Installing new quartz countertops can greatly improve the look and value of your kitchen or bathroom. Quartz is an engineered stone that is very popular for countertops due to its durability, low maintenance, and variety of colors and patterns available. When planning for a new quartz countertop installation, it’s important to accurately calculate the square footage needed so you can get an accurate estimate of material costs. This ensures you don’t end up with too little or too much quartz. Calculating square footage for quartz countertops is easy to do yourself with some simple measurements.
What is Quartz?
Before getting into the square footage calculation, it helps to understand exactly what quartz countertops are. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up over 90% of the material. Some key facts about quartz:
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant surface. Resistant to cracks and heat.
- Available in wide range of colors, patterns and textures. Lots of options for customization.
- Does not require regular sealing like natural stone. Low maintenance.
- Non-porous so does not require frequent polishing. Resists stains.
- More affordable than natural stone like granite or marble. Price varies by quality.
- Manufactured in slabs to be cut to size for countertops or backsplashes.
With the right tools, calculating how much quartz you need for your project is straightforward.
Prepare Needed Tools and Materials
Calculating square footage for quartz requires taking some measurements in your kitchen or bathroom. Make sure to have the following tools on hand:
- Tape measure – Get an accurate reading of the length and width of each section. Extendable tape measures are easiest.
- Pen and paper – Write down measurements as you go and make sketches if needed.
- Calculator – Crunch the numbers once measurements are complete. A phone calculator app works fine.
- Countertop layout – Having the proposed layout with dimensions is very helpful.
- Countertop design plan – Know details like number of cutouts needed for sinks, etc.
- Optional: Graph paper, Painter’s tape, Digital laser distance measure
With these basic supplies, you’ll be able to accurately measure and calculate the square footage.
Measure Straight Sections
For standard rectangular countertop sections:
- Measure the length – Take the tape measure and measure the length from one end to the other. Record this.
- Measure the width at several points – Measure from front to back at a few spots and take the average.
- Multiply length x width to get the square feet of that section.
- Repeat process for any other rectangular sections.
For example, if you have a straight section that is 72 inches long by 25 inches wide, the math would be:
72 in x 25 in = 1,800 in^2
To convert to square feet, divide by 144:
1,800 in^2 / 144 = 12.5 square feet
Round up or down appropriately. Record each section calculation separately.
Measure Sections With Cutouts
For sections that have interior cutouts for sinks, cooktops, etc:
- Measure the total outer length and width perimeters first.
- Then measure the inner cutout spaces’ lengths and widths separately.
- Calculate the total rectangle area and then subtract the inner cutout areas.
- Outer section: 96 in x 35 in = 3,360 in^2
- Inner sink cutout: 25 in x 19 in = 475 in^2
- 3,360 in^2 – 475 in^2 = 2,885 in^2
- 2,885 in^2 / 144 = 20.03 square feet
Make sure to account for all interior cutout areas to get an accurate total.
Add Together All Sections
Once you have calculated all the needed straight counter sections and sections with cutouts, add together their square footages. This will give you the total estimated quartz needed.
Here is a sample worksheet:
Section 1 (L-shape):
Length: 144 in
Width: 26 in
144 x 26 = 3,744 in^2
3,744 / 144 = 26 sq ft
Section 2 (with sink cutout):
Outer: 96 x 35 in = 3,360 in^2
Sink cutout: 25 x 19 = 475 in^2
3,360 - 475 = 2,885 in^2
2,885 / 144 = 20 sq ft
Total = 26 + 20 = 46 square feet
Having all the measurements organized in one place helps avoid errors and makes it easy to total the square footage. Remember to round appropriately for estimating purposes.
Add 10-15% Extra for Overage
Once you have the total square footage amount, it is smart to add a 10-15% overage. This accounts for natural variances when cutting as well as providing extra material in case any pieces get damaged during installation.
If the total was 46 square feet, you may want to estimate 50-53 square feet. Let your countertop company know this is just an estimate and that exact measurements will be provided later. The overage gives you some buffer room.
Consider Other Factors
Some additional things to keep in mind when estimating quartz:
- Account for backsplashes and side splashes separately from the main surface area.
- Thicker quartz slabs (2 or 3 cm) require more material per square foot.
- Certain patterns may require extra material due to matching.
- Curved pieces require more quartz than straight pieces per square foot.
- Discuss with your installer any concerns about seams or structural support.
Having accurate square footage and all these extra considerations will help you get a precise estimate from the quartz fabricator.
Take Precise Measurements Later
Once you have an estimate based on your calculations, the installers will take more professional and precise measurements themselves prior to fabricating. It’s difficult for a homeowner to measure perfectly.
