Should I Get Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels in recent years. With their sleek, modern aesthetic and durability, it’s easy to see why many homeowners are choosing quartz over natural stone or laminate. But is quartz the right choice for your home? Here is an in-depth look at the pros and cons of quartz countertops to help you decide if you should get them.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material, while the rest is polymers and coloring agents.

The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a durable, non-porous surface that is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. The manufacturing process allows quartz to be molded into virtually any shape and color, giving homeowners endless options for their kitchen or bath design.

Pros of Choosing Quartz Countertops

Aesthetic Appeal

One of the biggest draws of quartz is the variety of colors, patterns, and finishes available. From subtle tones like white and gray to bold hues like red and blue, quartz can match any style. The range of patterns like marble, granite, and concrete add visual interest.

Different finishes like matte, polished, or textured give quartz an authentic natural stone or concrete look. But unlike real stone, quartz has uniform coloring and patterning throughout the slab with no natural flaws or weak points. This consistency allows for seamless look on countertops.

Extreme Durability

Quartz is one of the most durable countertop materials available today. Its non-porous composition resists scratches, stains, burns, and damage from exposure to oils, acids, and impact.

While materials like granite and marble can crack or stain under heavy use, quartz stands up well to common kitchen activities like chopping, hot pans, and spills. Most quartz comes with a 10 to 15 year warranty from the manufacturer against defects.

With just simple cleaning and avoid excessive force, quartz countertops can look like new for many years. Many homeowners with quartz say their countertops still look pristine after a decade or more of heavy use.

Low Maintenance

Aside from the initial cost, one of the downsides of natural stone counters like marble is that they require frequent sealing and special care. Quartz needs none of this maintenance.

Since quartz is non-porous, you don’t have to worry about sealing it. Standard cleaning with a soft cloth and mild soap is all it takes to keep quartz looking beautiful. No special cleaners or Conditioning is needed. This makes quartz an ideal option for busy kitchens.

Heat and Stain Resistance

Quartz counters stand up well against stains from food, drinks, makeup, dyes, and common household chemicals. The polymer resins create an impervious surface that prevents liquids and stains from penetrating the material.

They also hold up against heat up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t have to worry about hot pans, appliances, or sensitive electronics like some natural stone. However, it’s still best to use trivets and not leave any hot objects directly on the surface for long periods.


Unlike surfaces containing natural stone, quartz does not use any toxic resins or contain trace levels of dangerous materials like radon. This makes it safe for food prep areas and home use, especially if you have children.

Quartz is also ADA-Compliant, meaning it meets strict standards for public safety and accessibility. Some homeowners feel peace of mind knowing their countertops aren’t harboring any unseen hazards.


The non-porous nature of quartz eliminates places for bacteria, mildew, and mold to collect and grow. There are no tiny pores and fissures like real stone that can trap germs and allergens.

This level of hygiene makes quartz an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms. You don’t have to worry about sealing the material to prevent bacterial growth. Simple cleaning and disinfecting is all that’s needed to keep quartz surfaces sanitary.

Cons of Quartz Countertops

Initial Cost

The upfront cost of quartz countertops is typically higher than options like laminate. Materials range from $30 on the very low end to over $100 per square foot on the high end. Exact pricing depends on the brand, color, and pattern you select. Complex designs and thicker slabs will be more expensive.

Installation is straightforward but does require professional cutting and mounting. It’s not a DIY project most homeowners can tackle themselves. Combined material and professional installation costs can be $2,000 to $4,500 for an average sized kitchen.

Lack of Unique Patterns

While the patterns molded into quartz offer lots of variety, they lack the uniqueness and natural wonder of real stone. The compositions are man-made even though many strive to emulate granite and marble. For some homeowners, nothing compares to the authenticity, artistry, and wow-factor of genuine stone.

Limited Colors and Finishes

Quartz manufacturers offer a seemingly endless palette of colors and patterns. But you are still limited to what the brand produces versus having complete control over the appearance like with stone. If you have a highly unique vision or want an unusual finish, quartz may not offer everything you desire.

Needs Replacement Eventually

While quartz counters stand up remarkably well over time, they won’t realistically last forever. Extensive use over 10 to 25 years will show wear eventually. The polymer resins can also slowly erode and lose their luster over decades of heavy use. So quartz counters will need replacement at some point unlike timeless stone.

Can Chip or Crack

Despite its renowned durability, quartz isn’t completely indestructible. Subjecting it to excessive force like standing on it or dropping heavy objects can cause chips and cracks. While scratches are unlikely under normal use, accidents can damage quartz. Cracks allow moisture inside, compromising the integrity of the material over time.

