Quartz countertops are one of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. But how much do quartz countertops cost? Here is a comprehensive guide on quartz countertop pricing, factors that affect cost, pros and cons, and how quartz compares to other countertop materials.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone countertops, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and hardness, while the resins bind the material together.
The end result is a man-made countertop material that resembles natural stone but requires less maintenance. Quartz has many advantages over natural stone:
- Extremely durable and scratch-resistant
- Resists stains, etching, and heat damage better than granite
- Non-porous so does not require annual sealing
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Consistent color and patterning throughout the slab
- Can be fabricated into complex designs like inset sinks
Quartz countertops come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and finishes to suit any style. Popular styles mimic granite, marble, and concrete.
Average Cost of Quartz Countertops
The cost of quartz countertops ranges from $50 to $120 per square foot installed. This includes materials, fabrication, transportation, and professional installation.
The total price depends on several factors:
Quartz Material Quality
- Low end ($50-70/sq ft): Basic colors and styles with few color variations or patterns.
- Mid-range ($70-90/sq ft): More complex patterns and color blends with moderate variation.
- High end ($90-120+/sq ft): Exotic designs, maximum variation, rare colors. Popular brands like Caesarstone.
Higher quality quartz with more complex patterns, texture, and colors commands a higher price per square foot.
Popular brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are more expensive than generic or lesser known brands. You’re paying for the brand name and reputation.
Standard thickness is 3/4″ (2cm) which is suitable for most residential kitchen counters. Thicker quartz of 1 1/4” (3cm) or more has a more substantial feel and provides additional structural strength for heavily used commercial applications. Thicker quartz costs $10-20 more per square foot.
Fancy edge profiles like ogee, bevel, and bullnose cost extra, from $5-20 per linear foot depending on complexity. Simple eased or straight edges add no cost.
Color and Pattern
Unusual colors and complex patterns cost more than basic white, gray, or beige solids. However, neutral colored quartz is still pricier than materials like laminate.
Intricate fabrication with complex seam placement, cutouts, radius edges, and other custom designs cost more in labor. Simple slab installation with few seams is most affordable.
Difficult installations in hard-to-access areas or requiring demolition/modifications add labor costs. Standard easy access kitchen installs are most economical.
Material and installation costs vary regionally. Expect to pay more in areas with higher cost of living and labor.
Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant surface
- Easy maintenance and cleaning
- Resists staining, etching, and burning
- Consistent coloring throughout the slab
- Nonporous so doesn’t require annual sealing
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Can mimic luxury looks of marble and granite
- Endless color, pattern, and texture options
- Seamless appearance with tight joints
- Highly heat resistant
- Won’t chip or crack like natural stone
- Can fabricate delicate details not possible in granite
- Not as heat proof as granite, use trivets for hot pots
- Manmade material lacks natural stone aesthetics
- Limited number of suppliers compared to granite
- More expensive than laminate or tile
- Can chip if subjected to sudden impacts
- Needs periodic resealing of seams and joints
- Not fully repairable, damaged areas need replacement
How Does Quartz Compare to Other Countertops?
|Cost Per Sq Ft
|Extremely durable, endless variety, mimics luxury looks
|Not heat proof, needs resealing, expensive
|Natural beauty, fully heat proof, matches any style
|Requires annual sealing, can stain/etch, limited patterns
|Elegant luxurious aesthetic, great heat resistance
|Etches easily, stains, needs sealing, expensive to maintain
|Heat proof, develops natural patina over time
|Soft surface prone to scratches, staining, oiling
|Industrial modern look, fully customizable finish
|Very porous unless sealed, cracking concerns
|Most affordable option, huge variety of colors/patterns, DIY friendly
|Not very durable, easily damaged
|Durable, easy to clean, highly heat resistant, available in endless colors/patterns
|Grout lines need sealing, prone to cracking/chipping
|Warm natural look, budget friendly, easily renewable by sanding
|Requires oiling to prevent water damage, scratches easily
|Extremely durable, easy to sanitize, industrial modern look
|Prone to scratching, noisy, less design options
|Integral sinks/backsplashes, extensive colors, heat and scratch resistant
|Prone to scorching, not fully renewable
As you can see, quartz provides an excellent balance of appearance, durability, and ease of maintenance compared to other popular countertop materials. It’s ideal for busy kitchens that need a beautiful yet highly functional surface.
What Brand of Quartz is Best?
The top quartz manufacturers are Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone. These leading brands offer exceptional quality, the widest selections of colors/patterns, and better warranties.
