Installing a quartz countertop can significantly upgrade the look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. With its durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance, quartz has become an increasingly popular choice for countertops. However, like most home upgrades, the cost must be considered. In this article, we will break down the factors that impact the cost per square foot of quartz countertops to help you budget and plan for your remodel.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are made from crushed quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and durability, while the resins bind the material together. The pigments add color and pattern.
Some key advantages of quartz countertops include:
- Extremely durable and scratch-resistant
- Low maintenance
- Resistant to stains, heat, and bacteria
- Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
- Non-porous so liquids don’t seep in
Unlike natural stone countertops like granite and marble, quartz does not need to be regularly sealed. This makes quartz an excellent low maintenance option.
Cost Factors for Quartz Countertops
Many factors impact the total cost of quartz countertops on a per square foot basis. Consider the following elements when budgeting:
- Quartz slabs – These are available in standard and premium tiers. Standard slabs cost $40-$100 per square foot installed. Premium slabs can run from $100-150 installed. Premium quartz mimics natural stone with more intricate veining and patterns.
- Quartz tiles – Since tiles yield more seams, installation is more labor-intensive. Expect to pay $10-15 more per square foot compared to slabs.
Popular white and light quartz colors often come at a premium cost. Unusual or unique colors and patterns can also boost the price per square foot.
Standard quartz countertops are 1.25 inches thick. Opting for a thicker 1.5 inch profile costs about $10 more per square foot. Thicker quartz is heavier and provides a more substantial feel.
The edges or profile of your countertop also impacts install costs. Fancier edges like ogee, bevel, and eased cost $10-$15 more per linear foot compared to standard squared edges.
Any custom cutouts for sinks or special structural supports will increase costs. Intricate tile patterns and inlaid designs also boost the price.
The skill and experience level of the fabrication and installation team affects the price. Complicated jobs take more time and expertise, which is reflected in the quote.
Like most services, quartz countertop costs vary by geographic region. Prices run higher in areas with higher costs of living.
Cost Comparison to Other Countertop Materials
Here is a general price comparison per square foot of popular countertop options:
- Laminate – $20-50
- Tile – $40-100
- Granite – $60-150
- Marble – $70-250
- Quartz – $70-150
- Soapstone – $70-100
- Concrete – $100-150
- Stainless steel – $150-300
Quartz falls right in the middle of the spectrum cost-wise. It offers significant durability and low maintenance compared to more affordable options like laminate. And it comes in well under the price of premium materials like marble.
Installation Cost Per Square Foot
The total installation cost per square foot factors in both the material cost and labor for fabrication and installation. On average, expect to pay the following for a professionally installed quartz countertop:
- Total cost per square foot: $70-$150
- Material cost per square foot: $50-$100
- Labor cost per square foot: $20-$50
So for a 30 square foot countertop, total install costs would be in the range of $2,100 to $4,500.
As you can see, the costs can vary significantly. Be sure to get an itemized quote from fabricators to understand precisely what is driving the price. Most will provide a free in-home estimate.
Tips for Getting the Best Value
Here are some tips to get the most value from your quartz countertop investment:
- Opt for a mid-range quartz rather than the most premium
- Choose a simple edge profile like square or eased
- Go for a standard 1.25” thickness
- Minimize seams and custom cutouts
- Shop around for the best fabrication prices
- Provide your own sink and cooktop to avoid markups
- Consider DIY for installing on existing cabinets to save on labor
With some smart design choices, you can likely keep your total install cost in the $70-$100 per square foot range.
Is Quartz Worth the Investment?
Quartz countertops offer a luxe upgrade with many years of beauty and hassle-free maintenance. With proper care, quartz can last a lifetime, making it a sound long term investment in your home’s value. While not cheap, quartz offers quality and durability beyond more affordable options like laminate. For home cooks and busy families, quartz can take all life throws at it while looking fabulous. Investing in quartz is worthwhile if you seek a low maintenance, resilient, and stylish countertop surface.
The cost per square foot of quartz countertops ranges from $70 to $150 installed. Factors like quartz grade, customizations, edges, and labor impact the final price. With smart design choices, you can likely keep costs on the lower end of the spectrum and still enjoy beautiful and functional quartz countertops that will last for many years. Be sure to get multiple itemized estimates before committing to get the best value on your quartz countertop installation.