Installing quartz countertops can significantly upgrade your home’s style and function. However, like most home remodeling projects, installing these countertops requires careful planning and budgeting. The total cost depends on numerous factors, including the size and layout of your kitchen, the quartz material you select, edge profiles, backsplashes, and more. This comprehensive guide examines quartz countertop costs per square foot and overall installed expenses to help you determine the investment for your kitchen remodel.
What Are Quartz Countertops?
Before estimating costs, it’s essential first to understand what quartz countertops are. Quartz countertops are engineered stone surfaces made from crushed quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a durable, non-porous material resistant to stains, scratches, heat, and more.
Unlike natural stone surfaces, which are mined from quarries, quartz slabs are manufactured in factories under highly controlled conditions. This allows the material’s color and patterns to have consistent uniformity not found in natural stones. It also enables manufacturers like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone to offer large quartz slabs with fewer imperfections than granite or marble.
The resins in quartz make the material harder and less prone to cracks and chips than natural stones. As an engineered product, quartz offers much more flexibility in colors and patterns than traditional countertop materials. From elegant whites and grays replicating marble looks to bold colors and artistic designs, there are many quartz options sure to fit your style.
What Are The Factors That Determine Quartz Countertop Cost?
Many variables affect the total expense of installing quartz countertops. The main factors include:
- Quartz slab cost per square foot – More premium quartz materials cost up to $100 per square foot. Lower-priced economy options run as low as $45 per square foot. The brand, color, and pattern dramatically impact per square foot pricing.
- Number of square feet needed – The overall size of your kitchen and layout of your countertops determine the total square footage required. Larger kitchens mean you’ll need more quartz material and higher overall costs.
- Edge profiles – Decorative edges like bevels and ogees add complexity for fabricators to cut and polish, increasing the installation price per linear foot.
- Backsplashes – Adding a quartz backsplash integrates beautifully with countertops but adds more material costs and labor.
- Thicknesses – While 3/4″ thickness is standard, thicker 1 1/4″ or 2″ slabs cost more but offer enhanced durability and fewer seams.
- Cutouts and special features – Additional charges apply for specialty work like installing sinks, cooktops, soapstone carvings, curves, corners, and other customizations.
- Fabrication and installation – The complexity of the project and local labor rates determine how much professional installers charge for their services.
Let’s examine each of these cost factors in greater detail.
Quartz Slab Cost Per Square Foot
The costs per square foot for the slabs themselves typically range from $45 on the low end to $120 on the high end. However, most home projects fall somewhere in the middle, averaging $70-$100 per square foot before installation.
Here are some examples of quartz slab prices by brand:
- Economy – Brands like MSI offer affordable options between $45-$65 per square foot. The lowest prices often have more limited color and pattern choices.
- Mid-Range – Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone range from $70-$90 per square foot. These industry leaders have extensive style selections.
- Premium – High-end boutique brands like Pental, Viatera, and Santa Margherita run $90-$120 per square foot. These offer unique looks with rare colors and designs.
The price per square foot has a dramatic impact on your overall project budget, multiplying by the total square footage needed. Selecting a more affordable quartz can potentially save you thousands compared to premium options.
Factors That Impact Quartz Slab Prices
Several variables cause quartz slabs to range from economical to luxurious prices:
- Brand – Leading manufacturers like Silestone charge more for their brand reputation and top-tier quality.
- Color and pattern -Neutral solid colors tend to cost less than bold varieties or artistic patterns with multiple colored aggregates.
- Trend popularity – Increased demand for trending styles leads to higher prices.
- Rarity – Unique exotic colors with limited production availability often cost more.
- Manufacturing complexity – Materials with intricate patterns require more manufacturing effort, reflected in the pricing.
- Thickness – Thicker 2 cm (3/4″) slabs are standard. Going up to 3 cm (1 1/4″) or 5 cm (2″) increases cost.
- Customization – Special order colors, digitally printed patterns, or other custom options add expenses.
- Inventory availability – Rare or discontinued colors can command premium markups from suppliers.
Number of Square Feet Required
The total square footage of your project is a primary driver of the overall budget. Measuring your existing layout precisely is critical to get an accurate estimate.
Here are some tips to ensure you calculate the proper measurements:
- Carefully measure all existing countertops requiring replacement, even small sections like islands or peninsulas. Include every square inch that will need new quartz surfaces.
- For L-shaped layouts, take separate measurements for each leg of the L rather than measuring around the perimeter. This prevents overestimating and buying more quartz than you need.
- If any appliances are embedded into the countertop, like a cooktop or sink, measure around them rather than excluding them from square footage.
- Add up multiple small sections like islands and breakfast bars rather than taking one large measurement encompassing everything.
- For a peninsula separating a kitchen and dining area, only include the portion inside the kitchen.
- Use a ruler or measuring tape, not estimates or pacing off distances. Even small differences significantly impact materials cost.
