In recent years, quartz has taken the Number 1 spot away from granite, and is the new favorite countertop material used in many kitchen remodels.
On average, quartz counters cost $70-90 per square foot installed. Prices vary primarily based on the brand of quartz, as well as the color and pattern of the material.
In addition to functionality and durability, quartz comes in an impressively large variety of looks, suitable for any kitchen, from budget to luxury.
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Average cost of quartz per square foot
A typical kitchen has 60 sq.ft. of counters, so your total budget to install quartz would be about $4,500-5,400. A typical small kitchen has 25 sq.ft. of counters, so your total cost would be $1,875 – 2,250.
High end quartz costs as much as $120-200 per square foot. Respectively, your price for 60 sq.ft. will be $7,200-12,000 and $3,000-5,000 for 25 square feet of kitchen counters. These surfaces often look like slate, soapstone or marble.
Another premium type of quartz that costs well over $100 per square foot uses very bold, bright solid colors, such as reds, blues, greens and oranges. These are a very hot trend in ultra modern kitchens.
Quartz is one of the trendiest and most expensive man-made countertop materials. It is most popular in modern or transitional style kitchens, and adds a very sleek touch. However, it can even be at home in a more traditional kitchen, especially if it looks like a natural stone. One place where quartz would not be the best fit is a rustic, or Mediterranean style kitchen.
Note, that these estimates are for installing countertops with a basic eased edge and one sink cut out.
Price per square foot
Because quartz is a fabricated stone, there is a wide range of colors and designs possible. The intricacy of patterns, inclusions, as well as colors used largely determine the price of the countertop.
Patterns are developed through grinding of the quartz mineral. If its coarsely ground, you end up with the look of specks and freckles, which typical of the low-end, least expensive options. The finer the grinding, the smoother and more uniform the surface looks, which results in increased cost for the countertop.
Colors are achieved using special pigments. The basic colors used in quartz manufacturing are: white, beige, black, grey, brown, blue, green, red, copper, and gold. However, these can be blended in many different ways to create a stunning array of designs.
Overall, quartz is divided into three grades and are priced accordingly:
First Choice – high-end quality – $90-120+ per square foot. This product rivals the beauty of natural stone, such as granite and marble. It offers exquisite patterns and colors, which indeed replicate real stone. A marble replica is a favorite choice in many upscale kitchen remodels, and most people cannot tell the difference between real marble and this premium quartz stone.
Second Choice – mid-level quality – $60-75 per square foot. It offers a wide range of color and design options and most homeowners can find a slab that works for their kitchen.
Commercial Grade – low budget engineered quartz – $35-50 per square foot. These countertops are usually very plane looking, without any intricate designs. Colors are either black, beige, or sand. This type of quartz is an ideal investment into a rental property or a starter home.
Granite vs quartz: which one is more expensive?
Many homeowners looking to install new kitchen countertops debate between quartz and granite. The primary question – which of the two costs more?
It turns out that overall granite can be about 20-30% cheaper, but it really depends on the quality and the grade of the materials you are comparing.
Low to mid range quality granite and quartz cost about the same – $50-70 per square foot. However, better looking quartz often costs more than granite. For example, high end granite costs around $90-170 per square foot, where is quartz can be as much as $130-200 per square foot installed.
Homeowners often choose quartz for its more modern aesthetic, easier maintenance and not ever needing to seal the counters.
Installation charges and factors that will increase your costs
Countertop installers charge $30-60 per square foot, depending on the complexity of work involved. Since quartz is a none-porous material, it does not need to be sealed. Thus, this will reduce your total cost.
The following items are usually included in the standard installation:
– fabrication, includes cutting and fitting the countertop to the desired size and shape, as well as polishing
– one fixture and sink cut out
– leveling the countertops
– joining the seams of the counters. Most countertop layouts require more than one slab. Your installer will first put the pieces together to make sure everything fits, and then join the seams together permanently with epoxy.
