Can a Quartz Countertop Be Refinished?

Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, over time quartz counters can start to show signs of wear such as scratches, stains, and dulling. This leads many quartz owners to wonder: can a quartz countertop be refinished? The short answer is yes, quartz counters can be refinished through a process called re-polishing. Here is an in-depth look at refinishing quartz counters.

What is a Quartz Countertop?

Before diving into the details on refinishing, it helps to understand exactly what a quartz countertop is. Quartz counters are engineered stone made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The exact composition varies by brand but is around 90% ground quartz and 10% polymer resins.

Some key features of quartz counters:

  • Extremely durable and scratch resistant surface
  • Non-porous so resists stains
  • Available in wide range of colors/patterns
  • Does not require regular sealing
  • Resists heat and most household chemicals
  • Low maintenance compared to natural stone
  • Not as prone to damage as natural stone

The resins allow quartz to be molded into countertops while the quartz provides strength, durability, and a beautiful appearance. Well-made quartz counters can last for many years with proper care.

Why Quartz Countertops Become Damaged Over Time

While durable, quartz counters are not indestructible. Daily wear and tear can take a toll over the years. Here are some common ways quartz becomes damaged:


One of the biggest advantages of quartz over natural stone is its scratch resistance. However, it can still get surface level scratches from things like unglazed ceramics, knives, keys, and other abrasive objects. The quartz itself is unharmed but the scratches damage the surface resin layer.


Quartz resists stains very well but is not impenetrable. Prolonged exposure to strong chemicals and dyes can lead to stains seeping into the resin binders. Common staining culprits include wine, oil, tomatoes, and ink.

Loss of Shine

Over time, routine cleaning and use wears down the glossy sheen of quartz. Exposure to direct sunlight can also cause the surface to appear faded and dull. This is simply a degradation of the clear top layer of resin.

Chips and Cracks

Quartz is remarkably impact resistant but chips and cracks can form from significant trauma like a heavy object being dropped. High heat and rapid temperature changes also create expansion/contraction that can damage quartz.


While acid alone won’t stain quartz, acidic substances can erode and “etch” the resin layer over many years.Etching appears as cloudy or rough patches on the surface.

Can You Restore a Quartz Countertop Appearance?

The good news is that the types of damage quartz counters experience are mostly superficial surface issues. Unlike natural stone, the damage is not penetrating deep into the material itself. This means the countertop appearance can be restored through refinishing! Refinishing is a process that removes a thin top layer and replaces it with new resin.

Quartz Countertop Refinishing Process

Here is an overview of the typical quartz refinishing process:

1. Cleaning

First, the countertop is deep cleaned to remove all dirt, debris, residues, etc. Any old coatings or waxes must be stripped away as well. Proper cleaning is crucial for maximum refinishing results.

2. Sanding

Starting with a coarse grit, the countertop is sanded to remove the top resin layer containing all the scratches, stains, and damage. Sanding gradually progresses to finer grits. This also profiles and prepares the surface.

3. Polishing

Specialized polishing pads and compounds are used to restore the quartz slabs to a smooth, glossy finish. Multiple polishing stages are done, similar to finishing a car paint job.

4. Protective Top Coat

To protect the revitalized finish and prevent future damage, a protective coating is applied. Typically a penetrating sealer or wax.

5. Detail and Cleanup

Finally, any remaining residues or dust is thoroughly cleaned. The countertop edges and backsplashes are also detailed.

The refinishing process removes about 1/32 to 1/16 inches thickness from the quartz surface. This is well within safety limits, even for thinner countertops. The end result is a countertop that looks factory new!

What Are the Benefits of Refinishing Quartz?

Instead of replacing your quartz countertop, refinishing offers many advantages:

  • Restores appearance – Removes scratches, stains, dullness, and etching damage
  • Much cheaper than replacement – Costs a fraction compared to new counters
  • Quick process – Takes 1-2 days instead of lengthy replacement
  • No demolition or installation – Your countertop remains in place
  • Retains shape/fit – Exact same contouring is kept
  • No dealing with contractors – Refinishing is a clean, simple process
  • Maintains other materials – Sink, faucet, and backsplash are undisturbed
  • Less waste – Eco-friendly compared to ripping out quartz
  • Any color restored – Not limited by current quartz color trends
  • Enhances home value – Refreshed look helps home resale value

Refinishing allows you to renew the visual appeal and enjoy your existing quartz investment for years to come.