Provide your drawings, measurements, and square footage totals to the fabricator for an initial quote. But know they will measure again before cutting to ensure a perfect fit.
Hiring a Pro for Measurements
If you want totally precise measurements from the start, consider hiring a professional countertop installer or kitchen remodeler to do the measuring. For a small fee, they can measure and calculate the square footage needed and ensure all cutouts, overages, and other factors are accounted for. This may give you the most accurate initial estimate.
How much overage should I add to my estimate?
Most experts recommend adding 10-15% to your total square footage as overage material. This provides extra quartz in case pieces get damaged and allows room for variance when cutting.
What tools do I need to measure countertops?
A tape measure, calculator, pen and paper are all you need to measure and calculate square footage. Optional tools like graph paper, painter’s tape and laser measures can also help.
Should I account for backsplashes and side splashes?
Yes, calculate backsplashes and side splashes separately from the countertop surface area. They require additional quartz material.
Does thicker quartz cost more?
Yes, thicker slabs (2 or 3 cm) require more material per square foot than standard 1.2 cm slabs. Factor thickness into your estimate.
How accurate do my measurements need to be?
They just need to be a close estimate. Precise professional measurements will be taken later before fabricating. Focus on getting reasonably accurate length and width measurements.
Can I measure badly shaped areas like curved countertops?
It can be tricky. Break curved sections into smaller straight segments to measure if possible. Or have the pros measure anything complex or unconventional.
Should I hire a pro to do the measurements?
If accuracy is critical from the start or you have a complicated kitchen layout, hiring a pro upfront to measure can give you the best estimate to work from.
Calculating the square footage for a quartz countertop installation involves carefully measuring all straight sections and sections with cutouts, adding overage, and considering other factors like thickness. While some precision is needed for a good estimate, a professional fabricator will take exact measurements later to ensure a perfect fit. Knowing how to approximate the quartz needed using square footage calculations allows you to get an accurate quote and order the right amount of material.
How to Calculate Square Foot for Quartz Countertops – A Quick Guide
Calculating the square footage needed for new quartz countertops is an important step when estimating costs and ordering materials. Follow this quick guide to measure and calculate square feet like a pro:
Measure Length and Width
Use a tape measure to measure length and width of each straight section. For sections with cutouts, measure outer perimeter then inner cutouts separately.
Multiply Length x Width
Multiply the length and width measurements together to calculate the area of each section in square inches.
Example: 72 in x 25 in = 1,800 square inches
Convert to Square Feet
Convert to square feet by dividing by 144.
Example: 1,800 sq in / 144 = 12.5 square feet
Add Sections Together
Add together the square footage of all sections to get the total. Round up or down appropriately.
Add 10-15% Extra
Add a 10-15% overage to account for natural variances when cutting and fabrication.
Consider Other Factors
Account for thickness, backsplashes, complex shapes and patterns when estimating.
Take Precise Measures Later
The installers will measure again before fabricating, but this gives an accurate estimate.
Hire a Pro (Optional)
For maximum precision, hire a professional kitchen designer to do the measurements for you.
Following these steps will allow you to accurately estimate the square footage of quartz needed. Stay organized, measure carefully, and add overage to be sure you order the right amount.
Steps to Accurately Measure Quartz Countertops
Measuring your countertops precisely is crucial for getting an accurate quote and ordering the right amount of quartz. Follow these key steps:
1. Gather Supplies
Have these supplies on hand for measuring:
- Tape measure
- Pen and paper
- Calculator (or app)
- Countertop layouts/diagrams
Optional: graph paper, painter’s tape, laser measure tool
2. Measure Straight Sections
For rectangular sections:
- Measure length from end to end
- Measure width at several points and take the average
- Multiply length x width to calculate square inches
- Divide by 144 for total square feet
3. Measure Sections with Cutouts
For sections with sink or stove cutouts:
- Measure total outer perimeter
- Measure inner cutout dimensions
- Subtract cutout square inches from total square inches
- Convert to square feet
4. Add All Sections
Add up the total square footage for every section after measuring. Round up or down.
5. Add 10-15% Overage
Increase total square footage by 10-15% to account for extra material needed.
6. Consider Other Factors
Account for thickness, backsplashes, patterns, and complex shapes.
7. Take Precise Measures Later
Installers will measure again before fabricating, but this provides an estimate.
Stay organized and measure methodically for the most accurate quartz countertop measurements.
How to Organize Measurements for Quartz Countertops
Staying organized with your measurements is key for an accurate countertop estimate. Here are some tips:
Create a Sketch
Draw a simple sketch of your countertop layout. Indicate the dimensions, overhangs, and any cutouts. This helps visualize the whole space.
