Is Quartz Cheaper Than Marble Countertops?

When it comes to choosing countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, two of the most popular options are quartz and marble. Both offer beauty and functionality, but which one is more budget-friendly? We’ll examine the cost differences between quartz and marble countertops to help you make the best decision for your home renovation project.

How Much Does Quartz Countertops Cost?

Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, have become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to natural stone countertops like marble and granite. Quartz is made from ground quartz crystals combined with polyester resins and pigments. This combination creates a durable, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.

On average, quartz countertops cost between $50 – $100 per square foot installed. However, prices can range from as low as $25 per square foot on the low end, up to $150 per square foot for premium brands. The exact price you’ll pay depends on several factors:

  • Brand – Popular brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are on the higher end of the price spectrum. Less expensive options are available from IKEA, Lowe’s, and home improvement stores.
  • Color and pattern – Plain white or solid color quartz will be the most affordable option. Unique patterns, textures, and bold colors will increase the price.
  • Thickness – Standard thickness is 3/4″. Going up to 1 1/4″ or more will add cost.
  • Edge treatments – Simple square edges are the most economical. Specialty edges like bullnose or ogee raise the price.
  • Installation – Professional installation averages $40-$100 per hour. Complex projects or special cut-outs will take more time and labor.

Given these factors, the total price for quartz countertops installed will likely fall somewhere between $2,500 and $4,500 for an average sized kitchen. Expect to pay around $70 per square foot for a mid-range quartz in popular colors from a reputable brand, professionally installed.

What Is the Cost of Marble Countertops?

As a high-end natural stone, marble countertops command a premium price. No two slabs of marble are exactly alike, as each one displays unique natural veining and patterns. This natural beauty comes at a cost.

On average, marble countertops cost between $75 – $250 per square foot installed. That puts the total price range for an average kitchen from $3,000 up to $10,000 or more. What makes marble so expensive?

  • Stone quality – A higher percentage of pure marble with no cracks or pits will be more costly. Imported marble from Italy and Greece is pricier than domestic varieties.
  • Rare patterns and colors – Unusual marbles like Calacatta Borghini or Azul Cielo will increase cost.
  • Thickness – Most marble is 3/4″ thick. Going up to 1 1/4″ or more adds expense.
  • Finishing and edges – Honed finishes and decorative ogee edges raise the price over basic straight polished edges.
  • Installation – Cutting and installing marble is labor intensive, generally $40-$100 per hour.
  • Sealing and maintenance – Marble is porous and will need regular sealing, an added hidden cost.

While white Carrara is one of the most affordable marbles, starting around $70 per square foot, rare designer varieties can cost upwards of $350 per square foot installed. Be sure to get an itemized estimate for your specific marble selection and kitchen layout.

Quartz vs. Marble: The Bottom Line on Cost

When comparing overall cost, quartz countertops are generally 25% to 50% cheaper than marble. Both do come with a wide range of pricing, but quartz starts lower and has a maximum price typically under high-end marbles.

Cost savings with quartz include:

  • Lower material costs, since it’s engineered rather than mined natural stone.
  • More affordable finishes and edge treatments.
  • Easier installation for a lower labor price.
  • No ongoing sealing and treatment needed.

While quartz doesn’t offer the same natural beauty and prestige as marble, it remains an attractive, practical, and budget-friendly option for kitchen and bath remodels. Give both options careful consideration as you choose your new countertops!

Factors That Impact the Overall Cost of Countertops

The costs of quartz and marble represent just the countertop material and basic installation. But several other factors come into play when budgeting for a kitchen or bath remodel:

Demolition and Removal

Removing old countertops and disposing debris adds $200-$600 depending on the scope.

Countertop Layout

Simple rectangular layouts are most affordable. Adding islands, peninsulas, or unusual angles will increase costs.


Tiling adds $10-$25 per square foot for materials and labor. Other backsplash materials like glass or stone cost more.

Sink and Faucet

Expect to pay $200-$2,000+ for a new sink and faucet combination. Undermount sinks cost more to install.

Additional Accessories

Items like soap dispensers, outlets, and trash/recycling bins will entail extra costs as well.

Be sure to account for all these factors when estimating your total project budget. They can easily add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the bottom line.

How to Save on Countertops

Looking to cut costs on your new quartz or marble countertops? Here are some great tips:

  • Consider prefab countertops – Home improvement stores like IKEA offer affordable prefab quartz options that you can install yourself.
  • Shop sales and closeouts – Check for quartz or marble remnants, discontinued colors, or clearance sales.
  • Choose standard edges – Fancy edges like bevels or ogees will hike up the price.
  • Install yourself – If you’re handy, DIY installation can save substantially on labor. Watch out for tricky seam placements though.
  • Reuse existing sinks/faucets – Keep your old sink and faucet if they’re still in good shape.
  • Skip the backsplash – Painted drywall is an inexpensive backsplash alternative.
  • Size down thickness – Standard 3/4″ thickness offers durability at a lower cost than thicker slabs.
  • Compare estimates – Get 3-5 itemized bids from different countertop fabricators.

