A common feature you’ll see in kitchens on TV or in homes with high value is quartz countertops.
Quartz is prized for its unique appearance and ability to withstand the typical use and abuse seen in kitchens.
If you’ve been thinking of having quartz countertops installed in your own kitchen, then you might be surprised by the price.
Quartz countertops are rarely cheap.
You may wonder why they’re so expensive.
Why Are Quartz Countertops So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of a quartz countertop is between $50 and $75 per square foot with a final price between $1,500 and $12,000.
Quartz countertops are expensive because of the features that create a high demand for them, such as their thickness and visual appeal, and the expensive tariffs placed on their import.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. High Demand Due To No Sealing
One of the benefits of using quartz countertops is that you don’t need to seal them.
When you use marble, for example, you have to seal it.
It’s a porous material which means it can absorb any mess you leave on the kitchen countertop.
You might notice stains that you can’t wipe away because they have gotten inside the marble.
You might even notice mold growth.
Considering how expensive marble is, you don’t want to ruin it by forgetting to seal it and re-seal it.
When it comes to quartz countertops, you don’t have that problem.
They’re ready for use as soon as they’re set on the counter and cleaned.
That makes their maintenance a lot easier.
It also means you don’t have to worry about quartz absorbing stains or growing mold.
Because it’s easier to take care of and cheaper in the long run compared to marble, a lot of people have an interest in quartz.
That makes the demand for quartz countertops higher.
With high demand and low supply, the price becomes expensive.
Quartz countertops are expensive because the demand for them is high due to a lack of staining requirements.
2. High-Quality Stone
Another reason quartz countertops are expensive is that manufacturers typically focus on using high-quality stone.
While quartz, itself, isn’t natural stone, elements of natural stone are often used to make countertops out of it.
The mix of quartz and natural stone results in a high-quality product.
It has a durable finish that means homeowners don’t have to worry about accidentally chipping their countertop or breaking it.
Like all products, of course, there are some brands that produce better versions than others.
Some might use a higher number of quartz crystals than others.
Others might have a more refined engineering process that produces rare or tough quartz crystals.
When something is high-quality, it tends to be expensive because production is typically more involved and costly.
The materials might be more expensive or the labor might be more expensive.
If you buy a high-quality quartz countertop, then you’re paying for those expensive materials and labor expenses.
Quartz countertops are expensive when they’re high-quality.
3. Lower Levels Of Volatile Organic Compounds
One problem that some countertops have is that they release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment.
Volatile organic compounds are dangerous to your health.
They’re particularly dangerous in kitchens that are enclosed and not open and airy.
The VOCs don’t have a place to disperse once released from the countertop.
As such, they linger in your kitchen and enter your body when you breathe.
Some might also become absorbed in the food that you prepare in the kitchen.
VOCs are typically produced by sealants, adhesives, and other chemicals that installers use on countertops and cupboards.
The benefit of quartz countertops is that you don’t need to seal them.
As such, you don’t have to worry about the sealant producing VOCs in your home.
Because they don’t produce as many VOCs as some other types of countertops, there’s a lot of demand for quartz countertops.
Since demand is higher, the price for quartz countertops is going to be higher.
Quartz countertops are expensive because they don’t produce as many VOCs as other types of countertops which increases demand.
The thickness of your quartz countertops also plays a major factor in how expensive they are.
Thickness matters because it impacts how many materials are required to make your countertop.
Thin countertops are going to be cheaper than thick countertops.
That’s because thin countertops don’t use as much quartz.
Thick countertops, on the other hand, are going to be quite expensive.
Quartz countertops aren’t hollow.
They’re a dense slab.
The thicker your countertop is, the more materials are used to produce it.
Considering that quartz crystals are expensive to make, the more your countertop has, the higher the price is going to be.
Thick countertops can also be a status symbol.
The bigger and thicker the countertop is, the wealthier the person appears.
Thicker countertops are more expensive than thin ones.
Quartz countertops are expensive when you have a thick slab.
5. Rare Colors
Even if two different slabs of quartz are the exact same size and thickness, one might be more expensive than the other.
That’s because color also plays a role in the cost.
One of the interesting aspects of quartz is that manufacturers can sometimes add dye to it.
This allows them to create an array of unique and rare color combinations.
That isn’t something you will see with other types of countertops.
