Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for home kitchen and bathroom renovations due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like most home improvements, quartz countertops come at a cost. Here is an in-depth look at what to expect when budgeting for quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from raw quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%. The remaining 6-10% consists of polymer resins that bind the material together and pigments that determine the color and pattern.
The resins make quartz non-porous, stain-resistant, and antimicrobial. Meanwhile, the quartz crystals make it incredibly hard and durable. This combination results in a material that is ideal for countertops as it is low-maintenance, hygienic, and able to withstand heavy daily use.
Factors That Impact Quartz Countertop Cost
Several factors contribute to the total installed price of quartz countertops:
- Quartz slab cost – This is based on the brand, pattern, and color. Premium brands like Caesarstone generally cost more. Unique patterns and colors also increase the price.
- Edge treatments – Decorative edges like bevels, ogees, and bullnoses add labor and material costs. Simple eased or square edges are the most affordable.
- Thickness – Most quartz is either 2 cm or 3 cm thick. 3 cm is better for heavily used surfaces but costs 20-30% more.
- Installation – Hiring a professional to template, fabricate, and install will add significant cost compared to DIY.
- Size and layout – More surface square footage requires more material and labor. Complex layouts also increase fabrication costs.
- Additional customization – This includes special cutouts, integrated sinks, lighting, etc. The more custom, the more it will cost.
What is the Average Cost of Quartz Countertops?
The average total installed cost for quartz countertops ranges from $80-150 per square foot. According to HomeAdvisor, expect to pay around:
- $2,000-4,500 for a medium-sized kitchen (30 sq ft of countertop)
- $3,500-7,000 for a larger kitchen (40+ sq ft)
- $1,500-3,000 for a master bathroom vanity (15 sq ft)
However, costs can go much higher with premium materials and extensive customization. It’s not uncommon for high-end projects to exceed $200/sq ft installed.
On the lower end, using a budget quartz brand, basic edge, and DIY installation can reduce costs to $50-75 per square foot.
Factors That Impact Quartz Slab Cost
The biggest contributor to the overall quartz countertop price is the cost of the slab itself. Here are the main factors that determine slab pricing:
The brand has a significant impact on quartz slab costs:
- Premium ($70-$120/sqft): Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone
- Middle ($50-$70/sqft): Viatera, LG Hausys, Wilsonart
- Economy ($40-$60/sqft): MSI, Quartz Master, Bio
Premium brands cost more due to better name recognition, quality, distribution, and warranties. Economy brands offer similar performance for much less.
Color and Pattern
Quartz slabs come in a vast array of colors and patterns. However, not all are priced equally:
- Whites and neutrals tend to be the most affordable options
- Vibrant solid colors cost slightly more
- Vein patterns and bold designs are usually the most expensive
The increased cost comes from higher pigment loads and more complex manufacturing.
Quartz countertops come in either 2cm (3/4″) or 3cm (1 1/4″) thicknesses:
- 2cm slabs are the standard and cost less
- 3cm slabs are 20-30% more expensive due to added materials
3cm is best for floors or heavy use countertops. 2cm is fine for most counter applications.
Country of Origin
Imported options usually cost more than domestic:
- Quartz made in the USA is most affordable
- Imported from Italy or Israel carries a price premium
However, some domestic brands now manufacture overseas to reduce costs. So origin doesn’t necessarily equate to quality.
How to Get the Best Deal on Quartz Countertops
Here are some tips to get the lowest price on your quartz countertop project:
- Shop around and get quotes from 3-5 fabricators. Compare both material and installation costs.
- Consider checking supplier or importer warehouses for remnant pieces. These can often be purchased at a discount.
- Ask about current promotions, closeout patterns/colors, and ‘B’ grade seconds to get discounted pricing.
- Go for a simple square edge instead of an expensive decorative profile.
- Select a 2cm thickness instead of 3cm if it will work for your application.
- Install the countertops yourself if you’re able and save on labor fees.
- Provide accurate field measurements and template yourself to avoid delays or mistakes.
- Choose an affordable quartz brand like MSI or Quartz Master over the premium names.
With some savvy shopping techniques, it’s possible to find quartz countertops for $50/sqft or less. But even at higher price points, quartz remains a worthwhile investment for durable, low-maintenance countertops that will last for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest quartz countertop?
The most affordable quartz options are usually economy brands like MSI, Quartz Master, Vicostone, and Bio starting around $40-50 per square foot. Going with a basic white or light neutral color in 2cm thickness will provide the lowest cost.
Is quartz more expensive than granite?
On average, quartz countertops cost more than granite. According to Fixr.com, quartz ranges from $80-150 per square foot installed, while granite runs $60-135 per square foot installed. However, granite requires more frequent sealing and can crack or stain more easily.
Should I get 2cm or 3cm quartz?
2cm (3/4″) quartz is suitable for most kitchen counters and bathroom vanities. 3cm (1 1/4″) is beneficial for floors, outdoor use, or in commercial settings. 3cm costs 20-30% more but provides added durability.
Can quartz counters be DIY installed?
Quartz countertops can definitely be installed as a DIY project if you have experience with construction tools and techniques. However, the slabs are heavy and fragile so getting help is advisable. Hiring a professional will also provide expertise and warranty on the installation.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
Unlike granite and marble, quartz does not require regular sealing. The polymer resins make quartz non-porous and stain resistant without sealants. However, you may choose to apply a surface sealer occasionally for added protection and sheen.
While not the cheapest countertop option, quartz provides unparalleled durability and longevity with minimal maintenance required. Investing in quality quartz can greatly enhance your home’s beauty and function for many years to come. With an average installed cost of $80-150 per square foot, it’s a worthwhile investment for most homeowners. Following the guidance above can help you get the best deal and stay within your budget.