Engineered quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. Made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, engineered quartz offers the look of natural stone with increased durability and lower maintenance. Understanding the average costs associated with engineered quartz countertops can help homeowners budget and plan for a countertop installation or replacement.
What is Engineered Quartz?
Engineered quartz is a man-made product created by combining ground natural quartz aggregates with polymer resins such as polyester, epoxy, acrylic or polyurethane. Pigments are added to achieve the desired color and pattern. The exact ratio of quartz aggregates to resins can vary between 90-95% quartz and 5-10% resins.
The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a durable, non-porous slab. Engineered quartz is harder and less prone to damage than natural stone. It does not require periodic sealing like granite or marble. Engineered quartz also resists stains, scratches, heat damage and water absorption.
While granite and marble are mined from quarries in large blocks and then cut into slabs, engineered quartz slabs are produced in manufacturing facilities under tightly controlled conditions. This allows for consistent colors, patterns and thickness. Engineered quartz is available in a wide range of colors and realistic designs that mimic natural stone and other materials like concrete, wood and metals.
Benefits of Engineered Quartz Countertops
Engineered quartz offers several advantages over natural stone and other countertop materials:
- Durability: Quartz is non-porous and stain, scratch, chip and heat resistant. It can withstand heavy daily use without damage.
- Low maintenance: Engineered quartz requires very little maintenance compared to natural stone. No ongoing sealing or polishing is needed.
- Consistent patterning: Slabs have uniform coloring and patterning since they are factory-produced. Natural stone has more variation.
- Wide range of colors and designs: From solid whites and blacks to stone-like patterns or abstract designs, the color and finish options are almost endless.
- Resists bacterial growth: The non-porous surface does not allow bacteria to penetrate into the countertop. This makes quartz an excellent choice for kitchens.
While not totally indestructible, engineered quartz countertops offer reliability, beauty and hassle-free maintenance in busy kitchens and baths. The higher initial cost of quartz can be offset by lower lifetime maintenance requirements.
Average Cost of Engineered Quartz Countertops
On average, expect to pay $60-$100 per square foot installed for engineered quartz countertops. This compares to natural stone like granite at $50-$100 per square foot installed or laminate at $20-$50 per square foot installed.
However, the exact total cost of engineered quartz countertops will depend on several factors:
Quartz Slab Cost
The biggest contributor to overall cost is the price of the slabs themselves. Basic colors and styles start around $40 per square foot. Unique colors, custom patterns or special finishes can cost $70 per square foot or more. Some luxury brands like Caesarstone can be over $100 per square foot.
The total size of the countertops needed is a key pricing factor. Larger countertop installations will have higher overall costs than smaller kitchens or bathrooms. Measure the length and width of existing counters to estimate the square footage. Add together separate sections like islands or banquettes.
Standard 1 1⁄2 inch bullnose edges are often included in base pricing. More intricate edges like ogee, dupont or bevel cost extra at around $8-$12 per linear foot. The more detailed the edge, the higher the price.
Cutouts and special shapes
Simple rectangular countertop slabs are the most affordable. Countertops requiring cutouts for sinks, cooktops or other appliances will be pricier. Special shapes like curves, angles or extended islands also increase costs.
Engineered quartz is typically installed by specialized fabricators or contractors. Their labor rates can range from $40-$100 per hour. Simple countertop installations may take 10-15 hours while complex projects can take 25 hours or more.
Demolition and disposal
If replacing existing countertops, factor in $1-$3 per square foot for tear-out and disposal fees. Also allow for potential repairs to walls or cabinets during demolition.
Sales tax will need to be added to the total costs. The rate can vary considerably based on location.
While individual factors make exact costs hard to pinpoint, the following ranges provide general engineered quartz countertop cost estimates:
- Small kitchen (up to 30 sq.ft): $2,000-$3,500
- Medium kitchen (around 40 sq.ft): $3,000-$5,000
- Large kitchen (50+ sq.ft): $4,000-$7,000
- Bathroom vanity (15 sq.ft): $1,000-$2,000
Homeowners may pay 20% to 30% more for premium engineered quartz products compared to mid-range options. Larger and more complex installations will also increase overall project costs.
