Are Quartz Countertops Pores?

Quartz countertops are one of the most popular choices for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. Many homeowners wonder if quartz has pores that can trap bacteria and moisture like natural stone. Here is a detailed look at whether quartz countertops have pores.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz aggregates combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz aggregates, which make up over 90% of the material, are ground into a fine powder before being combined with the resins.

The resins fill the spaces between the quartz particles, forming a dense, non-porous surface. This makes quartz more stain, scratch, and heat resistant than many natural stone options.

Does Quartz Have Pores?

Quartz does not have pores since the resin binds the crushed stone particles together in a tight formation. The lack of pores gives quartz some key advantages:

  • Non-porous – Liquids and bacteria cannot penetrate the surface
  • Low maintenance – Does not require sealing
  • Resists stains – Spills can be easily wiped away
  • Durable – Hard, non-porous surface resists scratches
  • Hygienic – Lack of pores minimizes bacteria growth

The non-porous nature of quartz makes it very unlikely that moisture or bacteria can become trapped in the material. This gives quartz excellent stain resistance and simplifies cleaning and maintenance.

Quartz Density

In addition to being non-porous, quartz has a high density that further improves its durability and resistance to damage:

  • Density of 2,300 lbs per cubic foot
  • Weighs almost twice as much as granite
  • High density makes quartz very resilient

The dense composition of quartz makes it difficult for external substances to penetrate the material. Liquids and debris remain on the surface rather than seeping into pores. This high density also improves heat and scratch resistance.

Does Sealing Quartz Help?

Since quartz lacks pores, sealing is not necessary for quartz countertops. Sealer chemicals are designed to fill the natural pores in stone to prevent moisture intrusion and staining.

Applying sealer to quartz will not provide any benefits since there are no pores to fill. The non-porous resins prevent moisture absorption without any additional treatment needed.

In fact, sealing quartz can have detrimental effects:

  • Traps moisture – Sealer clogs the surface and prevents evaporation
  • Streaking and hazing – Sealers can leave residue on quartz
  • Voids the warranty – Many warranties are contingent on not sealing quartz

Quartz manufacturers strongly advise against sealing quartz counters. The non-porous material performs best when left untreated.

Does Quartz Need to Be Sealed for Sanitation?

Since quartz counters do not have pores for bacteria to enter, sealing is not required to improve sanitation.

The tight formation of the quartz aggregate and polymer resins prevent bacteria from penetrating the surface. Food prep and contact areas can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

Benefits of the non-porous quartz surface include:

  • Does not trap bacteria – Smooth surface limits bacterial growth
  • Easy to sanitize – Can be cleaned with mild detergents
  • Does not harbor odors – Lack of pores prevents absorption of smells
  • Hygienic for food prep – Does not require sealing to be sanitary

Proper cleaning is more important than sealing for sanitation with quartz counters. Simple cleaning with gentle dish soap and water is typically sufficient for routine disinfection.

Does Heat Damage Quartz Countertops?

Quartz has excellent heat resistance compared to many other countertop materials. However, the resin can lose its binding power if subjected to sustained high temperatures. Follow these tips to prevent thermal damage:

  • Use trivets or hot pads under hot pans and bakeware
  • Avoid putting extremely hot items like cast iron skillets directly on the surface
  • Don’t expose the countertop to open flames
  • Run cold water on spots that have had hot items placed on them

With routine care, quartz can withstand normal cooking tasks. But be cautious with extremely hot items to avoid potential heat damage.

Is Quartz Prone to Cracking?

Due to its durable composition, quartz is not prone to cracking under normal conditions. Here are some of the reasons quartz resists cracking:

  • Contains over 90% crushed stone aggregates
  • Quartz particles are bound tightly by polymer resins
  • Resin makes quartz flexible to withstand impacts
  • High density adds strength to resist cracks
  • Most brands have warranties that cover cracks

Quartz is engineered to be more crack-resistant than natural stone. However, cracks can form with excessive force or improper installations. Make sure to hire experienced professionals for any quartz countertop work.

Does Quartz Absorb Liquids?

One of the biggest benefits of quartz over natural stone is that is does not absorb spilled liquids. This provides two key advantages:

1. Reduced Staining

Natural stone like marble is prone to staining because liquids can penetrate the porous surface and cause discoloration.

Quartz’s non-porous surface resists stains from coffee, wine, oil, and other liquids that may leave permanent marks on materials like granite. Spills can be wiped away without leaving a trace.

2. Does Not Harbor Bacteria

When liquids seep into the pores of natural stone, it provides an area for bacteria and mold to grow, especially if the moisture is not thoroughly cleaned.

The lack of pores in quartz denies bacteria an area to spread. The tight formation prevents liquid absorption, keeping the surface hygienic.

Does Quartz Need to Be Re-Sealed Over Time?

Quartz never needs re-sealing since it does not have pores that require filling like natural stone.

