Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels in recent years. With their durability, low maintenance, and customization options, it’s easy to see why many homeowners opt for quartz. But before committing to a new countertop, it’s important to understand what impacts the cost of quartz. Here is an in-depth look at what goes into quartz countertop pricing.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz makes up over 90% of the material, making it an exceptionally hard and durable surface. The resins bind the quartz particles together, while the pigments add color and pattern options.
Compared to natural stone countertops like granite and marble, quartz is easier to maintain and less prone to damage. It does not require annual sealing, and it resists stains, scratches and heat much better than natural stone. It also lacks the veins and imperfections that some homeowners find visually unappealing with granite and marble.
Factors That Impact Quartz Countertop Cost
Several key factors contribute to the total installed price of quartz countertops:
Quartz Slab Cost
The biggest driver of overall cost is the price per square foot of the slabs themselves. Prices can range anywhere from $40 per square foot on the low end, up to $100 per square foot for premium designer brands. The brand, quality, pattern, finish and thickness all impact the slab cost.
Color and Finishes
Quartz comes in a wide array of colors and patterns. Simple solid color slabs tend to be the most affordable options. Unique colors like blues and greens, and custom patterns or finishes like metallic flecks will increase the price.
Most quartz is either 3/4″ or 1 1/4″ thick. Thicker slabs are more robust for heavily used countertops. 3/4″ is fine for most residential kitchens, while 1 1/4″ provides extra durability for heavy duty tasks. Thicker quartz costs $10-$15 more per square foot.
The edges of the countertop also impact install costs. Simple straight edges are the most affordable. Special profiles like ogee, bevel, eased, and dupont add complexity for fabrication and increase the price.
Professional installation is required for quartz countertops. Most installers charge between $40-$100 per hour. The total time required depends on the size of the job, number of seams, complexity of edges and backsplashes. Typical installs run $800-$2,000.
Backsplashes and Additional Elements
Backsplashes made of quartz, tile, or other materials must be purchased separately and also installed. Other elements like sink cutouts, integrated drip edges, accent walls, and lighting can also increase costs if part of the project scope.
What is the Total Cost for a Quartz Countertop?
Putting together all the factors above, a typical total price per square foot installed for a quartz countertop falls in the $80 to $150 range. The lowest end quartz options come in around $60 per square foot, while high end designer quartz can exceed $200 per square foot installed.
For the average kitchen with 30-40 square feet of countertop area, total costs for mid-grade quartz including installation would be $3,000 to $6,000. High end options could surpass $10,000.
Here is a breakdown of estimated costs for a typical 30 square foot kitchen quartz countertop project:
- Quartz Material: $60 per sq ft x 30 sq ft = $1,800
- Edges: $8 per linear ft x 10 linear ft = $80
- Backsplash: $10 per sq ft x 8 sq ft = $80
- Installation: $100 per hour x 16 hours= $1,600
- Total Project Cost = $3,560
As you can see, the price of the slabs themselves represents over half the total budget for most projects. Yet the fabrication and installation costs also significantly impact the bottom line. Being realistic about your budget and expectations is important when planning a quartz countertop installation.
How to Get the Best Value on Quartz
Here are some tips to get the most for your money when shopping for quartz:
- Prioritize quality over fancy designs or thick edges if cost is a concern. Stick to major brands known for reliability.
- Measure carefully and minimize seams and cutouts. Get the most use from each slab.
- Consider 3/4” thickness unless you specifically need 1 1/4” for heavy use.
- Select a simple polished finish and straight edge profile.
- Look at low-variation solid color patterns or smaller aggregated patterns.
- Opt for stock inventory vs custom ordering to avoid extended lead times.
- Bundle your project with cabinetry or full kitchen remodel to negotiate better pricing.
Quartz Offers Long-Term Value
Quartz countertops offer a significant upfront investment, but their longevity and low maintenance provide lasting value in your home. With proper care, quartz countertops can last upwards of 15-20 years without needing replacement. Their resistance to damage also means fewer repairs down the road. Considering the lifespan and benefits of quartz compared to other countertop options, quartz ultimately offers an excellent return on your kitchen or bath remodeling investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest quartz countertop?
The most affordable quartz options typically start around $40 per square foot. Major brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and IKEA stock some colors and styles in this range.
Is quartz more expensive than granite?
On average, quartz costs $5-15 more per square foot than granite for the slabs. But granite requires more frequent sealing maintenance, so the long term costs of quartz tend to be lower.
How long do quartz countertops last?
With proper care, quartz countertops typically last 15-20 years before needing replacement. Their durability and stain resistance give them exceptionally long life compared to most other countertop materials.
Can you get quartz countertops on a budget?
There are ways to install stylish quartz on a budget. Opt for a lower cost solid color in standard 3/4” thickness with straight edges. You can also save on installation with an IKEA purchase. Prioritize quality over fancy upgrades to control costs.
Is it cheaper to install quartz yourself?
Quartz countertops must be cut and installed by professionals to get clean seams and prevent cracking. Attempting DIY installation of quartz generally voids warranties and often leads to problems down the road. Professional installation is highly recommended.
Quartz delivers an unparalleled combination of aesthetics, durability, and low maintenance. While not the cheapest option, its quality and longevity provide lasting value. Investing $80-$150 per square foot for installed quartz costs pays dividends for years to come in your home’s beauty and function. With some smart planning and shopping, quartz can fit within many remodeling budgets.