Quartz countertops have become an immensely popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. Often marketed as an affordable alternative to natural stone surfaces like granite and marble, many homeowners wonder – is quartz countertop actually expensive?
In this comprehensive guide, we will take an in-depth look at quartz countertop pricing, compare costs to other countertop materials, discuss what impacts the price, and provide guidance on getting the best value for your quartz countertop investment.
What is Quartz Countertop?
Before diving into costs and prices, let’s quickly review what quartz countertops are made of.
Quartz countertops are engineered stone surfaces that are manufactured from roughly 90% ground natural quartz crystals combined with around 10% polymer resins and pigments.
This combination creates a durable, non-porous material that is resistant to scratches, stains, cracks, and heat. The resins allow quartz to be molded into countertop slabs, while the quartz provides strength, texture, and an attractive stone-like appearance.
Unlike natural stone, quartz slabs are manufactured in factories under highly controlled conditions. This allows for consistency in color, pattern, and quality – factors that can vary greatly in natural stone.
The end result is a beautiful, practical countertop material that offers the look of high-end stone with excellent durability. The combination of appearance, performance, and affordability makes quartz an immensely popular choice for kitchen and bath countertops.
Quartz Countertop Cost Per Square Foot
The cost of quartz countertops on a per square foot basis typically ranges from $40 to $100 per square foot installed.
This can equate to $800 to $2,000 for an average 25 square foot kitchen countertop.
Quartz slab prices from manufacturers generally fall between $35 to $75 per square foot, averaging around $50 per square foot. Additional costs for fabrication, installation, edges, and other options can add $15 to $30 per square foot to the total project cost.
In general, you can expect to pay:
- Low end: $40 to $50 per square foot for basic styles and colors.
- Mid-range: $55 to $70 per square foot for popular colors and patterns.
- High end: $80 to $100+ per square foot for premium materials and complex installations.
However, many factors can impact quartz countertop pricing, which we will explore in more detail throughout this article.
Quartz vs. Other Countertop Materials
How does quartz pricing compare to other countertop options? Here is an overview of typical installed costs:
- Laminate countertops: $20 – $40 per square foot
- Wood countertops: $40 – $100 per square foot
- Tile countertops: $40 – $100 per square foot
- Concrete countertops: $85 – $125 per square foot
- Granite countertops: $80 – $150 per square foot
- Marble countertops: $70 – $130 per square foot
- Quartz countertops: $80 – $120 per square foot
As you can see, quartz generally sits in the middle price range – less expensive than natural stone surfaces like granite and marble, but pricier than low-end options like laminate.
However, it’s important to consider the look, durability, and maintenance requirements of each material. Overall, quartz provides an outstanding combination of aesthetics, functionality, and value over its lifetime.
What Impacts the Cost of Quartz Countertops?
Many factors go into the total installed price of quartz countertops. The main elements that affect pricing are:
1. Brand Name
One of the biggest factors impacting quartz pricing is brand. The most recognized quartz manufacturers include:
- LG Viatera
- DuPont Zodiaq
- Quartz Master
Higher-end designer brands like Cambria and Caesarstone often cost $75 to $150+ per square foot. Meanwhile, affordable brands like MSI can be as low as $45 per square foot.
In general, you will pay a premium for big-name brands because of their reputation, marketing, and trendy styles. However, lower priced options can still offer excellent quality and appearance.
2. Color and Pattern
Quartz slabs come in a vast array of colors – from stark whites to bold blues and everything in between. Simple, uniform colors are often the most affordable options.
Complex multi-colored slabs with striking patterns, veining, and visual depth will fall on the pricier end. These options provide the aesthetic of natural stone at a more affordable cost.
Trendy finishes like metallic flecks or mirrored glass shards can also drive up pricing. Be sure to balance visual appeal with your budget.
Standard quartz thickness is 3/4 inch (2 cm). Some brands offer thicker options of 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) to 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) for a more substantial feel. Thicker slabs cost $10 to $20 more per square foot.
Keep in mind that thickness does not affect durability since quartz material is consistent throughout. Increased thickness provides a visual effect, not added strength.
4. Edge Profiles
Edge profiles – the finished edges along countertops – impact both cost and appearance. Basic straight edged profiles add little cost. More complex beveled, rounded, or decorative edges can add $5 to $20 per linear foot.
Fancier edge work requires extra fabrication time and cuts down on usable slab area, increasing overall costs. Again, balance costs with the desired finished look.
5. Custom Shaping and Fabrication
Shaping quartz around sinks, appliances, angles, and built-in features takes skill. Intricate custom cutting and fabrication drives up project pricing considerably.
For example, a rectangular kitchen island with straight seams will be far cheaper than a complex curved peninsula installation requiring intricate fabrication.
6. Special Features
Some quartz brands offer unique specialty features that enhance both appearance and pricing. These include:
- Metallic shimmers like crushed glass or metal flakes
- Translucent quartz to allow under-lighting
- Textured finishes like rough honed granite
- Distinctive patterns not found on regular slabs
These options add visual appeal but also cost $10 to $50 more per square foot. Only splurge here if the impact is worth the price for your space.
7. Installation Factors
Local labor costs and the complexity of your specific install impact pricing as well. Difficult floorplans, plumbing arrangements, small spaces, and special structural needs make installation more expensive.
