Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. Made from engineered stone, quartz combines natural quartz crystals with resins and pigments to create a versatile and durable surface. If you’re considering quartz for your next countertop installation, one of the first things you’ll need to do is find a supplier to purchase the slabs from. This guide will provide an overview of the different places where you can buy quartz countertop material, along with the pros and cons of each option.
Purchasing Quartz at Big Box Stores
One of the most convenient places to buy quartz slabs is at a big box home improvement store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. These stores typically have a selection of popular quartz brands and colors in stock that you can purchase off the shelf. Here are some of the main pros and cons of buying quartz at big box stores:
- Convenience – You can simply walk in, view the selection, and purchase the slabs you need. No need to order or wait for delivery.
- Affordability – Big box stores often have lower prices compared to smaller distributors since they buy quartz in bulk.
- ** Selection** – While not as extensive as a dedicated stone yard, big box stores do carry some of the most popular quartz colors and styles.
- Limited inventory – The quartz selection is not as broad compared to other outlets. Choices are confined to the most popular options. Rare or unique slabs are unlikely to be in stock.
- No custom fabrication – The store will not cut the slabs to your measurements or fabricate the countertops. You need to arrange separate installation.
- Inconsistent stock – The specific slabs you want may not always be available as inventory changes. Limited availability of any given color or pattern.
So in summary, big box stores are best for basic quartz needs on a budget. The selection will cover the most popular styles and colors, but be limited compared to stone suppliers. You’ll get convenience and affordable pricing, but need to handle custom fabrication separately.
Purchasing Through Stone Yards and Suppliers
For the widest selection of quartz slabs, colors, and patterns, specialized stone distributors and yards will offer the best inventory. These businesses exclusively supply natural and engineered stone materials to manufacturers, contractors, and homeowners. Here are some key advantages and disadvantages:
- Huge selection – Stone yards have enormous inventories with hundreds of quartz slab options. You’re almost guaranteed to find just the right color and pattern.
- Custom fabrication – Most stone yards will cut, polish, and fabricate the countertops for you. Some even do installation. This is a major benefit.
- Wholesale pricing – Since they import and stock slabs in such high volumes, stone yards can offer better wholesale prices compared to big box retail markup.
- Rare/unique materials – Stone yards have access to exclusive and unique slabs you won’t find elsewhere. Great for one-of-a-kind projects.
- Inconvenient – Stone yards are large warehouse spaces that aren’t as easy to browse like a store. You may need several visits to make a decision.
- Potential markup – Some stone yards will still mark up prices significantly despite their wholesale access. Get quotes from multiple yards.
- Need for transportation – You’ll need to arrange loading and transport for the heavy slabs. Make sure you have a truck or trailer big enough.
So for buyers that want the widest selection, rare finds, and custom fabrication, a specialized stone supplier is the best source for quartz slabs. Just be prepared to put in more time browsing the yard and arranging transportation.
Purchasing Directly from Quartz Manufacturers
Another option is to purchase quartz slabs directly from the manufacturers themselves. Companies like Cambria, Caesarstone, and Silestone have different programs for buying their quartz products:
- Unbeatable selection – Direct from the source, you can access a manufacturer’s entire catalog of colors, styles, etc. Complete customization ability.
- Wholesale prices – Cutting out resellers means you can get the best possible pricing in some cases. Great for bulk purchases.
- Custom fabrication – Most manufacturers will precision cut and fabricate the slabs for your specific project.
- Exclusive materials – Direct buyers can access limited-run and pre-release materials not available elsewhere.
- Minimums required – Manufacturers will have minimum order quantities you must meet, which can be cost prohibitive.
- Logistics challenges – Arranging shipping and transportation from manufacturing facilities can be difficult. You will also need storage.
- No browsing ability – It’s hard to inspect and hand select slabs like at a stone yard. You may have to rely on photos or small samples.
Purchasing directly only makes sense for larger projects where you know exactly what materials you want. The logistics involved mean it’s not practical for most homeowners. But for big renovation or new construction projects, buying quartz direct can make sense.
Purchasing Quartz Remnants and Scraps
If you only need a small amount of quartz for a project, don’t want high costs, and aren’t picky about color/pattern, another option is to purchase remnant pieces:
- Low cost – Remnants are heavily discounted since they are leftovers from other jobs. Great way to save substantially.
- Small quantities – Remnants allow you to buy just what you need. A cost-efficient way to get a small section of countertop or backsplash.
- Repurposing ability – Turn cutoffs into other projects like trivets, cutting boards, tub surrounds, fireplace surrounds, etc. Lots of creative possibilities.
- Limited selection – You get whatever remnants are available, meaning limited control over the color, style, and size of pieces.
- Use challenges – Remnants may require puzzle-like piecing together or cutting to work for your space and project. Significant fabrication work may be needed.
