Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels in recent years. With their sleek, modern aesthetic and reputation for durability, it’s easy to see why homeowners are drawn to quartz. However, quartz is also often perceived as a high-end, expensive material. This begs the question – is quartz really that expensive for countertops?
What is Quartz?
Before diving into costs, it’s helpful to understand exactly what quartz countertops are. Quartz is an engineered stone made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polymer resins and pigments.
The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material, while the rest consists of the binding resins and pigments. The resins make the slabs non-porous, hard, and resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. The pigments introduce color and pattern.
Quartz slabs are made by blending the raw materials together, molding them into slabs, and polishing the finished product. The end result is a material that mimics the look of natural stone but offers greater consistency and durability.
Quartz Countertop Cost Factors
The cost of quartz countertops depends on several factors:
Not all quartz is created equal. There are differences in quality, pattern options, and price point between brands. The most expensive and premium quartz brands include Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone. More budget-friendly options are Hanstone, Viatera, and IKEA quartz. Higher-end brands will increase overall project cost.
Color and Pattern
Basic white or beige quartz will be the most affordable option for a countertop. Unique colors like blue or styles with intricate patterns, veining, or sparkles will be pricier. The more distinct the look, the more you can expect to pay.
Most quartz is either 3/4″ or 1 1/4″ thick. Thinner 3/4″ slabs will be less expensive. Go with a standard thickness unless you specifically need an oversized piece.
A straight polished edge is usually included in the base price. Special edge treatments like bullnose, ogee, or eased add labor and customization costs. Keep edges simple to save.
Good installers deserve fair compensation. Their expertise affects the final look and performance. Don’t cut corners here. Expect to pay $40-$100 per linear foot for professional fabrication and installation.
Things like inset sinks, special cutouts, and matching backsplashes will bump up the price as well. Opt for a simple slab install for the best value.
Cost Per Square Foot
Taking all these factors into account, quartz will generally fall in the range of $70-$150 per square foot installed. According to the Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, the average quartz countertop costs around $80 per square foot.
To break that down further:
- Lower end: $70-$90 per square foot
- Middle range: $90-$120 per square foot
- High end: $120-$150+ per square foot
Of course, exact costs depend on your location, chosen supplier/fabricator, and the specifics of your project. The total cost of your counters will be determined by measuring your cabinets and multiplying by the rate per square foot.
For a 30 square foot kitchen countertop, you might spend:
- With low-end quartz: $70 x 30 sq ft = $2,100
- Mid-range quartz: $100 x 30 sq ft = $3,000
- High-end quartz: $130 x 30 sq ft = $3,900
Use averages like these to ballpark what quartz might cost for your space. Then get quotes from actual fabricators to dial in pricing.
How Quartz Compares to Other Countertop Materials
To determine if quartz counters are expensive or not, it helps to see how they compare cost-wise to other popular options:
- Laminate countertops cost $20-$50 per sq ft installed making them the most budget-friendly choice. They offer lots of colors and patterns but lack durability.
- Tile countertops range from $40-$100 per sq ft installed. Tile comes in endless styles but requires more maintenance than other materials.
- Granite countertops run $80-$200 per sq ft installed. Granite is natural stone with a timeless, luxurious look. However it can stain, scratch or crack.
- Marble countertops cost $70-$200 per sq ft. Marble is classic yet fragile and prone to damage from acids. Upkeep is required.
- Butcher block ranges $50-$100 per sq ft. It provides a warm wood look but can be scratched or stained easily. Sealing and oiling are a must.
- Concrete costs $70-$140 per sq ft installed. It’s trendy and durable but can crack and needs sealing. Stains may occur.
- Stainless steel runs $100-$200 per sq ft. It has a modern, industrial vibe but shows fingerprints and water spots. Dents are also a risk.
Compared to natural stone and other engineered surfaces, quartz falls right in the middle price-wise. It’s more affordable than ultra-luxurious materials like marble or granite. Yet it offers superior durability compared to more budget-friendly options like laminate or butcher block.
When you factor in the low maintenance requirements and long lifespan of quartz, the cost becomes even more reasonable. Spending more upfront means fewer repairs or replacements down the road.
Is the Cost of Quartz Worth It?
