When it comes to choosing countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, two of the most popular options are porcelain and quartz. Both offer sleek, modern designs and excellent durability. But which one is more affordable? Here is a detailed comparison of porcelain vs quartz countertops on cost.
Cost Factors To Consider
Several factors impact the total installed price of countertops:
- Material cost – The inherent cost of the raw slab or tile material. Quartz is typically more expensive than porcelain.
- Fabrication – Cutting and shaping the raw material into a finished countertop. More complex designs cost more.
- Installation – Securing and mounting the countertops. Porcelain may require extra care.
- Countertop size – Overall square footage needed. Larger countertops cost more.
- Edge treatments – Decorative edges like bevels or polished finishes add cost.
- Backsplashes – Adding a backsplash tacks on more expense.
- Transportation – Delivering slabs and tiles to the installation site.
Keeping these factors in mind, here is how porcelain and quartz countertops compare on price.
Porcelain Countertop Cost
Porcelain slabs offer a lower material cost than natural stone or quartz. Price ranges from:
- $40 – $60 per square foot for basic tile styles
- $60 – $100+ per square foot for high-end porcelain slabs
However, porcelain is prone to cracking if not handled carefully during fabrication and installation. This requires extra labor and precision cutting, increasing the overall cost. Expect to pay:
- $50 – $100 per square foot for fabrication
- $10 – $20 per square foot for installation
Total installed cost of porcelain countertops: $100 – $180+ per square foot
- Lower material costs than quartz
- Highly durable and stain resistant
- Easy to clean
- Prone to cracking, raising fabrication and installation costs
- Limited styles and colors available
Quartz Countertop Cost
Quartz slabs made from engineered stone are more expensive than porcelain. Price ranges from:
- $50 – $120 per square foot for lower-end brands
- $80 – $200+ per square foot for high-end designer quartz
However, quartz is easier to fabricate and install without cracking. Typical costs are:
- $50 – $100 per square foot for fabrication.
- $10 – $20 per square foot for installation.
Total installed cost of quartz countertops: $150 – $300+ per square foot
- Huge variety of colors and patterns
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant
- Easy fabrication and installation
- More expensive slabs than porcelain
- Can stain from strong chemicals
Is Porcelain Cheaper Than Quartz?
Given the cost ranges, porcelain tiles and slabs are generally cheaper than quartz slabs, averaging $120 vs $200 per square foot installed.
However, higher-end designer porcelain with intricate fabrication can rival the cost of mid-range quartz. And lower-end quartz may match basic porcelain tile.
In general, expect to pay $50 – $100 less per square foot for porcelain countertops compared to quartz.
The price difference narrows if your porcelain needs complex cutting or reinforcement to prevent cracking. And it widens if you select high-end quartz versus basic porcelain tile.
Factors That Impact Cost
Keep these tips in mind when budgeting for porcelain or quartz countertops:
- Choose simple slab designs with few seams or cutouts to minimize fabrication costs.
- Opt for a unified backsplash and countertop to reduce installation work.
- Pick a reputable fabricator experienced with the material to control quality and cracking.
- Select mid-range styles over premium designer looks to save money.
- Get quotes for total installed cost, not just material price per square foot.
While porcelain tile or slabs generally cost less than quartz counters, both materials offer great bang for your buck. Porcelain competes on price while quartz brings more design options. Evaluate your budget, kitchen needs, and style preferences before deciding between these two excellent countertop materials. With smart planning, you can end up with beautiful counters that fit your space and wallet!
Is Porcelain Countertops Cheaper Than Quartz? – FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the costs of porcelain vs quartz countertops:
Q: How much cheaper is porcelain than quartz?
A: On average, porcelain countertops cost $50 – $100 less per square foot installed compared to quartz. However, high-end porcelain and lower-end quartz may be similarly priced.
Q: Why is installed porcelain cheaper than installed quartz?
A: Porcelain’s lower material costs give it an initial price advantage. But extra fabrication care due to cracking raises total install costs closer to quartz pricing.
Q: Is porcelain worth the savings over quartz?
A: Porcelain provides great savings if you choose simple designs. But quartz offers more style versatility for a bit more money. Evaluate priorities like budget, durability needs, and aesthetics.
Q: Does porcelain require more maintenance than quartz?
A: Both materials are low maintenance. Porcelain needs a bit more care to avoid chips and cracks. But both require minimal upkeep when properly installed.
Q: Is quartz cheaper to install than porcelain?
A: Quartz is generally cheaper to fabricate and install due to lower cracking risk. But for simple designs, total install costs can be comparable between the two.
Q: Which material is best for low budgets?
A: Basic porcelain tiles offer the best value, starting around $100 per square foot installed. Low-end quartz costs slightly more but remains relatively affordable.
Q: Is it worth paying extra for quartz over porcelain?
A: If design variety is important, the extra cost of quartz brings more colors, patterns, and customization. Porcelain also limits bold veining and movement.
Q: Can porcelain crack easily during installation?
A: Porcelain is prone to cracking if mishandled. Hiring experienced installers reduces this risk. Extra care in cutting tiles and reinforcing seams also prevents issues.
Porcelain and quartz both make excellent countertop materials, with porcelain generally offering cost savings over quartz. Carefully evaluate your budget, design needs, and color preferences when deciding between the two options. With smart planning and installation, porcelain can provide beauty and durability at a lower price point for many homeowners.