Caesarstone is an Israeli company that pioneered quartz surfaces and remains an industry leader. They offer over 120 designer colors like fresh concrete, frosted carrara, and waverly gray. Caesarstone has a reputation for innovation and quality.
Cambria is a Minnesota-based company that manufactures quartz slabs in the USA. They focus on premium designs that mimic natural stone. Cambria offers a lifetime limited warranty and many unique designs like Brittanicca, Ellesmere, and Praa Sands.
Silestone is a Spanish brand owned by Cosentino. They use premium raw materials and advanced HybriQ technology. With over 60 colors like Calacatta Gold, Kensho, and Pearl Jasmine, they are known for distinctive patterns.
Other quality brands include Wilsonart, MSI, LG Viatera, and Hanstone among others. Be sure to review warranty terms, color options, and current pricing when comparing quartz brands. Highly rated fabricators tend to work with the leading national brands.
How to Get the Best Deal on Quartz Countertops
Here are tips to get the most value from your quartz purchase:
- Get quotes from 3-5 fabricators – pricing can vary greatly between different shops for the same job.
- Consider mid-range quartz – you can save 30%+ over premium materials with a more basic style.
- Choose a neutral color – whites, grays, and lighter tones are far cheaper than exotic varieties.
- Buy loose slabs to provide your own installation – saves around 30% on fabrication costs.
- Use a local or smaller fabricator – they tend to offer better pricing than large chains.
- Avoid intricate edges or cutouts – fancier details add substantially to project costs.
- Install smaller surface areas – minimizing quartz coverage saves on materials.
- Time the purchase right – shop late Fall to early Winter when demand tails off.
- Negotiate payment terms – paying cash upfront or getting supplier financing helps.
With some savvy shopping techniques and research, you can discover quartz countertop bargains to suit almost any budget.
How Much Does Quartz Countertop Installation Cost?
Assuming mid-range $80 per square foot quartz material, total installed costs work out to:
- Small Galley Kitchen (~25 sq ft): $2,000 – $2,500
- Medium Kitchen (~40 sq ft): $3,200 – $4,000
- Large Luxury Kitchen (~55 sq ft): $4,400 – $5,500
- Master Bath Vanities (~15 sq ft): $1,200 – $1,500
These costs don’t include using quartz on any backsplashes, perimeter walls, or islands which would raise the total price accordingly.
Be sure to get itemized quotes from fabricators outlining every cost including materials, labor, demolition, disposal fees, templating, installation supplies, and so on. Confirm if tax is included and get everything in writing.
Should I Hire a Kitchen Remodeler for My Quartz Countertops?
Whether to hire a kitchen remodel company or fabricator directly depends on your project scope. Here are some guidelines:
Hire a Kitchen Remodel Contractor When:
- Doing a full kitchen renovation with cabinetry, flooring, layout changes etc. They can coordinate everything.
- You need plumbing, electrical, or structural work done – remodelers have the complete skillset.
- Convenience and single point of contact is important – they handle the entire process.
Order Through a Quartz Fabricator When:
- Only swapping out countertops and keeping existing kitchen layout.
- You are comfortable managing the installation yourself.
- You want to save around 20% on fabrication costs.
- You have a simple project with few details or cutouts needed.
Even if using a fabricator for quartz installation, you may still need a general contractor for demolition, disposal, electrical adjustments, drywall patching and painting. Carefully evaluate your needs.
Is Quartz Worth the Extra Cost Compared to Other Countertops?
Quartz costs significantly more than laminate, ceramic tile, or butcher block. But it also offers a much more durable, luxurious, and practical surface.
The extra investment in quartz pays dividends over time by:
- Maintaining its flawless beauty for many years instead of showing scratches/damage
- Resisting stains and damage from daily wear-and-tear
- Adding value and appeal to your home for higher resale value
- Providing peace of mind from tough maintenance of materials like marble
- Allowing a clutter-free, open concept kitchen free of grout lines
- Enabling designer looks not possible with more basic options
- Never needing periodic sealing or special cleaning procedures
For most homeowners, the pros of quartz outweigh the higher initial price tag. But cheaper countertops like tile or butcher block may make sense for rental units or temporary surfaces.
Should I Buy Quartz Samples Before Deciding?
It’s highly recommended to order 3” x 3” quartz samples from fabricators before finalizing your selection. This allows you to:
- Evaluate colors and patterns under your actual lighting conditions
- Assess how darker quartz could show scratches over time
- Ensure the style matches your cabinets, floors, and decor
- Avoid surprises – samples can look quite different than website images
- Compare to other materials like granite samples
Samples are often free or available for a small fee around $10-25 per piece. It’s a strategic investment before committing to a particular color or style.