Marble, for example, tends to come in only a few shades of white, grey, black, and red.
You won’t find a marble slab that looks dark blue, for example, without further processing.
This limits the design of certain countertops.
Homeowners who want unique colors or unique countertops will find satisfaction with quartz countertops.
Unfortunately, the aspect that makes quartz countertops unique also makes them expensive.
Since homeowners are able to mix and match colors, they can create incredible countertops.
As a result, they’re able to add some incredible designs to their kitchens.
The rarer the color is, the more expensive the quartz slab is.
That’s because rare colors are in short supply.
While the manufacturer might be able to restock the color, that would cost them money to do so.
To cover those costs, they charge a higher price for slabs made with rare colors.
Rarity is also valuable.
Since it’s in short supply, the price is also higher.
Quartz countertops are expensive when they use rare colors.
One of the unique aspects of quartz countertops is that homeowners can customize them to a degree.
Since manufacturers are able to add dyes, they can sometimes create very unique slabs.
That also means that homeowners can request certain dyes.
If they want a dark blue quartz countertop, for example, then there’s a chance that the manufacturer can make it for them.
There are limitations, of course, but quartz countertops are certainly more customizable than marble slabs, for example.
With marble slabs, what you see is essentially what you get.
While you can choose which part of the slab you want for your countertop, you’re not able to make certain requests and have it made specifically for you.
Marble is a natural stone, after all.
Since quartz is engineered and not a natural stone, you have a bit more say in its production.
Any time you buy something customized, it comes at a higher price.
That’s because the company isn’t able to just run it through the factory.
They have to spend time producing the exact product that you want.
You have to pay for that extra time and attention as a result.
That can make your quartz countertop quite expensive.
Quartz countertops are expensive when you have them custom-made for your kitchen.
7. Expensive Trade Tariffs
While the United States has its share of quartz quarries, it also imports quartz from other countries.
Another country that mines a good deal of quartz is Brazil.
As such, the United States sources some of its quartz crystals from Brazil.
Like with any other imported good, quartz crystals are subject to import fees and tariffs.
This is because the United States doesn’t want other countries selling products at very low prices and making it impossible for U.S.-based businesses to sell the same products.
The advantage that some other countries have is their low cost of living.
This allows them to charge less for things than the U.S. does, which then enables them to sell their products in the United States at low prices.
Since the cost of living in the United States is high, it makes it almost impossible for U.S.-based businesses to sell their products.
In most cases, consumers are going to buy the product that’s the cheapest.
Placing an import fee or tariff on quartz increases the price and allows U.S.-based businesses to stay competitive.
However, this also means that you’re paying higher prices for quartz.
Quartz countertops are expensive because of import fees and tariffs placed on imported quartz.
8. Installation Costs
Installing quartz countertops isn’t easy.
Because they’re dense, they’re very heavy.
It takes more than one person to haul and install countertops in most cases.
As such, when you buy a quartz countertop, you typically also have to pay for some sort of installation service.
The company will deliver the quartz countertop to your home.
Then they will install it in your kitchen for you.
Installation costs can be high since it’s all done by hand.
You’re also typically working with experts who will ensure the countertop arrives on time and is safely installed.
Quartz countertops are expensive because you have to pay for the countertop and for the installation service in most cases.
9. They’re Engineered
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why quartz countertops are expensive is because they’re engineered.
While quartz crystals occur naturally, slabs of quartz do not.
To make a slab of quartz, the crystals have to pass through a factory where they’re crushed.
Then they’re formed with a certain type of resin and hardened into a slab.
A few other additives might go into the countertop, and some companies might add pigments as well.
Unlike marble, which is simply cleaved from a quarry and then cut, quartz countertops have to undergo engineering.
They’re a man-made product.
That adds production costs to the countertop.
Quartz countertops are expensive because they’re an engineered product.
10. Extra Features Increase Demand
A final reason quartz countertops are expensive is that some of them come with extra features.
For example, some manufacturers will add chemicals to the countertop to make it stronger.
If you want to put hot pots directly on the countertop, for example, then you can ask the manufacturer to add chemicals that allow you to do that.
If you’re worried about your countertop chipping, then you can add something to keep it safe.
Each addition to your quartz countertop is going to increase its price.
Quartz countertops are expensive when you add more details or features to them.