Quartzite countertops have become the most-coveted countertop choices in recent times across the United States. Homeowners, interior designers, kitchen and bath dealers, etc. have all begun to think about using different colors of quartzite slabs (e.g., Taj Mahal, Sea Pearl, White Macaubas) quarried and imported from Brazil for their kitchen projects.
Popular Quartzite Colors
Comparing prices of different stone materials
“Why is the cost of quartzite so high?” is a common question answered by project managers at Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc. in St. Louis, MO. The purpose of this article is to educate homeowners, interior designers, and others about the price of quartzite countertops.
Before going into the details as to the reasons for the higher cost of quartzite, let us compare the price range of most popular natural stones, such as granite, marble, soapstone, and quartzite. We will also discuss the prices of quartz countertops (not to be confused with the quartzite stone we are talking about here!)
Quartz and quartzite stones are two entirely different materials. Quartzite is a natural stone quarried from the earth just like granite, marble, or soapstone. Quartz is a material man made in an industrial environment by mixing naturally found quartz crystals and epoxy materials. Q-Quartz, Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone are some of the name brands that manufacture and distribute quartz countertops.
Following are the ranges of prices per square foot installed of 3 cm slabs, including material, measuring, fabrication, and installation costs. We have to consider that there may be additional costs involved if there is more-than-average wastage of material during the project. Additional costs will apply for add-ons like upgraded edges (stacked edge profiles or mitered, built-up edges), waterfall islands, etc.
Granite prices are $45 to $75 per sq. ft., installed. In exceptionally rare and beautiful granite colors like Fusion Granite or Blue Bahia granite, there may be exceptions to this price range. Prices may range from $150 to $240, depending on type.
Marble countertops prices are $59 to $90 per sq. ft., installed. Some very high-end marble slabs such as Calacatta Gold and Imperial Danby will cost much more. For example, Calacatta Gold Marble from Verona, Italy, ranges in price from $180 to $300, depending on the quality of the batch.
Soapstone countertops: $75 to $90 per sq. ft., installed.
Quartz (man-made stone): $55 to $90 per sq. ft., installed.
Quartzite countertops: $90 to $150 per sq. ft., installed
Scarcity or rarity of the material compared to granite
Unlike the vast tracts of land with granite quarries that are found in Brazil and India, quartzite stone quarries are comparatively rare, which makes the availability of quartzite materials scarce.
Unavoidable wastage of material while quarrying
In order to cut the slabs of stone, big blocks of stone (granite, quartzite, and marble) must be carved out from the quarry. In granite, finding large enough blocks of rock is not difficult. Unlike granite deposits, quartzite deposits are very fragmented with cracks and fissures, and finding large enough blocks of quartzite is difficult. For every ideal-sized block, two or three smaller blocks must be sacrificed.
Simply put, the yield from a quartzite quarry is much less when compared to other natural stones.
More time to cut and extract and more consumption of cutting supplies
Since quartzite is a much harder and more abrasive stone than any other natural stone, including granite, it takes more time to cut it and extract the blocks from the quarry. It also needs more diamond blades, diamonds wires, and diamond polishing heads, etc., which results in higher cost of inputs.
High demand worldwide for Quartzite slabs
Quartzite is so beautiful that designers, architects, and homeowners around the world love to have it in their projects. This brings demand to very high level for a material that is not available in abundant quantities. The theory of supply and demand works here as well!
Difficulty in cutting and polishing of Quartzite material into countertops
Quartzite is a very hard and abrasive material. Stone-cutting machines with diamond blades that are normally used to cut through the entire thickness of 3 cm granite slab cannot cut the quartzite material in one pass.
In the case of quartzite slabs, even the most sophisticated machines like a Fusion Saw-Jet cannot cut the entire depth of 3 cm thickness in one pass. We have to program the machine to cut it in increments that take from three to five passes. That means it takes three to five times longer to cut the quartzite compared to granite slabs.
Polishing the edge profiles takes much longer time than it does granite material. It is not an exaggeration to say that cutting and fabricating quartzite slabs are kind of a nightmare for a fabricator without modern stone-cutting equipment.
Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc. is a leader in the fabrication and installation of quartzite countertops in St. Louis, Missouri. We have state-of-the art equipment and highly experienced stone fabricators to handle the quartzite fabrication.
We stock full slabs of premium quartzite stone, such as Taj Mahal, Sea Pearl, Azul Treasure, Florida Wave, Calacatta Macaubas, and White Macaubas.
Visit our showroom to hand-pick your quartzite slabs. We use in-house teams to measure, fabricate, and install our products.