Cost Of Quartzite Countertops Per Square Foot
- Cheap - $50 / s.f.
- Average - $90 / s.f.
- Expensive - $120 / s.f.
There are two factors that move prices up from cheap to the more expensive end of the spectrum; they are scarcity and where you live. If a particular slab is hard to get it will be more expensive, so just because it’s priced high that doesn’t mean that its’ better quality. Where you live also matters because material and especially labor prices can vary dramatically with the cost of living.
Quartzite is fast becoming the gold standard for homeowners who want a tough, reliable kitchen work surface that looks amazing and can take a lot of abuse. Much harder than marble, it’s a great option for anyone who wants the look of a marble or dolomite (aka “super white”) stone, but who wants the hardness of granite. In fact, quartzite is harder than granite and some types are relatively non-porous, meaning they don’t need to be sealed as often as other stone surfaces.
With so many benefits, it’s easy to understand why it’s such a popular choice for kitchens. However, you may be confused about why it’s priced the way it is. Things are further complicated by the similarly named quartz, another countertop material that’s popular in kitchens. How do you know what’s better for your kitchen, and your budget?
Quartzite Prices vs. Other Kitchen Work Surfaces
Comparing the price of quartzite to other materials requires a little knowledge about each material. If you look at the price compared to granite, you’ll see that it typically costs a little more. Granite typically starts at around $50 per square foot and goes up with added installation costs.
Quartzite is usually a bit more expensive and starts at around $60 per square foot. Quartz countertops are similarly priced, so it pays to understand what you’re getting for that money. Quartz is comprised of natural stone, but the quartz in them is bound together with resins and polymers, making it less hard and not heat resistant.
Quartzite, on the other hand is a metamorphic rock, formed in the ground under heat and pressure. Sandstone is compressed beneath the earth and over time it forms a metamorphic stone that is mined out of the earth and cut into slabs. Like granite, it’s is very hard and heat resistant. In fact, it’s harder than granite, marble, and glass.
Marble is usually more expensive, ranging from around $125 per sq. ft. to $250 per sq. ft. If you think that the added cost is justified by the aesthetics of marble, consider the fact that many of them look a lot like marble. In fact, it’s not uncommon for marble to be mistakenly labeled as quartzite, especially if it’s one of the softer more porous ones.
Quartzite is much harder than marble and doesn’t etch as easily as its softer counterparts. Depending on how porous it is, it may require less sealing (or none at all) than granite, and it still provides the beauty that fans of marble look for without the worry about chips or scratches.
What Drives The Price Up
A quartzite slab isn’t the cheapest option, but it is great quality for your dollar. Its durability and beauty add value, but you can’t forget to account for installation costs in your final price. The larger and more complicated your design, the greater the price per square foot will be. Plus, as one of the hardest countertop materials available, it can be difficult for anyone who isn’t accustomed to working with it to cut and finish the material.
Some quartzites will be more expensive due to the rarity and local availability. You can commonly find almost pure white slabs with ghostly veining that greatly resembles marble. You can also find stones with pinks, greens, and blues, depending on the minerals found in the soil around where the stone formed.
Also, denser, less porous quartzite won’t necessarily carry a higher price tag. At the end of the day, the rarer slabs will almost always cost more. This is the same for all natural stone slabs, and it’s why it pays to take the time to look at as many samples as possible before making your decision.
Where to Buy Quartzite Countertops
If you’re replacing your old kitchen counters with something like formica or even tile, you can probably pick up everything you need to do a decent DIY job down at your big chain home improvement store. If you want to have quartzite countertops installed, it isn’t quite so easy.
Because the stone is both extremely heavy and extremely hard, you really can’t hope to cut it yourself from any slab you buy. What you really need is a stone fabricator who will handle the design, fabrication, and installation all in-house so you can minimize your hassles and risks that something could go wrong during the installation process.
Most local stone yards will carry at least a couple varities, but beware, not all slabs are created equal. In fact, not all slabs of stone labeled ‘quartzite’ are actually what they claim to be. It’s not uncommon for mistakes to be made, and some types of marble are sometimes mislabeled. You can test every slab easily enough; since quartzite is harder than a knife, you shouldn’t be able to scratch the surface and it should not etch. Try an inconspicuous corner of the slab or even better a sample you took home to make sure you’re getting the real deal.