Cost Comparison to Other Countertop Materials
How does the cost of engineered quartz compare to other popular countertop options?
- Granite: Natural granite countertops start around $50 per square foot installed. While granite can sometimes cost less upfront, it requires more lifelong maintenance like sealing and polishing.
- Marble: Marble is pricier than granite starting around $70 installed per square foot. It also requires regular sealing and is prone to etching and stains.
- Laminate: At $20-$50 installed per square foot, laminate is the most budget-friendly option but offers less durability and fewer color choices.
- Solid surface: Materials like Corian cost $55-$75 installed per square foot. Whileresistant to stains and scratches, heat damage is still a concern.
- Stainless steel: Commercial-grade stainless steel costs $70-$100 installed per square foot. It provides good durability but limited design options.
- Soapstone: Soapstone is a high-end natural stone material costing $80-$100 per square foot installed. It requires periodic sealing.
- Butcher block: Wood countertops like butcher block cost $60-$75 per square foot installed. They can be prone to scratches, stains and water damage over time.
Engineered quartz offers an attractive combination of lower maintenance than natural stone along with higher durability than more affordable options like laminate. The 10-15 year lifespan means replacement is needed less frequently as well.
Factors That Can Increase the Price
Several options can raise the cost of engineered quartz countertops:
- Thicker slabs – While 1.25″ is standard, thicker 1.5″ slabs cost 10-15% more. Thicker quartz is more durable and resistant to cracks or damage.
- Premium brands – High-end makers like Caesarstone, Cambria, or LG Viatera can be up to 30% pricier than mid-range options. Their improved warranties and prestigious names justify the higher prices for some buyers.
- Unique colors and patterns – Unusual or designer colors and custom patterns add expense compared to simple whites and blacks. Veining, sparkles and other embellishments also cost extra.
- Specialty finishes – Matte, leathered, rough or glossy polished finishes can increase cost by $5-$10 per square foot.
- Intricate edges – Beveled, chamfered, ogee and dupont edges range from $8-$12 per linear foot, noticeably more than standard bullnose.
- Backsplashes – Integrated 4-6 inch backsplashes or designer mosaic backsplash panels mean higher total costs.
- Complex installation – Countertops with multiple seams, tricky cutouts or special shapes often require more installation time and expertise.
Buyers should weigh the value of special options against their budget and needs. Simple white or black quartz with standard edges keeps costs lower. Unique patterns, premium brands and exotic finishes have aesthetic appeal but boost overall pricing.
How to Save on Engineered Quartz Countertops
For homeowners looking to save money on their engineered quartz project, here are some tips:
- Choose a mid-range quartz brand like Silestone, Viatera or Hanstone instead of premium makers.
- Select a simple edge profile like bullnose instead of beveled, rounded or other specialized edges.
- Reuse existing cutouts for sinks or appliances instead of making new openings.
- Install the countertops yourself if experienced with DIY projects instead of hiring professional installers.
- Provide accurate sink, cooktop and appliance measurements to reduce potential fitting or cutting issues.
- Buy quartz remnants or smaller odd-shaped pieces to yield savings on unusual countertop sizes.
- Use decorative end panels instead of full quartz backsplashes.
- Purchase quartz slabs directly from a distributor or import warehouse instead of through a contractor.
With some flexibility on brands, edges and colors, cost-conscious homeowners can find ways to budget for quartz countertop installation.
Should I Choose Engineered Quartz for My Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel?
Engineered quartz delivers an attractive mix of features that make it a smart choice for many homeowners and designers:
Durability – Quartz stands up to heavy daily use in kitchens better than most surfaces besides stainless steel. In bathrooms, it resists chips, scratches and water damage from splashes.
Low maintenance – No sealing or frequent polishing is a major perk. Just clean with soap and water.
Hygienic – The nonporous surface does not harbor bacteria or allow stains to seep in.
Stunning aesthetics – Sleek modern designs and convincing stone-mimicking patterns add luxury.