The polymer resins that bind the crushed quartz form a permanent, non-porous surface. This prevents the need for periodic reapplication of sealing products.

Here are some key facts about re-sealing quartz:

  • Never requires re-sealing due to non-porous surface
  • Sealing can damage quartz by causing streaks and trapping moisture
  • Warranties often prohibit sealing which can void coverage
  • Routine cleaning is all that is needed to maintain its condition

Quartz maintains its stain-resistant properties for the life of the countertop. It will never require re-sealing to prevent liquids and bacteria from absorbing into the surface.

Can You Use Bleach on Quartz?

While quartz’s durable surface resists stains, the wrong cleaners can damage the material. Here is what you need to know about using bleach on quartz:

  • Prolonged exposure can discolor quartz by pulling out pigments
  • Can corrode or pit the surface with extended contact
  • Chlorine bleach is too harsh for routine quartz cleaning

Using bleach occasionally may be acceptable, but prolonged exposure, especially in concentrated forms, can damage quartz.

For routine cleaning, stick to gentle dish soap and water or stone-safe cleaners. Avoid harsh chemicals like concentrated bleach.

Does Quartz Stain Easily?

One of the biggest advantages of quartz over natural stone is that it rarely stains. Here is an overview of stain resistance:

  • Resists most food and beverages – Coffee, wine, oil, juice, etc. wipe away easily
  • Pigments resist fading from sun exposure
  • Microbes have nowhere to grow on the non-porous surface

While no material is 100% stain proof, quartz’s non-porous surface makes it very resilient against stains. Most spills can be removed with gentle cleaning.

Use trivets and coasters under hot pans and drinks. For messycooks, darker quartz colors hide stains better. But all varieties resist staining remarkably well.

Quartz vs. Granite Countertops

Quartz has risen in popularity as an alternative to classic granite countertops. Here is how the two materials compare:


  • Entirely engineered in factories
  • Contains over 90% crushed quartz
  • Non-porous surface
  • Superior stain resistance
  • Easier maintenance
  • Consistent color and pattern


  • Mined from quarries in slabs
  • Natural stone with mineral grains
  • Has some porous areas
  • Prone to staining
  • Requires periodic sealing
  • Unique veining in each slab

For most homeowners, the stain resistance and maintenance benefits of quartz outweigh the natural beauty of granite. But granite remains popular for its visual appeal.

Is Quartz Toxic?

Quartz surfaces are considered non-toxic and safe for use in kitchens and other interiors. Here are some facts about quartz’s safety:

  • Made from crushed minerals – Mainly silicon dioxide
  • Bound with polymer resin – FDA-approved binding agents
  • VOC emissions are negligible – Does not degrade indoor air quality
  • Minimal radioactivity from trace minerals
  • NSF/ANSI certified – Certified as safe for contact with food

Quartz contains none of the toxins found in some plastics and synthetic materials. The small amounts of resin and polymer are non-hazardous. Quartz meets health and environmental standards for safety.

Can You Cut on Quartz Countertops?

Quartz offers good cut resistance compared to softer stones. However, using sharp knives directly on the surface should be avoided. Here are some tips:

  • Use a cutting board to protect from deep scratches
  • Opt for lighter color quartz to hide potential knife marks
  • Small scratches can be sanded out by pros
  • Never cut on the countertop with serrated knives
  • Immediately clean any food juices that can stain the surface

Damage from cutting can void the warranty. While quartz stands up well to cutting, using a cutting board is recommended to prevent knicks and scratches.

Is Quartz Easy to Clean?

One of the biggest advantages of quartz over natural stone is that it is extremely easy to clean and maintain. Here is an overview:

  • Non-porous so spills cannot penetrate or stain
  • Resists most stains with simple wiping
  • Does not require sealing like natural stone
  • Prevents microbial growth with nowhere for germs to hide
  • Cleans with soap and water – no need for harsh chemicals

Routine cleaning using gentle dish soap and water is all that is needed to keep quartz counters hygienic. It effortlessly resists stains and harboring germs due to its non-porous quality.

Does Quartz Need Special Cleaners?

The best advantage of quartz’s easy maintenance is that no special cleaners are required. For daily cleaning:

  • Use gentle dish soap and warm water
  • Can also use a basic stone cleaner or rinse with clear water
  • Avoid abrasive pads or brushes that can dull the surface
  • Do not use harsh products with bleach, ammonia, PH above 10, etc.

While specialty quartz cleaners are available, they are not essential. Mild dish soap along with a soft sponge or cloth is all you need for most cleaning jobs.

Will Quartz Countertops Etch?

While resistant, quartz can potentially etch under certain conditions. Here is an overview of etch marks:

  • Pits or rough spots caused by chemical reaction
  • Exposing quartz to strong chemicals can etch it
  • Cleaners with pH above 10 may cause etching
  • Wine, fruit juice, toiletries can etch if left overnight
  • Cigarette burns also damage quartz

Quartz is generally highly scratch and etch resistant. But prolonged exposure to aggressive chemicals or very hot/cold temperatures can damage the resin binders. Exercise caution with harsh cleaners and chemicals.