- Add around 10% extra to your measurements for any potential customizations or redesigns if reshaping your layout.
Knowing the precise existing square footage andanticipated new layout is vital for getting an accurate estimate without major surprises.
Popular Edge Profiles
One of the most critical decisions that impacts installed costs is the edge profile. The edge is the finished look along the front and sides of the countertop. The most common options include:
This simple square edge has a minimalist look. It is the least expensive edge to fabricate.
Angling the edge cuts the square to soften the profile slightly. Beveled edges cost slightly more than straight.
Double Bevel Edge
Two beveled cuts add more decorative detail with two distinct angled faces. The double bevel is moderately pricier to fabricate.
Also called an S-Curve profile, the ogee has an elegant curved shape requiring expert shaping. Ogee edges have a higher fabrication cost but provide a ornate appearance.
Mitering cuts the edge on an angle to provide a finished look from corner to corner. Miters take more time and skill to cut precisely.
Edge upgrades not only impact cost per linear foot for fabrication. More ornate edges like ogees or miters also often increase the amount of quartz material needed to accommodate the contours.
Backsplashes prevent water and splashes from damaging the wall behind a countertop. Most homeowners opt to integrate quartz backsplashes seamlessly with the countertop surface. This gives a streamlined, upscale appearance compared to tile backsplashes.
However, integrating a full quartz backsplash adds approximately 10% more in material costs. The additional fabrication and installation labor also increases the project price. Using a high-end quartz on both the counters and backsplash provides a stunning look but contributes significantly to the budget.
Some alternatives to minimize expenses include:
- Opt for only a 4” backsplash rather than a full backsplash up to the cabinets.
- Use a different inexpensive backsplash material like ceramic tile or stainless steel.
- Install the countertops first, then add a removable tile backsplash later as a separate project.
Avoiding an integrated quartz backsplash reduces square footage costs. However, it lacks the seamless beauty of continuous quartz surfaces surrounding the entire perimeter.
The standard thickness for quartz countertops is 3/4” (2 cm). This provides an ideal combination of aesthetic slim profile yet durable structure.
However, 1 1/4” (3 cm) and 2” (5 cm) thicker quartz options are also available:
- 1 1/4″ (3 cm) – This extra-thick quartz costs approximately 15% more than standard 2 cm slabs. It offers enhanced strength for heavily used kitchen islands or commercial projects.
- 2″ (5 cm) – These most robust slabs run about 30% higher in price over 2 cm. Their thickness provides extremely durable surfaces that can withstand years of wear.
Thicker slabs also enable longer unsupported overhangs if desired. Their added depth and fewer required seams provide an ultra-luxurious look.
For most residential remodels, the standard 2 cm thickness keeps costs reasonable while still performing beautifully long-term. Areas with heavy usage may warrant investing in thicker 3 cm quartz for added peace of mind.
Common Cutouts and Special Features
One significant cost consideration for installation is any specialty cutouts or features beyond a simple countertop layout. Common additional elements that boost project pricing include:
Sink cutouts – Professional cutting for an undermount sink adds approximately $200-400 depending on the sink size, requiring precise measurements and cuts.
Cooktop cutouts – Accommodating installed cooktops also ranges $200-400, depending on the appliance dimensions.
Faucet holes – About $50 per hole must be drilled to install faucets and soap dispensers.
Curves and corners – Any radii or rounded corners add extensive cutting efforts, increasing fabrication prices.
Edges other than backsplash – Decorative edges like ogees or miters along islands or peninsulas rather than only along the walls add more linear footage.
Soapstone carvings – Hand carving artistic designs from soapstone and inlaying into the quartz boosts aesthetic appeal at the cost of more labor and material.
Joints between slabs – Seam placement and cutting require precision alignment between slabs, an aspect that installers charge more for their expertise.
The more cutouts, seams, or special features involved, the higher the installation pricing becomes. Simplicity and minimizing custom elements help control project budgets. Be sure to communicate all desired special features to get the most accurate quote upfront.
Fabrication and Installation Costs
In addition to the raw quartz materials, professional fabrication and installation comprise a significant portion of the overall investment. These costs typically range from $60-$100 per linear foot.
What impacts fabrication and installation costs?
- Labor rates – Hourly charges range widely based on geographic region, company size, and individual fabricators’ experience levels.
- Layout complexity – More cutouts and ornate edge profiles require more time, effort, and expertise to fabricate and install.
- Special features – Added elements like installing sinks or cooktops boost labor hours.
- Business overhead – Shops invest in expensive equipment, facility costs, transportation, etc. to provide their services.
- Profit margins – Installers deserve fair compensation for their skills and need to cover business expenses.
Hiring reputable professionals is worth the investment, as improper fabrication and installation can ruin even the most expensive materials resulting in costly replacements or repairs.
Additional Cost Considerations
Some other factors that contribute to the total quartz countertop cost include:
- Demolition and disposal – Removing old countertops and proper disposal expenses average $300-$1000.
