Quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in kitchen and bathroom remodels due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and reasonable cost compared to other natural stone surfaces. If you’re considering quartz for your next remodeling project, it’s helpful to understand what factors impact the cost of quartz countertops so you can budget accordingly.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polyresin for binding and pigments for coloration. The quartz content typically makes up 90-95% of the material, with resin binders comprising the remainder.
Unlike natural stone countertops which are cut directly from solid slabs of granite or marble, quartz slabs are fabricated in factories under highly controlled conditions. This allows quartz to be made into consistent, durable surfaces without the variations and imperfections found in natural stone. The resin also makes quartz non-porous, so it resists staining much better than granite or marble.
While not completely maintenance-free, quartz requires very little routine care compared to other countertop materials. The lack of pores and permeability means quartz rarely needs to be sealed and is easy to keep clean.
Quartz Countertop Cost Considerations
Many factors go into the total installed price of quartz countertops. The main elements that impact cost include:
Quartz Material Cost
This refers to how much you pay per square foot for the quartz slabs themselves. Material prices can range from:
- Economy Quartz: $40-$70 per square foot
- Standard Quartz: $70-$100 per square foot
- Premium/Luxury Quartz: $100-$200+ per square foot
The grade you choose determines the look, quality, and price. Lower-cost economy quartz tends to have fewer color and pattern options. Mid-range quartz offers more variety and realistic stone-like patterns. High-end quartz mimics luxury marble and has more intricate detailing, but comes with a higher price tag.
Color and Pattern
Simple solid color quartz is generally the most affordable option. Multi-colored stone-like patterns cost a bit more. Dramatic designer styles with special effects like sparkles or metallics have the highest material prices.
Popular color choices like whites and grays tend to be pricier since they are in high demand. Unique colors like blues and greens often cost less.
Standard thickness for quartz countertops is 3/4 inch. Thicker 1 1/4 inch slabs are recommended for kitchen islands and heavy usage areas. The thicker quartz costs $20-$30 more per square foot.
The edges of your countertops can be finished in different ways, called edge profiles. The simplest square edge is the least expensive. More complex beveled, rounded, or ogee edges cost extra but add distinctive detail. Intricate edge treatments like dupont or waterfall profiles have the highest upcharges.
Most quotes include Material and installation cost of standard 4-6 inch tall backsplashes. Unusual backsplash materials like glass tile or metal sheets cost more. Full height backsplashes spanning multiple feet add more in materials and labor.
Cutouts and special fabrication
Cutouts for sinks and cooktops don’t impact cost much since most shops price those standard shapes into the quote. However, special cutouts for things like soap dispensers or trivets cost extra. Complex tile patterns and special edge shapes require more time and skill to fabricate, increasing the price.
This covers labor for templating, fabricating, transportation, and installing the quartz countertops. Simple countertop layouts with just a few seams take less time and therefore cost less. Complex designs, specialty edges, and intricate tile patterns require more labor hours and increase installation pricing.
Pricing is also driven by demand and availability in your local market. Popular quartz colors and styles may cost more when supplies are limited. Installers also charge more if they are very busy. Slow periods tend to have better pricing.
What is the Average Cost of Quartz Countertops?
With many variables impacting the final price, what is the typical range for quartz countertops? Here are some averages:
- Low end quartz: $70 per sq ft installed
- Mid-range quartz: $80-100 per sq ft installed
- High-end quartz: $125+ per sq ft installed
According to the Remodeling Calculator, the average installed price for a standard quartz countertop is about $105 per square foot.
For an average 25 square foot kitchen, a mid-range quartz countertop would cost around $2,500. A larger 50 square foot island or surface area could run $5,000 or more with a high-end quartz.
Cost Comparison to Other Countertop Materials
How does the cost of quartz compare to other popular countertop materials? Here is a general price comparison:
- Laminate countertops: $20-50 per sq ft installed
- Wood or butcher block: $50-100 per sq ft installed
- Ceramic or porcelain tile: $40-100 per sq ft installed
- Quartz: $70-125 per sq ft installed
- Granite: $80-185 per sq ft installed
- Marble: $100-250 per sq ft installed
- Soapstone: $100-200 per sq ft installed
- Stainless steel: $100-200 per sq ft installed
- Recycled glass: $100-250 per sq ft installed
- Concrete: $100-300 per sq ft installed
Quartz falls in the middle price range – generally more affordable than exotic natural stones like granite and marble, but pricier than entry-level options like laminate.
Factors That Increase Quartz Countertop Costs
What drives quartz prices into the higher end of the range? Here are some of the biggest factors that increase costs:
Large Surface Area
The more countertop square footage needed, the more material and labor involved. Most quotes are based on a typical 25-30 sq ft kitchen footprint. Counter spaces over 50 sq ft will have much higher overall costs.
Specialty Edge Profiles
Intricate edges like full bullnose, dupont, or waterfall styles take more time and skill to fabricate, increasing costs $10-$30 per linear foot.
Thicker 1 1⁄4” slabs are 20-40% more expensive than standard 3⁄4” thickness. They’re recommended for heavy usage areas to prevent cracking or damage.
Designer Premium Materials
Unique patterns that mimic luxury marble, or incorporation of special details like crushed glass or semiprecious metals/minerals pushes material costs into the $150-$250 per sq ft premium range.
Cutouts for multiple sinks, soap dispensers, trivets and other specialty features require custom precision cutting and drive up fabrication time and price.
Kitchens with a large number of seams, difficult access, or installations involving other trades like tile or cabinets cost more in labor and coordination.
Fast turnaround schedules and last-minute jobs limit the installer’s ability to slot the work efficiently between other jobs, so expediting fees may apply.
Countertop costs in expensive urban areas like San Francisco, New York, and Miami trend 10-15% higher than national averages.
