Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or building a new home, choosing the right countertop material is an important decision that impacts your budget, lifestyle, and design aesthetic. Quartz has become an increasingly popular option due to its durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance, but many homeowners wonder: is quartz an affordable choice compared to other countertop materials? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the costs associated with quartz countertops and how they compare to alternatives like granite, marble, laminate, and more. Read on to find out if quartz offers the right balance of beauty, quality, and affordability for your next project.
What is Quartz?
Before diving into costs, let’s quickly review what quartz countertops are and what makes them different from other options on the market. Quartz countertops (often referred to by brand names like Silestone, Caesarstone, Cambria, and Viatera) are engineered stone slabs created from roughly 90% ground natural quartz crystals combined with polyresin adhesives and pigments.
The result is a non-porous, highly durable surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat. Unlike natural stone, quartz has very low maintenance requirements and the consistent color and pattern means repairs or replacements are virtually seamless. The UV-stable resins ensure the color won’t fade over time. Quartz offers the look of high-end natural stone with more flexibility in color choices and fewer downsides.
Quartz Countertop Cost Factors
Several factors impact the total installed price of quartz countertops in your home. These include:
Quartz Material Cost
This refers to the per square foot price of the slabs before shipping, fabrication, and installation. Material costs range from $40-$120 per square foot depending on the brand. Higher-end designer brands like Caesarstone and Cambria tend to cost more than budget options. Unique colors and patterns also boost the price.
The total material cost equals the per square foot price multiplied by the number of square feet required for your project. Most kitchens require 25-50 square feet of countertop space.
The edges of your countertop also impact material costs. Simple eased or beveled edges add little cost, while premium edges like ogee, dupont, waterfall, and triple pencil edge add $5-$15 more per linear foot. Fancy edges have more waste from cutting.
Fabrication refers to the cutting, shaping, and polishing involved in customizing the slabs to fit your kitchen. This typically costs $70-$100 per linear foot. The total depends on the complexity of the job.
Professional installation of the fabricated pieces commonly runs $40-$100 per hour. The total depends on the size of the job and access to the space. Many shops include installation in the overall price.
Sink Cutouts & Backsplashes
Extra costs usually apply for sink cutouts, special finishings like bevels and radii, and any backsplashes. These variables can increase the total price but also enhance the design.
These slabs are heavy, so shipping costs apply. Expect to add $300-$1000 for delivery from the distributor.
Like all home renovations, local labor costs make a big difference. Prices tend to be higher in areas like New York City and San Francisco than the rest of the country.
Most countertop installers can arrange financing plans to break up payments over time. This adds to the total amount owed. Make sure to calculate the true price impact if not paying upfront in cash.
With all those factors considered, most homeowners spend $50-$100 per square foot for installed quartz countertops. Very high-end designer styles can sometimes exceed $200 per square foot when you factor in all costs. For an average 30 square foot kitchen, expect to invest $1500-$3000 for nice looking quartz.
How Quartz Compares to Other Countertop Materials
Now that you know the typical price range for quartz, how does it compare to alternatives like granite, marble, and laminate? Here’s an overview of average installed costs:
- Laminate countertops cost $20-$50 per square foot installed. The most affordable option.
- Tile countertops average $40-$100 per square foot installed. Porcelain, ceramic, or natural stone tiles.
- Butcher block runs $50-$100 per square foot installed. Wood finish requires sealing.
- Concrete countertops cost $80-$200 per square foot installed. Stained and sealed concrete finish.
- Quartz countertops range from $80-$150 per square foot installed. Resilient engineered stone.
- Marble countertops average $100-$250 per square foot installed. Elegant natural stone that stains easily.
- Granite countertops run $80-$185 per square foot installed. Traditional natural stone option.
As you can see, quartz falls somewhere in the middle, pricewise. It offers significant advantages over low-budget options like laminate but remains more affordable than premium choices like marble.
Pros and Cons of Quartz Affordability
Is this combination of beauty, durability, and middle-of-the-road pricing right for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider regarding quartz affordability:
- Competitive pricing compared to granite and marble. More budget-friendly than natural stone.
- Non-porous surface resists scratches, stains, and spills that can damage cheaper materials.
- Low maintenance requirements save money long-term. No need to seal or polish.
- Consistent coloration means future repairs or replacements are seamless.
- Good ROI. Quartz should increase home resale value compared to laminate.
- Higher upfront cost than very cheap countertop materials like tile or butcher block. Higher initial investment.
- Limited high-end designer options compared to marble. Less ultra luxury looks.
- Can stain or etch if hot pans left directly on surface. Requires some care.
- Thicker slabs needed for sturdiness increase total material purchase.
Is it Worth Paying More for Quartz?
