Is Quartz Countertop Less Expensive Than Granite?

When it comes to choosing countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, two of the most popular options are quartz and granite. Both offer elegance and durability, but which one is the more affordable choice? Here we’ll examine quartz and granite costs to help you determine if quartz is less expensive than granite.


Granite and quartz are both natural stone countertops prized for their aesthetic beauty and resilience. Granite is an igneous rock formed from magma, composed of interlocking mineral crystals like feldspar, mica, and quartz. Quartz surfaces contain ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments.

While granite reigned supreme as the high-end countertop choice for years, over the past decade quartz has become a competitor, praised for its stain, scratch and heat resistance. With quartz rising in popularity, many homeowners wonder how it compares cost-wise to classic granite.

Overall, quartz countertops tend to be less expensive than granite in both material and installation costs. The main factors that impact the costs are stone type, thickness, edge profiles and installation requirements. Read on as we dive into a detailed comparison of granite vs. quartz prices.

Quartz Countertop Costs

Quartz countertops range from $40 to $100 per square foot installed. The exact price depends on the brand, pattern, and colors you choose. Some of the factors impacting quartz countertop costs include:

  • Quartz Type: Basic quartz counters cost $40-60 per square foot while higher-end designer brands run $80-100 per square foot.
  • Color: Simple whites and grays tend to be the most affordable options, while bold, vivid colors and patterns cost more.
  • Thickness: Standard thickness is 3/4″, but thicker 1 1/4″ slabs run $5-15 more per square foot.
  • Edge Profiles: Basic straight edges keep costs down. Upgrades like rounded, beveled or ogee edges add $10-15 per linear foot.
  • Installation: Professional installation averages $40 per hour. Complex projects or electrical/plumbing adjustments increase labor time.

| Quartz Countertop Costs | |
| Basic Quartz Material | $40-60 per square foot |
| Premium Quartz Material | $80-100 per square foot |
| 3/4″ Thickness | Standard |
| 1 1/4″ Thickness | Adds $5-15 per square foot |
| Straight Edge | Standard |
| Upgraded Edges | Adds $10-15 per linear foot |
| Installation | $40 per hour |

With quartz countertops, expect to pay about $70 per square foot for mid-range materials and edges with professional installation. Higher-end materials with upgraded edges and thicknesses can run $120-150 per square foot installed.

Granite Countertop Costs

Granite countertop costs range from $50 to $150 per square foot installed. Prices are influenced by:

  • Stone Type: Commercial grades like Absolute Black cost $50-80 per square foot, while rare/exotic granites run $100-150 per square foot.
  • Edge Details: Basic straight polish is standard. Upgrades like ogee, bevel, chamfer or radius edges add $10-20 per linear foot.
  • Thickness: 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ are typical. Going up to 2″ thick adds $20-30 per square foot.
  • Installation: Simple countertop replacements may cost $40 per hour, while extensive remodeling projects involving plumbing/electrical changes can run $70 per hour.

| Granite Countertop Costs | |
| Commercial Granite Material | $50-80 per square foot |
| Exotic Granite Material | $100-150 per square foot |
| 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ Thickness | Standard |
| 2″ Thick Slabs | Adds $20-30 per square foot |
| Straight Edge | Standard |
| Upgraded Edges | Adds $10-20 per linear foot |
| Basic Installation | $40 per hour |
| Complex Installation | $70 per hour |

Mid-range granite with a straight edge and 3/4″ thickness costs approximately $70-90 per square foot installed. Exotic choices with premium edges and thicker slabs can be $200+ per square foot for materials and installation.

Cost Comparison: Granite vs Quartz

When comparing granite and quartz prices, quartz consistently comes in at the more affordable option:

  • Material Costs: Basic quartz runs $40-60 per square foot, while low-end granite slabs cost $50-80 per square foot. At the high end, exotic granite can cost up to $150 per square foot, compared to $80-100 per square foot for premium quartz.
  • Edge Profiles: Both granite and quartz offer basic straight polish at no added cost. Upgraded edges add $10-20 per linear foot for granite and $10-15 per foot for quartz.
  • Thickness: Standard 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ slabs are comparable. Going up to 2″ thick adds $20-30 per square foot for granite. Most quartz is only available up to 1 1/4″.
  • Installation: Hourly rates are similar between $40-70 per hour, with simple projects on the lower end and intricate remodeling on the high end.

In total, expect to pay $70-150 per square foot for quartz and $90-200 per square foot for granite. While high-end granite and quartz prices can overlap, on average quartz is $20-50 less expensive per square foot compared to granite.

Factors That Impact Quartz vs Granite Costs

Several factors beyond just the type of material impact the overall price you’ll pay for countertops. These include:


Material and labor costs vary across the country. Urban areas like New York City and San Francisco have the highest rates, while rural suburbs or small towns tend to be lower. Shipping exotic materials to remote areas also increases costs.

Stone Availability

Common granite and quartz shades are widely available. Rare granite types or designer quartz brands have limited supply, making them pricier. Having stone quarried and shipped directly impacts material costs.

Size of Project

For both materials, larger installations receive better bulk pricing, resulting in price per square foot dropping as the project size increases. Small projects under 10 square feet have the highest per-foot costs.

Experience Level of Installers

Highly experienced installers command higher hourly rates but tend to complete jobs more efficiently, while apprentice or entry-level workers are more budget-friendly but take longer.

Edge Profiles

Fancy edges that require extra cutting and shaping add per-linear-foot costs for both granite and quartz countertops. Simpler polished edges keep prices lower.


