Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from engineered stone, quartz combines natural quartz crystals with resins and pigments to create a durable, low-maintenance, and visually appealing surface. When considering quartz countertops, one of the most common questions homeowners have is how much they cost per square foot installed. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the factors that impact the installed price of quartz countertops and provide typical price ranges so you can budget accurately.
What Impacts The Cost of Installed Quartz Countertops?
Several key factors affect what you’ll pay to have quartz countertops installed in your home. These include:
Quartz Slab Thickness
Quartz slabs are available in thicknesses ranging from 2cm up to 4cm. Thicker slabs tend to be more expensive but are less prone to damage over time. The most common thicknesses used for countertops are 2cm and 3cm. Expect to pay a $5-$10 more per square foot for 3cm thickness compared to 2cm.
Color and Pattern
Plain, solid color quartz starts around $50 per square foot. More complex patterns and bold colors can run $70-90 per square foot. The exotic look comes at a higher price point.
The edges of your countertop also impact cost. A standard square edge adds minimal cost. More complex edge treatments like ogee, bevel, or bullnose run $8-$12 more per linear foot.
Popular quartz brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone command a slight premium over lesser-known labels. Prices typically range from $5-$15 more per square foot compared to generic or imported quartz.
If your project requires extras like removing old countertops, installing new cabinets, or adding special supports, your total costs will be higher. Simple flat countertop installations are the most affordable.
Like all home improvement projects, local labor rates affect the installed price. Quartz will cost more in areas with higher wages for contractors. Location also impacts the availability of exotic imported options.
With all of these factors in mind, we can now look at typical price ranges.
Typical Price Ranges For Installed Quartz Countertops
Here are the typical per square foot installed costs you can expect for quartz countertops based on the options selected:
- Low end: $45-$55 per square foot
- 2cm thickness
- Neutral solid color
- Square edge
- Basic installation
- Lower-cost area
- Mid-range: $65-$85 per square foot
- 3cm thickness
- Mid-range pattern/color
- Bullnose or small bevel edge
- Medium complexity installation
- Average labor cost area
- High end: $90-$150+ per square foot
- 3cm thickness or more
- Premium exotic pattern and color
- Full bullnose edge
- Complex installation
- High labor cost major metro area
These ranges account for the complete installed costs including materials, labor, and any extra installation fees. Expect to pay near the higher end of the range when working with high-end designers or luxury showroom retailers. Direct to consumer and factory direct options can offer significant savings.
Cost Per Square Foot To Install Quartz In Specific Rooms
In addition to the factors above, the type of room you are installing quartz in will impact your total spend. Larger, simpler layouts will be more affordable than small complex areas. Here are some rough ballpark figures for common rooms:
- Kitchen countertops – $70-$100 per square foot installed
- Bathroom vanities – $80-$120 per square foot installed
- Backsplashes – $50-$70 per square foot installed
- Fireplace surround – $80-$130 per square foot installed
- Outdoor kitchen – $70-$90 per square foot installed
Islands tend to cost more due to the need to finish all sides and edges. Expect around a 20% premium for island installations versus standard countertops.
What’s Included In Installed Quartz Countertop Costs?
When you receive a quote for installed quartz countertops, it will account for more than just the initial material costs. Here’s what is typically covered in an installed price quote:
- Measurement & Template – The installer will visit to take exact measurements and make a template to ensure proper fitting countertops.
- Countertop Fabrication – This covers cutting slabs to size, finishing edges, and drilling holes based on your measurements.
- Installation – The installer will come and securely adhere your quartz countertops. They’ll seal any seams and ensure proper overhang into the sink.
- Removal & Disposal – Many quotes include demolition and removal of your old countertops and disposal fees.
- Any extras needed for your specific project like adding reinforcements, trim, or backsplashes may incur added fees. Be sure to review the full scope of work when comparing quotes.
Factors That Impact Quartz Countertop Prices
Now that we’ve covered the typical price ranges, it’s helpful to understand what causes quartz slabs themselves to be more or less expensive in the first place. Some of the reasons certain styles of quartz may have higher price tags include:
- Uniqueness of color/pattern – Rare or exclusive colors and designs demand higher prices. Common whites and grays are most affordable.
- Movement in the pattern – Quartz with veins, streaks, and distinctive patterns costs more than solid colors.
- Source of raw quartz – Higher purity quartz from Brazil and Madagascar carries a premium.
- Other materials added – Some quartz contains sparkling bits of glass, metal, shells, etc. which increase costs.
- Brand reputation – Leading brands invest in design, marketing, and warranties which raises prices.
- Country of origin – Exotic imported quartz is more expensive than domestic options.
- Tariffs – Import fees and tariffs get passed along if quartz is sourced overseas.
Being flexible on brand, color, and pattern is an easy way to potentially save money on your quartz countertop installation.