- Matching difficulty – It can be tricky matching remnants to each other or existing countertops. Expect slight color and finish variations.
So while remnants offer big cost savings, the tradeoff is you sacrifice control over the exact look. With creativity and patience, remnants can work for some projects. But understand their limitations.
Smart Tips for Purchasing Quartz Countertops
Now that you know where to purchase quartz slabs, here are some savvy buying tips to get the most out of your investment:
- Carefully measure your space – inaccuracies can lead to needing more quartz later. Provide some extra for safety.
- Have your contractor or supplier recommend thickness – usually 1.5cm or 3cm for residential use.
- Request to see full slabs before purchase to inspect quality and patterns.
- Compare pricing among different suppliers to find the best deal.
- Ask what warranty your purchase includes against defects. 10 or 15 years is standard.
- See what sinks and faucets are recommended for use with quartz to avoid damage.
- Be sure to purchase the right adhesives for proper installation and bonding.
- Use a reputable fabricator experienced in cutting and installing quartz.
Where to Buy Quartz Countertops Near Me?
OK, now you know the pros and cons of the different purchasing options. But where exactly can you find and buy quartz counters nearby? Here are some options:
- Big Box Stores – Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards
- Stone Yards – Arizona Tile, Bedrosians, CMG Stone & Tile
- Kitchen Remodelers – Many will have supplier relationships and act as quartz dealer
- Countertop Fabricators – They may sell and fabricate
- Online Retailers – Floform, BuildDirect, Wayfair
Be sure to call ahead to any location before visiting to confirm they have quartz slabs in stock. Inventory sell-through can happen quickly. It also helps to bring measurements and photos of your space to get accurate quotes.
How Much Does Quartz Countertop Material Cost?
One of the most important factors when purchasing quartz is understanding what type of budget to expect. Let’s take a look at what impacts the cost of quartz and some ballpark price ranges.
Factors That Impact Quartz Countertop Cost
There are several key factors that will determine the overall investment for your new quartz countertops:
- Quartz brand – Higher-end luxury brands cost more than value-priced options
- Color and pattern – More elaborate designs and rare styles add cost
- Thickness – 1.5cm vs 3cm slabs have different prices
- Edge styles – Decorative edges like ogee and chamfer add labor costs
- Fabrication – Special cutouts for sinks, cooktops etc. increase fabrication time and cost
- Installation – Seam placement, additional structural work, etc. can raise price
- Market demand – Some trendy styles command a pricing premium based on popularity
- Supplier markups – Different retailers will charge different markups on their quartz slabs
Average Quartz Countertop Prices
Given the factors above, what can you expect to invest for new quartz counters? Here are some approximate costs:
- Quartz Material – $40-$100 per square foot (slabs only)
- Fabrication – $50-$100 per square foot
- Installation – $10-$30 per square foot
- Total Project Cost – $100-$250 per square foot
So for example, for a medium-sized 25 sq. ft. kitchen, total costs would be in the $2,500 to $6,250 range for high quality quartz. Larger or more complex projects would land at the higher ends of those per square foot prices.
Cost Saving Tips
To get the most appealing look while minimizing price, consider these tips:
- Use a minimal edge profile like pencil round or bevel rather than decorative edges
- Select from value-oriented brands like Vicostone over luxury Caesarstone
- Buy smaller 1.5cm thickness when suitable rather than 3cm
- Reuse your existing cabinet boxes and just replace countertop surface
- Install yourself if possible rather than hiring out
- Avoid intricate glass tile backsplashes – stick to simple subway tile
- Purchase remnant pieces for islands, snack bars or limestone accents
Quartz vs. Granite – How Do They Compare?
For kitchen and bath surfaces, quartz and granite are two of the most desired materials. How do these natural stone countertops stack up against engineered quartz? Here’s a detailed comparison of their differences.
One of the biggest considerations is visual appeal. Here is how quartz and granite differ aesthetically:
- Patterns/color – Granite has more random veining and movement. Quartz offers more consistent speckled patterns. Wider variety of colors available in quartz.
- Resilience to staining – Quartz is near bulletproof and stain resistant. Granite can be more prone to absorbing stains if porous.
- Glossiness – Quartz has a shinier appearance from its resin binder. Some granites are polished to a gloss shine while others are left more matte.
- Uniqueness – No two granite slabs are exactly the same due to natural variations. Quartz slabs have more consistency in pattern.
- Maintenance – Quartz requires very little maintenance besides cleaning. Granite needs periodic sealing to prevent stains.
So for low-maintenance surfaces with consistent modern looks, quartz has the advantage. Natural granite offers one-of-a-kind veining that quartz cannot mimic.