Quartz costs more than bargain materials like laminate but offers serious benefits that can justify the extra investment. By choosing quality quartz over flimsier options, you minimize the chance of damage over time that would require repairs down the road. Quartz also enhances the look of your kitchen for improved home resale value.
The non-porous, scratch-resistant surface looks like new for decades with minimal maintenance. You avoid yearly sealing and polishing needed for porous natural stones. While quartz does not come cheap, it delivers excellent bang for your buck thanks to its durability and resilience. The sturdy material prevents cracks and stains that ruin cheaper countertops made from tile, wood, or budget laminates.
If you plan to stay in your home for many years, quartz offers the best combination of style and longevity for the price. Going with the most affordable laminate may save money upfront but result in earlier replacement costs from wear and tear. With quartz you get peace of mind knowing your counters can withstand years of heavy use while still looking fabulous.
Making Quartz Countertops More Affordable
If quartz fits your home aesthetic and lifestyle but stretches your budget, there are ways to reduce costs:
- Stick to a mid-range brand like Silestone rather than luxury options.
- Choose a simple style for edges and avoid upgrades like special finishings.
- Install on smaller surfaces like islands instead of full kitchen runs.
- Purchase remnants or smaller pre-cut sizes to yield fewer seams.
- Install yourself if you’re experienced with handywork.
- Wait for seasonal sales promotions that stores run periodically.
- Partner with a fabricator or kitchen/bath store that provides installation services to bundle pricing.
- Consider alternative edge options like laminate strip edges with quartz faces.
- Select a neutral color since bold hues and patterns increase the price point.
Should I Buy Quartz for My Kitchen Countertops?
Quartz countertops offer the best of all worlds in many respects – the natural stone beauty of granite without all the maintenance, top-notch durability that exceeds laminate and tile, easier cleaning than wood or concrete, and more affordable pricing compared to marble. While no material is perfect, quartz comes remarkably close in its combination of aesthetics, performance, and middle-of-the-road pricing.
If you seek stylish low-maintenance counters that can withstand years of household use withoutIssue, quartz absolutely warrants consideration for your kitchen or bath remodel. Just be sure to get quotes from a few different shops to find the best deal. With smart shopping and budgeting, you can enjoy beautiful quartz countertops without breaking the bank.
Popular Brands of Quartz Countertops
The quartz countertop market includes dozens of brands to choose from. Prices and qualities vary. Here are some of the most popular quartz countertop brands seen in many kitchen remodeling projects:
One of the pioneering brands that helped popularize quartz surfaces. Provides an extensive catalog of styles, colors, and patterns including natural stone looks. Prices range from $50-$120 per square foot.
Made in the USA, Cambria focuses more on natural quartz formations in the surface design. Durability exceeds most brands. Costs $70-$150 per square foot installed.
Known for bold colors and patterns including unique textures. Stain-resistant “N-Boost” technology. Mid-range price of $60-$100 per square foot installed.
Quartz slabs created by LG Hausys. High-performance material resistant to impact, scratches, and heat. Average cost around $70-$120 per square foot.
Vietnam-based company specializing in quartz slabs that mimic natural stones like marble and granite. Affordably priced from $50-$80 per square foot.
Budget-friendly brand sold at big box home improvement stores. Simple color options. Approximately $40-$70 per square foot installed.
Manufacturer of flooring, siding, tile and stone materials including the high-quality Q Premium Natural Quartz collection. Costs around $60-$100 per square foot.
Joint venture between DuPont and Cosentino. Made in the USA. Offers modern designs like recycled glass and concrete. Mid-range pricing.
Italy-based company crafting elegant quartz slabs with unique color patterns. Comparable Italian luxury brands include Diresco and Santa Margherita.
South Korean company Hanwha Surfaces makes an affordable quartz product coming in around $50-$80 per square foot installed. Good budget option.
This list just scratches the surface of available brands. Pricing varies by region. Carefully review samples to pick the aesthetic you love from a reputable provider.
How Does Quartz Stack Up To Granite?
Granite ruled as king of kitchen countertops for many years until quartz arrived on the scene. Both offer the rich look of natural stone but quartz counters have some distinct advantages. Here’s a quartz vs granite comparison:
Granite has an organic, natural beauty with random patterns not duplicated in quartz. But quartz counters come in every color imaginable. Quartz edges have a cleaner, crisper look. Either material provides an elegant stone appearance.
Quartz is harder than granite meaning better scratch and chip resistance. But granite remains very durable for most kitchen needs. Both handle heat well although granite is marginally better.
Quartz requires essentially zero maintenance while granite needs periodic sealing to prevent stains. Quartz resists most stains that could penetrate granite’s porous surface. Easier care gives quartz the advantage.