Design flexibility – Choose different colors and patterns for each area like kitchen counters versus bathroom vanities.
Resale value – Upscale engineered quartz countertops can help boost a home’s listing price and appeal to buyers.
Long lifespan – Avoid frequent countertop replacements with a surface that lasts 10-15 years or longer.
With the look of high-end stone paired with easier care and maintenance, quartz offers quality, beauty and convenience rolled into one. Home chefs, busy families and style-focused renovators will all appreciate quartz’s functionality and visual appeal.
While quartz costs more upfront than laminate or tile, it recoups value over time thanks to a lasting finish that ages well. In the majority of kitchens and bathrooms, engineered quartz is an investment that delivers lasting rewards for decades to come.
Engineered Quartz Countertops: Frequently Asked Questions
Some common questions homeowners have about engineered quartz countertops:
Is engineered quartz resistant to stains and scratches?
Yes, quartz has excellent stain, scratch, and scorch resistance. However, it is not 100% impervious to damage. Concentrated acids like lemon juice can etch the surface over time. Pots and pans with rough bottom edges can potentially scratch the surface. Overall though, quartz endures normal wear and tear exceptionally well.
Does engineered quartz need to be sealed?
No. Since quartz is non-porous, it never needs to be sealed or re-polished like natural stone countertops. No ongoing maintenance is required besides cleaning with soap and a soft cloth. This maintenance-free trait makes quartz popular in busy kitchens and baths.
How long will engineered quartz countertops last?
With proper care, quartz countertops typically last 10-15 years. Some brands offer 15 or 20 year limited warranties as well. The resins that bind the quartz particles together prevent cracks or de-lamination over time. Stains and scratches are more likely to happen on the surface rather than deteriorate the material itself.
Does quartz have resale value?
Yes, engineered quartz countertops can help boost resale value for homeowners looking to sell their property. Quartz is now seen as a luxury material on par with granite or marble. The sleek appearance and positive brand reputation make quartz counters attractive to potential buyers. Neutral colors also have the broadest appeal.
Is engineered quartz eco-friendly?
While not the most green material, quartz does have some environmental benefits. Manufacturers are increasingly using recycled glass, mirror chips and other byproducts to add sparkle and color instead of mined materials. Quartz also produces less waste during fabrication compared to natural stone. When purchasing, look for brands that prioritize sustainability.
Is installation of quartz countertops difficult?
Quartz requires specialized tools and techniques best handled by experienced professionals. The material is sensitive to heat and needs proper support structures. Hiring a qualified installer avoids mistakes that result in cracks or damage. DIY installation is not impossible but challenging for most homeowners without the proper knowledge.
With the look of high-end stone coupled with increased durability and easy maintenance, engineered quartz offers an attractive option for kitchen and bathroom countertops. While quartz costs more upfront than materials like laminate or tile, it pays dividends over time thanks to lasting quality and resistance to damage.
Savvy homeowners can reduce quartz costs by selecting affordable brands, standard edges and smaller slab sizes. Neutral hues also keep pricing lower than bold colors or elaborate designs. While investing in quartz requires budgeting extra in initial renovation costs, its resilience, beauty and hygienic properties make it a smart choice to bring stylish luxury to the heart of any home.
What is Average Cost of Engineered Quartz Countertop: Key Takeaways
- Engineered quartz combines ground quartz mineral with resins/pigments to create a durable, low-maintenance countertop material.
- Quartz costs $60-$100 per square foot installed on average. Total costs depend on slab prices, size, edges, cutouts and installation.
- Quartz offers advantages like durability, consistent patterning, stain/scratch resistance and easy care compared to natural stone.
- Higher-end brands, thicker slabs, intricate edges and designer patterns increase installed costs.
- Quartz provides a good return on investment over time thanks to a 10-15 year lifespan with minimal maintenance needed.
- For budget-friendly options, select mid-range brands, standard edges and neutral colors. Get multiple installer bids.
- With stylish aesthetics and resilience for heavy use, quartz works well as kitchen countertops or bathroom vanities.