Keep in mind that there will be extra charges for things like:
Extra cut outs
Many homeowners need a second sink, an additional faucet, a drinking water faucet, a soap dispenser, etc. Expect to spend $400-1,000+ more depending on your requirements.
Type of sink installed
Depending on complexity of labor, this can add $150-350 to the total. Under-mount sinks are more expensive to install than drop-in ones.
Tearing out the old countertop
This may cost $500-1,200 depending on the size of the counter and type of material
You should budget $300-600, depending on what needs to be done. Some installers can do the work on their own, others will request that you get a licensed plumber for the job.
There are many edge designs that can enhance the overall beauty of your new counters. The edges for quartz countertops are fabricated by the manufacturer, rather than by the installer. Therefore, you can choose the edge you like when you are choosing the countertop itself.
We recommend getting at least 3 free quotes from local installers, to get the best deal and find a pro with great references.
Quartz vs other countertop materials
For most people shopping around for a new counter, price is a primary deciding factor. Lets take a look at how quartz stacks up against other popular countertop options.
|Material||Cost per sq.ft. installed|
|Quartz (average)||$50 – 100|
|Cambria Quartz||$70 – 120|
|Silestone Quartz||$90 – 150|
|Caesarstone Quartz||$100 – 200|
|Corian Quartz||$60 – 90|
|Granite||$45 – 200|
|Marble||$75 – 250|
|Soapstone||$70 – 185|
|Onyx||$90 – 250|
|Slate||$100 – 200|
|Lava stone||$220 – 300|
|Laminate||$18 – 40|
|Concrete||$70 – 130|
|Solid Surface||$35 – 95|
|Ceramic Tile||$20 – 45|
|Recycled Glass||$60 – 120|
|Stainless Steel||$85 – 220|
|Copper||$100 – 250|
|Butcher Block||$50 – 200|
|Bamboo||$45 – 90|
Pros and cons
Compared to other popular kitchen countertop materials, quartz stands out for its durability, ease of maintenance and versatile design. Another considerable benefit that has become more important to many homeowners over the last few years is that unlike granite, quartz DOES NOT emit poisonous radon gas.
Radon is a colorless odorless substance that has been found to cause cancer and is emitted in minuscule amounts from granite countertops. Because of how insignificant the radiation is, granite counters are considered absolutely safe to install. However, people that want to be extra careful prefer to install quartz, so they don’t have to worry about this issue at all.
Still, just like any other material, quartz does have a number of disadvantages to consider.
|versatile designs: classic, transitional and modern||surface can be scratched with very sharp objects|
|very consistent color and texture||can be permanently damaged by heat over 150 degrees|
|over 140 colors and 19 edge profiles||lacks unique veining like natural stone|
|easy to maintain||has visible seams, similar to granite|
|costs less than high end natural stone counterts||has visible seams, similar to granite|
|color will not fade with time|
|does not need to be resealed|
|resistant to stains, chipping, cracking, bacteria|
|does not emit radon gas|
If you do a lot of cooking in your kitchen, you want a counter surface that can take a lot of wear and tear, and this includes ability to withstand very hot temperatures. While quarts is considered heat “resistant”, it is NOT heat “proof”.
The difference is that quartz can get damaged if an object placed on its surface is more that 150 degrees. A heat proof surface like granite would not sustain any damages at this temperature.
The reason why quartz should not come in contact with things that are hotter than 150 degrees is because the man-made resin within the material will start to melt and become deformed. The quartz mineral itself, just like granite, would not be effected.
Its important to note that heat resistance of a particular quartz varies depending on the brand. Different manufacturers put variable quality and amounts of resin in the material – it can be as much as 8-10%. The more resin there is, the less the surface will withstand very hot temperatures. You can inquire about the heat resistance of a particular quartz you are interested in installing.
To protect from any heat damage, you should place trivet mats on the quartz worktop before placing hot pots and pans on it. These trivets can be made of wood, silicone or cast iron, and cost about $6-17 each.
What if quartz gets damaged?
