Quartz vs. Tile for a Bathroom


Your bathroom countertops face countless forms of abuse each day, from hot haircare tools to splashes and spills from water and grooming products. While both quartz and tile can meet the challenges of busy bathrooms, each of these materials offer its own distinct pros and cons that should be considered when investing in new countertops.

Design Selection

  • While quartz color selection was once limited to a small variety of finishes, modern manufacturers offer a much greater selection of colors and designs to suit any bathroom. This engineered material consists of ground quartz and resin, with pigments used to add color. Quartz countertops feature veining or marbling to mimic the look of natural stone, or small flecks of metal or glass for added shimmer and shine. Despite the increased variety of quartz countertop finishes, however, quartz selection still pales in comparison to the number of finish options available when choosing tile countertops. Tile comes in a virtually unlimited array of shades, finishes, patterns and textures to complement any decor or create a unique look for bathroom countertops.

Comparing Costs

  • Quartz serves as one of the most expensive countertop materials available for bathrooms, while tile comes with a much lower price tag, on average. Expect to pay $100 to $185 per square foot for quartz countertops as of 2013, compared to just $20 to $75 per square foot for tile, according to CountertopGuides.com.

Care and Maintenance

  • Ceramic tile itself is durable, stain resistant and non-porous, but the grout lines between the tiles can pose problems in a bathroom. Moisture can cause grout to stain or mildew, leading to increased maintenance. Sealing the grout helps prevent these issues, but this process must be repeated regularly to protect the grout. While individual tiles may chip or crack due to dropped objects or sharp impacts, it's relatively easy to replace a single tile to restore the look of a tile countertop. Quartz countertops resist stains, scratches, mold and mildew, and typically feature a seamless installation to minimize maintenance. Simply clean the surface with soapy water and dry with a soft cloth to keep the countertop clean and fresh.

Installation Considerations

  • Handy homeowners may find it relatively easy to install tile countertops, but quartz countertop installation is best left to professionals. Another installation concern that should be addressed when comparing these two materials involves the type of sink you plan to install in your countertop. While quartz countertops easily support undermount bathroom sinks, this type of sink installation is much more difficult to perform with a tile countertop. Though undermount sink installation is possible, it poses significant challenges in terms of proper support, waterproofing, and creating clean, finished edges around the perimeter of the sink.

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