Quartz vs Granite Countertops

Quartz vs granite countertops has been mentioned several times in this blog. Today I want to look at quartz vs granite countertops in a production point of view. My intention is to breakdown the cost and figure out who is winning in quartz vs granite countertops business.
I'm going to work with the current pricing in my market, it's a European country and very competitive in the stone sector, so it can be a little different than the prices you will find in you local market, but the proportions may give you similar results.
In my market a few quartz brands stand out from the rest namely Compac Quartz, Silestone and Caeser Stone. I can say that these three brands hold a joint position of over 80% in my local market.

In this post I will use the current slab price (2010 price list)  for Luna (Compac Quartz colour). Luna from Compac Quartz is similar to other colours in most manufacturers, Silestone has a Blanco Norte, Caeserstone has a 3141 Eggshell.
The current cost for 3 cm thickness slabs in my local market per sqm is around 80-85€ (they usually give you a discount on this price).
Please note that the Luna type colour is normally in least expensive group of the quartz manufacturers, so I will compare it to first choice most bought granite. The most sold granites are either light grey granite or a Rosa Porrino in my market, but which ever option the price range for 3 cm granite slabs will be between 30-35€/sqm. Imported granite will be a bit more expensive over 50€/sqm.
One thing that separates granite from quartz is the size of the slab, quartz being a man made stone, or engineered stone, it comes in standard sizes, most manufacturers offer 3000 mm x 1400 mm, which is ideal for kitchen countertops. When we look at granite, well the ideal situation would be a 3000 mm x 1400 mm slab also, however the normal size is over 3000 mm x  1500 mm.
To account for costs, I have chosen the following kitchen countertop. The kitchen countertop should be an L shape 3000 mm (on the long side of the L)  and 2000 mm (on the sorter side of the L) long. No doubt that the ideal situation would be a one piece unit, which is impossible to make from quartz engineered stone, but even if we had a slab that big of granite (which is possible), managing such a big and awkward piece of stone in the countertop fabrication plant and all the way to the kitchen counter... is almost impossible. So what is commonly done, it's divided into two pieces, in our case it'll be one with 3000 mm and the other with 1350 mm, counting with a 650 mm width on the countertops all the way around. So we'll be fabricating 2 pieces: one with 3000x650 with front edge polished and with a slight bevel (leaving an unfinished 650 mm, this is where the other piece is going to be fitted in); the second piece will be 1350 mmx650mm with front edge polished and with a slight bevel. We can add two cut outs, one for the oven and another for the sink.
So let's get down to numbers:

1. Quartz Countertop:
  • Total cost of raw material: 1 slab 3000x1400 x 80€ = 357 €
We added the whole slab, as the countertop fabricator will also do the same, as the piece which is left over 1650 mm long will not be sold, or it's future sale is not guaranteed

2. Granite Countertop
  • Total cost of raw material: 1 slab 3200 x 1600 x 35€ = 179,20 €
I have not accounted for transport costs involving the delivery of the slab, however it should be the same for either products. The granite raw material comes out cheaper, 50% cheaper in fact.
The production process is very similar to both products, tooling is also very alike, although the consumption of diamond tools are different, the wear on tools is greater on quartz than on granite.

Countertop production cycle

  • Cutting the slab : The slab is cut to size with a bridge saw
  • Polishing the edges: The front edges are polished and finished according to the project specifications
  • Doing the Cut-Outs: The two cut outs for the oven and sink are done manually using tools for that purpose
  • Packing, delivery and sometimes installation
You may find CNC machines which do all of these 3 steps in one operation, although in most workshops, this is made in 3 steps, being the first two mechanically assisted, and the last one using manual tools.The cost excluding the raw materials needed to fabricate the countertops should be similar for both products with a slight increase on quartz, due to the higher consumption of diamond tools. So the final price will include some variables which is difficult to measure as the fabricator himself will add a markup to cover his operating costs.
To resume this whole issue, I believe granite should in most cases be cheaper than quartz, so if you are looking at price focus on granite countertops.


J.J. said...


Gexton said...

Thanks, you guys that is a great explanation. keep up the good work in your blog.
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france pope said...

This is fabulous.Great post!Thank you for sharing.Keep it up!!!
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planit stone said...

i am very impressed with how great it looks for that price! i'm sure your artistic abilities helped in the final product looking so lovelygranite worktop prices

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Joseph Russo said...

Everything looks great and I get lots of compliments on the countertops. I've already gone back to them for a bar top and would definitely go back for any future granite needs Lynnwood Quartz Contractors

Jhony Bairstow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jhony Bairstow said...

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quality stone said...

This looks fantastic! Great job on the counters, thank you so much for sharing it with me! Your whole kitchen looks brand new!Kitchen Countertops Ocala

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