With some smart design decisions and shopping tactics, you can cut hundreds or even thousands off your total countertop costs. Just don’t sacrifice too much on quality to save a buck. durable, quality countertops should last you decades with proper care.

Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops

Now that we’ve compared the costs of quartz and marble, let’s examine some of the key benefits and downsides of quartz countertops:


  • Affordable cost – Less expensive than natural stone countertops.
  • Low maintenance – Doesn’t require ongoing sealing or polishing.
  • Durable and scratch-resistant – Tough quartz crystals resist chips, cracks, and scratches.
  • Resists stains – Non-porous so spills wipe up easily.
  • Heat tolerant – Can withstand hot pots and pans without damage.
  • Easy to clean – Smooth non-porous surface cleans up with soap and water.
  • Neutral colors – Subtle patterns and tones integrate in any style kitchen.
  • Long warranty – Many brands offer 15-year or lifetime limited warranties.


  • Limited styles – Not as unique as natural stone’s distinctive veining.
  • Seams may be visible – Seams are more apparent than with granite or marble.
  • No natural stone charm – Engineered material lacks the cachet and wow-factor of real marble.
  • Repeated patterns – Pattern repetition with slabs can look unnatural.
  • Prone to dulling – Surface can lose its luster over time without re-polishing.
  • Can stain – Not immune to all stains, including oils and strong chemicals.

While no countertop is perfect, quartz provides an excellent mix of aesthetics, utility, and cost-efficiency for most kitchens and bathrooms. The minor downsides are reasonable trade-offs for the convenience and price point of quartz.

Pros and Cons of Marble Countertops

Marble may cost more, but many homeowners consider its elegance and luxury worth the investment. Here are the key upsides and downsides to weigh:


  • Timeless natural beauty – Unique veining patterns and swirls for one-of-a-kind elegance.
  • Luxurious aesthetic – Marble conveys affluence and sophistication.
  • Artistic element – No two slabs are the same due to natural variations.
  • Matches any decor – Classic white works everywhere, bolder colors add drama.
  • Can be refinished – Marble can be re-honed and polished over time.
  • Stays cool naturally – Provides a cool feeling underhand, perfect for rolling dough.
  • Increases home value – A premium feature that boosts resale appeal.


  • Very expensive – Natural marble costs significantly more than quartz or granite.
  • Easily stained – Being porous, marble readily absorbs liquids and grease.
  • Etches from acids – Acidic foods and cleaners can damage marble surfaces.
  • Chips and cracks – While durable, marble can crack if subjected to heavy impacts.
  • Shows wear – Marble’s polished surface loses its luster over time with use.
  • Requires sealing – Must be sealed regularly to prevent staining and etching.
  • Temperature sensitive – Can burn if extremely hot pans are placed directly on surface.
  • Heavy and fragile – Difficult to transport and work with, prone to breakage during installation.

Marble’s sophistication comes at a price – it can require maintenance to retain its beauty. Pay attention to proper care and sealing to get the most out of your investment.

How Does Quartz Compare to Other Stone Countertops?

Besides marble, how does quartz stack up against other popular natural stone countertop materials like granite? Here’s a quick comparison on factors like cost, durability, and maintenance:

| Countertop | Cost | Durability | Heat Resistance | Stain Resistance | Maintenance |
| Quartz | $$-$$$ | Excellent | Excellent | Very Good | Low |
| Granite | $-$$$ | Excellent | Excellent | Very Good | Low |
| Marble | $$$-$$$$ | Good | Poor | Poor | High |
| Soapstone | $-$$ | Good | Excellent | Good | Medium |
| Limestone | $-$$ | Poor | Poor | Poor | High |

Quartz is on par with granite in terms of cost, durability, and ease of maintenance, making it a competitive alternative. It surpasses more high-maintenance stones like marble, soapstone, and limestone on most criteria. This combination of qualities makes quartz a top choice for busy kitchens.

Quartz vs. Granite: How To Choose

Quartz and granite share many similarities, leaving many homeowners unsure which to select. How do you decide between these two leading countertop contenders? We’ll break down the distinctions:


  • Granite has a natural beauty with unique veining and patterns. Quartz offers attractive but more uniform engineered patterns.
  • Quartz comes in a broader range of colors including bold brights. Granite is limited to natural muted earth tones.