Does Quartz Fade in Sunlight?

Quartz’s color is highly fade-resistant, even with direct UV exposure. Reasons quartz resists fading:

  • UV-stable pigments maintain color well
  • Pigments are dispersed evenly throughout the slab
  • Thick, non-porous material prevents fading
  • Polymer resin does not break down in sunlight
  • More resistant than natural materials like granite

Some natural stones can fade, discolor or develop “sunspots” from UV light. Quartz’s engineered composition makes it highly resistant to this type of damage.

Is There Urethane in Quartz?

Confusion exists because some people use polyurethane (urethane) and polyester resin interchangeably when discussing quartz. Here is the breakdown:

  • Most quartz uses polyester resin to bind the crushed stone.
  • Polyester resin comes from petroleum.
  • Urethane is a type of plastic that is rarely used in quartz.
  • Urethane involves isocyanates that some people prefer to avoid.

Reputable quartz brands use FDA-approved polyester resin, not urethane. Always verify the resin used if you have concerns about urethane.

Does Quartz Have Seams?

Quartz usually requires seams in certain installations:

  • Long countertop runs will likely need seamed areas
  • Seams needed for L-shaped sections to join separate slabs
  • Islands may also need seams for installation

Seams are typically more noticeable than granite or marble. The polyester resin can make the joint more apparent. Getting a seamless look requires an experienced fabricator.

Pros can minimize the seam appearance with special adhesives and precise cutting. Be sure to view past work to assess seam visibility.

Is Quartz Okay for Outdoors?

While durable, quartz has limitations for outdoor exposure:

  • Moisture can penetrate unfinished sides and edges
  • Freeze/thaw cycles strain quartz’s rigidity
  • UV rays can slowly degrade the polymers over time
  • Not designed to be used outdoors

Manufacturers discourage using quartz outdoors, including on grill islands. The weather exposure risks compromising the counter’s appearance and structure.

Porcelain or natural stone are better choices if you want an outdoor kitchen surface. For grills, use granite, stone, or stainless steel.

Does Quartz Add Resale Value?

According to most real estate experts, quartz can increase resale value like other upgrades:

  • Neutral colors and patterns have widespread appeal
  • Non-porous surface suits families with kids
  • Easy maintenance is a major selling point
  • Greater durability than laminate or tile
  • High-end styling impresses buyers

Quartz’s resale value is not as high as granite or marble. But quartz’s practical benefits and upscale reputation make it an attractive upgrade when selling.

Quartz Countertops Pros and Cons


  • Extremely durable and scratch resistant surface
  • Resists stains from spills and liquids
  • Never needs periodic sealing like natural stone
  • Easy cleaning with just soap and water
  • Discourages germs and bacteria growth
  • Stylish modern appearance for kitchens
  • Available in wide range of colors and patterns
  • Neutral tones blend with variety of cabinets
  • 15-20 year warranties from most major brands
  • Adds value for home resale


  • Higher cost than materials like laminate
  • Can chip from impact blows
  • Aggressive cleaning chemicals can damage surface
  • Seams more visible than natural stone
  • Not heat or cold proof
  • Avoid direct hot pans to prevent thermal shock
  • Surface can show fingerprints, water spots, and smudges

Is Quartz a Good Choice for Countertops?

For most homeowners, quartz is an excellent choice because it pairs attractiveness with excellent functionality:

  • Aesthetic appeal – Stylish, contemporary look
  • Durability – Withstands heavy use and accidents
  • Hygienic – Non-porous and easy to disinfect
  • Convenience – Simple cleaning and maintenance
  • Value – Good return on investment

With proper selection and care, quartz delivers beauty and performance without the hassle of natural stone maintenance. It provides an ideal combination of visual appeal, practicality and convenience.

How to Choose Quartz Countertops

Follow these tips when selecting quartz slabs:

  • Visit showrooms to view slabs in person
  • Choose medium or darker colors to hide stains/scratches
  • Verify warranty terms – at least 15 years expected
  • Confirm non-porous quality with water test
  • Review manufacturer reputation

Be sure to carefully inspect the slabs for any flaws up close. Also request samples to view under different lighting conditions.

FAQs About Quartz Countertops

Is quartz glossy?

Quartz has a glossy sheen from the resin binders that fills the pores between the crushed quartz aggregates. brands offer options in gloss, matte, and satin finishes.

What thickness is best for quartz?

The standard thickness is 3/4″ (2cm). Go thicker if you plan for a heavily used surface or want undermount sinks. Many brands offer 1 1/4″ (3cm) options.

What’s better quartz or Corian?

Quartz is preferable for most buyers due to higher durability, easier maintenance, and a more attractive natural stone pattern. Corian is softer and needs frequent rese