Is Quartz Countertops Sold by Square Foot or Slab?

Purchasing Quartz Countertops by the Square Foot

When you purchase quartz countertops by the square foot, the material is custom cut and fabricated specifically for your kitchen or bathroom layout. Here are some benefits of this approach:

Customizable Sizing

The main advantage of buying quartz by the square foot is the ability to get any size and shape needed to fit your countertop space perfectly. The material can be cut to the exact measurements of your cabinets and layout. This allows for a seamless look and precise installation.

Flexible Design Options

Choosing quartz by the square foot allows you to customize the edge profiles, thickness, and sink/cooktop cutouts. You can also request special design elements like an integrated drainboard, pencil groove, or decorative edge. This versatility enables total design customization.

Available in Any Quantity

When purchasing quartz countertops by the square foot, you only need to buy the exact amount needed for your project. There is no need to buy an entire slab if you only need a small section. This can help reduce material costs.

Wide Range of Patterns and Colors

Buying quartz by the square foot provides access to a huge selection of unique quartz patterns, colors, and styles. You aren’t limited to the in-stock slabs at your local retailer. The fabricator can source nearly any variety you desire.

Professional Installation

Reputable fabricators will handle everything from precise measurements to professional installation when you purchase quartz by the square foot. This expertise ensures a beautiful, lasting result.

Purchasing Prefabricated Quartz Slabs

Ordering prefabricated slabs is the other option for installing quartz countertops. Here are the main characteristics of this method:

Limited Sizing

The major downside of prefabricated slabs is that the sizing is fixed. The countertop pieces come in set dimensions (typically 118” x 55”), so you must customize your layout to fit the slab. This restricts design flexibility.

Set Thickness and Edges

With prefab slabs, you are limited to whatever thickness and edge profile the manufacturer fabricated. Customizing these features is generally not an option. The thickness is usually 3 cm.

Requires Seams

Unless your space miraculously matches a slab size, seams will be required to join separate pieces. The number of seams will depend on your layout. Some opt for a single seam while others have multiple.

Limited Styles and Inventory

You can only choose from the in-stock slabs available at your local stone yard or home improvement store. Special ordering takes time. This restricts options compared to buying by the square foot.

DIY Installation

Prefabricated pieces are intended for DIY installation. Paying a professional for precision cutting and fabrication defeats the cost savings of this approach. The quality of the result depends on your skill level.

Cost Comparison

In general, buying quartz countertops by the square foot costs $70-100 per square foot installed. Prefabricated slabs range from $40-70 per square foot for DIY installation. The exact prices can vary based on factors like quality, patterns, edges, and retailer. Custom fabrication provides more bang for your buck by delivering a bespoke, flawless result.

Is Quartz Countertops Sold by Square Foot or Slab: Key Takeaways

  • Purchasing quartz by the square foot allows total customization but costs more than prefab slabs.
  • Prefabricated quartz slabs offer cost savings but limit design flexibility and quality.
  • For high-end results, buying quartz countertops by the square foot from a professional fabricator is best.
  • If budget is the priority, prefabricated slabs installed DIY can provide cost savings.
  • Consider your design needs, skill level, and budget when deciding between the two purchasing options.

In summary, for a tailored fit and professional quality, opt to purchase quartz countertops by the square foot. But if maximize cost savings, prefabricated slabs present a more budget-friendly solution. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each method to make the best choice for your kitchen or bath remodel.

Frequently Asked Questions About Purchasing Quartz Countertops

How is quartz sold if not by the slab or square foot?

The only other way quartz could be purchased besides slab or square foot pricing is if a retailer offers pre-configured countertop “kits”. These consist of pre-cut pieces for common layouts like kitchen islands. However, for a fully custom result, slab and square foot are the standard options.

What are the standard dimensions for a quartz slab?

The average quartz slab size is about 118″ long by 55″ wide. However, some slabs may be as large as 128″ x 60″. The thickness is most often 3cm, or just over 1 inch. Larger sizes are available through special order.

What is the difference between a tile and a slab of quartz?

Quartz tile refers to small 12″ x 12″ or 16” x 16” pieces meant for backsplashes or feature walls. Quartz slabs are the full-sized sheets used for countertops and islands. Tiles allow small installations while slabs are needed for large seamless counters.

Is it cheaper to buy quartz remnants rather than slabs or by the square foot?

In some cases, buying quartz remnants or scrap pieces can provide significant cost savings. However, remnants provide very limited sizing and design options. For a high-quality custom project, buying by the square foot or purchasing specific slabs is best. But remnants are great for small DIY projects.

Does every quartz manufacturer offer both slabs and square foot options?

Nearly all major quartz brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Cosentino allow purchasing either by the slab or square foot. The retailer or fabricator will order the necessary amount of material based on your order specifications. There may be minimum order requirements for custom jobs.

What should I know before installing a quartz countertop myself?

DIY quartz installation is quite difficult. Ensuring a flawless seam between slabs takes skill. You need specialty tools like a wet saw for cutting. Any mistakes during installation could ruin the countertop. Consider factors like your skill level, budget, and design complexity before attempting self-installation. Many still opt to hire professionals even when buying prefab slabs.


When embarking on a quartz countertop installation, carefully weighing the pros, cons, cost, and capabilities required for purchasing by the square foot versus buying prefabricated quartz slabs is crucial. This ensures you select the best method for your specific kitchen or bath remodeling goals, lifestyle needs, and budget. With some advance planning, you can end up with stunning quartz countertops that transform your home and provide lasting quality and beauty.