For most homeowners, quartz provides an ideal intersection of aesthetics, performance, and value. The smooth, nonporous surface resists stains, scratches, and heat damage better than many alternatives. The uniform patterns and colors create a clean, contemporary look perfect for modern kitchens and baths.
While not the cheapest option, quartz costs a fraction of high-end natural stone. Yet it mimics the look of marble or granite wonderfully. Overall, quartz offers homeowners excellent durability and low maintenance at a fair price point.
For those seeking stylish counters that can handle lively households, quartz is likely worth the moderate investment. The initial cost pays off over years of superior performance compared to cheaper but flimsier options.
Below are some of the most compelling benefits that make quartz an excellent value for the money:
Quartz is incredibly hard and scratch resistant. It stands up to heavy use and sharp knives better than most surfaces. The nonporous material won’t absorb stains like wine, coffee, or cooking oils either. This makes care and maintenance a breeze. Quartz counters meant to last for many years, even decades.
A simple wipe down with a soft cloth and mild cleaner is all that quartz requires. No sealing or polishing is needed. You’ll never have to soak or scrub your counters to keep them looking like new. The inconvenience and hassle of high maintenance materials like marble is avoided.
Hygienic & Nonporous
Germs and bacteria have nowhere to hide on quartz’s solid surface. Grout lines, cracks, and natural pores found in other materials can harbor grime. The antimicrobial properties of quartz further prevent the spread of germs. That’s why quartz is ideal for kitchens and other high traffic areas.
With patterns mimicking natural stone and a palette of warm and cool tones, quartz allows you to achieve virtually any aesthetic. From minimalist black and white to showstopping marbled looks, quartz offers endless design possibilities. The uniformity and flawless finish heighten the sophistication.
Adds Resale Value
Quartz counters elevate the look of a kitchen or bath, which bolsters resale value. Along with the practical benefits, quartz is an attractive upgrade for potential buyers. The increase in value outweighs the cost for many homeowners.
Reputable quartz brands offer 10-15 year warranties. This protects against any defects in materials or craftsmanship. Extended peace of mind for such a critical investment is a major perk to quartz over other materials.
With proper care, quartz countertops will far outlast their warranties, providing 20+ years of service. The long lifespan offsets the higher price compared to options like laminate that need replacing every 5-10 years. Paying more for quartz is worthwhile to avoid frequent renovations.
Cost Saving Tips for Quartz Countertops
For homeowners on a tight budget, quartz may still be attainable. Consider these tips to keep costs under control:
- Stick to a neutral white, beige, or gray quartz color rather than bold hues.
- Select a mid-priced quartz brand like Hanstone instead of premium Caesarstone.
- Go for the standard 3/4” slab thickness.
- Keep edges simple – eased or quarter round rather than decorative treatments.
- Look for a supplier that provides installation. This prevents markups from middlemen fabricators.
- Inquire about remnants or smaller cut pieces to use creatively.
- Avoid extra features like special cutouts or matching backsplashes.
- Install quartz yourself if skilled with DIY projects.
- Consider IKEA’s budget-friendly quartz line for a lower price point.
- Time the project for winter or fall when demand is lower versus spring.
With strategic choices, you can reduce the cost per square foot of quartz to the lower end of the $70-$90 range. However, don’t sacrifice proper installation quality just to save a few dollars.
Is Quartz Worth Remodeling For?
If you’re on the fence about a kitchen or bath remodel, upgrading to quartz counters can make the endeavor worthwhile. Damaged, dated countertops make the whole room look lackluster. By swapping in fresh, modern quartz you can entirely transform the space.
The sleek appearance and reduced maintenance can make cooking and cleaning easier. Entertaining also becomes more enjoyable without stains and chips marring the counters. With proper installation, you likely won’t need to change them again for 10-20 years.
Adding value to your home for resale is another bonus. Quartz is a renovation that boosts functionality while being a crowd-pleaser for potential buyers.
Doing a full remodel solely for new countertops isn’t always necessary though. If your cabinets and flooring are still in good shape, consider just replacing the counters. This smaller project costs less than a full remodel.
If the layout or cabinets are poor, then a larger redesign may be worthwhile. Consult with kitchen designers to determine the smartest approach based on your needs, budget and home’s existing conditions.
Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops
No material is perfect. Before settling on quartz, weigh the unique pros and cons it brings:
- Extremely durable
- Resists scratches, stains, burns, and damage
- Easy low maintenance
- Hygienic nonporous surface
- Stylish modern aesthetic
- UV stable colors that won’t fade or discolor
- Mimics natural stone for a fraction of the cost
- Long warranties from manufacturers
- Resale value addition
- Higher upfront cost than options like laminate
- Limited exotic color options compared to natural stone
- Can chip along edges if subjected to impact
- Seams more visible than granite or marble
- Needs occasional resealing of seams
- Some brands prone to spotting with lower quality resin
- Non-repairable (cracks and chips mean replacement)
The cons are relatively minor. And the outstanding durability and performance of quartz outweighs the higher cost tradeoff for most homeowners. Just be sure to research brands thoroughly and inspect slabs carefully before purchasing.
Is Quartz Right for You?
Quartz makes an excellent choice for kitchen counters and other busy areas of the home. It offers unparalleled durability and longevity. Clean, modern styling creates a fresh, elegant look as well. If you want low maintenance counters that can handle lively households, quartz is hard to beat.
Home chefs will appreciate the sturdy knife and heat resistance. Entertainers will love how quartz prevents stains from wine and sauces. Busy parents will enjoy the easy cleaning and sanitary surface too. If you want your counters to handle years of heavy use with minimal upkeep, quartz is a great option.
The cost is reasonable for a quality engineered stone. While more budget options exist, they compromise on performance and longevity. The higher cost of quartz pays for peace of mind from years of unblemished beauty and hassle-free maintenance.
Carefully compare brands, colors, and pricing to find the best quartz choice for your home and budget. Shopping around helps secure the ideal balance of durability, beauty and affordability. Consult with an experienced kitchen designer if needed to determine if quartz is right for your space and lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some common queries on the cost of quartz countertops:
Is Quartz More Expensive Than Granite?
Quartz is generally less expensive than granite. The average installed cost of quartz is $70-$120 per square foot compared to $80-$200 per square foot for granite. Durability, low maintenance, and consistent styling make quartz a better value overall.
Is Quartz Cheaper Than Marble?
Yes, quartz is significantly less expensive than marble. While premium marble can run over $200 per square foot installed, quartz tops out around $150 per square foot. Quartz performs much better than delicate marble as well.
Is Quartz Considered a Luxury Material?
While pricier than options like laminate and tile, quartz offers luxury appeal and styling at a moderate price point. The cost is on par with mid-range granite. Quartz delivers a high-end look without the ultra-expensive price tag of exotic marble or other natural stones.
Does Quartz Add Value to a Home?
Yes, quartz countertops do add resale value to a home. The stylish appearance, durability, and low maintenance are attractive features to potential buyers. Quartz is considered an upscale material that elevates the look of kitchens and bathrooms beyond cheaper options like tile or butcher block.
Is Quartz Worth It for Flippers and Rentals?
With its durability and lasting beauty, quartz is an excellent investment for real estate investors and those flipping houses. Having modern, low maintenance counters helps sell properties faster and increases home values. Rental properties also benefit from quartz’s indestructible nature that prevents damage between tenants. The high ROI justifies the cost.
Should I Expect Quartz Prices to Come Down?
Quartz pricing has remained relatively stable in recent years. Most industry experts don’t predict any significant decrease in the future. Rising material and labor costs prevent manufacturers from reducing prices much. However, sales discounts through retailers or during slow seasons can bring savings opportunities.
The Bottom Line
While not cheap, quartz delivers serious durability and performance per dollar. The superior scratch, stain, and heat resistance compared to natural stone saves homeowners headaches and maintenance costs over time. With proper care, quartz counters can last 20-25 years looking impeccable.
For those wanting a fuss-free yet refined look that handles real-world kitchen messes beautifully, quartz is worth the moderate investment. Just be sure to account for the cost during your remodeling budget planning.
With some smart design choices, quartz can work within many homeowners’ budgets. Taking the time to carefully compare brands, colors, and pricing helps find the best value option too. Although an upgrade from cheaper counters, quartz offers plenty of return on investment through added peace of mind, convenience, and resale value.