Is Quartz Countertop Cheaper Than Marble?

When it comes to choosing countertop materials for kitchens and bathrooms, two popular options are quartz and marble. Both offer aesthetic appeal, but they differ in cost. Is quartz countertop cheaper than marble?

An Overview of Quartz and Marble Countertops

Quartz and marble countertops each have their own sets of pros and cons that impact their cost. Here is a brief overview of each material:

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from crushed quartz combined with resin and pigments. The resin binds the quartz particles together to create a hard, non-porous surface.

Benefits of quartz:

  • Extremely durable and scratch-resistant
  • Requires very little maintenance
  • Resists stains, etching, and heat damage
  • Non-porous so does not need to be sealed
  • Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Has a consistent look as slabs are manufactured

Downsides of quartz:

  • Can have a manufactured or artificial look
  • Limited number of bold patterns available
  • Seams are more visible

Marble Countertops

Marble countertops are cut from natural stone quarried from the earth. Marble has been used for sculptures and home surfaces for centuries.

Benefits of marble:

  • Genuine natural stone with unique veining patterns
  • Luxurious, stylish aesthetic
  • Softer, subtler look compared to quartz
  • Can be honed or polished to different finishes
  • Available in many colors like white, gray, black

Downsides of marble:

  • Porous and needs to be sealed regularly
  • Stains and etches easily
  • Softer so can scratch and chip over time
  • Needs gentle cleaning with non-acidic products
  • Seams are more visible
  • Cost fluctuates based on current marble prices

Now that we’ve compared some pros and cons, is quartz countertop cheaper than marble?

Quartz vs Marble: Cost Comparison

When comparing countertop material costs, several factors come into play:

  • Base material cost per square foot
  • Labor cost for fabrication and installation
  • Edge treatments and backsplashes
  • Transportation fees
  • Any repairs or maintenance

On average, quartz countertops range between $80-150 per square foot installed. They fall on the lower end of natural stone countertop pricing.

Marble countertops range between $100-250 per square foot installed. Marble is on the higher end for stone counters.

So in most cases, yes, quartz counters will be cheaper than marble.

However, material cost is only part of the equation. Professional installation also impacts the final price tag. Getting quotes from experienced countertop fabricators will give you a more exact price comparison.

Below we’ll explore more details on cost factors between these two stylish counters.

Why Quartz Counters Are Typically Cheaper Than Marble

There are several reasons why quartz countertops tend to have lower overall installed costs compared to natural marble.

Lower Base Material Costs

Quartz slabs are engineered in factories which allows more control over production costs. The manufacturing process uses crushed quartz, inexpensive resins, and color pigments. These base ingredients are relatively affordable.

Marble is quarried from limited natural deposits around the world. Material costs fluctuate based on scarcity, extraction expenses, and transportation. As a high-end natural stone, marble sits at the top of the price scale.

Quartz slabs run $50-100 per square foot just for materials.

Marble slabs cost $70-200 per square foot before fabrication and installation.

So the base material cost for marble is significantly higher than engineered quartz composites. This difference gets reflected in the final installed price tag.

Greater Consistency in Quartz Patterns

With marble, each slab has unique patterning that comes from natural stone formations. This means colors, veining, finishes, and even thickness can vary. As a result, there is more waste when fabricating marble counters.

Quartz has uniform patterning and consistency across slabs. Fabricators can work more efficiently and generate less waste. The standardized quartz manufacturing process results in lower labor and material costs.

Easier Installation Process

Marble is more fragile than quartz. Fabricators have to take extra care cutting, polishing, and mounting natural marble. The material requires specialized tools and techniques that add labor time.

Quartz has high flexibility and durability during fabrication. The installation process is faster and has a lower chance of accidental damage. Simple tools and techniques work fine. These factors decrease overall construction costs.

Lower Maintenance Costs with Quartz

Once installed, marble requires periodic sealing to prevent staining and etching. It also needs gentle cleaning methods. Over time, marble maintenance adds up in cost and labor compared to quartz.

