Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone or quartz surfaces, have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. With the look and feel of natural stone but more consistent coloration and patterns, durability, and lower maintenance requirements, quartz offers an attractive balance of aesthetics, functionality, and cost. But how much does a quartz countertop cost on average? Let’s take a closer look at what impacts the price of these designer surfaces.
What is Quartz Countertop Material?
Before delving into specifics on cost, it helps to understand exactly what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz surfaces start with a base of ground natural quartz aggregates combined with resins, pigments, and other compounds. Quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material. The exact formula and production process varies by brand.
The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a durable, non-porous surface. Pigments introduce color and pattern variation. Other compounds enhance qualities like heat and scratch resistance. The mixture is compacted into slabs, polished, and finished to achieve the desired look and texture.
The result is an engineered stone product with the appearance of natural stone but more uniformity. The non-porous composition also makes quartz more stain, scratch, chip, and heat resistant than many stone options. However, quartz is still susceptible to damage from significant impact and extremes of temperature.
Quartz Countertop Cost Considerations
Many factors influence what you can expect to pay for the installation of quartz countertops in your home. Here are some of the key cost considerations to factor in:
Type of Quartz
There are many brands of engineered quartz materials to choose from, with varying price points. Some of the most common brands include Silestone, Caesarstone, Cambria, Pental, MSI, Cosentino, and DuPont Zodiaq. Prices range anywhere from $35 per square foot on the low end to $125+ per square foot for premium designer brands. The type of quartz makes a significant impact on overall project cost.
Color and Patterns
Like natural stone, not all quartz slabs are created equal. More complex patterns and color varieties often command higher prices. A multi-colored stone look or bold veining will cost more than a simple solid color slab. Also consider if the edges require special treatment to match the top pattern.
Standard quartz thickness is 3/4 inch thick, but thinner 1/2 inch options or thicker 1 1/4 to 2 inch slabs are available. Thinner quartz is more affordable while thicker materials add cost but provide a more substantial feel. Edges may need to be built up on thinner slabs.
The total square footage needed for your project impacts overall price. Most quotes are priced by the square foot based on how much countertop area needs installation. Larger kitchens, multiple bathrooms, and things like integrated sinks and special cutouts will raise total costs.
Specialty Edges and Features
You can customize quartz with special edge profiles and built-in features. Decorative edges like ogee and bullnose add stylistic detail but also cost more to fabricate. Integrated sinks, drain boards, polished edges, and backsplashes are some add-ons that enhance function and appearance while adding to price.
Who you hire to template, fabricate, transport, and install the quartz surfaces also factors into total project investment. More experienced installers with specialized stone working tools and digital templating technology often charge a premium rate for their services.
Cost to Install Quartz Countertops
Taking all these factors into account, here are some typical price ranges to expect for quartz countertop installation:
- Quartz Material Cost: $35 – $125 per square foot
- Basic Edge Profile: Included
- Premium Edge Profile: $10 – $20 per linear foot
- Digital Template and Fabrication: $200 – $500 per template
- Basic Installation: $40 – $80 per hour
- Backsplash: $10 – $30 per linear foot
So for a medium size kitchen with 40 square feet of standard 3/4 inch quartz installed with a basic edge, digital template and fabrication, and 5 hours installation time, total costs would be:
- Quartz Material (40 sq ft at $70/sq ft): $2,800
- Digital Template and Fabrication: $350
- Basic Installation (5 hours at $60/hr): $300
- Total: $3,450
That puts the average total cost to install a quartz countertop between $2,500 to $4,500 for a medium sized kitchen. Smaller projects like a bathroom vanity top would be under $1,000 while large, premium kitchens could be $10,000 or more with high end materials.
Cost Comparison to Other Countertop Materials
How does the cost of quartz stack up against other popular countertop materials? Here’s a quick comparison:
- Laminate: $20 – $40 per square foot installed
- Wood: $40 – $100 per square foot installed
- Tile: $15 – $50 per square foot installed
- Concrete: $85 – $150 per square foot installed
- Granite: $80 – $150 per square foot installed
- Marble: $70 – $250 per square foot installed
- Soapstone: $70 – $100 per square foot installed
Quartz sits right in the middle price-wise, more affordable than natural stone options like granite and marble but pricier than laminates and tile. Keep in mind longevity and maintenance are also factors when selecting a countertop material. Overall, quartz often provides the best combination of aesthetics, functionality, and value in one package.