Shop around for the best deal on skilled fabrication and installation. Be wary of quotes that seem too good to be true – lowball bids often result in headaches from inexperienced installers.
How to Get the Best Value on Quartz Countertops
Now that you understand the factors that influence quartz pricing, here are some tips to get the most value from your investment:
Choose an Affordable Brand
Stick to mid-priced brands like MSI, Viatera, or Quartz Master vs high-end names like Silestone or Cambria. You can save 20-50% off premium materials with less recognized labels but similar quality.
Select a Simple Slab
Opt for solid, uniform, straight-edged slabs in whites or grays vs busy multi-colored materials. This reduces fabricating waste and complexity for installers, lowering pricing.
Carefully measure your existing space and your quartz needs. Buy slabs just barely bigger than required dimensions to avoid unnecessary overages driving up cost.
Install Rectangular Layouts
Square or rectangular layouts with straight seams are the most economical option. Have installers follow the contours of your existing substructure vs custom cut designs.
Reuse Existing Cabinets
Using your current cabinetry saves thousands over new custom built-ins. Carefully measure to find a quartz slab that fits your present framework.
Shop Around for Installers
Find the best deal on experienced local countertop fabricators/installers. Get at least 3+ quotes to compare pricing and experience.
Avoid Overpriced Upgrades
Only splurge for trendy patterns, exotic edges, or thick slabs if they make a real visual impact – not just to inflate cost. Stick to classic, simple choices.
Is Quartz Worth the Investment?
Quartz delivers an outstanding combination of aesthetics, performance, and value:
Beautiful appearance – Mimics high-end natural stone with patterns, colors, and 3D visual depth.
Extreme durability – Resists scratches, stains, cracks, heat, and damage better than granite.
Little maintenance – Requires no sealing and easily wipes clean.
Long lifespan – With proper care, quartz countertops last decades.
Resale value – Quartz countertops add value and appeal to any home.
Given these benefits, quartz provides excellent return on investment over years of use and enjoyment.
While not the cheapest option, quartz costs significantly less than natural stone. When you factor in durability and maintenance savings, quartz becomes an affordable luxury that adds real value to your home.
Invest wisely, follow the guidance in this article, and you can obtain beautiful quartz countertops that will provide endless satisfaction without breaking the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about the costs and value of quartz countertops? Below we answer some of the most common queries:
Is quartz more expensive than granite?
In most cases, installed quartz costs around 20% less than granite. Granite often ranges from $80 to $150 per square foot installed. The starting price of quality quartz is typically equivalent to mid-range granite.
Which is more expensive – marble or quartz?
Marble is a premium priced natural stone that costs at least 30% more than most quartz in comparable styles. Marble ranges from $70 to $130 per square foot installed vs $50 to $100 per square foot for quartz.
Why is quartz so popular if it’s expensive?
While not the cheapest option, quartz provides outstanding durability and appearance for the price point. Low maintenance needs and long lifespan also make quartz a wise investment compared to lower priced materials.
Is quartz cheaper than solid surface?
Quartz and solid surface (like Corian) have similar installed costs, usually $70 to $100 per square foot. Quartz mimics the look of real stone while solid surface is a uniform manufactured material. Quartz is widely seen as a higher end option.
Should I buy quartz samples before deciding?
It’s highly recommended to purchase 2″ x 2″ or 4″ x 4″ quartz samples from brands you are considering. Photos often don’t capture the true color and finish. Samples allow you to make the best decision on investing in a full countertop.
Can I install quartz myself and save money?
Quartz requires specialized tools for cutting and finishing. Homeowner DIY installation often leads to disappointment. The complexity of fabrication and installation makes hiring professionals strongly advised.
How thick should quartz countertops be?
The standard quartz thickness is 3/4 inch (2 cm). This provides ample strength and durability for countertops. Thicker options of 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 inches add cost without much function benefit but provide a heftier feel.
Are quartz countertops expensive to maintain?
One of the biggest benefits of quartz is very low maintenance needs. Simple cleaning with soap and water keeps quartz looking like new for decades. Quartz does not require periodic sealing or polishing like natural stone.
Is quartz a good investment for home resale?
YES – renovations recoup an average of 68% upon home resale, with kitchen and bath updates providing biggest ROI. Stylish quartz countertops add value and appeal vs worn laminate or tile counters. Quartz is a smart investment in your home’s future marketability.
While not cheap, quartz offers serious bang for your buck. With pricing starting around $40 per square foot installed, quartz provides the beauty and prestige of natural stone for less.
Factors like brands, colors, edges, and fabrication impact the final price. Smart choices let you balance cost with the style you desire.
Overall, quartz countertops give homeowners an attractive, ultra-durable, and low maintenance surface that adds real long-term value. Investing in quartz costs more upfront than laminate but pays off many times over through years of daily enjoyment and easy upkeep.
With some savvy shopping, quartz countertops can fit into many remodeling budgets. Before investing, be sure to thoroughly measure your space, research quartz brands, and get multiple installation quotes.
Choosing the right styling in your price range – without overpaying on unnecessary upgrades – yields affordable, stunning countertops that will upgrade your home for decades to come.