What to Expect During the Refinishing Process

Here is a look at what to expect if you choose to have your quartz countertops refinished:

  • A refinishing professional will come do an in-person evaluation of your counters to assess their condition and determine if refinishing is suitable. Certain severe damage like cracks may disqualify refinishing.
  • All items will need to be cleared from the countertops and surfaces protected/covered in the work area. Appliances or backsplashes may also require taping off.
  • Most refinishers will complete all the work on-site in a single visit. The process takes 1-2 days depending on the size of the job. You will not be able to use your kitchen during this time.
  • No plumbing disconnection or uninstall of the countertops is required. The refinishing process involves some noise from grinding/polishing but is not extremely messy or disruptive.
  • Countertop edges and detailing will be smoothed and restored. Some seams or joints may still remain visible afterwards depending on level of damage.
  • An odor from the resin products used is noticeable during and after refinishing. This dissipates within a few days. Increased ventilation can help.
  • A few days of curing are needed before using the countertops after refinishing. No heavy cleaning during this time.
  • Results after refinishing often surpass expectations. Scratches, stains, and dulled areas disappear leaving a like-new surface. But certain ingrained damage may still be faintly visible.

Finding Professional Quartz Countertop Refinishing Services

Seeking out professional refinishers is highly recommended for quartz counters. Here are some tips on finding quality providers:

  • Ask to see examples of their previous quartz refinishing work. This gives you a good idea of their skill and results.
  • Look for refinishers that focus specifically on countertops rather than generalized resurfacing companies. Countertop experience is very important.
  • Verify they have all the proper equipment like grinders, polishers, dust containment, etc. Improper tools lead to disappointing results.
  • Ask about their specific process and types of compounds, sealers, and coatings used. Quality refinishing products are critical.
  • Get multiple quotes and be wary of prices that seem too low. Quality refinishing is labor intensive.
  • Check reviews and feedback from past customers. This helps identify any potential issues or bad experiences others encountered.
  • Beware of companies touting “miracle solutions” or no sanding methods. Effective refinishing involves resurfacing the actual quartz material, not just coatings.

Taking the time to vet and hire a true professional pays dividends in the end result.

Is DIY Refinishing of Quartz Countertops Realistic?

Given the right equipment, refinishing quartz yourself is technically possible. But it is an extremely challenging DIY project with lots of potential pitfalls. Here is an honest assessment of DIY refinishing feasibility:

  • Requires major equipment – You need a commercial grade floor polisher, variable speed wet polisher, dust extraction, etc. Renting costs can add up.
  • Very labor intensive – Removing layers by hand sanding quartz is unrealistic. Power sanding is essential.
  • Multi-step precise process – Each grit stage, polishing step, and coating must be done properly. Room for error.
  • Highest quality compounds needed – Industrial compounds outperform consumer products.
  • Experience is key – Developing the skills and “feel” for achieving a glassy finish takes lots of practice.
  • Potential for permanant damage – Mistakes like over-sanding or uneven polishing are hard to undo.
  • Safety concerns – Dust inhalation, chemicals, eye damage from debris, and electrical hazard from grinders.
  • Significant investment – The costs of equipment rentals and compounds make DIY potentially expensive.
  • Very messy and disruptive – Quartz grinding/polishing creates loads of dust that spreads everywhere.

For most homeowners without professional equipment and training, the cons and risks greatly outweigh any cost savings from a DIY attempt. The likelihood of a mediocre end result or misstep causing permanent damage is quite high. Paying a professional for quality refinishing is strongly advised.

How Much Does Professional Quartz Countertop Refinishing Cost?

The cost to refinish quartz countertops depends on several factors:

  • Size of the countertop areas – The total square footage determines the work time and materials required.
  • Severity of damage – Light cosmetic refresher vs heavy scratch/stain removal impacts process intensity.
  • Color/pattern complexity – Solid colors are simpler than busy agglomerate or veined quartz patterns.
  • Add-ons like polishing sinks – Any extra tasks beyond the counters themselves.
  • Location complexity – Difficult access in cramped kitchens drives up cost.

