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Buying Guide for Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are in the top echelon of premium countertops for many reasons including their refined beauty and outstanding utility. When you select quartz kitchen countertops, you’ll enjoy their good looks and durability for many years.

This quartz countertop buying guide is your source for:

  • Quartz kitchen countertop features, pros and cons
  • Quartz countertop prices per square foot
  • FAQs for quartz countertops

We’ve created a buying guide for each of more than 15 countertop materials, so they’re a fantastic way to compare those that you are considering for your kitchen renovation.

quartz countertops

Introduction to Quartz Countertops

What are quartz countertops? To start with, quartz is found in abundance in the earth’s crust. Its crystalline structure composed of silicon and oxygen gives it incredible sparkle when bound together and polished. Quartz countertops include roughly 94% quartz mixed with 6% polymer resin that binds it together. For this reason, quartz countertops they are also commonly called engineered stone countertops.

This material is often pigmented too, and this allows manufacturers to create a stone look with the material but in a broader range of colors and hues than found with other stone. The quartz crystals are crushed into various sizes, so the countertop materials typically contains a variety of size and shape particles to increase its beauty and character, and it somewhat looks like the veining in granite and marble. The bottom line is that you’ve got a wide range of options for the appearance of your quartz countertops.

Quartz Countertops Wear and Durability

This material is strong and non-porous, so it will last and look great for decades. While quite hard, it is resistant but not entirely impervious to chips or cracks, so some caution needs to be used when, for example, taking a heavy pan down from a hook over the countertop. See our quartz countertop repair information for assistance with repairing of this countertop type.

Quartz Countertops Advantages and Disadvantages

The pros of this material far outweigh the cons for most shoppers, unless their relatively high cost is a deal-breaker. Use these quartz kitchen countertop pros and cons to compare with other materials in our Countertop Guides.

Quartz Countertop Pros – Quartz:

  • Offers rich beauty and character with a gleam
  • Is available in a spectrum of shades to go with your kitchen design
  • Is not porous, so quartz kitchen countertops resists the kinds of stains that can be a problem with poorly sealed stone
  • Cleans up quickly with a damp cloth or mild soap and water
  • Has good resistance to heat (though caution is always a good idea)
  • Is produced in tougher 3cm and more affordable 2cm thicknesses
  • Usually comes with a longer warranty than natural stone countertops

Quartz Countertop Cons – Quartz:

  • Isn’t solid stone, so some feel it lacks the natural look of granite or marble
  • Seams between slabs show about the same as stone and more than solid surface and laminate seams
  • Is in the top half of cost among countertop materials, and if you select the most expensive quartz, your percentage return when selling your house will be lower than with cheaper countertops

Food Preparation on Quartz Countertops

Quartz is an excellent material for food preparation. As we’ve noted, it is non-porous. It does not require sealing like natural stone. These traits give you a surface that is very easy to clean and won’t harbor bacteria.

Feel free to prepare food on your quartz kitchen countertops. Roll out dough, season meat, ball melon and more, but use a cutting board for cutting and chopping. Quartz is quite hard, but there’s no need to take chances! The same approach holds with hot pots and pans – while quartz is heat resistance, use a hot pad or trivet with items removed directly from the stove.

Quartz Countertop Styles

In addition to the many colors and “looks” offered in quartz, countertop edges can be beveled in various ways to give it a unique look. Because of the wide range of appearances, quartz is widely used in kitchen styles including traditional, Victorian, Old World, classical, modern, contemporary and many more.

The Cost of Quartz Countertops

Quartz materials costs: You’ll pay more for quartz than for materials such as laminate, solid surface and most tile. However, if this is the look you want, quartz delivers beauty and outstanding durability. The quartz countertop estimates you receive should be within this range depending on which product you choose. The range of material includes closeout/clearance, standard and premium.

  • Quartz Kitchen Countertops: $50 to $120 per square foot. The majority of the material costs $65 to $100 per square foot.

Quartz countertop installation costs: Most quartz costs $15 to $22 per square foot to install. It might cost slightly less or more depending on the how difficult the job is. See the FAQ below for more information.

Table 1: Cost of Quartz Countertops: A Comparison at a Glance

Type of Countertop Material Cost (sq. ft.) Installation Cost (sq. ft.) Total Cost (sq. ft.)
Quartz Countertops $50-$120 $15 to $22 $65 to $142

free remodel estimates

As you put together a budget for your kitchen remodeling project, our Kitchen Remodeling Cost Guide will be of help. It provides costs for all kitchen remodeling components and breaks down those costs into basic, moderate and expensive ranges since components are available in all three grades.

Are Quartz Countertops Right for You?

Quartz kitchen countertops appeal to those who:

  • Like the stone look but are concerned about the staining associated with stone and don’t want to have to seal their countertops
  • Prefer a color not available in granite or marble
  • Like quartz’s low-maintenance, heat-resistance finish that is ideal for food preparation
  • Are willing to pay more to get a material that will look fantastic for decades

FAQ for Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to common questions about quartz kitchen countertops.

What colors are available in quartz countertops?

Too many to list! The color spectrum for quartz starts with white and ranges through off-white, cream, golds and yellows, roses and reds, greens, blues, browns and bronzes, grays and black. In addition, products are made with quartz particles that are more and less prominent to create an even wider range of looks.

Can I cut on quartz countertops?

It isn’t recommended. Cutting a banana with a butter knife won’t be an issue, but use a cutting board when working with sharper knives.

What factors affect installation cost?

First, complex installations cost more, so if your countertop includes multiple seams, corners, sink cutouts and features such as a breakfast bar or peninsula, it will cost more than a galley kitchen countertop with one or two straight runs.

Secondly, the best countertop installation prices are the result of getting written estimates from several installers who know that they are competing for your work. They’ll give you the lowest estimates they can.

Are textures available?

Yes. You can find textures such as polished, suede, volcano, matte and honed finishes. All are non-porous and are easy to clean.

What are dos and don’ts for cleaning quartz countertops?

A cloth, paper towel or sponge dampened with warm water is sufficient for most cleaning. If you use a cleanser, choose one that is formulated for quartz such as 409 Glass & Surface Cleaner. Avoid cleaners with a scrubbing agent, high pH and bleach. If you spill tomato juice, lemon juice, wine, vinegar or other acidic liquids onto the quartz, clean it up promptly. Do the same with grease spills and splatters.

How long do quartz kitchen countertops last?

With basic care, your quartz countertops should last for more than 20 years.

Related Content in this Series

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