Marble and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials, both offering distinct advantages. Many homeowners find themselves trying to decide between quartz and marble when choosing countertops. An important consideration for most buyers is cost. So, is quartz actually cheaper than marble?
The Cost of Quartz vs. Marble Countertops
When comparing overall costs, quartz countertops are generally less expensive than marble. Here is a breakdown of costs:
- Quartz countertops range from $80 to $140 per square foot installed. This averages to $100 per square foot installed.
- Marble countertops range from $100 to $250 per square foot installed. Expect to pay an average of $175 per square foot installed.
So on average, quartz costs about $75 less per square foot than marble. However, many factors impact the final price.
What Impacts the Cost of Quartz and Marble?
Several variables affect the price of both quartz and marble, including:
Type of Material
- Quartz comes in different tiers – entry level, mid-range, and high-end. The more premium the quartz, the more it will cost.
- Marble also comes in many grades. Lower quality marble is cheaper while rare designer marble is expensive. Carrara and Calacatta marble cost more.
Color and Pattern
- Unique quartz patterns and colors like marble-look quartz cost more than plain white quartz.
- Marble with dramatic veining or distinctive colors costs more than basic white marble.
- Intricate edging, shaping, and installation drives up costs for both materials. Simple slab installation is cheapest.
- Thicker slabs and greater durability also increase fabrication costs. Quartz is normally thicker than marble.
- Premium brands like Caesarstone and Silestone quartz cost more than low-end, private-label quartz.
- Designer marble brands from Italy have higher prices than domestic marble suppliers.
- Purchasing quartz or marble slabs directly from distributors costs less than buying through retailers.
- Regional differences and distributor relationships impact what suppliers charge.
Why Quartz Tends to Be Cheaper Than Marble
Given the many factors that affect cost, why does quartz consistently come in lower than marble? Here are some key reasons:
- Quartz is engineered, making it easier and more affordable to produce than natural marble that must be quarried and cut.
- More advanced fabrication is required for delicate marble versus durable quartz that’s less prone to cracking and staining during installation.
- There is a wider range of price points available for quartz, starting lower than the most affordable marble.
- Quartz has become more widely available, bringing prices down due to high demand and competition among brands.
- Regional marble that must be imported from Italy or Greece is more costly than readily available domestic quartz options.
Considerations Beyond Just Cost
Price shouldn’t be the only aspect weighing into your decision between quartz and marble. Be sure to also consider:
- Appearance – Marble offers unique natural patterns. Quartz provides uniformity and vibrant colors.
- Maintenance – Quartz requires less sealing and is more scratch and stain resistant. Marble is porous and needs resealing.
- Durability – Quartz stands up better over time. Marble can chip and stain easily without proper care.
- Resale value – Both quartz and marble are seen as high-end materials that add value for resale.
Quartz delivers an attractive, low maintenance, and affordable countertop option for most homeowners. Yet for some, the classic beauty of marble outweighs the higher costs and care requirements. Evaluating both your budget and lifestyle needs can help determine if quartz or marble best fits your space. With an average price difference of $75 per square foot, quartz certainly offers savings over marble. But don’t let cost be the only factor when deciding between these popular countertop materials.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz vs. Marble Costs
Is quartz actually cheaper than marble?
Yes, on average quartz countertops range from $80-$140 per square foot installed, while marble ranges from $100-$250 per square foot installed. So quartz is generally $75 per square foot cheaper than marble.
What makes marble more expensive than quartz?
Marble’s cost is driven up by its delicate nature requiring special fabrication tools and methods. Marble must also be quarried and imported, while quartz is engineered and more widely available. Unique marble colors, patterns, and brands also increase costs.
Is there any marble cheaper than quartz?
While less common, lower quality domestic marble that is white with minimal veining can potentially be cheaper than some quartz options. Most marble will be pricier, but factors like quality, color, and fabrication impact costs for both materials.
Does thickness impact the cost of quartz vs marble?
Yes, a thicker slab will be pricier for both quartz and marble. As quartz is engineered, it can be made in almost any thickness but 3 cm is standard. Marble has more natural variation but is typically 1-2 cm thick. Thicker options will raise marble cost.
What adds the most cost to marble countertops?
The greatest marble cost factors are importation from Europe, intricate veining patterns, unique or designer colors, brand prestige, retailer markups, and fabrication complexity. Simple white marble with little veining from domestic suppliers will be most affordable.
Is installation more expensive for marble or quartz?
Marble usually costs more for installation. Its fragile nature and susceptibility to staining means installers must take extra care. Quartz is easier to cut, shape, and install without cracks or damage. Overall, it tends to have lower installation fees.
If cost is your primary concern when choosing between countertop materials, quartz is the clear winner. On average, quartz runs $75 per square foot less than natural marble. Due to factors like engineering consistency, widespread availability, and durability, quartz remains on the lower end of the price spectrum. Yet marble’s unparalleled natural beauty still appeals to many buyers despite its higher initial investment and ongoing maintenance requirements. Consider your budget along with style, longevity, and maintenance needs when weighing quartz versus marble countertops.
Understanding cost implications can help you decide between these two coveted options for your kitchen or bath design. With its competitive pricing, quartz delivers an enticing balance of beauty, quality, and affordability for most homeowners. Though premium marble commands a higher price, its elegance may justify the added costs for some. Whether you prioritize practicality or classic luxury, comparing the costs of quartz and marble countertops helps ensure you make the choice aligned with both your budget and lifestyle.