Your local stone yard should be able to show you the different varieties they carry. Some types are labeled as ‘soft’. These may be quartzite that’s slightly more porous (or it could be a hard marble–don’t forget to try a scratch test and possibly even an etching test). Others are ‘hard’, which is typically less porous and therefore less susceptible to stains and etching.
Be sure to ask if they recommend sealing them. Some will say you don’t have to, but no matter how non-porous it looks, all natural stone has the potential to etch and stain.
Your final price will depend on the type and color of your stone, plus the size and cuts needed for your kitchen countertops. Do your homework, find a reputable stone dealer who also fabricates and installs, and you can be much more confident that you’ll be very happy with your final results.
How To Get Them Cheaper
It’s actually very easy to find contractors to call using the the phone book or the internet but if you’ve ever had any work done on your home you’ve probably found that dealing with contractors is the worst part of a remodel.
The best way to get the lowest price is to get three or more quotes from local companies. But most of the time just getting a call back from one or two of them can be like pulling teeth. To make matters worse many of them won’t even show up for estimating appointments.
There is a better way to find responsive local home improvement contractors. You can actually get them to come to you instead of you having to go out hunting for them.
By filling out the below form, local companies will be notified that you’re looking to do some remodeling. They’ll get an email with your basic project info and if they have room in their schedule they’ll email you back.
You can either use the phone book and call around to find contractors of you can fill in the form below and have them send you an email letting you know that they are ready to start work on your home as soon as possible.
Updated August 24, 2018
Is it normal to have areas (small pieces of the stone) on the quartzite that do not take the same sheen as the rest? I just had quartzite installed and I was told that when it was cut at the quarry, sometimes small pieces come off and they fill with epoxy. So then sometimes the areas that have epoxy don’t take the same sheen as the rest of the quartzite. I’m researching this to determine if this is true and or if there is a way to correct this. I have the Tajmahal Quartzite and looks absolutley beautiful! Yet, when the light shines on it, it looks like I have dry water spots. Is this normal for quartzite?
George I also just had Taj Mahal Quartzite installed and when you look across it, it also has the look of dry watermarks. I understand there are brushed and polished finishes. Do you know which type of finish you have? Did you find a fix to this issue?
I am considering Fantasy Brown and am becoming very confused. Is it granite, marble or quartzite? Is it durable? Is it high maintenance? What price could I expect to pay? Thsnks for ANY feedback 🙂
Wondering if true quartzite countertops can be finished with a full bullnose edge? None of the online images I’m seeing show this option.
I understand that cutting quartzite with lots of veins can be extremely tricky and could result in slabs being “blown out” and wasted. Does anyone know how much of a problem this is and whether that might create future problems even if it doesn’t break while cutting? Would it tend to break later along those faults and veins because of perhaps shifting or normal settling of the foundation?
Nathan Because of the hardness of the quartzite, the cutting process is VERY strenuous. Top that with the fact that saw blades (often circular) distribute this force in multiple directions across the entirety of the cut, and you will see that there is nothing you can do in-home to cause pressure on those veins that hasn’t already been applied in exponential quantity during the cutting process. I would personally say that it is HIGHLY unlikely that this particular problem will arise. Granite is MUCH more likely to have this problem, particularly since the higher end granite veins can run in any direction (even across other veins!). Yet, I have personally seen a very low percentage of granite jobs have this problem. When I have seen it, it was almost always due to stone quality and placement in a quarry. Hope this helps you with your decision making and brings some comfort if you do choose quartzite! Richard When we chose Quartzite countertop for our Kitchen reno, I had to hunt around for a fabricator, finally came across a shop equipped with a massive “waterjet saw” that can handle the cutting. I found out the hard way that most small granite shops won’t take the job because it “blows-up” on them. It delayed the install and cost more, but the unique veins and natural quarts crystal, not to mention a happy wife, made it all worthwhile… Mary My husband & I are running into the same problem…trying to find a fabricator who works with quartzite is near impossible. Richard, you mentioned finding someone with a waterjet saw…that seems like the logical fabricator for quartzite. Can anyone here tell me if there is such a fabricator in Phoenix AZ? Thanks
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Updated: March 11, 2017