Be sure to check samples from a few different brands to compare quality and aesthetics. Review warranties and company reputations as well.
Can Quartz Countertops Have Seams?
Quartz countertops almost always require seams wherever two pieces are joined. Since quartz slabs are only available up to around 120” long, seams are unavoidable in larger layouts.
The good news? Quartz seams are tightly bonded with adhesive, making them barely noticeable. With a skilled fabricator, seams can be nearly invisible.
Some tips for minimizing visible seams:
- Keep seams 4+ feet apart – too close together seams are more obvious
- Locate seams in less visible spots like near the sink or cooktop
- Use 100% color match seaming – avoid color variation between pieces
- Have seams cut precisely with tight tolerances – gaps make seams noticeable
- Follow manufacturer advice on installing seams
- Choose a reputable fabricator proficient at seaming
With good planning and fabrication, quartz seams are undetectable. Don’t shy away from quartz solely due to seaming concerns.
Should I Get Marble vs Quartz Countertops?
Marble and quartz both offer high-end elegance. Here’s how they compare:
- Genuine natural material with unrivaled beauty
- Dramatic unique veining and patterns
- Available in rare exotic colors and varieties
- Allows translucent finish showcasing stone markings
- Softer appearance from porous surface
- Etches and stains easily requiring great care
- Needs annual sealing to prevent damage
- Limited color consistency within slabs
- Expensive to repair acid etching and stains
- Surface can gradually erode with daily use
- Highly stain, scratch, and acid resistant
- Little maintenance required
- Uniform coloration and patterning
- Durable nonporous composition
- Mimics marble looks convincingly
- Manmade material lacks depth of real marble
- Limited number of patterns/finishes
- Cooler surface temperature than stone
- Less variety in exotic colors like green
For most homeowners, quartz is lower maintenance and more durable for kitchen countertops. But for some, nothing beats the timeless beauty of genuine marble.
Is Caesarstone Better Than Silestone?
Caesarstone and Silestone are both high quality brands. The main differences are:
- Israeli company pioneering quartz since 1987
- Over 120 unique designs from airy concrete to bold colors
- Innovative designs like metallic finishes
- Highly rated for quality and durability
- Used by top designers like Jonathan Adler
- Owned by Spanish Cosentino Group
- Focused on mimicking natural marble and granite
- 60+ patterns from minimalist to bold multicolor
- Integrated bacteriostatic protection
- Stain resistant formula with 25 year warranty
Both Caesarstone and Silestone offer excellent performance, aesthetics, warranties, and design flexibility. Which is best comes down to personal preference on available styles and prices. Be sure to comparison shop.
Are White Quartz Countertops Hard to Keep Clean?
White quartz counters add a light and airy look but do require more frequent cleaning. Here are some tips:
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining
- Use a squeegee after wet cooking to reduce water marks
- Clean with a gentle PH neutral cleaner, not bleach
- Avoid abrasive pads/cleansers that can dull the finish
- Reseal seams periodically to prevent moisture penetration
- Embrace small imperfections vs chasing perfection
- Use a cutting board for food prep to prevent microscopic scratches
- Apply a quartz polish occasionally to refresh the surface
With some care, white quartz can look stunning for years. The small effort is often worth the bright open look it creates. Consider honed or soft matte finishes to hide fingerprints on white quartz.
Should You Seal Quartz Countertops?
Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require annual sealing. The polymer resins make quartz non-porous and stain resistant.
However, periodic sealing is still beneficial for:
- Sealing Seams – Sealant helps prevent moisture penetration between slabs. Reapply sealant every 2-3 years.
- Sealing Surface Damage – Minor nicks and scratches can be sealed to help prevent staining and restore appearance.
- Enhancing Shine – Sealers like Mother’s CMX ceramic spray add gloss and protection.
Only use sealers designed for quartz following manufacturer guidelines. Avoid excess sealer buildup.
Quartz maintenance is simple compared to natural stone. But sealing helps enhance durability and beauty.
Does Quartz Need to be Polished?
Regular polishing is not required for quartz like it is for granite or marble. However, occasional polishing helps enhance the sheen and maintain the pristine factory finish.
Gently polish quartz using a soft pad and mineral-based quartz polish. Avoid harsh cleansers or abrasive pads that could dull the finish. Follow a few steps:
- Clear all items from the counters. Remove built-up grime with a granite cleaner and rinse thoroughly.
- Apply a marble/quartz polish to the counters. Use a soft cloth to gently rub in circular motions.
- Let the polish stand for 5-10 minutes. Buff to a shine using a clean soft cloth.