What Cheaper Granite or Quartz Countertops?

Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials for kitchens and bathrooms. Both offer durability, style, and value, but which one is the more affordable option? Here is an in-depth comparison of granite vs quartz countertops on cost.


When renovating a kitchen or bathroom, choosing the right countertop material is an important decision. Granite and quartz are leading choices, prized for their beauty, durability, and ease of maintenance. Many homeowners struggle to weigh the pros and cons of granite vs quartz countertops when it comes to budget. Understanding the cost differences can help make the decision easier.

Granite Countertops

Granite is a natural stone that has been used for countertops for many years. It is an igneous rock formed from magma underneath the earth’s crust. Granite’s mineral composition gives it hardness, making it scratch and heat resistant.

Cost Factors

  • Material Cost: As a natural material, pricing depends on the granite slab’s rarity, color pattern, and source. Exotic granites can cost up to $150 per square foot while more common types run $40-$60 per square foot.
  • Fabrication: Fabricating the slabs into countertops involves cutting, polishing, edging, and installing. Expect to pay $50-$100 per linear foot for fabrication.
  • Installation: Hiring a professional to install granite countertops costs approximately $40 per linear foot.
  • Sealing: Granite is porous and requires sealing to prevent stains and bacteria. Sealing costs $1-$2 per square foot initially and for reapplication every 1-2 years.
  • Total Cost: Expect total installed costs of $80-$250 per square foot for granite counters. A 30 square foot counter would be $2,400-$7,500.

Granite Pros

  • Wide range of colors, patterns, and finishes
  • Can be locally sourced
  • Withstands heat and scratches
  • Timeless, elegant aesthetics

Granite Cons

  • Porous and needs regular sealing
  • Can stain or crack if not properly sealed
  • Relatively heavy and may require cabinet reinforcement

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from crushed quartz aggregated with pigments and resin. The mixture is molded into slabs which are installed like natural stone. Quartz is harder than granite and available in a diverse palette of colors and patterns.

Cost Factors

  • Material Cost: Quartz slabs run $50-$100 per square foot on average. Exotic varieties can cost over $100 per square foot.
  • Fabrication: Like granite, fabricating quartz into counters costs about $50-$100 per linear foot.
  • Installation: Professional installation of quartz counters averages $40 per linear foot.
  • Maintenance: Quartz requires very little maintenance, just occasional cleaning with soap and water. Annual sealing is optional but not critical.
  • Total Cost: Expect total installed costs of $100-$250 per square foot for quartz counters. A 30 square foot counter would be $3,000-$7,500.

Quartz Pros

  • Consistent color and patterns
  • Extremely durable and scratch resistant
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Resists staining and etching
  • Antimicrobial

Quartz Cons

  • Limited color and style options
  • No unique natural patterns
  • Can be damaged by excessive heat
  • Relatively heavy

Cost Comparison

When it comes to price alone, granite and quartz are similarly priced for the material itself. But quartz has advantages in the long run:

  • Needs less frequent sealing and maintenance
  • Consistent look since man-made
  • Wider range of colors/patterns from technology
  • Resists stains/etching better

Quartz costs a bit more installed due to fabrication techniques. But its durability and minimal maintenance make it compete strongly with natural granite on value. For budget-conscious homeowners, quartz offers an easier care, worry-free countertop solution.

Choosing Between Granite vs Quartz

Beyond just cost considerations, here are some key factors in deciding between granite and quartz:

  • Use: Quartz excels for heavy use kitchens. Granite works for bathrooms or lesser used spaces.
  • Styles: Granite offers unique natural patterns. Quartz has more consistency but mimics granite and other looks.
  • Maintenance: Quartz rarely needs sealing. Granite requires more regular sealing.
  • Durability: Quartz resists scratches, stains, and heat damage better. But granite is also very durable.
  • Green Factor: Granite is natural while quartz uses more resources to manufacture. But quartz is stain-resistant which can reduce replacement needs.


In the battle of granite vs quartz countertops, neither material clearly beats the other outright. Much depends on homeowners’ budgets, kitchen usage, and style preferences. For a busy kitchen or low maintenance solution, quartz often wins out. But classic granite still brings timeless appeal. Thankfully both offer quality, beauty and value if chosen carefully. Consult with an expert designer to decide which stone suits your home and lifestyle best.

FAQs About Granite vs Quartz Countertops

Is granite or quartz cheaper?

Overall installed costs are similar, ranging $80-$250 per square foot for both materials. The price can vary based on the specific stone colors and patterns.

Is quartz worth the extra cost over granite?

The extra cost of quartz is usually worthwhile thanks to its superior stain resistance, durability, and low maintenance. Homeowners save in the long run on care and avoid potential replacement costs.

What is higher end granite or quartz?

Quartz is now seen as the premium material by many since technology gives it advantages over natural granite. But exotic granites are still viewed as luxury options.

Is quartz more durable than granite?

Quartz has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale while granite rates from 6 to 7. So quartz often resists scratches, heat, and stains better than granite. But granite remains very durable for most kitchen uses.

Which material needs more maintenance?

Granite requires sealing every 1-2 years to prevent staining and bacteria growth. Quartz only needs occasional cleaning with soap and water, with optional sealing for added protection.

Does quartz offer more color options than granite?

Thanks to man-made production, quartz can offer hundreds of color patterns to mimic granite as well as solid colors. Natural granite colors are limited to what is found in quarries.


When choosing between granite and quartz countertops, consider factors like budget, usage, and style preferences. Granite brings natural beauty at a fair cost while quartz offers enhanced durability with less maintenance. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each to make the smartest and most economical choice for your kitchen or bath remodel. With some guidance, you can get the high-end countertop look you want at a price you can afford.