When remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, choosing the right countertop material is an important decision that impacts both aesthetics and functionality. Two of the most popular options for countertops are quartz and granite. While both offer durability and visual appeal, there are some key differences in cost to consider when deciding between quartz vs granite.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-95%. Quartz is non-porous, resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and cracks. It does not require regular sealing like natural stone.
Some benefits of quartz:
- Extremely durable and low-maintenance
- Available in wide range of colors and patterns
- Resists stains, scratches, heat, and cracks
- Does not require regular sealing
- Easy to clean
What is Granite?
Granite is a natural stone that is mined from quarries around the world. It is an igneous rock composed primarily of quartz and feldspar minerals. Granite is valued for its hardness, durability, and luxurious appearance.
Some benefits of granite:
- Available in wide range of natural colors and patterns
- Adds high-end look and value to kitchens
- Withstands heat, scratches, and stains when properly sealed
- Natural material that is unique in every slab
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
Quartz vs Granite Cost Comparison
- Cost per square foot: $50-100
- Total cost for 30 square foot countertop: $1500-3000
- Cost per square foot: $40-150
- Total cost for 30 square foot countertop: $1200-4500
The cost of both quartz and granite can vary widely depending on factors like:
- Edge treatments
- Whether you purchase slabs or prefab countertops
- Local supply and demand
On average, quartz tends to cost slightly more than granite per square foot. The price differential is usually only $10-20 more for a quartz countertop. However, premium granite can also match the price of high-end quartz.
Why Quartz Costs More
There are a few reasons why quartz countertops tend to be pricier than granite:
- Manufacturing process – Quartz is engineered from raw materials in a factory, which adds to production costs. Granite is simply mined and cut.
- Consistency – The manufacturing process allows quartz to have an extremely consistent color and pattern. This uniformity commands a higher price. Granite is a natural material with more variation.
- Less waste – Quartz is made to order, so there is minimal material waste. Up to 50% of a granite slab may wind up as scrap metal, impacting cost.
- No sealing required – Since quartz does not need regular sealing, long-term maintenance costs are lower. Granite sealing is recommended every 1-2 years.
- Trendiness – Quartz is seen as a modern, high-tech material and is rising in popularity. The increased demand drives up pricing.
However, granite remains a timeless, high-end option that offers an unparalleled natural look. For some buyers, the visual appeal is worth the additional maintenance and potential cost.
Cost Factors to Consider
No matter which material you select, here are some factors that impact the final cost of countertops:
- Material – As outlined above, the base material price per square foot varies between quartz and granite. Premium varieties of each cost more.
- Color and finish – Unique colors and gloss levels command higher prices for both materials. White quartz or granite is most affordable.
- Edges – Decorative edges like ogee, bevel, and eased cost extra. A standard square edge is the most economical.
- Thickness – Countertops come in 1 1⁄4”, 1 1⁄2”, and 2” thicknesses. Thicker slabs are more robust and expensive.
- Installation – Hiring a professional to cut, polish, and securely install the countertops adds $40-100 per hour.
- Fabrication – Having your countertop made to measure by a fabricator is pricier than buying pre-fab slabs. But it allows for custom edging and cuts.
Making the Most Cost-Effective Choice
To determine the best value, consider both the upfront cost and longevity of quartz versus granite. Get quotes from multiple fabricators and be flexible on certain features to minimize spending. For example, opt for a standard edge over an ornate one, or a thinner countertop profile.
If you’re leaning towards quartz for its resilience and minimal maintenance, look for mid-range styles to avoid premium prices. Or pursue granite remnants for discounted prices with a unique look.
By evaluating your priorities for appearance, budget, and lifespan, you can make a well-informed choice between quartz and granite. With proper care, either surface can serve as beautiful, functional countertops that add value and style to your home for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quartz or granite more expensive overall?
Quartz typically costs $10-20 more per square foot than granite. But premium granites can be just as expensive as high-end quartz. Long-term, granite may carry more maintenance costs from professional sealing every few years.
Which is better in terms of cost – quartz or granite?
It depends on your budget and preferences. Granite offers an unbeatable natural look at a lower upfront cost in most cases. Quartz requires little maintenance for years, but comes at a higher initial price point. Overall cost projection for lifespan should guide the decision.
Does quartz or granite increase home value more?
Both premium quartz and granite countertops add resale value to a home. Granite may increase value slightly more as buyers favor natural stone. But quartz is easier to keep looking pristine over time. The increased longevity of quartz also aids home value.
Is white quartz or white granite more affordable?
White quartz is typically more affordable than white granite. White granite is rare in nature and requires greater processing to achieve its pure white color. White quartz is manufactured, allowing more accessible pricing.
How can I get the best deal on new countertops?
To get the lowest quartz or granite countertop prices, look for fabricator specials and be flexible on size or cut-outs. Choosing a mid-range color instead of exotic stones helps too. Granite remnants and affordable edges like straight cuts keep costs in check.
When comparing quartz vs granite countertops, quartz generally costs $10-20 more per square foot due to manufacturing refinements, trendiness, and reduced maintenance. But the natural beauty and timeless appeal of granite still make it a worthwhile option, especially for budget-conscious buyers.
Carefully assess your priorities – like appearance, upfront cost, and longevity – and obtain multiple quotes. By following cost-saving tips, you can achieve an elegant and functional kitchen or bath surface in either material that adds lasting style and value to your space.