Are Quartz Countertops Sealed?

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom renovations due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. Many homeowners wonder if quartz counters need to be sealed to protect them and make cleaning easier. The short answer is no – quartz countertops do not need to be sealed.

What is a Sealer?

A sealer is a liquid coating that is applied to the surface of natural stone countertops like granite, marble, and travertine. The sealer penetrates the porous surface of the stone and acts as a barrier to prevent stains from absorbing into the material.

Sealers also make the stone more stain resistant and easier to clean by creating a protective layer. However, they do require periodic reapplication to maintain effectiveness. Sealers for natural stone are essential since these materials are so porous.

Why Quartz Doesn’t Require Sealing

Unlike natural stone, quartz is an engineered composite material made from crushed quartz aggregates combined with resins and pigments. The manufacturing process makes quartz non-porous, so it lacks the tiny holes and crevices that allow stains to absorb into natural stone.

Therefore, quartz does not require sealing to prevent stains or make cleaning easier. The resins create an impervious surface that resists staining, etching, and absorbing moisture. In fact, applying a sealer to quartz can lead to a buildup that makes the counters appear dull.

Quartz Density Provides Stain Resistance

One of the characteristics that makes quartz so stain-resistant is its dense composition. Natural stones like marble and granite have softer, more porous surfaces. But quartz density averages 97% crushed quartz to only 3% binders and pigments.

This high ratio of hard quartz aggregates makes the material very dense with a surface that liquids have difficulty penetrating. Attempting to dissolve or absorb stains is next to impossible on properly sealed quartz.

Other Factors that Prevent Staining

In addition to the dense, non-porous composition, other aspects of quartz counters add to their inherent stain resistance:

  • UV-stable resins – Most quartz contains resins designed not to yellow or degrade from UV light exposure. Lower quality resins can become damaged and allow stains over time.
  • Non-reactive nature – Unlike marble or limestone, quartz won’t react to acidic substances like lemon, tomato sauce or wine. These can etch and stain other surfaces.
  • Non-absorbent – Liquids sit on the surface rather than absorbing into the material, making spills easy to wipe away if cleaned promptly.
  • Durable surface – Resistant to scratches and scoring that could allow stains to penetrate. However, cuts should be avoided.

How are Quartz Counters Sealed During Manufacturing?

While quartz counters don’t need sealing after installation, manufacturers do take steps during production to properly seal the material:

  • Pigments and resin are mixed and fired under intense heat and pressure to bind them together into a solid slab.
  • The slab surface is polished using diamond abrasives to an extremely smooth, glossy finish.
  • UV-cured acrylic or polyester resins are applied to seal and harden the surface.
  • A vacuum process can remove any trapped air pockets or imperfections.
  • A final cleaning and polishing prepares slabs for shipping to fabricators and installation.

This rigorous manufacturing and sealing process is why no additional sealing is needed once quartz counters are installed in your home.

Can Quartz Be Re-Sealed if Stained?

While extremely rare, it is possible for some stubborn stains to set into quartz if left for a prolonged time. Materials like paints, dyes, or inks can potentially leave a faint discoloration if not wiped immediately.

If this occurs, there are a couple options:

  • Re-polishing – A professional fabricator may be able to carefully re-polish the stained area using diamond abrasives. This can remove some stains.
  • Re-sealing – In some cases, a re-seal with an epoxy resin coating is an option for stain removal. This will likely involve re-polishing as well.

However, re-sealing quartz can alter the appearance and sheen if not done properly by a trained technician. Harsh chemicals should always be avoided. Consult a professional fabricator if you have persistent stain issues.

Cleaning and Care for Quartz Counters

Part of the appeal of quartz is that routine care is simple with very little maintenance required. Here are some tips:

  • For most spills, wipe immediately with a soft, damp cloth or paper towel. soapy water can help remove sticky or greasy residues.
  • Disinfect with a bleach or ammonia-based cleaner for sanitizing kitchen surfaces.
  • For routine cleaning, use a non-abrasive quartz-safe cleaner and sponge or soft cloth. Avoid scrubbing pads.
  • While durable, quartz can be damaged by excessive force or pressure. Don’t use cleaners that contain acid or alkali chemicals.
  • As an engineered product, quartz can withstand normal daily use for decades. However, cutting directly on the counters should be avoided. Always use a cutting board.

How Quartz Differs from Granite Countertops

Since granite is one of the other most popular countertop materials, it’s helpful to understand how it differs from quartz:

  • Composition – Granite is 100% natural stone, while quartz is an engineered composite.
  • Porosity – Granite is porous and requires periodic sealing. Quartz is non-porous so sealing is not needed.
  • Durability – Both offer good durability, but quartz is less prone to chipping or cracking.
  • Stain resistance – Quartz is more resistant to stains and etching from acidic liquids.
  • Appearance – Granite has natural variations. Quartz offers consistent coloring and patterns.
  • Maintenance – Quartz requires less routine maintenance compared to natural granite.

Both can provide an attractive, high-end look. But quartz generally offers lower maintenance with less sealing and cleaning required.

Quartz Countertop FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about quartz countertops:

Do quartz counters need to be resealed over time?

No, resealing is not necessary for quartz counters. The resins used in manufacturing create a permanent, non-porous surface. Periodic resealing is only required for natural stone counters.

Does quartz need polishing like granite does?

Polishing is also not necessary for quartz. The polished finish is integral to the material, compared to the applied finish that can wear off from natural granite over time.

Can you use bleach or acidic cleaners on quartz?

Yes, quartz can stand up to bleach, vinegar, and other harsh cleaners. However, abrasive pads or scrubbing can damage the surface, so use caution.

Is heat an issue for quartz countertops?

Quartz is generally heat resistant, but prolonged direct heat exposure from pots and pans can potentially damage the resins over time. Using trivets is recommended to prevent this.

How long does quartz counters last compared to other materials?

Under normal conditions, a quartz counter lifespan is estimated at 15-25 years. With proper care, some materials like granite may last longer, but quartz offers comparable durability with easier maintenance.

Are there health risks associated with quartz?

There were some early concerns about respirable silica dust from quartz surfaces. However, today’s manufacturing methods nearly eliminate all silica emissions to provide a safe end product.


Quartz offers homeowners an attractive, low-maintenance, and durable countertop material that stands up well compared to other natural stone and solid surface options. One of its best attributes is that quartz does not require regular sealing like natural stone.

The non-porous composition and rigid manufacturing standards result in an impervious, stain-resistant surface. While no material is completely stain proof, quartz is very resilient and any damage is usually repairable. With regular cleaning and avoiding abuse, a quartz counter can perform and look great for over two decades of daily use.