Can I Polish Quartz Countertops? The Complete Guide

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, some homeowners wonder if quartz countertops can be polished to restore their shine or remove minor scratches. Here is a detailed guide on whether and how to polish quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polyester resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%, with resin making up the remainder.

Unlike natural stone countertops such as granite or marble, quartz is non-porous, making it stain and scratch resistant. It does not require regular sealing like natural stone. The resins bind the quartz crystals together to form a durable, flexible, and low-maintenance surfacing material.

The Benefits of Quartz Countertops

There are several reasons why quartz has become a go-to choice for countertops:

  • Durability – Quartz is extremely strong and resists scratches, chips, cracks, and heat damage better than most other countertop materials.
  • Low maintenance – Since quartz is non-porous, it does not need to be regularly sealed. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all it usually takes to keep quartz looking like new.
  • Resistance to stains – The non-porous surface makes quartz highly resistant to stains from spills, juices, coffee, wine, and more.
  • Appearance – Quartz comes in a wide array of colors, patterns, and realistic looking stone and marble textures. The pigments run throughout so the color and patterns are consistent throughout the slab.
  • Versatility – Quartz can be used for kitchen countertops, backsplashes, bathroom vanities, floors, and more.
  • Non-toxic – Quartz does not emit radon gas like some natural stones. This makes it a safe choice.

With proper care, a quartz countertop can look amazing for many years. But what happens if it loses its luster or gets scratched over time? Can you restore the shine through polishing? Let’s find out.

Can You Polish Quartz Countertops?

The short answer is yes, quartz countertops can be polished. However, there are some important caveats to understand before polishing quartz:

  • Polishing quartz does not remove deep scratches, chips, or cracks. It is only effective for refinishing the surface.
  • Quartz can only be polished a limited number of times before the resin near the surface is depleted and it cannot be polished anymore.
  • Polishing requires specialized diamond abrasives and equipment to get good results.
  • DIY polishing is not recommended. Hiring a professional is the best option.

With that said, polishing is an effective way to restore the luster and shine to dull or scratched quartz countertops. The process removes a tiny layer from the surface to reveal the glossy, like-new finish underneath.

How Often Can Quartz Countertops Be Polished?

Quartz countertops can generally be polished successfully 1 to 3 times over the lifespan of the countertop. Here are some factors that determine the number of times quartz can be refinished:

  • Quality of the original installation – Higher quality fabrication and installation leads to a more polishable surface. Low quality or uneven surfaces cannot be polished as effectively.
  • Thickness of the slab – Thicker slabs can be polished more times since more material can be removed from the surface. Standard countertop slabs are 3/4″ thick.
  • Amount of surface damage – The more damaged or worn the original surface, the more material needs to be removed during polishing which reduces the number of times it can be done.
  • Skill level of the polisher – An experienced, professional polisher will get better results and maximize the number of times the countertop can be refinished.

Contact your quartz supplier or an experienced countertop pro to evaluate your specific countertop and determine approximately how many more times it can be polished.

What Are the Steps to Polish Quartz Countertops?

Polishing quartz countertops is a multi-step process that requires diamond abrasive pads and a powerful rotating polisher. Here is an overview of the quartz countertop polishing steps:


The countertop must be thoroughly cleaned before polishing. All dirt, debris, waxes, and sealers must be removed or they can scratch the surface during polishing.


The professional will inspect the countertop for any cracks, chips, uneven surfaces, or material defects that cannot be resolved through polishing.


Painter’s tape is applied around the edges and seams to protect adjacent surfaces.

Initial Grinding

A coarse 50-100 grit diamond pad is used first to flatten the surface and remove deeper scratches and dull areas. This coarse pad removes material more aggressively.

Secondary Grinding

Progressively finer 200-3000 grit diamond pads are used to remove finer scratches, restore clarity, and build up the polish. A variable speed polisher is used to control the abrasion.


A buffing compound is applied to remove any remaining haze and create a deep, light-reflective shine.


The polished surface is cleaned thoroughly to remove all residue from taping, grinding, and buffing.

Performing these steps properly requires training and experience. Do-it-yourself polishing risks damaging the countertop.

Can You Use a Quartz Countertop Polishing Kit?

Home improvement stores sell do-it-yourself quartz countertop polishing kits. These contain a buffing pad and polish compound. They may be able to clean superficial dirt and stains, but they cannot effectively grind and re-polish a quartz surface. Polishing kits:

  • Do not contain the diamond abrasives needed to grind and refinish the quartz material
  • Are not powerful enough to evenly polish and flatten the surface
  • Can create swirl marks if used improperly by an inexperienced user

It’s best to avoid DIY kits and have quartz polishing done professionally. This will get the best results in the safest manner.