How Thick Should Quartz Countertops Be?
Quartz countertops come in a range of thicknesses, from as thin as 2cm up to 5cm and beyond. The standard thickness for most countertop installations is 3cm.
Here are guidelines for selecting the ideal thickness:
- 2cm – Best suited for vertical applications like backsplashes. Too thin for extensive counter use.
- 3cm – Recommended standard thickness for countertops and vanities. Provides durability while keeping costs reasonable.
- 4cm – Optional for heavy use areas like kitchen counters. Provides enhanced strength but will increase cost.
- 5cm+ – Used for exceptional durability needs like floors or commercial counters. Overkill for residential use.
In most cases, a 3cm thickness provides the best balance of functionality, price, and aesthetics for homeowners. Only high traffic kitchen areas may benefit from bumping up to 4cm.
Does Thicker Quartz Last Longer?
Thickness does play a role in the durability and longevity of quartz counters. Since quartz is non-porous and resistant to scratching and cracking already, differences in thickness have a smaller impact than with natural stone.
Here are some considerations on thickness and durability:
- Thicker quartz is less prone to damage over time from bumps, drops, and applied weight. The added rigidity improves crack resistance.
- Heat resistance is unaffected by thickness. All quartz thicknesses maintain heat protection up to 150°C.
- Scratch resistance comes from the quartz content, not thickness. However, scratches and chips will be shallower on thicker quartz.
- Thicker edges provide more strength and may be less prone to chipping when bumped.
- Quartz maintains its non-porous qualities regardless of thickness. Resistance to stains and microbes is unchanged.
While thickness can improve durability, proper care and maintenance will go much further in keeping quartz counters pristine for decades. Following the manufacturer’s care guidelines will enable even 2cm quartz to last a very long time.
Is 3 cm Too Thin for Quartz?
For nearly all residential installations of countertops and vanities, 3cm provides more than enough thickness and strength. Even though it is the minimum thickness available, 3cm quartz is designed to withstand years of daily use.
Here are some benefits of using the most popular 3cm thickness:
- Provides durability to resist cracks, chips, and scratches under normal use
- Allows edgework like beveled aprons and eased edges
- Flexible enough for curved or angled designs
- Works on standard depth counters and cabinets
- Keeps costs reasonable compared to thicker options
- Less prone to discoloration than thinner 2cm quartz
For heavy commercial settings like floors or high traffic public spaces, thicker 5cm+ quartz is recommended. But in kitchens and bathrooms, 3cm gives an ideal mix of strength and value. Going thinner than 3cm is not advised, but there is usually no need to go thicker either.
Quartz Countertop Prices Per Square Foot By Thickness
On average, increasing quartz slab thickness will add $5-$15 per square foot to material costs. Exact pricing ranges for different thicknesses are:
- 2cm slabs – $40-$65 per square foot
- 3cm slabs – $50-$75 per square foot
- 4cm slabs – $60-$90 per square foot
Keep in mind that material costs account for about 70% of total installed prices. Professional fabrication and installation fees will be added to these numbers. Going with 4cm over 3cm could increase your total bill by $8-$20 per square foot for a full installed counter.
Does Quartz Come in Standard Sizes?
There are no standard sizes for quartz slabs. Each slab is unique, cut directly from massive engineered stone blocks. Slab widths are fairly consistent at around 30 inches, but lengths can reach up to 120 inches. Thicknesses are available from 2cm up to 5cm or greater.
This variability in sizing means every client’s project is quoting and fabricated custom. Your installer will carefully template and plan the cutting strategy to minimize seams and waste. It’s impossible to install pre-cut sections or shapes.
The lack of uniform sizing makes quartz more labor intensive than materials sold in standard widths like granite or laminate. But it allows each project to be customized with minimal seams and precisely fitted edges. The extra effort contributes to higher installed costs for quartz counters compared to more standardized options.
Why Are Quartz Countertops More Expensive Than Granite?
Quartz has surpassed granite as the most popular material for luxury countertop surfaces. And it comes with a higher typical price tag averaging $75-$100 per square foot installed versus $60-$75 for granite. What accounts for the premium cost of quartz? There are several reasons:
Raw quartz is more abundant than granite but requires extensive processing with resins and pigments. The manufacturing expense gets passed along.
Quartz is prefab only whereas granite can be cut onsite. Precision cutting and fitting increases labor costs.
Quartz is rising in popularity while interest in granite is waning. Increased demand allows higher prices.
Quartz is nearly maintenance free compared to granite sealants. Convenience commands a higher price.
Engineered quartz offers uniform patterning. Natural granite varies slab to slab.
Quartz is less prone to scratching, staining, and cracking than natural stone.
While granite remains a stunning and affordable option, quartz provides peace of mind and convenience that buyers have deemed worthy of paying extra. But savvy shopping can help narrow the price gap between the two popular countertops.