- Structural supports or modifications – For some projects, carpentry work to shore up cabinets averages $2000.
- Permits – Building permits average $200-$500 depending on your jurisdiction.
Familiarize yourself with all these potential costs to avoid budget surprises. Be sure to ask fabricators what is and isn’t included in their quotes.
What Is The Average Cost to Install Quartz Countertops?
Based on typical material prices, fabrication rates, and installation costs, most quartz countertop projects fall in the following ranges:
- Economy quartz – $70-$100 per square foot installed
- Mid-range quartz – $100-$150 per square foot installed
- Premium quartz – $150-$250 per square foot installed
For example, installing 30 square feet of mid-range quartz countertops in a small galley kitchen would cost approximately $3,000-$4,500.
A larger 60 square foot U-shaped kitchen using premium quartz may cost $9,000-$15,000.
Use the low and high ends of these ranges to budget for your specific project. Exact pricing depends on all the factors covered above. Be sure to obtain at least three detailed bids from reputable local countertop professionals.
Can You Install Quartz Countertops Yourself?
Technically, it’s possible for experienced DIYers to self-install quartz countertops. Purchasing unfinished slabs and cutting them to fit your cabinets is the most affordable option.
However, professional fabrication shops use specialized equipment like CNC machines, polishers, and laser templates to achieve precise cuts. Producing finished edges that don’t chip or crack requires skill and practice. Improper seams or uneven surfaces also risk permanent damage.
Unless you have professional-grade tools and extensive experience, it’s not advisable for do-it-yourself installations. The financial risks of making costly mistakes outweigh the savings. Quartz slabs are also enormously heavy, making them difficult and potentially dangerous for homeowners to maneuver into place.
Leave it to the experts for the best results. Focus your energies instead on designing the ideal quartz surfaces to transform your kitchen. With some savvy planning and budgeting, you can enjoy stunning new quartz countertops that enhance your home for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Installing Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners have additional questions about the costs and processes for installing quartz kitchen countertops. Here are answers to some of the most common inquiries:
How much does it cost per square foot to install quartz countertops?
The installed cost per square foot typically ranges from $70-$250 depending on the quartz quality. Mid-range options average $100-$150 installed per square foot. Exact pricing depends on material, edges, thickness, cutouts, and local labor rates.
What thickness of quartz countertops should I choose?
The standard 3/4″ (2 cm) thickness offers the best value for combining aesthetics and durability. For heavy-use areas, consider 1 1/4” (3 cm) thickness for enhanced strength. 2” (5 cm) options provide extreme durability at a higher cost.
How much does it cost to install a quartz backsplash?
Integrated 4” quartz backsplashes add approximately 10% more in material costs, running $10-$25 more per linear foot. Full backsplashes cost $25-$50 per linear foot. Well-matched tiles offer savings but lack a seamless look.
Can I install quartz countertops myself?
Self-installs are possible but challenging for DIYers without professional cutting tools and experience. Risks like cracked slabs, uneven seams, or other errors are expensive. Hiring experts ensures proper handling and fabrication.
How long does it take to install quartz kitchen countertops?
For a typical 10′ x 10′ kitchen, professional installation takes 1-3 days depending on demolition, modifications, curing adhesive, and fittings like sinks. Schedule at least a week for your kitchen to be fully out of commission during the process.
Is there an affordable way to get the look of quartz for less?
Quartz alternative materials like Dekton, porcelain, and recycled glass offer similar aesthetics for potentially 15-30% less overall. Laminates cost much less but lack durability and realistic stone looks.
How can I maximize durability when choosing quartz?
Select high-performance options rated for superior stain, scratch, and heat resistance. Thicker 3 cm quartz withstands heavy use. Lighter solid colors show less wear over time than dark colors with particulates.
What quartz patterns or colors provide the best value?
Simple whites, grays, and blacks tend to cost less than bold hues. Low-variation, uniform patterns price less than artistic designs. Popular styles can command a premium. New introductions usually cost more initially.
How much does quartz maintenance and upkeep cost annually?
Quartz requires very little routine maintenance thanks to its non-porous properties. Quick daily spills removal, occasional deep cleaning with a gentle cleaner, and resealing every 2-3 years are best practices. Annual upkeep costs less than $100.
Installing new quartz countertops can profoundly transform your kitchen’s functionality and beauty. With an extensive array of colors, patterns, and textures, it outperforms natural stones with virtually maintenance-free durability. While quartz represents a significant investment over other countertop materials, proper planning and budgeting allow you to get the most design impact per dollar spent.
Carefully calculating your precise square footage, keeping layouts simple, and requesting multiple vendor quotes empower you to realize your ideal kitchen vision within a total budget that fits your home improvement goals. With quartz countertops enhancing your culinary space for decades to come, the investment pays dividends in elevated home style, enjoyment, and resale value.