Durability and Longevity
Both countertop materials are quite durable, but quartz edges out granite in some regards:
- Scratch resistance – Quartz holds up better against knives, pots/pans, and daily wear-and-tear. Granite can scratch easier.
- Heat tolerance – Quartz can withstand brief exposure to hot pans. Granite can potentially crack or chip if pans straight from the oven or stove are put directly on its surface.
- Crack/chip resistance – Quartz is less prone to accidental cracks or chips from drops or bangs. Granite can be more vulnerable.
- Stain resistance – As explained above, quartz will resist stains exponentially better than natural granite. Annual sealing of granite is must.
For heaviest usage areas with high traffic, quartz is a smarter choice for durability. Granite still performs admirably overall but requires more careful maintenance.
There are also significant cost differences between these two countertop materials:
- Quartz – Total installed cost of $100 to $250 per sq. ft. Materials run $40-$100 per sq. ft. Professional fabrication and installation adds to total price.
- Granite – Total installed cost of $60 to $175 per sq. ft. Materials can be found for as low as $30 per sq. ft. Simple granite installations may be cheaper.
While material prices are similar initially, quartz often demands a higher fabrication and installation cost which raises the total investment. But for some, the added durability and hassle-free maintenance of quartz justify the higher price tag.
Which is Better for Your Project?
So which of these natural countertops is right for your kitchen or bath remodel?
Quartz is the smarter choice when:
- You want low-maintenance, stain-resistant convenience
- Your counters will see heavy day-to-day usage
- Consistent, modern appearances are more appealing
- You prefer contemporary styles and colors
Granite makes more sense when:
- Your heart is set on natural stone beauty and uniqueness
- You don’t mind yearly sealing for protection
- Your counters will be used gently and carefully
- Traditional styles with natural veining are preferred
Either material can create a stunning kitchen or bath space. Evaluate the pros and cons of quartz vs. granite to decide which aligns best with your project requirements, preferences, and budget. Consult installation pros if undecided between the two materials.
How to Clean and Care for Quartz Countertops
To keep your quartz counters looking like new long-term, it’s important to properly care for and maintain them. Here are the best methods for cleaning and caring for quartz:
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
For day-to-day cleaning, follow these steps:
- Wipe down surfaces with a soft microfiber cloth and warm soapy water. Avoid harsh cleaners.
- Rinse any soap residue thoroughly after cleaning.
- Blot up spills immediately to prevent any staining. Quartz is resistant but not bulletproof.
- Use a squeegee to remove excess water when done cleaning. Allow to air dry.
- For built-up dirt or stains, use a non-abrasive cleaner like Soft Scrub or Bon-Ami.
- Dish soap and water can also be used for stubborn grease stains.
- Disinfect by wiping down with diluted bleach – 1 part bleach to 20 parts water.
- Avoid using any corrosive, acidic, or abrasive cleaners. This can strip or dull the surface.
You can help minimize damage or wear by following these tips:
- Use cutting boards for food prep. Never cut directly on the quartz.
- Don’t allow spills of staining agents like wine, coffee, or nail polish to sit. Clean ASAP.
- Place hot pans or appliances on trivets, not directly on the quartz surface.
- Don’t expose to harsh chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc.
- Blot up excess water or liquids to avoid pooling and water marks.
- Limit abrasion by using soft sponges or microfiber cloths when cleaning.
With routine cleaning and proper care, your quartz countertops will maintain their good-as-new appearance and minimal signs of wear.
How to Remove Difficult Stains from Quartz
While quartz resists most stains remarkably well, difficult stains can still occur in some instances. Here are handy tips for removing common problem stains:
Grease/Oil Stains – Use baking soda and water paste and scrub gently. Rinse and repeat if needed. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners.
Dried Food Stains – Soak dried residue in warm water to soften, then scrape off gently with a plastic scraper. Avoid metal scouring pads.
Hard Water Marks – Wipe with equal parts water and white vinegar. Buff dry with microfiber cloth.
Wine, Coffee, Juice Stains – Clean immediately with dish soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly. You may need to use a bleach-based cleaner for stubborn organic stains.
Nail Polish, Paint Marks – Carefully scrape off any excess, then clean with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover, avoiding skin contact.
Rust Stains – Use a commercial rust remover like Whink or Iron-Out following label directions. Test on a small area first.
Burn Marks – Unfortunately, you cannot remove severe quartz burns. The damaged area needs to be cut out and replaced. Be very careful using hot pans on the surface.
With prompt attention, you can remove occasional stains or marks from quartz using these handy fixes. Just take care to avoid corrosive cleaners that could damage the finish.
Does Quartz Need to Be Sealed?
Unlike natural stone countertops like marble or granite, quartz surfaces do NOT require regular sealing. Here’s a closer look at why quartz does not