Factors That Decrease Quartz Countertop Costs
On the flip side, what allows quartz prices to hit the lower ends of the cost range?
Typical kitchen layouts under 30 sq ft with simple L-shaped or straight floorplans keep material and labor costs in check.
Simple Edge Profiles
Keeping edges to square, bevel, or small eased profiles minimizes fabrication time and difficulty.
Popular Colors in Stock
Choosing from in-stock inventory like classic whites, grays and blacks makes for fast turnaround times and may qualify discounts.
Standard 3⁄4” Thickness
The thinner slabs reduce material cost and are adequate for most residential uses.
Keeping cutouts to standard sink and cooktop sizes that installers are highly familiar with will limit custom fabrication costs.
Homeowners with remodeling experience can save on labor by installing quartz themselves, though professional help is recommended for perfect seams.
Scheduling projects for slower seasons like winter (for kitchens) or fall (for bathrooms) can mean better pricing.
Installation Cost Differences
One major factor impacting the overall budget is who will install your new countertops. Here are the pricing differences:
Typical professional installation costs average $40-$100 per hour. Expect to pay $1000 to $3000+ for a full kitchen install. This ensures proper handling, precision cutting, and an expert end result. Most shops include installation in their quotes.
Ambitious DIYers can purchase pre-fabricated quartz slabs and install themselves. However, quartz is heavy, fragile, and challenging to seam properly. Imperfect DIY installs have a much higher risk of cracking seams or chipping edges. DIY installation can save on labor but complex jobs still require professional fabricators.
Quartz Maintenance Costs
One of the advantages of quartz over natural stone is the lower routine maintenance requirements. Here are the typical maintenance costs to expect:
Daily cleaning is simple with soap and water. Occasional disinfecting with hydrogen peroxide also keeps quartz looking like new. Cleaners cost just a few dollars per month.
Quartz never needs sealing because it is non-porous. This saves $200 to $500 in sealing costs every 3 to 5 years for materials like granite or marble.
Chips or cracks are rare with quartz but can happen. Spot repairs by a pro range $200-$500. Full slab replacements are costly, making professional installation important.
Quartz does not need refinishing or polishing for 15+ years. Refinishing natural stone costs $300-$1000 about every 5 years.
Increase Value by Investing in Quality Quartz
When pricing quartz countertops, it’s worth investing in quality materials and professional installation. While higher-end quartz costs more upfront, it will last for decades with proper care. Meanwhile, low-end quartz may look dated faster, lack intricate patterns, or be more prone to damage. Spending extra for thicker slabs and smooth seams also prevents costly cracks or repairs later. Considering it’s a feature you will live with for years, choosing high quality quartz that suits your space pays dividends in elevating your home’s functionality, aesthetics and ultimately, resale value. With an attractive, durable, and easy-care surface, quartz offers homeowners excellent value for the investment.
How Much To Quartz Countertops Cost: Key Takeaways
- Quartz countertop costs range from $70 to over $200 per sq ft installed, with $80 to $120 per sq ft being typical for mid-grade quartz.
- Many factors impact overall price including quality grade, colors/patterns, thickness, edges, seams, and local labor rates.
- Quartz costs more than laminate but is comparable or lower cost vs granite, marble, or solid surface countertops.
- Larger surface areas, thick slabs, intricate fabrications, and premium materials increase costs.
- Simple layouts, stock colors, and DIY installs can decrease budget quartz prices.
- Professionally installing quality quartz maximizes long-term value and prevents costly repairs.
- With competitive pricing, durability, and low maintenance, quartz offers a very attractive value for remodeling budgets.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz Countertop Costs
Many homeowners have additional questions about budgeting and pricing for their quartz countertop project. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:
How Much Does Quartz Cost Compared to Granite?
Quartz often costs 20-50% less than granite. The average installed price of granite countertops is $80 to $185 per square foot. Quartz averages between $70 to $125 per square foot. Durability and appearance are comparable, making quartz the more budget-friendly option.
Is Quartz Cheaper Than Marble?
Yes, quartz offers big savings versus marble. Marble countertops range $100 to over $250 per installed square foot. The high end of the quartz price range is still lower than low-end marble. Quartz also requires less maintenance and is less prone to staining or etching.
Should I Get 2 CM or 3 CM Thick Quartz?
The standard thickness is 3/4 inch (2cm). Go with 3cm or 1 1⁄4” slabs only for heavy duty applications like large commercial bars and restaurant prep areas. 2cm is fine for residential kitchens unless you have an extremely large island or plan to place exceptionally heavy items on the counters often.
Is it Cheaper to Install Quartz Countertops Yourself?
Attempting DIY quartz installs can lead to cracked seams, chipping, and alignment issues if not handled carefully. The potential savings in labor are outweighed by the risks of damaging expensive quartz. Pro installation ensures your investment is protected.
Can I Get a Discount for Buying Quartz Remnants?
Sometimes shops offer remnant discounts on quartz pieces less than about 25 square feet. This allows creativity in small areas like bathrooms. Confirm availability of desired colors and patterns first. Labor will still be based on overall project size.
Should I Expect Quartz Prices to Go Up or Down?
Quartz has become more competitively priced in recent years. However, rising transportation and labor costs and demand for natural stone looks may drive higher long-term quartz pricing. Expect an average of 3-5% in annual price increases.
The Bottom Line
Quartz delivers an unparalleled combination of aesthetics, durability, and affordability. While material and installation costs impact exact pricing, quartz generally offers more value for the investment versus other natural stone and solid surface countertops. Investing in quality professional installation of quartz countertops elevates your living space for years to come. With some smart budgeting and shopping, it’s possible to achieve gorgeous quartz countertops that suit your unique space within reasonable budget constraints.