Quartz countertops have become an incredibly popular option 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 durable, low-maintenance, and beautiful surface. With seemingly endless options for colors, patterns, and finishes, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when you decide to purchase quartz countertops. This article will explore the pros and cons of purchasing quartz countertops from big box stores, kitchen and bath showrooms, stone yards, and directly from manufacturers or fabricators. We’ll provide tips on getting the best deal on your new quartz countertops and things to consider during the purchase process.
Purchasing Quartz Countertops from Big Box Stores
Big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer many advantages when purchasing quartz slabs and countertops:
- Convenience: With hundreds of locations across the country, a big box store is likely convenient to visit and explore quartz options in person.
- Affordability: As large retailers, big box stores can buy materials in bulk and pass savings on to customers. Their quartz prices are often lower than small fabricators.
- Selection: Big box stores work with leading quartz brands like Cambria, Caesarstone, and Silestone to provide an array of colors and patterns.
- Installation services: Most big box stores have in-house installers or networks of local contractors to handle countertop installation.
However, there are some downsides to purchasing quartz countertops from big box retailers:
- Limited inventory – Many stores only display a few slab options onsite. For more choices, you’ll need to order a full slab blindly.
- No custom fabrication – Stores typically sell pre-fabricated sizes only, which may not fit your space perfectly.
- Lower quality material – Some big box quartz is imported and lower-grade compared to slabs from a stone yard.
- Less personalized service – Employees may not be countertop experts, so you get less guidance.
Purchasing Quartz Countertops from Kitchen & Bath Showrooms
Kitchen and bath showrooms focus specifically on remodeling materials for these important rooms. Here are the upsides of purchasing quartz countertops through a kitchen and bath showroom:
- Specialized expertise: Sales associates and designers are experts in countertop materials and installation needs.
- Quality assurance: Reputable showrooms stand behind the products they sell with warranties.
- Full slabs on display: Browse numerous whole slabs onsite before purchasing a countertop.
- Custom fabrication: Showrooms often have in-house fabricators to cut countertops to your exact specifications.
- Coordination: Showrooms can schedule and manage the entire install process with their network of contractors.
However, there are a few potential disadvantages with showrooms:
- Higher prices: Their specialized products, services and custom fabrication lead to higher costs for quartz countertops.
- Limited selection: Local inventory depends on the distributors they partner with, so slab choices are finite.
Purchasing Quartz Countertops from Stone Yards
For an expansive selection of quartz slabs, visit a local stone yard or slab warehouse. Benefits of purchasing quartz this way include:
- Huge selection: Stone yards work with various distributors to stock hundreds of colors, styles, and patterns.
- Wholesale prices: Since they buy direct from manufacturers, stone yards can offer discounted wholesale rates.
- One-stop shop: Materials for the entire project like sinks and backsplashes are also available.
- Quality assurance: Reputable yards stand behind the high-quality materials they sell.
Some limitations of buying quartz slabs from a stone supplier:
- No fabrication: Slabs require outsourced fabricators to cut and install.
- No installation: You must find and schedule qualified countertop installers separately.
- Technical expertise required: Understanding measurements, overhangs, seam placement, etc is essential.
- Transportation: Moving a heavy slab requires a large vehicle or rental truck.
Purchasing Directly from Quartz Manufacturers
Purchasing quartz slabs directly from leading manufacturers like Cambria, Caesarstone, and Silestone is also an option. Here are some potential advantages:
- Low prices: Eliminating the middleman yields significant cost savings on slabs.
- Designer collections: Manufacturers offer exclusive designer colors and patterns not found elsewhere.
- Quality assurance: Reputable brands back their products with warranties.
- Nationwide shipping: Materials can be shipped anywhere in the country.
Some possible disadvantages include:
- Fabrication required: Slabs need outsourced cutting and fabrication into countertops.
- Installation required: You’ll need to find qualified local countertop installers.
- Large minimums: Purchasing direct often requires buying multiple slabs.
- No displays: Products must be selected sight unseen from a website.
Tips for Getting the Best Deal on Quartz Countertops
To find affordable quartz countertops while getting excellent service, keep these tips in mind:
- Get quotes from 3+ sources: Compare big box, showrooms, suppliers, and fabricators.
- Ask about sales or specials: Retailers often run promotions on quartz slabs and fabrication.
- Buy during slow seasons: You may get better pricing during winter or late summer.
- Bundle services: Negotiate a better overall price if using one company for everything.
- Avoid overpaying for extras: Steer clear of unnecessary upcharges and fees.
- Review policies carefully: Understand return policies, warranties, cancellation fees, etc.
Key Considerations When Purchasing Quartz Countertops
Along with budget, keep the following factors in mind while shopping for quartz:
- Which retailer offers the colors, patterns and finishes you want?
- Do they have positive reviews for customer service and quality installations?
- Do they fabricate countertops onsite or use qualified local contractors?
- Can they handle custom edging, cutouts, radius corners, etc?
- Do they offer sinks, faucets and complementary backsplashes?
- What are the warranty terms, return policy, and cancellation fees?
Taking the time to weigh all of these considerations will help you select the best place to purchase your quartz countertops. Do your research to find a provider that offers the products, services, and prices that align with your kitchen or bath remodeling project goals.
Where to Purchase Quartz Countertops
When deciding where to purchase quartz countertops, carefully weigh the options to find the best combination of high-quality materials, experienced installation, and affordable pricing. Purchasing quartz for a remodeling project is a significant investment, so take the time to thoroughly understand each retailer’s offerings, capabilities, warranties, and costs. With an informed decision, you’ll be thrilled with your stunning new quartz countertops for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about purchasing quartz countertops along with brief answers:
How much do quartz countertops cost?
The price of quartz countertops ranges from $50 to over $150 per square foot installed depending on the brand, pattern, and retailer. Expect to pay $2,500 to $5,000+ for a typical kitchen.
What thickness should I choose for quartz?
The standard thickness for a quartz countertop is 3 cm or 1.25 inches. Go thicker if you want a sturdier surface or will have heavier use.
Should I buy fabricated countertops or slabs?
For a customized fit, it’s best to purchase unfinished slabs that fabricators cut to your measurements unless prefabricated sizes work for your space.
What are the best quartz brands?
Top quartz manufacturers include Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, MSI, Viatera, and Hanstone. Each offers different price points, colors, and warranty terms.
How durable and heat-resistant is quartz?
Quartz is very durable and resists scratching, staining, and heat up to 212°F. However, prolonged direct heat should be avoided to prevent damage.
With proper research and planning, selecting the ideal retailer for purchasing your quartz countertops will be a straightforward process. Carefully evaluate each company’s products, services, prices, and reviews to make the best choice for your specific kitchen or bath remodeling needs and budget. Investing in high-quality quartz countertops from a reputable provider will add beauty, luxury, and value to your home for many years.