Quartz is virtually maintenance-free for the life of the counters. It never needs sealing or specialized cleaning. The hassle-free care of quartz saves money down the road.

In summary, quartz counters have lower base costs for materials and fabrication. They also avoid the ongoing maintenance expenses required for natural marble surfaces.

Cost Factors to Compare quartz and marble Countertops

To get accurate price estimates in your area, get quotes from 3-4 reputable countertop installation companies. Make sure they have experience with both quartz and natural stone.

Be sure the quote breaks down separate line item costs including:

  • Materials per square foot – For quartz and marble slabs. This varies by brand, color, and pattern.
  • Edge treatments – Built-up edges, decorative edges, laminated edges, etc. These vary in labor and materials.
  • Backsplash – Matching backsplashes usually add $10-30 per linear foot installed.
  • Fabrication – Cutting, shaping, seam placement, hole drilling. More complex shapes cost more.
  • Installation – Attaching counters to cabinetry. Marble is harder to install due to fragility.
  • Sealing and finishing – Marble requires intensive sealing and polishing during installation.
  • Sink mounting – Undermount, drop-in, or vessel sinks have different mounting costs.
  • Transportation – Natural stone like marble is heavy so incurs higher transportation fees.

Get your total price quotes in writing from fabricators before purchasing materials. This allows accurate comparison between quartz and marble installed costs.

Factors That Impact Quartz and Marble Counter Prices

Beyond the base installation quote, several other factors can increase the final price for quartz or marble counters.


Popular quartz brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone come at a premium cost. Less mainstream or imported brands are cheaper.

For marble, domestic marbles like Calacatta and Carrara cost more than imported types. Prices also rise for rarer colors and patterns.

Colors and Patterns

Unusual marble patterns and unique quartz color blends usually bump up costs over basic white and light-colored options. Stone slab prices also vary between colors and countries of origin.


Standard countertop thickness is 3cm (1.25 inches). Going up to a thicker 5cm profile increases cost for extra materials. Thinner counts can save money but sacrifice durability.

Island Shapes

Square and rectangular islands are the most economical. Custom curved or angled shapes that require extra cutting labor will increase the price.

Edge Profiles

Fancy built-up edges with multiple contours add fabrication time and effort. This results in higher costs over simple eased or pencil-line edges.


Matching granite or quartz backsplashes installed add $10-30 per linear foot but enhance the overall look. Going without saves money.

Multi-level Island Designs

Islands with multiple countertop levels require extra shaping and seams. This increases quartz or marble fabrication prices.

The more custom measurements, edge work, and special shaping required, the higher the installation costs. Simple slab installations with few seams are the most budget-friendly.

DIY Installation vs Professional Countertop Installers

Homeowners with DIY experience sometimes tackle quartz or marble countertop installations to save on labor costs. However, this is an advanced project with high risks. Without proper tools and experience, results may be subpar.

Benefits of professional installation:

  • Experts handle tricky parts like seams and sink cutouts.
  • Custom edging and shaping possibilities.
  • Polished results compared to DIY.
  • Warranties from installers.
  • Coordination of measurements, materials, and scheduling.

Unless you have professional-grade tools and countertop fabrication skills, the potential damage and rework costs outweigh potential DIY savings. Be sure to factor professional labor into your countertop budget.

Is Quartz or Marble Better for Resale Value?

Both quartz and marble can add value and appeal to kitchen or bathroom remodeling projects. Which one offers better return on investment when selling a home?

In most cases, quartz counters may recoup slightly higher value at resale over marble.

Buyers recognize that quartz requires very little maintenance and stands up well to heavy use. Quartz counters transformed many homes over the past decade, so the look is popular.

Marble maintains appeal as a high-end material, but some buyers may be deterred by potential staining and etching issues. Small damages make a difference for resale impressions.

However, marble still holds prestige and can attract buyers looking for a touch of luxury. For the right audience, marble counters add strong visual impact.