How Much Does It Cost to Polish Quartz?

Hiring a professional to polish quartz countertops costs $4-8 per square foot on average. Here are some factors that affect the total cost:

  • Countertop size – Total polishing costs are calculated by the square footage of the countertops. Larger kitchens cost more.
  • Countertop condition – Countertops with more damage, dullness, and scratches take more work to restore, increasing costs.
  • Accessibility – Ease of access to countertops affects labor time and costs. Hard to reach areas cost more.
  • Location – Polishing costs are higher in areas with a higher cost of living due to labor, rent, etc.
  • Additional services – Removing stains, repairs, etc. prior to polishing adds to the total costs.

Get an on-site evaluation and estimate from countertop professionals before your quartz polishing project.

What’s the Best Way to Maintain Quartz Countertops?

While periodic professional polishing can refresh quartz countertops, the best approach is proper routine care to minimize the need. Here are some tips:

  • Use cutting boards and hot pads to protect the surface from knives and hot cookware.
  • Clean up spills promptly to prevent stains.
  • For routine cleaning, use a mild non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
  • If polishing is needed, have it done by a professional.
  • Avoid placing excessively hot items like pans directly from the stove or oven onto the quartz.
  • Re-seal the caulked edges when needed to prevent moisture damage.

With proper care, your beautiful quartz countertops can stay looking great for many years without the need for frequent polishing. But it’s good to know quartz can be refinished if ever needed.

Professional vs. DIY Quartz Countertop Polishing

Quartz countertop owners often wonder if polishing their counters is a DIY job or best left to professionals. Here’s a comparison:

Professional Polishing

  • Has the proper equipment (polishers, diamond pads, etc.) to grind and buff the surface correctly.
  • Properly evaluates the slab and determines appropriate grits and pads to use.
  • Has training and experience needed for safe, effective polishing.
  • Provides reliable results and minimizes risks of damage.
  • Can properly clean, prepare, and tape off the surface before polishing.
  • Can match the existing finish and blend edges if needed.
  • Typically offers warranties on the work performed.

DIY Polishing

  • Does not have the same powerful polishing equipment as professionals.
  • May use incorrect grit sequences and inconsistent pressures.
  • Can create swirl marks and uneven polishing.
  • Can accidently polish through sealer layers if unfamiliar with the slab.
  • Has greater risk of damage to countertop and surrounding areas.
  • Typically unable to match the surrounding finish well.
  • Voids any warranties offered by the quartz manufacturer.

For best results, it’s wise to hire a professional quartz countertop polishing company rather than attempting DIY polishing. Be sure to get references and check reviews.

FAQ About Polishing Quartz Countertops

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about quartz countertop polishing:

Can you polish quartz to look like new?

Yes, polishing removes a thin amount of material from the surface to reveal a fresh layer that looks new again. It restores the gloss and clarity.

How long does it take to polish a countertop?

The typical time range is 2 to 4 hours for an average sized (25-50 sq. ft.) kitchen countertop. Extra time is needed for larger counters or very damaged surfaces.

Should seams be re-polished too?

Yes, the seams between slabs should be taped off and re-polished along with the main surface to get an even finish. The edges may also need polishing.

Does polishing get rid of dull spots and water marks?

Yes, the grinding and polishing process will effectively remove and even out dull or blotchy areas and embedded water marks.

Can you polish just part of a countertop?

It’s possible but not ideal since the polished section would have a different sheen. Whole countertop polishing is best for an even finish.

How long does quartz polishing last?

It depends on use and care, but polishing should last 1-2 years under typical residential use before dulling reoccurs. Proper maintenance extends the finish.

Can polishing cause any damage?

In inexperienced hands, over-grinding or inconsistent polishing can damage the surface or edges. That’s why professional polishing is recommended.


Regular polishing is not required for quartz countertops, but it can provide a quick facelift when needed. While DIY polishing is possible, hiring a professional ensures the best, safest results. With some care and maintenance between periodic polishing, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years.

Key Takeaways:

  • Quartz countertops can be polished to restore the surface shine and remove minor scratches.
  • Polishing is only effective on the surface layer and cannot fix deep damage or defects.
  • Quartz can typically only be polished successfully 1-3 times over its lifespan.
  • Professional polishing using diamond abrasives and high-powered equipment gets the best results.
  • Avoid DIY polishing kits which can create swirl marks and other uneven polishing.
  • Proper routine care (using cutting boards, wiping spills quickly, etc.) minimizes the need for polishing.
  • Hiring a qualified pro ensures safe, effective quartz countertop polishing and preserves warranties.