General refinishing cost ranges:

  • Small kitchen (up to 40 sq.ft) – $400 to $900
  • Medium kitchen (40 to 80 sq.ft) – $900 to $1800
  • Large kitchen (80 to 120 sq.ft) – $1800 to $2500

Often small bathroom vanity tops can be done for $200 to $400. High-end refinishing with specialty polishes/coatings runs $80 to $120 per square foot.

Compare these prices to the $80 to $150 per sq.ft for installing brand new quartz counters.

How Long Does a Quartz Countertop Refinishing Last?

With proper care, a refinished quartz countertop should last 3 to 6 years before needing another resurfacing. The longevity depends on factors like:

  • Intensity of kitchen use
  • Care taken to avoid damage
  • Quality of sealing/topcoat applied
  • Exposure to heat, sunlight, and cleaning chemicals

Quartz refinishing essentially turns back the clock a few years on your counters. Gradually the renewed finish experiences normal wear just like a brand new installation would. But periodic professional refinishing allows quartz countertops to provide service for decades rather than needing replacement after only 10 or 15 years. Think of it like getting your car repainted every few years vs buying a brand new car.

Caring for a Refinished Quartz Countertop

To maximize the lifespan of a refinished quartz countertop, the following care is recommended:

  • Use cutting boards and hot pads/trivets to avoid direct cuts and scratches
  • Clean spills promptly, especially acidic substances like wine or fruit juice
  • Avoid harsh cleaners and scouring pads which can damage the finish
  • Use a pH-neutral quartz cleaner for routine maintenance
  • Reapply sealer every 1-2 years per manufacturer instructions
  • Avoid exposing the countertop to direct sunlight if possible
  • Have the counters professionally refinished again when visible wear appears

With proper care and maintenance, a refinished quartz countertop can return your kitchen to a freshly installed look for years to come. Compared to replacement, refinishing is an economical and effective way to revive the appearance of worn quartz surfaces. Consult with professional quartz refinishers in your area to see if your countertops are suitable candidates for this restoration process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Refinishing Quartz Countertops

Below are answers to some of the most common questions regarding quartz countertop refinishing:

Can you refinish quartz yourself?

It is technically possible as a DIY project but requires renting commercial equipment and polishes. The process is highly labor intensive and has a very high margin for error. Professional refinishing is strongly recommended for quality results with less hassle.

Does refinishing damage or weaken the quartz?

Refinishing only removes a microscopic layer of the quartz surface so it does not harm or weaken the overall material. Multiple refinishings can be safely done over time.

What about refinishing the edges?

Edges can be refinished but it is more challenging than the flat surface. Some seams or rough areas may still remain. Expect to pay extra for edge refinishing.

How long is the countertop unusable during refinishing?

Most jobs take 1-2 days from start to finish depending on the size. You cannot use the counters during this time. Some curing time is also needed before resuming normal use.

Does refinishing always remove all damage and stains?

It can remove or drastically reduce most damage, but some deep stains may still be faintly visible. The results achieved depend on the original surface condition.

Can you change the color when refinishing?

Unfortunately not – refinishing restores the existing color and cannot alter or dye the countertop to a different color.

Is there a maintenance plan available?

Some refinishing companies offer maintenance plans where they periodically refinish/reseal the counters at a reduced cost.

Will extreme heat damage a refinished countertop?

A properly refinished quartz countertop retains its heat resistance. But very high direct heat may still cause damage and should be avoided.

Is a refinished countertop safe for food prep?

Once fully cured, a refinished quartz countertop is non-toxic and safe for normal kitchen use including food preparation.


While durable, quartz counters still show wear over time. Instead of expensive replacement, refinishing offers an economical way to restore their appearance and provide years more service. A professional refinisher can remove scratches, stains, and etching to make your counters look freshly installed again. With proper maintenance and re-refinishing when needed, your quartz countertops can be enjoyed indefinitely. Check with countertop pros in your local area to see if your quartz counters are good candidates for revitalizing through the refinishing process.