Gives a Manufactured Look

The consistency of quartz patterning and lack of natural imperfections give it away as engineered versus natural stone. While many appreciate the uniformity, some find quartz counters have an artificial or overly perfect look. Granite and marble showcase natural variation and age gracefully.

Resists Modifications

Once quartz countertops are fabricated and installed, alterations are difficult and costly. Unlike stone, you cannot securely anchor thick edges or cut quartz on site for a farmhouse sink, cooktop, or other mods. Everything needs finalized in the factory design. Make sure your plans are certain before committing to quartz.

Pros & Cons of Quartz vs. Other Countertop Materials

To help decide if quartz is the right choice for your home, it helps to compare the pros and cons of quartz versus other popular countertop options:

Quartz vs. Granite Countertops



  • Genuine natural beauty and variation
  • Can be repurposed and recycled
  • Withstands heat up to 500°F
  • Can last 100+ years with care


  • Requires regular sealing
  • Susceptible to stains and etching
  • Higher maintenance over time
  • Potential radon gas emissions



  • Greater stain, scratch, and scorch resistance
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning
  • Consistent coloration
  • Mold/mildew resistant


  • Limited color and pattern options
  • Needs replacement after 15-25 years
  • Vulnerable to chips and cracks
  • Manufactured appearance lacks natural charm

Quartz vs. Marble Countertops



  • Gorgeous natural veining and swirls
  • Available in wide range of colors
  • Softer surface better for pastry/dough
  • Develops patina and character over time


  • Etches and stains easily
  • Requires extensive sealing and maintenance
  • Easily scratched and damaged from acidic foods
  • Loses polish with heavy use



  • Non-porous and stain resistant
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Less prone to etching or abrasions
  • Consistent durability across surface


  • Not as wide a color range as marble
  • Patterning lacks depth of natural stone
  • No artistic variations or imperfections
  • Edges can chip without special treatment

Quartz vs. Soapstone Countertops



  • Heat resistant and won’t stain, etch, or scratch
  • Develops natural patina over time
  • Antibacterial and nonporous
  • Neutral tones complement any style


  • Prone to absorbing grease/oils
  • Needs ongoing sealing and oiling
  • Limited color range (grays/blacks)
  • Scratches and stains take expertise to remove



  • More stain and scratch resistant
  • Easier maintenance without oiling
  • Lower cost and easier installation
  • More color and pattern options


  • Less heat tolerance (300°F max)
  • Won’t develop natural patina
  • Isn’t antibacterial without treatment
  • Not offered in neutral, organic shades

Quartz vs. Laminate Countertops



  • Most affordable countertop option
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Huge range of colors and patterns
  • Seamless, uniform surface


  • Prone to scratching, chipping, burns
  • Seams can separate over time
  • Not heat or stain resistant
  • Short lifespan of 5-10 years



  • Extremely durable and scratch resistant
  • Long lifespan of 15-25 years
  • Resists stains, burns, and heat damage
  • High-end luxury appearance


  • Higher upfront cost
  • Needs professional installation
  • Limited customization after fabrication
  • Can eventually need replacement

Cost of Quartz Countertops

Quartz is priced as a premium countertop material, comparable to the cost of natural stone. Here are the typical installed costs you can expect:

  • Low end: $40 – $80 per square foot
  • Mid-range: $80 – $100 per square foot
  • High end: $100 – $150+ per square foot

Exact quartz countertop costs for your kitchen or bath will depend on:

  • Brand of quartz
  • Color, pattern, and finish
  • Edge treatments like polished, eased, or laminated edges
  • Thickness of slabs
  • Complexity of project and installation requirements
  • Local market prices and contractor rates

You’ll also need to account for:

  • Demolition and removal of old countertops
  • Any repairs, replacements, or changes to cabinetry
  • Backsplashes, sinks, faucets, or accessories
  • Additional cutting or shaping for unique designs
  • Transportation fees of materials to your home

Be sure to get an itemized estimate from an experienced countertop installer. Visit showrooms to price out quotes on specific quartz products you’re considering.

Quartz will generally cost more than laminate but may be comparable to many natural stones depending on the type and quality. It offers advantages in durability and maintenance over time.

How to Choose the Best Quartz Countertops

With so many color, pattern, and finish options, choosing the perfect quartz countertops for your home can seem overwhelming. Follow these tips to select the right quartz surfaces:

Pick a Reputable Brand

Stick with quartz from leading brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone, MSI, and Viatera. They offer quality assurance and warranties. Boutique and imported brands often can’t guarantee performance.

Visit Multiple Showrooms

Don’t rely on website images alone. Visit showrooms to see slabs in person. The color, pattern, and overall look can vary widely from photos. Seeing and touching samples is the best way to assess options.

