Is Porcelain Countertop Cheaper Than Quartz?

Durability and Maintenance

When looking at the cost of any countertop material, it’s important to consider not just the initial price, but also the durability and maintenance requirements over time. Porcelain is an extremely durable material that stands up well to heavy use and heat. It doesn’t need to be sealed and is generally easy to clean. Quartz is also durable, but not quite as indestructible as porcelain. It does need to be sealed periodically to prevent stains. In terms of maintenance, porcelain may have a slight edge over quartz.

Material Costs

The base materials for porcelain tiles are generally less expensive than quartz slabs or engineered stone. Porcelain is made from clay and other naturally occurring materials that are abundant and cost efficient. Quartz countertops are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The manufacturing process for engineered stone is more complex than porcelain tile, so the materials cost more.

Installation Costs

Installation is another factor that impacts the total cost of new countertops. Both porcelain and quartz countertops need to be cut and fabricated to fit the space. However, quartz countertops require more seamless appearances, so the fabrication process is more extensive and intricate. Porcelain tile countertops involve adhering the tiles to the substrate. Overall, installation costs tend to be lower for porcelain.

Porcelain vs Quartz Cost Comparison

Taking material and installation costs into account, here is a general price comparison between porcelain and quartz:

  • Porcelain tile countertops range from $40 – $100 per square foot installed.
  • Quartz slab countertops range from $80 – $150 per square foot installed.

Of course, these costs can vary somewhat depending on the specific products chosen and the contractor doing the installation. But porcelain consistently comes in at the lower end of the spectrum.

Factors That Impact Cost

There are a few factors that can alter the relative costs between porcelain and quartz countertops:

  • High-end porcelain tiles may be closer in price to lower-end quartz. There are very basic porcelain tiles for as low as $5/square foot, but some luxury porcelain tiles run $50+/square foot.
  • Thicker quartz slabs are more expensive. A standard 3cm thick quartz countertop runs cheaper than premium options like 4cm or 5cm.
  • More intricate quartz installations add labor costs. Unique cut-outs, edges, and seam placements require more work.
  • Area labor rates impact installed costs for both materials. Higher costs of living mean higher installation costs.

So in some situations, the gap between porcelain and quartz may be smaller. But in general, porcelain offers significant cost savings of 30% or more compared to quartz countertops.

Is Porcelain Countertop Cheaper Than Quartz? – FAQs

Is porcelain cheaper than quartz?

Yes, porcelain tile countertops are generally cheaper than quartz slab countertops, typically by 30% to 50%. Porcelain has lower material costs and easier installation than quartz.

Why is porcelain cheaper than quartz?

Porcelain is cheaper than quartz mainly due to the lower cost of raw materials and easier fabrication and installation. Clay and feldspar for porcelain cost less than ground quartz and resins for engineered stone.

Is porcelain or quartz more durable?

Porcelain tile is arguably the most durable countertop material available. It withstands heat, scratches, stains, and impact better than quartz. However, quartz is still an extremely durable material in its own right.

Does porcelain stain like quartz?

Porcelain is non-porous so it does not easily stain. Quartz is also resistant to stains but needs to be sealed periodically. Unsealed quartz is more prone to stains than porcelain.

Is porcelain good for kitchen countertops?

Yes, porcelain makes an excellent countertop for kitchens. It provides durability, heat resistance, easy maintenance, and style. The grout lines can collect dirt, but proper sealing minimizes this. Porcelain comes in a huge range of colors, patterns, and finishes.

Does porcelain chip like quartz?

Porcelain tile does not chip as easily as quartz. Its dense, fired clay body is harder and less brittle than quartz composites. However, porcelain can crack or break if subjected to a very heavy impact. Quartz can also crack under pressure.


When choosing between quartz vs porcelain for countertops, cost is a key consideration for many homeowners. Due to its lower material and installation costs, porcelain tile generally provides a more affordable option compared to quartz slab. However, both materials have their own sets of pros and cons beyond just price. The decision often depends on your budget, design priorities, and how you plan to use your new countertops. Considering cost alongside factors like appearance, durability, and maintenance needs will lead you to the best countertop decision for your space and lifestyle.