In general, both marble and quartz make homes more attractive to potential buyers. Investing in high-quality installation for either material can help your investment pay off down the road.

Factors That Lower Costs for Quartz or Marble Counters

Some tricks can help cut costs on quartz or marble installations. However, be cautious about sacrificing too much quality to save money.

Purchase Materials Directly

Purchasing slabs directly through suppliers cuts out retailer markups. This saves potentially hundreds of dollars. Be sure to inspect materials carefully before purchasing.

Shop Discounted Materials

Check for sales, remnants, and clearance materials from suppliers. Buy smaller cuttings and pieces to cover a smaller area. Inspect closely for flaws.

Choose a Thinner Countertop

Thin 2cm slabs save on material costs. But durability and longevity may be reduced. Only consider 2cm thickness for protected areas, not heavy use zones.

Install DIY

As mentioned above, DIY installation can damage materials and produce subpar results. But for small or simple jobs, self-installing can potentially reduce labor fees if done carefully.

Skip Backsplashes

Leave walls in the space above counters bare instead of adding pricey matching backsplashes. Use paint or alternate materials like metal or tile.

Minimize Decorative Edges

Forgo expensive built-up edges with contours. Choose standard eased, beveled, or slightly rounded edges instead.

Buy Premixed Color Blends

Purchase quartz or marble slabs with premixed colors instead of custom color blends. This avoids extra fabrication fees.

Standard Sink Mounting

Skip ornate vessel sink bowls. Standard undermount or drop-in sinks cost less to integrate into countertops.

While these tactics can trim some expenses, be wary of cutting too many corners. Poor quality installation can ruin the long-term functionality and ages of quartz or marble counters.

Maintaining Quartz and Marble Countertops

Proper care and maintenance helps quartz or marble counters last for years. Follow best practices to protect your investment.

Quartz care:

  • Clean with soft cloth and mild soap and water
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners and pads
  • Don’t use sealers or waxes
  • Immediately wipe up spills
  • Use trivets or hot pads under hot pans

Marble care:

  • Seal marble every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer
  • Use mild cleaners free of acid, vinegar, or bleach
  • Rinse with clean water after cleaning
  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains
  • Avoid placing hot items directly on marble

With proper maintenance, both quartz and marble counters can stay beautiful for over a decade. The minimal care quartz requires gives it longevity and durability in busy kitchens. But with regular sealing, marble can also survive years of use.

Quartz vs Marble: Which is the Better Choice?

Quartz and marble each have attractive qualities that make them desirable countertop materials. Which is the better option comes down to your priorities:

Quartz pros:

  • Lower average cost
  • Nearly maintenance-free
  • Consistent durable performance
  • Resists scratches, stains, heat
  • Easy cleaning

Marble pros:

  • Gorgeous natural material
  • Prestigious high-end aesthetic
  • Unique patterns and colors
  • Classic luxurious appearance
  • Matches other stone finishes

In most cases, quartz offers better value thanks to its lower cost and carefree maintenance. But for some homeowners, the unparalleled beauty of real marble outweighs practical factors.

Your countertop budget, kitchen activities, style priorities, and maintenance habits should guide your decision between these popular counters. Consider pros and cons carefully.

Is Quartz Countertop Cheaper Than Marble? Conclusion

There is no definitive answer to whether quartz or marble countertops are the better choice. However, quartz counters generally cost less than marble to purchase and install. Engineered quartz costs less than natural marble stone. It also requires little lifetime maintenance.

But marble’s stunning appearance appeals to many homeowners despite higher prices. To accurately compare costs, get multiple itemized quotes from countertop installation professionals. Be sure to factor in all budget variables.

With proper care, well-installed quartz or marble counters can serve kitchens and bathrooms beautifully for over a decade, regardless of which material costs less initially. Consider your whole budget, lifestyle needs, and style preferences when deciding between quartz and marble countertops.