Looking to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom counters? Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for homeowners in Chicago seeking durable, stylish, and low-maintenance surfaces. Here is an in-depth guide on where to buy quartz countertops in Chicago.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. The result is a man-made material that is non-porous, stain-resistant, and heat tolerant – making it an ideal choice for busy kitchens.
Some key benefits of quartz counters include:
- Extremely durable – quartz is harder than granite and less prone to cracks, chips or scratches.
- Low maintenance – quartz resists stains, burns, and doesn’t need yearly sealing like natural stone.
- Non-porous – quartz won’t harbor bacteria and is easy to keep clean.
- Stylish options – quartz comes in a wide array of colors and patterns to suit any décor. Popular styles mimic marble or granite.
- 10-15 year warranty – many quartz brands offer an extended warranty against defects.
Where to Shop for Quartz Countertops in Chicago
Chicago homeowners have ample options when shopping for quartz counters. Here are some of the top retailers carrying all the major quartz brands:
Big Box Stores
Major home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s have an extensive selection of quartz countertops available to view in-store. Both retailers employ kitchen designers to help you choose the right style and measurements for your space. While selection is robust, prices may be higher than local stone yards.
Chicago area stone yards specialize in natural stone and engineered counters. Stone yards have expert staff to guide you through the entire process. Products are sold at wholesale prices since there is no middleman. Excellent selections of quartz can be found at:
- Cedar Creek Granite & Marble
- D’Amico Granite & Marble
- Stone City
- CSI Granite & Cabinetry
Be sure to ask about remnant pieces for the most budget-friendly option. Remnants come pre-fabricated in a range of sizes and colors at a discounted price.
Working directly with a fabricator or manufacturer cuts out supplier fees for big savings on quartz. Custom counters are cut on-site to your specifications from slabs. Top fabricators in Chicago include:
- Classic Marble & Granite
- MSI Chicago
Discuss your budget upfront to find the most economical solution and avoid surprise charges. Low-cost options include standard edges and more affordable quartz varieties.
Cost of Quartz Countertops
In Chicago, expect to pay $70 – $120 per square foot installed for quartz counters. The final price depends on:
- Quartz variety – simple colors like white are most affordable, while exotic patterns bump up the price.
- Edge treatments – decorative edges like ogee and bullnose cost more. Keeping a standard eased edge reduces cost.
- Thickness – 2 cm is standard. Opting for 3 cm thickness increases durability and adds 20%+ to overall cost.
- Fabrication – unique shapes, seams, cutouts, and backsplashes add labor and fees. Keep the layout simple to save.
- Installer reputation – well-known companies charge more while smaller fabricators offer competitive rates.
Professionals recommend getting 3-5 quotes to find the best balance of price, quality of product, and experienced installers. Be sure to ask about any additional fees not included in initial estimates.
Choosing the Best Quartz Countertop
With so many color and pattern options, choosing the right quartz can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips:
- Bring home quartz samples to view in your space under both natural and artificial light. Colors can look different once installed.
- Neutral tones like white and gray are safer picks that fit any style. Bolder hues suit contemporary spaces.
- Stick with lighter rather than darker quartz in smaller kitchens to keep the space feeling open and airy.
- Consider how much activity your counters see. More durable varieties like Cambria can better withstand heavy usage.
- Match your counters to your cabinetry. Cool-toned grays pair well with silvers and grays, while warm neutrals match wood cabinetry.
Don’t rush the selection process. Quartz is a long term investment that should suit your style and stand the test of time.
Caring for Your Quartz
Quality quartz countertops are simple to maintain:
- For everyday cleaning, use a mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads that could dull the finish.
- Quartz resists stains, but rinse spills promptly to prevent any possible absorption. Blot any liquids.
- Reseal quartz once a year with a stone sealant to prevent staining and etching.
- Use a trivet under hot pans to prevent scorching.
With proper care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for years to come and add value to your Chicago area home. Use this guide to find the perfect quartz counters for your space and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quartz cheaper than granite?
Quartz usually costs less than natural granite. The price range is $70-$120 per square foot installed compared to granite’s wider range of $80-$185 per square foot.
What are the most popular quartz brands?
Top brands installed in Chicago include Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and DuPont Zodiaq. Each brand offers various styles.
Should I buy quartz from Home Depot or Lowe’s?
Big box stores offer convenience but often have higher prices than stone yards or fabricators. Shop around for the best deal.
What thickness quartz should I get?
2 cm is standard while 3 cm is best for heavy usage areas. Thicker quartz costs 20%+ more.
Is white quartz hard to keep clean?
All quartz resists staining and etching. But white quartz shows less wear, fingerprints, and watermarks than darker colors.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
Quartz does not require regular sealing. But reapplying sealant every 1-2 years will add extra protection.
With the right research and retailer, Chicago homeowners can find beautiful and durable quartz countertops to fit any budget. Follow the guidance in this article to make the process of upgrading your space with quartz as smooth as glass.