Is Quartz Worth The Extra Cost Compared To Granite?
For many homeowners, quartz is worth the extra investment over granite thanks to key benefits:
Low maintenance – No sealing required and easily cleaned
Consistent patterning – No concerns about variations between slabs
Heat and scratch resistance – Holds up better to daily wear and tear
Non-porous – Resists staining from spills and liquids
Mold/bacteria resistance – Less likely to harbor microbes
Design flexibility – Available in limitless color/pattern options
Minimal upkeep – Keeps looking pristine with normal care
Durability – Less prone to chipping and cracking long-term
Resale value – Quartz is preferred by many modern buyers
Yes, you will pay more upfront for quartz counters versus granite. But for many homeowners, the benefits above are well worth the added investment, providing peace of mind and convenience for years to come.
How Much Does It Cost To Install New Quartz Countertops?
The typical range to install brand new quartz counters is $70-$150 per square foot depending on the factors outlined above. Using mid-range options, expect to pay around $100 per square foot for a complete installation.
For the average 35 square foot kitchen, a medium budget quartz installation would cost around $3,500 total. Here is a breakdown of what’s included in that price:
- $75 x 35 square feet = $2,625 for 3cm quartz slabs
- $25 x 35 square feet = $875 for fabrication and installation labor
- $3,500 Total Cost
This estimate shows how the bulk of expenditure goes towards the initial slab cost. Labor accounts for about 25% of the total project price on average.
Some homeowners save on the material costs by providing their own slabs purchased independently. In that case, expect to pay $50-$100 per square foot for just fabrication and installation.
Quartz Countertop Installation Cost Per Linear Foot
In some cases, quotes for countertop installations are calculated by the linear foot rather than square footage. Here are typical costs per linear foot:
- Low end – $35-$50 per linear foot
- Mid-range – $55-$70 per linear foot
- High end – $80-$110+ per linear foot
To estimate the total cost for a project:
- Measure total length of all counters needed in inches
- Divide by 12 inches to determine linear feet
- Multiply linear feet by cost per linear foot
Be sure to account for all perimeter areas including islands, backsplashes, and cutouts when measuring and budgeting by the linear foot.
Will Thicker Quartz Countertops Last Longer?
Quartz already provides exceptional durability and longevity even at standard 3cm thickness. Going with a thicker slab can add even more strength and resilience, but comes at a higher price.
Here are some pros and cons of using thicker 4cm+ quartz:
- Increased density makes chips and cracks less likely
- Stands up to more weight without flexing
- More rigidity provides added peace of mind
- Thicker edges resist bumps and scuffs
- May last decades with fewer signs of use
- Adds $10-$20 per square foot to material costs
- Weighs substantially more requiring extra handling precautions
- Can make counters thicker than desired
- Minimal added value for residential use
- No difference in stain/scratch resistance
While thicker quartz should outlast thin versions over many decades, proper care and maintenance play a much bigger role. For most homeowners, starting with a quality 3cm slab and caring for it properly will provide a lifetime of use.
How to Save Money on Quartz Countertop Installation
Installing new quartz can be a significant investment, but you’re not at the mercy of whatever price the retailer gives you. Use these tips to minimize the cost:
- Shop around and get quotes from 3-5 fabricators. Compare scope of work.
- Purchase quartz slabs directly from distributors or importers and provide to fabricator.
- Opt for a mid-range color/pattern instead of exotic designs.
- Select a simplified edge profile like square or eased instead of an intricate one.
- Install on easy, flat surfaces rather than complex shapes or curves.
- Forgo extras like special cutouts, trivets, or additional backsplashes.
- Install counters yourself and hire a pro just for template and fabrication.
- Reuse your existing countertop for smaller sections like islands.
- Purchase remnants or smaller leftover pieces for DIY projects.
- Use 2cm thickness for vertical areas and edges to save costs.
With smart planning, it’s possible to have stunning quartz countertops installed for $50 per square foot or potentially even less.
Installing New Quartz Counters Over Existing
In some cases, it’s possible to install new quartz right on top of your existing counters. This saves enormously on demolition, removal, disposal, and cabinetry costs. However, there are some important considerations:
- Existing counters must be in perfect condition with no damage or needed repairs
- Countertop framing and support must still be structurally sound
- Old counters should be completely flat with minimal seams or texture
- An extra 1-1.5” thickness will be added so cabinets must accommodate
- Edges may need added buildup and refinishing for proper overhang
- Backsplashes will also need extended height or complete replacement
Covering old laminate or tile counters with new quartz overlay is certainly doable. But covering uneven or deteriorating surfaces will be problematic and result in a shoddy final product. In many cases, starting fresh offers the best results.
DIY Quartz Countertop Installation
For an experienced DI