Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom renovations due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like most upgrades, quartz countertops come at a cost that is important to consider when budgeting for your project. In this article, we will break down the factors that influence the cost of quartz countertops per square foot.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a man-made slabs that are non-porous, stain resistant, and heat tolerant.
Compared to natural stone counters like granite and marble, quartz offers superior durability and requires very little maintenance. The resins make quartz resistant to scratches, chips, and cracks.
Quartz also comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns since the pigments added during manufacturing allow more design flexibility compared to natural stone. All these features make quartz an excellent choice for busy kitchens and baths.
Factors That Determine Quartz Countertop Cost
Several key factors contribute to the total installation cost of quartz countertops on a per square foot basis:
Quartz Slab Quality and Brand
Quartz pricing can range dramatically based on the quality, brand, and color/pattern of the slabs. Entry-level quartz starts around $40 per square foot while premium designer brands can cost $100 per square foot or more.
Popular mid-range brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone offer excellent quality and performance for the average homeowner’s budget. Expect to pay $55-75 per square foot installed for these quartz options.
Color and Pattern
Simple solid color quartz and white/light colored slabs are typically the most affordable options. Unique colors like blue quartz or patterned/veined slabs often cost more.
Most kitchen countertops are 1 1⁄4” thick, but some people opt for thicker 2” quartz for a more substantial feel. Thicker slabs cost more due to using more material.
The edges of your countertop also impact overall cost. Intricate ogee, bevel, and bullnose edges add stylistic detail but also add labor and material costs versus a simple eased or straight edge.
Complex tile patterns, seams, cutouts for sinks, and integrated backsplashes can increase installation time and labor rates which then increase the per square foot price. Island counters and other large seamless spans are also pricier to install.
What’s the Total Investment for a Quartz Countertop?
The total cost of your quartz countertop project depends on the square footage, slab specifications above, and labor rates in your area.
As a ballpark range, expect to pay:
- Total Installed Cost: $80-150 per square foot
This takes into account materials, labor, and fabrication for a typical kitchen or bath.
For example, the total cost to install 30 square feet of mid-range Caesarstone in a kitchen with an eased edge, cutouts, and 4’ backsplash would be approximately:
- Caesarstone Quartz: $75/sq.ft.
- Estimated Labor & Fabrication: $80/sq.ft.
- Total: $150 x 30 sq.ft. = $4,500
As you budget for your kitchen or bath remodel, understand that quartz is an investment. While not the cheapest option, a quartz countertop properly installed will last for decades with minimal maintenance required. The long lifespan and resistance to damage make quartz a cost-effective choice when viewed over the years of use you’ll gain from the investment.
Does the color or pattern of quartz impact the price?
Yes. Simple, light/white colored quartz tends to be the most budget-friendly. Unique patterns, veining, and bold colors like blue or black quartz tend to cost more.
Is quartz more expensive than granite?
In most cases, quartz countertops are comparable or moderately more expensive than granite. The biggest benefits of quartz are low maintenance and superior resistance to damage.
What thickness is best for a kitchen quartz countertop?
1 1⁄4” is standard. Opt for 2” thick quartz only if you want a more substantial feel or need to span a very long distance seamlessly.
Can quartz get damaged or stained?
Quartz is very resistant, but not 100% impervious to damage. Avoid direct high heat. Sealant should be reapplied every few years.
What are less expensive alternatives to quartz?
Laminate and cultured marble offer a lower-cost alternative. For natural stone, marble and soapstone are typically cheaper than quartz.
Quartz offers unparalleled durability, style, and low maintenance – making it a sound investment for kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Expect to pay $80-150 per square foot installed for a quality quartz countertop, with the final cost dependent on the specifications chosen for your space. With proper care, a quartz counter will last for many years, justifying the higher initial price tag. Considering your budget and needs, quartz is sure to be a surface that withstands everyday life with beauty and performance.