  • Entry-level granite and quartz cost about the same. But high-end exotic granites can be pricier than premium quartz.


  • Quartz is engineered to be stronger than granite. It resists scratches better. But granite remains very durable.


  • Neither material is very high maintenance. Quartz never needs sealing, granite needs occasional sealing.

Heat Tolerance

  • Quartz and granite can both withstand hot pots and pans without issue.

Stain Resistance

  • Quartz is slightly more stain resistant, but granite also performs well.

Resale Value

  • Granite and quartz are viewed comparably. Both add value and appeal to a home.

For many buyers, the decision between granite vs. quartz comes down to personal preference on appearance. Do you prefer natural stone or modern engineered looks? Both offer great durability, quality, and value.

How Long Do Quartz Countertops Last?

One major advantage of quartz is its exceptional longevity. With proper care, quartz countertops can easily last 25 years or longer.

The lifespan of your quartz depends on these factors:

  • Quality of installation – Seams that aren’t properly joined lead to damage over time.
  • Frequency of use – Heavily used kitchen counters have more wear than vanity tops.
  • How you use the surface – Cutting and chopping directly on the counter shortens its life.
  • Level of care – Follow manufacturer’s advice on cleaning and avoiding damage from chemicals.
  • Quality of product – Premium quartz brands use higher-quality materials and construction.
  • Maintenance – Re-polishing and resealing worn areas extends a countertop’s lifespan.

With occasional maintenance and resealing of worn areas, quality quartz countertops should provide 20-30 years of durable service even in busy kitchens. Their longevity makes them a worthwhile investment to install once and enjoy for decades.

Trends and Innovations in Quartz Countertops

As quartz grows increasingly popular, manufacturers keep innovating with new styles, colors, and designs. Here are some of the latest trends in quartz:

  • Bold colors and patterns – Whites and neutrals are giving way to pops of color and graphic motifs.
  • Quartzite blends – Materials like crushed quartzite add naturality and dimension.
  • Metallic flecks – Shimmering mica and metal particles create luxurious glittery surfaces.
  • Iridescent finishes – New tech creates color-shifting countertops that transform in the light.
  • Artistic impressions – Quartz selections are emulating natural marble and limestone looks.
  • Stone and wood looks – Blending quartz with wood or real stone fragments for hybrid countertops.
  • Bigger slabs – Manufacturers are producing enormous slabs over 125 inches for seamless countertops.
  • Thinner thicknesses – Some brands offer slimmer 1/2″ thickness for lightweight vertical applications.
  • Smart quartz – Adding tech capabilities like wireless phone charging into countertops.

With innovations like these, quartz continues to surpass natural stone with enhanced aesthetics, capabilities, and installation options. Expect even more exciting developments in years to come!

Caring for Your Quartz Countertops

To get the longest possible lifespan out of quartz, it’s important to care for it properly. Follow these maintenance tips:

  • Regularly clean with a mild soap and water. Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, oven cleaners, and acidic cleaners which can damage and dull the surface.
  • Blot up spills quickly to prevent possible staining, especially oils, wines, and discoloring liquids.
  • Don’t cut directly on the surface to prevent scratches and nicks. Always use a cutting board.
  • Use trivets and hot pads when placing hot pots and pans on the quartz.
  • Re-seal with a quartz sealer every 1-2 years to renew stain resistance.
  • Avoid using quartz as a step stool as the impact can harm the structural integrity.
  • Clean up spills immediately before the staining liquid has time to penetrate the surface.

With regular cleaning and avoidance of harsh impacts and chemicals, your quartz countertops will maintain their good as new beauty and quality for decades. Be attentive and take good care of your investment!

FAQs About Quartz Countertops

Is quartz cheaper than marble countertops?

Yes, quartz is generally 25% to 50% less expensive than natural marble countertops. Quartz starts around $50 per square foot installed, while marble ranges from $75 up to over $200 per square foot.

How much do quartz countertops cost compared to granite?

Quartz and granite cost about the same on average. Basic granite and quartz both start around $45-60 per square foot. High-end exotic granite can be more costly than premium quartz selections.

What’s the difference between quartz and quartzite countertops?

Quartz is engineered from quartz particles, resins, and pigments. Quartzite is 100% natural stone made of compressed quartz sandstone that forms quartz crystals over time.

Is quartz poreous?

No, quartz has a non-porous surface, unlike natural stones. This means it won’t absorb liquids or develop stains and bacteria in pores.

Does quartz need to be sealed?

Quartz does not require regular sealing like marble or granite since it’s non-porous. However, sealing it every few years helps enhance stain resistance.

Is quartz toxic?

No, quartz is considered non-toxic