When looking to upgrade your home countertops, there’s a myriad of choices. Laminate, wood, steel, faux stone, and of course Quartz and Granite. These latter two are often seen as the most luxurious, most sought after, and best countertops that money can buy. But which is more expensive? Well, that depends on how you weigh short-term versus long-term value, where you get your countertops, and several other factors. Here, we will answer the question of which is more expensive, Quartz or Granite, by going through a list of the biggest factors to the value of your purchase.
1. Upfront Cost
Of course, the first big factor in which is more expensive when comparing Quartz or Granite is how much of an upfront cost both are. In most markets, Granite can cost around $60 to $80 per square foot for decent quality counters, and Quartz can range from $67 to $95 per square foot depending on sourcing origin, stone quality, and vendor. The thickness of slab can also be a matter of cost, as for either case, the thicker the cut, the more expensive the stone.
2. Home Value Added
As with any improvement to one’s home, a certain amount of attention must be paid to whether or not the purchase will have a return on investment, should you ever decide to sell the house. In general, Granite is a genuinely a fine choice of a countertop when going to sell a home; It beats those options which can be much easier to chip, fade or otherwise destroy. As such, even if you keep your home for quite a while, you can expect to make back 75% to 100% of the money you put into those countertops to come back to you within the sale price. For Quartz, the return on investment can be higher, with most people finding that they can get 100% of their expenses returned, or in many cases even 125%.
3. Cleaning and Upkeep Costs
Just like anything else in a kitchen, countertops can get really, really dirty. And both quartz and granite are no real exceptions. While Quartz can resist most liquid stains and even a good deal of scratching and dents, it can discolor over time which may require replacement if you have uneven sun exposure in your kitchen. In contrast, while granite does not usually discolor due to light exposure, it can eventually stain if exposed to enough substances or at a sufficiently high heat. Now, regular and proper sealing and resealing can help prevent some of this, but this will require the annual cost of resealing the surface which over the years can add up. That being said, if you like to live dangerously and replace the seal once every few years, there is a chance that the natural variance of color and pattern within the granite can actually hide stains.
In terms of durability, Quartz is the clear winner. While it can be tainted by UV exposure as previously mentioned, it is much less likely to chip, scratch or wear away as compared to granite, which could mean that you need to have the counters replaced (including the need for a professional installer to come by) more often than with quartz. A personal recommendation is that if you know yourself to clean regularly and are not in a position where stains are common, granite can be forgiven its slight weaknesses when compared to quartz, but if the home is going to be a family home or you happen to be the sort to need to buy new glasses and plates from time to time, quartz may be the better option.
5. Environmental and Home Health Costs
Rumors can be nasty things. Then again, so can volatile organic compounds. While no longer a common truth when it comes to granite countertops, there has been persistent talk about all granite countertops having vague volatile organic compounds as part of their manufacturing process that can hurt the environment and you. In most cases (and all cases within the United States), the manufacture of granite countertops are performed to strict standards that make them safe for use in any home. That being said, quartz is relatively less impactful to the environment and is often seen as the green alternative, with some quartz companies even getting Greenguard Certified and recycling the water used for stone cutting.
All in all, when it comes to which of the two countertops is more expensive, it’s a matter of priorities and short versus long-term costs. If you don’t mind the potential need for replacement after a few years, granite may be the better choice, especially if you have a naturally lit kitchen. However, if you have a kitchen that is not in direct sunlight and you don’t mind paying a bit more upfront for savings later, quartz may indeed be your best choice. Also do be sure to shop around for your countertops at multiple locations, as you may find deals and sales that make the averages stated here seem much worse deals than what you can find locally, meaning you can get higher quality countertops for much, much less.