When it comes to choosing countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, two of the most popular options are granite and quartz. Both offer durable and attractive options, but which one costs more? Here is an in-depth look at granite vs quartz countertops and their cost differences.
Granite and quartz are both natural stone materials that make excellent choices for countertops. Granite is an igneous rock formed from magma, made up of different minerals like quartz, feldspar, and mica. Quartz countertops contain ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments.
Both materials are available in a wide range of colors and patterns. They are resistant to scratches, heat, and stains. However, there are some key differences when it comes to cost.
What factors affect the cost of granite and quartz?
Several factors impact the overall price of granite and quartz countertops:
- Material cost – The base price per square foot of the slab. Quartz is generally more expensive.
- Stone variety – For granite, more rare or imported varieties cost more.
- Color/patterns – Unique or high-demand colors and patterns increase the price.
- Edge treatments – Options like bullnose edges, ogee edges, etc. add labor and cost.
- Thickness – 3 cm vs 2 cm vs 1.5 cm thickness options. Thicker slabs cost more.
- Installation – Complex projects require more cuts and skilled labor.
- Maintenance – Quartz needs less sealing than natural granite.
With those factors in mind, let’s compare granite and quartz prices in more detail.
Granite Countertop Cost
Granite remains one of the most popular choices for its natural beauty and wide range of patterns. Here are some typical price ranges:
- Basic granite: $40 – $60 per sq.ft. installed
- Mid-range granite: $60 – $100 per sq.ft. installed
- High-end/exotic granite: $100 – $200 per sq.ft. installed
The type of granite plays a major role in determining price. Domestic granites tend to be less expensive than rare imported varieties. For example, Uba Tuba granite from Brazil can cost $140 per sq.ft. or more.
Edge treatments, thickness, and installation complexity also increase overall granite countertop costs. Expect to pay $3,000 to $5,000 on average for a typical 10 ft x 10 ft kitchen with mid-range granite.
Quartz Countertop Cost
Quartz countertops range from budget-friendly to high-end:
- Basic quartz: $70 – $120 per sq.ft. installed
- Mid-range quartz: $100 – $140 per sq.ft. installed
- High-end quartz: $125 – $200 per sq.ft. installed
The brand and variety of quartz have a significant impact on price. Premium quartz suppliers like Caesarstone and Cambria cost more than low-end options. Unique quartz patterns and colors also command higher prices.
Expect to pay around $3,500 to $6,500 for a 10 ft x 10 ft quartz countertop kitchen installation. Thicker slabs, edge treatments, and more cuts add to the total price.
Granite vs Quartz: Key Cost Differences
Based on typical price ranges, quartz countertops tend to cost $10 to $30 more per square foot than granite. Here’s a summary:
- Granite starts around $40 per sq.ft. installed, compared to $70 per sq.ft. for basic quartz.
- Mid-range granite costs $60 to $100 per sq.ft. installed. Mid-range quartz runs $100 to $140 per sq.ft. installed.
- Exotic granite and premium quartz grades can both run up to $200 per sq.ft. or more.
Quartz requires less maintenance and sealing than granite. However, granite provides an authentic, natural stone look that some homeowners prefer.
What Impacts the Cost of Granite vs Quartz?
Several specific factors lead to the cost differences between granite and quartz:
Material costs – A sq.ft. of quartz slab runs higher than granite before fabrication and installation. Quartz also requires resins and pigments.
Consistency – Granite has natural variations. Quartz offers uniform color and patterns which require less material to get desired results.
Maintenance – Quartz needs only occasional cleaning. Granite requires periodic sealing to prevent stains.
Fabrication – Quartz is easier to work with, requiring less cutting expertise than managing the hardness and brittle nature of granite.
Supply chain – Much of the quartz supply comes from a few manufacturing plants. Granite quarries have more diversity and transportation costs.
Edge options – Granite chips more easily than quartz. Certain edge styles like miters increase waste with granite.
Installation – Granite’s fragility and weight make installation more complex than quartz.
How to Determine Which is Better for Your Budget
Choosing between granite and quartz comes down to your budget, taste, and needs:
- If you want the lowest cost, go with a basic granite.
- For a higher-end look on a budget, choose mid-range granite.
- If consistency and low maintenance matter most, pick a mid-range quartz.
- High-end quartz rivals granite for beauty at a higher installed price.
Get in-person estimates from multiple fabricators to compare pricing for your specific project. Be sure to factor in edge treatments, thickness, and any special installation requirements.
Consult with a kitchen designer to pick the best countertop surfaces for your aesthetic tastes and lifestyle. While quartz generally costs more than granite, both can work within diverse budgets.
FAQ About Granite and Quartz Costs
Does thickness make a big difference in cost?
Yes, thicker slabs and edges substantially increase material costs. A 3 cm thick quartz or granite surface costs roughly 30% more than 2 cm and over 50% more than 1.5 cm options. Durability also improves with thickness.
Is installation more expensive for granite or quartz?
Installation is often more expensive for granite. Granite’s hardness and fragility make cutting and handling more labor-intensive. Quartz requires less expertise and has lower material waste.
How much does etching or staining increase maintenance costs?
Quartz resists stains better than granite. Granite requires periodic sealing to limit etching and staining, adding to long-term care costs. Always seal and maintain either surface properly.
What edge styles add the most to cost?
Mitered edges, full bullnose, and more intricate treatments involve more fabrication time and material waste. A standard eased or beveled edge adds little cost.
Should I consider DIY or prefabricated to save money?
DIY countertop projects save on labor but have more risk of cracks or seams. Prefabricated options are lower quality. Hire professionals for proper custom installation the first time.
While quartz countertops tend to cost slightly more per square foot than granite, both offer great options within a wide range of budgets. Make sure to consider the long-term value granite or quartz will bring in terms of maintenance, durability, and resale value, not just the upfront price. Consult a kitchen designer to determine the best material and style to meet your needs and budget.