Make a Spreadsheet
Use a spreadsheet or table to record the length, width, and square footage of each section. This keeps measurements organized.
Label each area with a number or name so you can tell areas apart. For example “Section 1”, “Section 2”, etc.
Record Cutout Dimensions
Note the dimensions of any sink cutouts, stove cutouts, etc separately from overall area.
Double Check Totals
Add together all sections. Then double check your math to ensure accuracy.
Note Special Considerations
Make notes on thickness, patterns, backsplashes or any special fabrication needs.
Save Your Notes
Keep your sketches, spreadsheets, and notes together in one place for easy reference.
By staying organized with your measurements and having an exact plan, it makes the estimating and ordering process smooth and efficient.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Measuring Quartz
Accurately measuring for quartz countertops takes care and precision. Avoid these common mistakes:
Always add 10-15% over the total square footage to account for extra material needed during fabrication.
Measuring Only Length
Make sure to measure length AND width of sections – you need both to calculate square footage.
Skipping Small Sections
Include small sections like backsplashes and side splashes in your total square footage.
Rounding Too Soon
Avoid rounding measurements until your final totals. Rounding early can compound errors.
Not Measuring Cutouts
Make sure to measure interior cutouts like sinks separately from overall perimeter.
Using Old Measurements
If you are reusing an old design, double check measurements rather than assuming they are still accurate.
Write measurements and calculations clearly and legibly to avoid errors reading them later.
Keep measurements organized by section to avoid mixing up numbers or miscalculating.
Having an extra person helps get more precise measurements.
Stay focused, take your time, and double check your math. Accurate quartz measurements ensure you get the perfect countertop fit.
Factors that Impact Quartz Countertop Cost
While square footage is the primary driver of quartz countertop costs, several other factors impact the total price:
Higher quality, name-brand quartz costs $70-100 per square foot installed. Lower quality quartz can be as low as $40 per square foot.
Thicker slabs (2-3 cm) have more material per square foot than standard 1.2 cm slabs.
Unique patterns like marble looks often require more material due to pattern matching.
Fancy edges like ogee/bevel cost more to fabricate than standard eased or square edges.
Backsplashes require extra quartz material. Calculate this separately from overall surface area.
Complex projects with tricky seams, curves, cutouts cost more in labor fees.
More surface area to cover means higher overall project costs.
Regional Labor Costs
Installation costs are higher in some markets like New York or San Francisco.
While square footage drives the bulk of the cost, all these factors impact the total budget for a quartz countertop installation. Be sure to consider them when estimating.
How Thickness Impacts Quartz Countertop Costs
Quartz countertops are available in different thicknesses, typically 1.2 cm, 2 cm, or 3 cm. Thicker slabs have a bigger impact on overall project cost because:
More Material Per Square Foot
A 3 cm thick slab uses more than double the material of a 1.2 cm thick slab for the same surface area.
Weight Limits Cabinet Support
Thicker materials weighs more per square foot. Some cabinets require reinforcement to support thicker quartz.
Difficult to Fabricate
Thicker slabs are harder for fabricators to cut and install. Special tools may be needed.
Labour Costs Go Up
More time and skill is required to install thicker countertops, increasing labor fees.
Limits Sink Options
With 3 cm quartz, an undermount sink may not be feasible due to thickness.
The increased thickness can shift appliance dimensions/positions from original plans.
While thicker quartz costs more, it provides benefits like enhanced durability and easier polishing over time. Evaluate both cost and benefits when selecting slab thickness.
How Much Extra Area to Add for Quartz Backsplashes
Backsplashes require additional quartz material beyond the countertop surface area. Use these guidelines when calculating:
Standard 4″ High Backsplash
Add 0.3 square feet per linear foot of backsplash length.
Example: For 10 linear ft backsplash, add 10 ft x 0.3 sq ft = 3 extra sq ft.
Full Height Backsplash
Add 0.5 square feet per linear foot for full backsplashes up to the cabinets.
Example: A 10 ft full backsplash adds 10 ft x 0.5 sq ft = 5 extra sq ft.
Backsplashes with Accent Strips
Add 15% over standard backsplash square footage to allow for accent strips.
Backsplash Over 8″ High
Measure the height and multiply by linear footage to calculate exact area.
Specialty Shaped Backsplashes
Measure each section separately if dealing with unique shapes or patterns.
Always calculate standard backsplashes separately from the overall surface area. Add this square footage into your total quartz needed.
Strategies to Reduce Quartz Countertop Costs
Quartz is an investment, but there are ways to lower costs:
Choose Lower Cost Materials
Select mid-range quartz at $70 per square foot installed vs premium brands over $100 per square