Going up to 2” thick slabs substantially increases cost for granite. Most quartz is only available in 3/4” or 1 1/4” thicknesses. The thicker the material, the higher the price per square foot.

Contractor vs DIY Install

Hiring a professional contractor means paying hourly install rates. Doing it yourself results in material-only expenses, but requires expertise and tools.

Pros and Cons of Quartz vs Granite

Beyond just costs, homeowners deciding between quartz and granite countertops should consider other factors like appearance, maintenance and durability:

Quartz Pros

  • More consistent patterns and colors
  • Stain, scratch and heat resistant
  • Easier maintenance than granite
  • Doesn’t need annual sealing
  • Mold and bacteria resistant

Quartz Cons

  • Limited number of patterns/colors
  • Visible seams
  • Not heatproof – can scorch
  • Needs special cleaners to remove some stains
  • Can chip if heavy objects dropped on edges

Granite Pros

  • Vast unique pattern and color options
  • Natural beauty of natural stone
  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Adds value to home
  • Stays cool to the touch

Granite Cons

  • Porous and must be sealed annually
  • Can stain, scratch or etch
  • Needs regular polishing and resealing
  • Slight variations in pattern and shade
  • Needs special cleaners to remove stains

Should I Choose Quartz or Granite?

Quartz and granite each have their own sets of advantages that make them ideal options under different circumstances. Key factors to consider when deciding between the two include:

  • Budget: Quartz is more affordable than granite for most kitchens. Granite works best for homeowners able to spend more on a premium material.
  • Maintenance: People wanting a low-maintenance surface may prefer quartz. Granite requires more regular sealing and polishing to keep it protected.
  • Visual Appeal: For exotic patterns and colors that make a statement, granite is hard to beat. For more uniformity, quartz offers consistent tones.
  • Use: Quartz stands up to heavy usage, messy kids and active households. For homeowners who want an elegant showpiece, granite is a classic choice.

Neither material is clearly superior – choose the one that best aligns with your priorities for functionality, aesthetics and budget! Meet with stone suppliers to view slabs in person and get quotes.

FAQ About Quartz vs Granite Countertops

Here are answers to some additional commonly asked questions about quartz and granite costs.

Is Quartz More Expensive Than Granite?

In most cases, no. On average, quartz countertops cost $70-150 per square foot while granite ranges from $90-200 per square foot installed. Only when choosing exotic, high-end granite does the price tend to surpass premium quartz.

Is Quartz Cheaper Than Granite?

Overall, yes quartz does tend to be more affordable than granite. Basic quartz starts at $40 per square foot compared to $50 per square foot for commercial granite. At the low end, quartz has a $10 per square foot lower starting price than granite.

How Much More Expensive is Granite Than Quartz?

For mid-range options, homeowners typically pay $20-50 more per square foot for granite vs quartz countertops. Exotic granites cost up to $100 per square foot more than high-end quartz. Expect granite to be anywhere from 15-50% pricier than quartz.

Should I Get Quartz or Granite?

Quartz works best for cost-conscious buyers wanting an elegant yet low-maintenance surface. Granite is the choice for those who want striking natural patterns and colors and don’t mind the required sealing and polishing. Both are excellent options that suit different priorities.

Is Quartz More Durable Than Granite?

Quartz resists scratches, stains and heat better than natural granite. However, granite remains an extremely durable choice. With proper sealing, granite can last a lifetime. Both materials are very resilient for countertops.

Which is Better Value, Quartz or Granite?

For best overall value, quartz gives you more affordability and lower maintenance requirements. Granite offers outstanding long-term durability though, making it a worthwhile investment if it fits your budget. Weigh initial cost against lifecycle cost when deciding.

How to Get the Best Deal on Quartz or Granite Countertops

To maximize savings on your countertop installation, here are great tips to get the lowest quartz or granite prices:

  • Shop around and get quotes from 3+ countertop suppliers to compare costs.
  • Consider basic edge profiles and standard slab thicknesses instead of premium upgrades.
  • Choose a commonly available quartz or granite color instead of rare/imported varieties.
  • Get references and check reviews before hiring installers to ensure quality workmanship.
  • Provide accurate measurements and template early in the process to minimize delays or errors.
  • Schedule your project during slower seasons like winter instead of peak summer months.
  • Purchase remnants or smaller leftover slabs to use on islands, bars or backsplashes.
  • Supply your own sink and hardware to save markup costs.
  • Avoid multiple trips or changes at later stages that drive up pricing.

Quartz and Granite Countertops: At a Glance

Use this quick reference chart to compare quartz and granite costs, pros and cons:

| | Quartz | Granite
| Cost per square foot installed | $70-150 | $90-200
| Durability | Scratch, stain & heat resistant | Tough but can damage if unsealed
| Maintenance | Low | High – needs sealing & polishing
| Variety of colors/patterns | Moderate | Vast
| Feel | Cooler surface | Stays naturally cooler
| Best for… | Affordability & low maintenance | Natural elegance & luxury


When choosing a material for kitchen or bathroom countertops, quartz and granite both make excellent choices that provide natural beauty, durability and style. For most homeowners, quartz delivers greater value and affordability. But for those seeking the unique elegance of natural stone, classic granite remains a top contender despite higher prices.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons of quartz vs. granite when making your decision. Be sure to get multiple quotes to compare costs. With your goals in mind for appearance, functionality and budget, you’re sure to find the perfect countertop surface to make your space shine.

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