Choose Complimentary Colors

Determine the overall style you want and select quartz tones that coordinate. Contrasting colors can look disjointed. Warm neutrals like tans pair well with wood cabinetry while cool grays complement stainless steel. Bold hues make a statement.

Consider Texture and Finish

Slightly textured surfaces hide fingerprints and feel less sterile. Matte finishes minimize smudges and glare near windows. Polished quartz looks elegant but requires more cleaning. Hit the sweet spot between practicality and aesthetics.

Mind the Maintenance

Lighter quartz shows less grime but needs frequent cleaning. Darker colors conceal messes better but are harder to keep spotless. Consider your habits. Busy homes do better with more durable, kid-friendly options.

Assess Durability Needs

Quartz with high quartz content resists chips and scratches best. Areas exposed to potential impacts or abuse need industrial strength options. Bathrooms and seldom-used surfaces can get away with softer quartz.

Allow Room in Your Budget

Quality quartz has an upscale price tag. Have a budget that allows for better brands to get superior durability and aesthetics. Visit showrooms to help set realistic expectations before committing.

See Slabs in Person

Quartz samples are helpful but small. Try to view full slabs before finalizing your selection. Ensure the overall look works and there are no inconsistencies in the pattern across larger pieces.

Choose an Experienced Installer

Quartz requires expertise to cut and install correctly. Verify your contractor is qualified to handle engineered stone. Check reviews and examples of past quartz projects to ensure a quality outcome.

Caring for Quartz Countertops

To keep your quartz counters pristine and performing like new, follow these care tips:

  • Clean spills promptly to prevent staining, especially oils and acidic liquids like wine, juice or vinegar
  • Use only non-abrasive cleaners and soft cloths to avoid dulling the finish
  • Avoid exposing the surface to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc.
  • Always use a cutting board for food prep to prevent accidental knife scratches
  • Place hot pots, pans or baking sheets on trivets to prevent thermal shock
  • Don’t cut directly on quartz counters even though knicks are unlikely
  • Polish your counters 1-2 times per year to maintain the glossy finish
  • Reseal seams every 2 to 3 years to prevent moisture penetration
  • Handle cracks immediately to keep them from spreading
  • wipe up standing water around sinks to prevent erosion of resins

With proper care and cleaning, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for over a decade or more of regular use. Take steps to avoid damage and you can extend the life even longer.

Are Quartz Countertops Right for You?

Quartz delivers an ideal combination of aesthetics, durability, and easy maintenance. But weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if quartz offers everything on your must-have list.

The affordability and authenticity of natural stone counters may outweigh quartz for some. Laminate can meet budget constraints despite a shorter lifespan. Your needs and style preferences should drive the decision.

If your top priorities are stylish looks, lasting quality, and fuss-free care, quartz checks all the boxes. For most homeowners, quartz strike the perfect balance between looks, performance, and maintenance compared to alternatives.

Evaluate your budget, kitchen or bath traffic, cooking habits, and design tastes. Do in-person comparisons shopping to get clarity. If you want hassle-free, low-maintenance counters that stay looking pristine for years, quartz likely is the best choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz Countertops

Is quartz healthier than granite?

Yes, quartz has a leg up on health and safety versus granite. Quartz doesn’t emit radon gas like some granite can. It also resists bacteria growth better than natural stone thanks to its non-porous surface.

What are the disadvantages of quartz?

Price, lack of uniqueness, limitations on edges, susceptibility to impact damage, and eventual replacement needs are downsides of quartz. It also can’t be recycled or repurposed like natural stone.

Is quartz scratch resistant?

Quartz is very scratch resistant but not scratch proof. Knives or other sharp objects can scratch it under high pressure. But it stands up to regular use better than granite or marble.

Does quartz stain easily?

No, quartz resists stains remarkably well. But some liquids like oils or dyes can stain quartz if not wiped up quickly. Overall it is about the most stain-proof option for countertops.

Is quartz toxic?

No, quartz made for countertops contains none of the toxic resins found in some quartz surfaces. High-quality brands ensure quartz is non-toxic and safe for daily use.

Is quartz cheaper than granite?

In most cases, installed quartz runs $10-20 more per square foot than granite but prices can overlap. Durability and maintenance savings over time can make quartz more cost effective.

Is quartz going out of style?

Not anytime soon. If anything, quartz is gaining popularity thanks to its mix of aesthetics, performance, and easy care. Advancements by manufacturers also keep improving the look and feel.

Does quartz hold up over time?

Yes, quartz can easily retain its beauty for over 15 years with proper care. Avoiding excessive impact and heat exposure lets quartz exceed lifespan estimates. But it will gradually show some wearing.

Is quartz harder than granite?

Quartz is slightly harder than natural granite on the Mohs scale. But granite resists heat better while quartz is more scratch and stain resistant