Installed prices are similar – granite runs $80-$185 per square foot on average while quartz ranges $80-$150 per square foot. Granite has more ultra-high-end designer options driving up costs. Overall pricing is comparable.
After trailing for years, quartz recently overtook granite as the most popular high-end countertop material in American homes. It now holds about 35% market share compared to 31% for granite. The gap continues to widen.
Quartz counters clearly lead in the maintenance category while granite still holds appeal for those who love unique natural stone. Weigh priorities around care, durability, style, and budget to pick the best material for your needs. You can’t go wrong with either quartz or granite.
How Much Does Quartz Countertops Cost Compared to Other Materials?
Here is a detailed cost comparison of quartz vs other popular countertop materials:
| Material | Cost per Square Foot Installed |
| Laminate | $20 – $50 |
| Butcher Block | $50 – $100 |
| Tile | $40 – $100 |
| Concrete | $80 – $200 |
| Quartz | $80 – $150 |
| Marble | $100 – $250 |
| Granite | $80 – $185 |
As shown, quartz falls in the mid-range – pricier than laminate or tile but more budget-friendly than marble or granite. Quartz costs about 25-50% more than laminate or butcher block but looks much more stylish. Choosing quartz over those very cheap options provides better return on investment in the long run.
Compared to premium natural stones, quartz nearly matches the price of granite but costs significantly less than marble. You get the elegant look of marble for thousands less by choosing quartz. Compared to solid surface options like Corian, quartz also holds a slight edge in affordability.
Bottom line – quartz gives you the best combination of quality, durability, beauty, and middle-of-the-road pricing. You pay a bit more than lower-end materials but get great value for money.
Cost Comparison of Popular Quartz Brands
Prices vary between the top quartz manufacturers. Here’s how some of the most popular brands compare:
| Quartz Brand | Average Cost per Square Foot Installed|
| Caesarstone | $70 – $120 |
| Cambria | $80 – $150 |
| Silestone | $60 – $100 |
| Vicostone | $50 – $80 |
| Quartz Master | $40 – $70 |
| Hanstone | $50 – $80|
Caesarstone and Cambria sit at the higher end as premium designer brands. Silestone lands squarely in the middle of the pack while Vicostone, Quartz Master, and Hanstone represent more budget-friendly options.
Actual pricing depends on the color, finish, and edge treatment you select. Some colors within a brand cost more based on popularity and demand. Where you live also impacts overall installation costs. Expect to pay more for any quartz material in major metro areas due to labor rates. Always get multiple quotes before deciding on a brand.
What Makes Quartz Countertops Expensive?
Quartz costs more than cheap countertop materials like laminate due to several factors:
Most quartz is manufactured overseas and imported to North America which adds transportation costs. Domestic brands like Cambria have higher production expenses.
Quartz needs to be made thicker (2-3 cm) than other materials to achieve the strength and sturdiness required for countertops. More material equals higher costs.
Manufacturing quartz slabs requires expensive equipment and technology like vibrocompression vacuum forming presses. This specialized machinery carries high price tags.
Crafting beautiful quartz countertops takes experienced fabrication and installation professionals demanding higher hourly rates than cheap countertop materials.
Top brands like Caesarstone and Silestone invest heavily in marketing, design innovation, and maintaining their premium reputations – costs passed onto consumers.
Natural quartz mining operations can only extract a limited supply of the raw quartz crystals needed to manufacture engineered slabs, keeping costs up. Abundant availability of other natural stones like granite limits pricing on those options.
The manufacturing consistency and stringent quality control testing required for quartz stability leads to higher expenditures for quartz brands.
When selecting quartz, you really do get what you pay for. While pricier than laminate or tile, quartz delivers outstanding durability and longevity that ultimately pays for itself over time.
Can You Save Money With Quartz Remnants?
One money-saving tip for quartz buyers is to use remnants. During the fabrication process, excess materials remain after counters are cut. These smaller leftover pieces are sold as remnants at discounted prices. Quartz remnants offer big savings but have some limitations:
Being scraps from previous jobs, remnants are smaller than full slabs. Typical sizes range from 30 inches to 10 feet long. Great for islands and small surfaces, but may not work for larger full-kitchen installs.
Fewer Edge Choices
You usually have to use the pre-cut edges on remnants, reducing customization ability. Eased edge remnants offer the most flexibility. Fancy ogee or bevel edges limit your options.
Remnants come in whatever colors the fabrication shop has leftover inventory of, which constantly changes. Finding the exact hue and pattern you want can prove challenging.
Smaller sizes mean more seams. While quartz seams well, some prefer fewer visible seams. Strong epoxy minimizes the seam appearance.
The biggest advantage is quartz remnants cost 20-50% less than full slabs. Prices of $40