Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels in recent years. With their stylish appearance and durable construction, it’s easy to see why. However, given their high-end look and feel, many homeowners wonder – are quartz countertops expensive?
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone countertops, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz provides strength and hardness, while the resins bind the material together. The end result is a man-made product that mimics the look and durability of natural stone, with more consistent coloring and patterning.
Unlike natural stone countertops like marble or granite, which are mined in slabs from quarries, quartz slabs are fabricated in factories under highly controlled conditions. This allows the manufacturer to avoid imperfections and create a consistent final product. The countertop surface is non-porous, stain-resistant, and comparatively maintenance-free.
Quartz Countertop Cost Factors
In general, quartz tends to cost more than materials like laminate, and it sits at a middle price point between solid surface countertops and natural stone. However, quartz pricing can vary quite a bit depending on these factors:
Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are leading premium quartz brands that command higher prices. Lesser-known or imported brands typically cost much less.
Color and Pattern
Plain white or solid color quartz starts at around $40 per square foot installed. Unique veining, flecks, and bold patterns can increase the price to $70-$100 per square foot.
Basic 3/4″ thickness works for most countertops. Upgrade to 1 1/4″ or more for a heftier feel, which costs an extra $10-$15 per square foot.
Squared-off edges minimize material waste for the lowest price. Decorative ogee, bullnose, or chamfered edges cost $3-$8 more per linear foot.
Fabrication & Installation
Custom cutting, seams, built-in sinks, special features, and professional installation will all drive up the final price.
Cost Comparison to Other Countertop Materials
Here is how quartz stacks up against other popular countertop options in terms of typical overall installed cost:
- Laminate countertops: $20-$40 per square foot
- Solid surface (Corian): $40-$60 per square foot
- Quartz: $50-$100 per square foot
- Granite: $60-$150 per square foot
- Marble: $70-$250 per square foot
So while not the cheapest option, quartz delivers durability and style at a moderate price point, making it attainable for many budgets. The highest end imported quartz can reach price parity with the lower end of natural stone ranges.
Value of Quartz Countertops
Though quartz costs more upfront than options like laminate, it can be a valuable investment that pays off in several ways down the road:
- Durability: Quartz stands up exceptionally well to stains, scratches, heat, and impact. It does not need to be sealed and is less prone to damage than natural stone. This makes it very long-lasting.
- Low Maintenance: Simple cleaning is all that is required for quartz. No sealing or polishing necessary. This saves hassle and money over time.
- Resale Value: Upscale quartz countertops can help boost home values for resale. The high-end look and feel appeals to buyers.
- Consistency: The engineered construction process removes inconsistencies in pattern, color, and finish. This provides a uniform appearance not possible with natural materials.
- Hygienic Surface: Non-porous quartz does not harbor bacteria or require special cleaners. This creates a healthy, food-safe surface.
In the end, quartz provides an attractive, no-fuss countertop that holds up well for years of daily use. For many homeowners, investing in quartz pays dividends through added peace of mind, convenience, and pride of ownership. While not the cheapest option, it delivers lasting quality at a reasonable cost.
Is Quartz Countertops Expensive?
Overall, quartz countertops occupy a middle ground in pricing. Cost varies significantly based on the factors outlined above. In its premium incarnations with exotic patterns and top brand names, quartz can approach the cost of high-end natural stone. But at a basic level with simple colors and patterns, quartz provides an affordable alternative to materials like granite or marble.
The key is choosing the level of quality, customization, and aesthetics that fit your budget. With some shopping around, most homeowners can find a quartz option that delivers the right balance of beauty, functionality and lasting value without breaking the bank. An investment in quartz yields many years of hassle-free, hygienic use while elevating your space. For these reasons, savvy homeowners continue to select quartz as a go-to countertop choice that offers quality and durability at a cost that provides solid long-term value.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does basic white quartz cost?
Plain white or solid color quartz starts around $40 per square foot installed. This provides a clean, uniform look at a budget-friendly price point.
Is quartz more expensive than granite?
Quartz is often competitive price-wise with the lower end of natural granite. More exotic granite with extra veining/patterns can cost more. Overall granite has a wider price range.
Should I expect quartz countertops in my starter home?
With affordable options available, quartz can work for starter homes, though laminate is typically more budget-friendly. Quartz is a great step-up investment.
What impacts the cost of quartz?
Brand, color/pattern, thickness, edge profile, custom cutting, and installation all impact the final installed cost of quartz countertops.
Is quartz worth the extra cost over laminate?
For most buyers, the durability and appearance of quartz make it worth the extra investment over laminate counters. It also adds to resale value.
While not cheap, quartz countertops offer homeowners many advantages that make the cost worthwhile. With a range of pricing options and no need for sealing or frequent polishing like natural stone, quartz can fit within many budgets. Its durable low-maintenance design provides lasting utility. For these reasons, quartz remains a top choice among homeowners wanting to invest in high-end styling and quality with an affordable total cost over the lifetime of the countertop. With some shopping around, you can likely find beautiful, durable quartz counters that fit your space at a price that provides excellent long-term value.