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Are Quartz Countertops Worth the Price?


[Updated: Nov 02, 2020 ] Jun 29, 2020 by Liz Brumer
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Quartz countertops are a high-quality, low-maintenance countertop option that is no doubt trending as a top choice for kitchen countertops among homebuyers. This eco-friendly building material uses up to 90% waste products from other quarry and manufacturing processes, making it a beautiful and durable countertop option for your next flip. But are quartz countertops worth the price? Find out what quartz is actually made of, how much you can expect to pay, and how it will hold its value over time.

What is quartz?

Quartz countertops are not actually solid quartz but engineered stone slabs. Often having the look of natural stone, the countertop material is made by grinding particles from other types of stone and combining it with resin using industrial manufacturing to make it into a countertop. This process allows manufacturers to create a variety of different options in terms of color and design.

In the world of countertops, quartz’s main competition is granite. They both fit into the high-end countertop realm and have similar price tags, but there are a few distinct differences. Quartz is very durable; it's nearly impossible to chip or crack and is less susceptible to stains than granite. However, it can be damaged by heat and potentially fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight. Quartz is also a nonporous surface, meaning you never have to seal it, which gives it a major competitive edge in terms of maintenance compared to granite. For this reason, quartz is often a top choice for upscale rental properties or fix-and-flips that want a low-maintenance but expensive-looking countertop.

How much does quartz cost?

Quartz averages $75 per square foot for materials with another $50 per square foot to install, which is around $3,750 for a 30-square-foot quartz countertop. As with any remodel, the cost will vary depending on the quality of the manufacturer, location of the property, the total square footage for your project, and the finishes you select for the edges. Quartz countertops are not all created equal, so if you're looking to hold your investment long term, selecting a higher-quality countertop would probably be wise.

The price of material and installation for quartz is about equal to that for granite, but you'll end up saving money and time down the road because you won't have to seal your countertops regularly. Granite needs resealing every year, which costs $0.75 to $1.50 per square foot on average, according to HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI). You will also likely need to polish it every decade, which runs around $3.00 per square foot. So for an average-sized kitchen, a 30-square-foot granite counter will run you an additional $450 every 10 years.

Value

A 2017 study conducted by Realtor.com found that 80% of participants stated that the kitchen is one of the top three most important spaces in a home. The National Association of Home Builders (NAH) took it a step further and found that 57% of buyers want stone countertops. If you're an investor looking to flip a home, this will help get you a quick sale, and if you're a landlord in a higher-end rental neighborhood, quartz countertops may allow you to charge higher rent while having fewer maintenance issues down the road.

Installing quartz or luxury countertops will put your remodel into the upscale category. Not only will you easily attract buyers and renters, but you'll also recoup around 54% of your investment when it comes time to sell. But keep in mind that this can vary by the real estate market within your state, city, and neighborhood. If you're in a lower-end neighborhood where the average home has laminate countertops, it's unlikely you will recoup the cost of installing quartz countertops when it comes time to sell. Matching the features of your market is key in being able to capitalize on the value of the upgrade and ensures you're not over-improving for the area.

If you are considering a luxury kitchen or bathroom renovation, quartz should definitely be on the table as a countertop option. It will be in the same price range as other stone countertops but will have distinct advantages. Ultimately, it will come down to personal taste, as the resale value will be on par with other high-end options.

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Liz Brumer-Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.