High heat can leave permanent damage on the surface of quartz. If the resin gets burned, the finish of the countertop will be ruined, and there is no way to repair that particular spot.
Obviously, most people will not go through the trouble of replacing the entire countertop just because of one damaged area. To avoid this situation, always protect your counter surfaces from direct contact with high heat.
Can a quartz surface be scratched?
Quartz offers superior durability and scratch resistance. This means that its very difficult and highly unlikely for a quartz surface to get scratched. However, it is possible.
Using harsh abrasive cleaning pads can leave very small, hardly visible scratches. Directly cutting fruits or vegetables on the surface using a very sharp knife can also leave slight marks. This is especially the case for dark color quartz counters, so you should be extra vigilant about scratches if you have those.
Exposure to sunlight
Like other natural stones, mineral quartz is resistant to sunlight. However, other materials in the composition of this countertop are more susceptible to sun and damage from UV rays. In doors, a quartz countertop should maintain its original color for decades, without fading. However, its best to avoid installing it in an outdoor kitchen. This is because direct and prolonged exposure to the sun is known to cause fading in the surface color of quartz counters.
Maintenance and cleaning
Since quartz is a none-porous material, it will not easily absorb dirt, liquids and bacteria. This makes it very easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do to keep your quartz counters looking like new is some warm water and very light – duty household cleaner, such as Windex. To scrub off food left overs and grease you can use a none abrasive cleaning pad.
While quartz is stain resistant, you should still clean any spills from wine, grape, tomato juice, oil and coffee as soon as possible. If you live these on the surface of the countertops for too long, there is a risk of slight discoloration. Moreover, permanent markers can also leave a stain on the surface of quartz, so you should be careful if you have small children who like to draw on things:)
Its best to avoid using cleaners that contain bleach, tarnish and oils when cleaning quartz, as these can cause discoloration, and loss of the glossy appearance.
As we mentioned before, the price for engineered quartz can differ greatly depending on the colors and patterns you like. Here are the top quartz countertop brands that offer the widest range of options.
Silestone – boasts 142 colors and 15 edge designs. It is most famous for Life!, Zen, Mythology and Stellar product lines that have bright solid colors. Its the most well-known brand of quartz, and offers various price tiers for its series. You can check out Silestone offers at your local Home Depot.
Cambria – offers 133 colors and 19 edge designs. It is most famous for very natural looking replicas of real stones such as: marble, granite and slate. In terms of pricing, it is one of the most expensive manufacturers. Cambria is mined and manufactured in the United States.
Cambria quartz is also one of the most famous brands and usually people refer to it simply as “Cambria”. As a result, some homeowners think that this is a different type of material. However, it is a man-made quartz counter; it consists of about 90% natural mineral quartz combined with roughly 7 – 10% of resins, polymers and pigments.
Caesarstone – offers 53 colors and 8 edge designs. It is known for creating the most cutting edge and unique quartz designs using semi-precious stones, such as agate and tiger’s eye, incorporating petrified wood, using embossing textures that replicate crocodile skin and lace. Their quartz products are some of the most expensive ($200 per square foot) and are often used in high-end kitchen renovations.
Corian Quartz (formerly known as Zodiaq) – offers 60 attractive colors and 10 edge designs (custom options are also available). This is a budget friendly option that offers a lot of more basic quartz designs and standard colors, such as white, sand, beige, grey, black. There are a couple of options that looks like marble and soapstone. Lowe’s carries this product line.
LG Viatera – has 58 color and design options, as well as 15 edge profiles. They offer many white, sand, and other light color quartz options, as well as realistic marble replicas. As such, they are a much more affordable alternative to Cambria.
HanStone – available in 65 colors, with many light color choices. There are ok looking replicas of marble and concrete, as well as solid surface colors. It is one of the most economical quartz options out there.
In addition to these better known brands, there are many small time manufacturers that make good quality quartz counters and may offer more competitive pricing. These include: Diresco, Emerstone, Vicostone.
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