Granite and quartz are two of the most popular countertop materials on the market today. Many homeowners find themselves trying to decide between these two attractive and durable options when renovating their kitchens or bathrooms. But which one costs more – quartz or granite? There are several factors to consider when comparing the costs of these two countertops.
Durability and Maintenance
Granite is generally considered more durable than quartz. As a natural stone, granite is incredibly hard and scratch-resistant. It can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz particles and resin. It is also highly durable, but not quite as indestructible as granite.
In terms of maintenance, granite requires more routine sealing to prevent stains from penetrating the surface. Quartz is nearly maintenance-free, other than occasional cleaning. Overall, granite’s higher durability comes with a bit more required upkeep.
Availability and Variety
Granite is a natural material mined from quarries around the world. Because of this, some exotic granite colors and patterns can be more expensive and difficult to source. There are hundreds of potential granite varieties, but local supply is limited to what can be quarried and transported economically.
Quartz patterns and colors are engineered in a factory. There are fewer overall pattern options than granite, but any quartz variety is widely available through manufacturers and distributors. The consistency and predictability of quartz makes it easier to find specific colors and patterns.
Fabrication and Installation
Fabricating and installing granite is generally more complex than quartz. Granite is extremely hard and needs to be cut precisely with specialized tools. Seams between slabs are more visible with granite, requiring precise craftsmanship to achieve tight fits. And the weight of granite makes installation more challenging.
Quartz is easier for fabricators to cut and work with using standard tools. The seams between quartz slabs are very tight. And quartz is lighter, making installation quicker and easier overall. The fabrication and installation process for quartz is more forgiving than granite.
When looking at national averages, quartz consistently costs $5-15 more per square foot than granite. The main price drivers behind this difference are:
- Material Cost – A slab of quartz is typically more expensive at the wholesale level than a slab of mid-range granite. Exotic granites can be much pricier than standard quartz.
- Fabrication – More advanced tools and skills are needed to fabricate granite. This gets passed along in fabrication costs.
- Installation – Quartz is easier to install due to being lighter weight and having tighter seams. Granite installation requires more time and skill.
However, costs vary by region. Availability of granite and quartz, along with local labor costs, means price differences range from negligible to over $50 per square foot. When quoted by local vendors, granite and quartz may be very competitively priced against each other.
Pros and Cons of Each Material
Beyond just cost differences, here are some other considerations when choosing between quartz and granite:
- Requires little maintenance
- Heat and scratch resistant
- Consistent colors and patterns
- Tighter seams between slabs
- Quick and easy installation
- Less durable than granite
- Limited number of styles
- Some dislike visible quartz flecks
- Can stain from strong chemicals
- Extremely durable and heat resistant
- Available in limitless color varieties
- Natural material that can be unique
- Prestige and elegance of real stone
- Needs periodic sealing
- Natural fissures that can stain
- Chips and cracks are permanent
- Seams more visible between slabs
- Stains from spills if not sealed
While quartz consistently costs a bit more on average, the price difference between granite and quartz varies depending on your region and choice of slabs. For some homeowners, the lower maintenance needs and easier installation of quartz makes it worth the small premium in price. Others prefer the unmatched durability, prestige, and unique patterns only real granite can offer.
The scale almost always tips slightly in favor of quartz on cost, but your personal preference between natural stone vs. engineered stone should drive the decision more than a moderate dollar value difference. Carefully weigh your priorities like maintenance needs, uses, and aesthetic desires. This will determine whether granite or quartz is ultimately the better investment for your home.
FAQ About Granite and Quartz Costs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about quartz vs. granite costs:
Which is more expensive for kitchen countertops on average?
Quartz typically costs $5-15 more per square foot than mid-range granite. Exotic granites can be much more expensive.
Why is installation more expensive for granite?
Granite slabs are heavier and the seams are harder to fit precisely. This makes installation more labor intensive.
Do granite and quartz cost the same for bathroom vanities?
Generally yes. The size of the slabs needed for bathrooms makes the cost difference negligible.
Which material costs more for islands or other large pieces?
Islands and large pieces require more quartz slabs to cover the size. This can make granite more affordable for oversized projects.
Is it cheaper to install quartz or granite myself?
Professional installation is recommended for both. But quartz would be a little more DIY-friendly due to its lighter weight.
Which material has more wiggle room for negotiating price?
Quartz pricing tends to be firm since it’s mass produced. Granite pricing can sometimes be negotiated since it depends on individual slabs.
Can I expect more sales or discounts on granite vs quartz?
Possibly. Granite retailers are more likely to offer sales or clearance pricing on specific slabs in stock. Quartz doesn’t go on sale as often.
The cost difference between quartz and granite countertops ranges on average from quartz being moderately higher priced to nearly equivalent. Variables like regional availability, economies of scale, and natural stone uniqueness all factor into pricing. For homeowners deciding between these two excellent countertop options, the other pros, cons, and benefits of each material should play a larger role than the cost variance alone. With great durability, aesthetic appeal, and reasonable installation, both granite and quartz make smart, long-term investments in your home’s beauty and value.