Granite and quartz are two of the most popular materials for kitchen countertops. Both offer durability and style, but they differ when it comes to price. Here’s a detailed comparison of granite vs. quartz countertops to help you decide which is the more affordable option for your home.
What is Granite?
Granite is a natural stone that comes directly from quarries. It’s an igneous rock that forms deep underground and contains quartz, feldspar, and mica minerals. Granite’s mineral composition gives it hardness, making it very durable and heat-resistant.
Some key facts about granite:
- Completely natural stone formed over millions of years
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Resistant to scratches, heat, and stains
- Requires periodic sealing to prevent staining
- One-of-a-kind look since no two slabs are the same
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from crushed quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. The quartz provides hardness and durability, while resin binds the material together into slabs.
Some key facts about quartz:
- Manufactured in factories under precise conditions
- More uniform look since slabs have consistent patterning
- Doesn’t need regular sealing like natural granite
- Resistant to scratches, heat, and stains
- Available in wide array of colors including solid hues
Granite Countertop Costs
Granite is priced per square foot, with costs typically ranging between $50-$100. However, rare granite types can cost over $200/square foot.
The total price depends on:
- Type of granite selected
- granite edge treatments like bullnose or ogee
- Cutting and installation fees
- Local supply and demand
Low-end granite starts around $50/sq.ft. while mid-range granite costs $70-$100/sq.ft. High-end exotic granite can exceed $150/sq.ft. Expect to pay $100-$200 per linear foot for edge treatments.
So in total, expect to pay:
- Low end: $2,500+ for a 25 sq.ft. kitchen
- Mid-range: $3,500 – $5,000 for a 25 sq.ft. kitchen
- High-end: $7,500+ for a 25 sq.ft. kitchen
Quartz Countertop Cost
Quartz countertops range from $50-$100 per square foot installed. Labor and fabrication fees add to the overall cost.
Factors affecting quartz prices:
- Brand selected
- Complexity of installation/fabrication
- Design of kitchen
- Specialty edge treatments
Overall, expect to pay:
- $2,500 – $3,500 for a 25 sq.ft. mid-range quartz countertop install
- $4,500+ for a high-end designer quartz brand
Quartz costs a little less than natural stone. But quartz has a more uniform look, while granite offers unique natural patterns.
Is Quartz Cheaper Than Granite?
Generally, quartz is $10-$20 cheaper per square foot than granite. But there is overlap in prices. You can find inexpensive granite around $50/sq.ft. and high-end quartz over $100/sq.ft.
But on average, quartz is the more affordable option, costing $80-$100 per square foot installed versus $90-$120 per square foot for granite.
Quartz also doesn’t need regular sealing. Granite sealing costs around $40 per year. Over 10 years, that adds $400 to the price for maintaining granite.
Pros of Choosing Quartz
- More budget-friendly overall
- Easier maintenance without sealing
- Consistent patterns and tone
- Works well in modern or minimalist kitchens
Pros of Choosing Granite
- Wider range of colors and patterns
- One-of-a-kind natural look
- Can be locally sourced
- Excellent for traditional kitchen aesthetics
Should I Choose Granite or Quartz for My Countertops?
If budget is the priority, quartz is the more economical choice in most cases. Brands like Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cambria provide quality quartz within the $80-$100 per square foot range.
However, granite is the best option if you want a unique natural stone look. Granite provides beautiful speckled patterns that come directly from the earth. And you can choose a special exotic granite within your budget.
Both materials are about equal in durability and performance. But quartz needs less maintenance over time. Granite must be sealed to prevent staining.
Your style preference should also factor into your decision between the sleek uniformity of quartz and organic randomness of granite. Quartz works well in modern kitchens, while granite suits traditional aesthetics.
Consult with a kitchen designer to narrow down the exact materials and costs for your space. They can provide precise quotes for installing granite vs. quartz countertops tailored to your kitchen layout and budget. This will give you the details needed to make the ideal choice for your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quartz cheaper than granite in general?
Yes, quartz countertops are often around $10-$20 cheaper per square foot compared to granite. So if budget is your main concern, quartz is the more affordable choice for most kitchens.
What’s the price difference between low-end granite vs quartz?
Low-end granite starts around $50 per square foot. Low-end quartz also starts around $50. So at the lowest prices, granite and quartz are very similar in cost. The price difference shows up more in mid-range and high-end materials.
Is it worth paying more for granite?
Granite is worth the higher price if you prefer the natural beauty of stone and want a one-of-a-kind look. No two granite slabs are the same due to the variations in natural stone. Granite works well for traditional kitchens.
Does quartz have a bigger price range than granite?
Both materials have low-end economy options around $50/square foot as well as high-end designer options over $100/square foot. But quartz generally tops out around $120/square foot, while exotic granites can exceed $200/square foot.
Is installation cheaper for quartz vs granite?
Installation prices are similar for both materials. The main price difference comes down to the cost per square foot of the materials themselves. Overall fabrication and installation costs depend on the complexity of your kitchen design.
Granite and quartz each have their pros and cons when it comes to affordability. Quartz is the less expensive option on average, making it a great choice if you’re on a tight kitchen remodeling budget. But granite gives you an authentic stone look and feel that can be worth the higher investment.
Carefully compare material samples and get an itemized quote tailored to your exact kitchen layout and material selections. This will give you the details to determine whether granite or quartz best fits your budget and style needs for your new countertops.