a higher cost than value-oriented brands like MSI and Viatera. The premium brand names invest more into research, design, and marketing which gets passed onto the consumer.
Color and Pattern
Quartz slabs come in a vast array of colors and patterns. More complex designs and richer hues tend to cost more than basic white and beige solids. If opting for a bold, vivid look with lots of movement, expect to pay a higher per square foot price. Neutral tones are the most budget-friendly.
Standard quartz thickness is 3/4″, but 1 1/4″ and 2″ slabs have become popular for a more substantial feel. The thicker the quartz, the more it costs. Thinner 1/2″ options are occasionally available for vertical applications to save on costs.
The edge finishing on your countertops also affects overall pricing. A standard square edge is the most affordable. More intricate ogee, bevel, and bullnose edges add labor and complexity, increasing costs. The price difference can be $10-$20 per linear foot.
Complex countertop layouts with multiple seams, custom cutouts, and non-standard edge profiles take more time and skill for installation, bumping up the price. Simpler layouts with just a few seams will be more budget-friendly. Most installers charge around $150 per cutout.
Regional variances in operational costs, labor rates, and raw material availability cause quartz pricing to be higher in some areas than others. Expect to pay more for quartz countertops if you live in an urban area or on the coasts. Prices tend to be lower in rural central states.
What’s the Average Cost of Quartz Countertops?
With so many variables at play, quartz countertop prices per square foot can range anywhere from $45 on the very low end to $150 on the high end. However, most fall between $70-$100 per square foot installed.
The total cost for a medium-sized kitchen with 40 square feet of countertop space would land around $3,000-$4,000 installed. For a larger 70 square foot kitchen, expect to invest $5,000-$7,000.
Here’s a rough pricing chart for installed costs per square foot:
- Economy (MSI, Viatera): $45 – $70
- Mid-Range (Caesarstone): $70 – $90
- High-End (Cambria): $90 – $150
These numbers assume a standard 3/4″ slab and square edge profile. Upcharges for thicker materials and fancy edges can tack on an additional $10-$50 per square foot.
How to Get the Best Value on Quartz
To keep quartz countertop costs down, here are some smart tips:
- Stick to a simpler all-white or light solid color for the most budget-friendly look.
- Select a square edge profile and standard 3/4″ thickness.
- Opt for a mid-range brand like Caesarstone over high-end Cambria.
- Look for discounts through warehouse clubs like Costco or Lowe’s.
- Use quartz for areas visible to guests like the kitchen, and do butcher block or laminate in hidden prep areas.
- Get quotes from 3-5 different countertop fabricators to compare pricing.
- Provide the fabricator with a clearly defined layout to minimize seams and cutouts.
- Schedule your project during the fabricator’s slower season for better pricing.
- Be flexible with timing – take advantage of short-notice cancellation openings.
Installation Best Practices
To ensure your investment in quartz countertops stands the test of time, proper installation is crucial. Here are a few must-follow tips:
- Only hire experienced quartz fabricators who follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Slabs should be cut and fitted seamlessly with no noticeable gaps or lips.
- Edges should have a smooth polished finish free of chips and irregularities.
- Seams need to be securely bonded with a color-matched adhesive and have minimal visibility.
- The installer should reinforce joints and provide added support around cutouts to prevent cracking.
- Quartz should be given proper time to cure before use, usually 24-72 hours.
Following these best practices results in secure, lasting quartz countertops that provide years of enjoyment. Taking the time to hire qualified installers is well worth the investment.
Maintaining the Beauty of Quartz
One of the biggest perks of quartz is that it’s virtually maintenance-free compared to natural stone and other materials. However, you’ll still want to follow a few basic care guidelines:
- Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from scratches and burns.
- Clean up spills promptly to prevent staining.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners and scouring pads. Mild soap and water is best for routine cleaning.
- Reseal with a stone sealer every 1-2 years.
- Periodic repolishing helps smooth over marks from normal wear and tear.
With proper care and cleaning, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years before needing replacement. The durability and longevity make quartz an attractive return on investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about quartz countertop costs:
Is quartz more expensive than granite?
Quartz pricing is very comparable to granite, usually within the same range of $70-$150 per square foot installed. They cost about the same, with granite perhaps a touch lower on the low end and quartz a bit higher on the high end.
Is quartz cheaper than marble?
Yes, quartz is considerably cheaper than marble. While marble often exceeds $100 per square foot, quartz starts around $70 with many options under $100. The huge price difference is largely due to marble’s fragility requiring extra labor costs.
Is it cheaper to install quartz yourself?
In most cases, it’s not advisable for DIY installation of quartz. The heavy material requires special handling, and improper seam treatment can lead to damage. The risk of cracking, chipping, or bonding issues is very high without professional experience. Hiring a qualified installer is worth the cost.
Does quartz add value to a home?
Yes, high-end quartz countertops can boost your home’s resale value. Quartz is an upscale material that’s highly desired by buyers. Investing in quality quartz now can yield a return on investment when selling later.
How much cheaper is quartzite than quartz?
Quartzite does cost slightly less than quartz, usually by about $10-$20 per square foot. Both offer a very similar look. The biggest difference is that quartzite is 100% natural while quartz is engineered. Quartzite does require a bit more maintenance.
When chosen with a realistic budget and expectations in mind, quartz countertops can be a smart investment that pays dividends for years down the road. Pricing will be highest for exotic patterns, premium brands, and intricate installations. Yet even on a modest budget, quality quartz is within reach, providing natural beauty, durability, and easy care – sure to delight homeowners every day. With some savvy shopping techniques and an experienced installer, you can realize your dream quartz countertops at a price that makes sense.