Factors That May Increase Your Quartz Countertop Cost
While the averages above give a general sense of quartz countertop costs, your specific project quote may be higher based on certain factors. Be aware of these variables that could increase your total investment:
- Large or awkward kitchen footprint requiring more fabrication expertise
- High-end quartz materials priced above $100/sq ft
- Numerous specialty cutouts for sinks, etc. adding fabrication time
- Intricate edge profiles like waterfall edges around the perimeter
- Dense natural stone or concrete sub-surface requiring reinforced support
- Removal and disposal of old countertops
- Access limitations requiring crane removal of old tops and hoisting of new ones
- Installation in remote locations requiring significant travel fees
- Rush turnaround with premium charged for expedited fabrication
- Special structural or plumbing changes needed prior to installation
Being flexible on project timeline, choosing a simpler layout, and utilizing a less expensive quartz material are some ways to potentially minimize costs if needed.
Can You Install Quartz Countertops Yourself?
With the right skills, materials, and tools, DIY installation of quartz countertops is possible. However, most homeowners opt to hire professionals to ensure proper handling and installation. Here are some considerations if tackling it as a DIY project:
- Work with a local countertop supplier to order pre-cut slabs suited to your layout.
- Rent or borrow tools like a circular saw with diamond blade for any adjustments.
- Carefully transport and reinforce slabs to avoid cracks or chips.
- Gently set slabs and securely shim under support walls, using adhesive and brackets.
- A router with diamond bits is needed for cutouts and edge profiles.
- Take care to precisely join slab seams. Misalignments are hard to correct once set.
- Removing old countertops without damaging cabinets is challenging.
For most homeowners, the hassle of transporting heavy materials, buying or renting tools, and getting a flawless installation outweighs potential cost savings of doing it yourself. Make sure to consider possible risks before pursuing a DIY quartz countertop installation.
Tips for Reducing Your Quartz Countertop Costs
Looking to trim your budget on a planned quartz project? Here are some tips:
- Shop sales or discontinued slab yards to find remnant pieces or discounted materials.
- Pick a simple style like a square edge and solid white or neutral color.
- Install yourself by ordering pre-cut slabs if you have the ability.
- Choose the most affordable national brand of quartz that meets your needs.
- Request a thinner 1/2 inch slab if structural support allows.
- Install backsplash tile yourself after countertops are complete.
- Avoid ornate edges which add per linear foot fabrication fees.
- Install bar tops or islands separately from main counters to minimize cutouts.
- Have old countertops removed by a general contractor vs the installer.
- Provide your own precise measurements and template to reduce templating fees.
Quartz Countertops: Worth the Investment?
While not the cheapest option, quartz countertops offer significant return on investment value for most homeowners. When chosen in place of materials like marble or granite, quartz can represent cost savings while providing better durability and ease of maintenance. The stain, scratch and heat resistance compared to surfaces like laminate and wood also make quartz a wise long-term investment.
Your exact budget and style preferences should dictate which material is right for your home. But for a surface that beautifully combines attractive styling, low maintenance, and long-lasting performance, quartz countertops are definitely worth consideration. Costs in the range of $2,500 – $4,500 for installation in a medium size kitchen will pay dividends in enhancing functionality and appeal for years to come.
FAQs About Quartz Countertop Costs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about quartz countertop costs:
How much does quartz cost compared to granite?
Quartz pricing is very similar to granite, ranging from $80 – $125 per square foot installed. In some cases, quartz may actually cost slightly less than granite due to lower fabrication requirements.
What is the most affordable quartz?
Many of the big box home improvement stores offer exclusive affordable quartz lines that start around $35 per square foot. Brands like Silestone, Caesarstone, Cambria also have value collections.
Is quartz cheaper than solid surface?
While it varies by specific brand and materials, quartz tends to cost 20% – 50% more than solid surface options like Corian on average.
Can you put quartz on top of existing countertops?
In some cases quartz can be installed over existing countertops. The sub-surface must be completely smooth, seamless, structurally sound, and reinforced if needed.
Is quartz a good choice for rental properties?
With its durability and easy maintenance, quartz is an excellent countertop choice for rental homes or investment properties seeing high turnover and frequent use.
Does quartz add resale value?
Traditional materials like granite may appeal to more buyers, but modern options like quartz have grown greatly in popularity and also boost property value for most homeowners.
Investing in new quartz countertops can seem like a significant upfront cost, but the durability, low-maintenance, and design versatility make it worth consideration by many homeowners. Keeping your project size, design choices, and installation factors in mind when budgeting can help achieve beautiful new countertops that enhance your home for years to come. With some smart planning and shopping, quartz offers an attractive balance of quality and affordability.