Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz crystals mixed with resins and pigments, quartz offers the look of natural stone with increased durability and lower maintenance. However, like all countertop materials, quartz requires proper care and sealing to keep it looking its best. This article will explore whether sealing quartz countertops is recommended, the benefits of sealing, how to seal quartz, and tips for maintaining your sealed quartz surface.
What is a Quartz Countertop?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with polyresin binders. Natural quartz is an exceptionally hard mineral, making it an ideal countertop material in terms of durability. The resins add flexibility and allow quartz to be molded into slabs. Pigments are added to achieve any desired color.
The end result is a non-porous, stain-resistant, low-maintenance countertop that has the beauty of natural stone with enhanced durability. Quartz countertops are available in a wide array of colors and patterns to complement any kitchen or bath design aesthetic.
Should You Seal a Quartz Countertop?
Unlike more porous natural stone countertops like granite or marble, quartz does not require sealing. The resins make quartz non-porous, so it will not absorb liquids or stains. However, sealing quartz can still provide benefits:
Enhanced Stain Protection
While resistant, quartz is not completely stain proof. An additional sealant layer provides extra protection, especially for oil-based stains.
Sealing quartz creates a barrier that prevents grime and liquids from penetrating the surface. This makes routine cleaning quicker and easier.
Repel Etching Agents
Substances like lemon juice and vinegar contain acids that could potentially etch into quartz’s surface over time. A good sealant helps repel these etching agents.
Sealers formulated for stone countertops help bring out the natural radiance in quartz, leaving your countertop gleaming.
So while sealing may not be strictly necessary, it can help keep your quartz counters looking like new for longer. Consult your countertop provider to see if they recommend sealing.
What is the Best Sealer for a Quartz Countertop?
Look for a sealer specially designed for natural stone when choosing a quartz countertop sealant. Stone sealers penetrate deeper and provide longer-lasting protection compared to basic surface sealers.
The ideal sealer will:
- Be formulated for stone countertops like quartz, marble, and granite
- Provide stain, etch, and scratch protection
- Enhance natural radiance
- Allow surface to breathe
- Be food-safe once fully cured
- Offer long-lasting protection, 1-3 years typically
Top sealers recommended by quartz manufacturers include:
- Miracle 511 Porous Plus Sealer – Provides maximum stain protection for natural stone.
- Granite Gold Sealer – Designed specifically for quartz and granite countertops.
- Aqua Mix Sealers Choice Gold – Premium natural look protector for stone.
- StoneTech BulletProof Sealer – Extreme protection against oils and etching.
Consult your quartz supplier to see which sealer they recommend for their product. This helps ensure you choose the right formulation.
How to Seal a Quartz Countertop
Sealing quartz counters is a relatively simple DIY project. Follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Quartz countertop sealer
- Microfiber cloths
- Paintbrush or paint roller
- Painter’s tape
- Rubber gloves
- Eye protection
Step 1 – Clean
Thoroughly clean the entire surface using a non-abrasive quartz cleaner. This provides the sealant a clean base for maximum adhesion and performance.
Step 2 – Tape Off
Use painter’s tape to tape off any areas you do not want to seal, like walls or undermount sinks.
Step 3 – Apply Sealer
Follow the product instructions for application method and drying times. Most sealers are applied using a paintbrush, roller, or sponge. Apply a thin, even layer and spread over the entire surface.
Step 4 – Remove Excess
Use a clean microfiber cloth to gently buff off any excess sealer before it dries. Going with the grain of the stone avoids streaking.
Step 5 – Cure
Allow the sealer to cure fully, which can take up to 72 hours. Avoid using the countertop during this time.
Step 6 – Repeat
For optimal protection, apply a second thin layer of sealer once the first coat has cured.
And that’s it! Proper application leaves an invisible layer of protection that keeps your quartz counters looking pristine.
How Often Should I Reseal My Quartz?
Most quality quartz sealers last 1-3 years before needing reapplication. The lifespan depends on usage, quality of sealer, and whether the surface is properly cared for between sealings.
Here are some signs it’s time to reseal your quartz:
- Countertop seems to stain more easily
- Liquids bead rather than spreading out
- Appearance seems dull, less shine
- Marks from metal cookware appearing
- Surfaces feel slightly rougher
Aim to reseal your quartz counters every 1-2 years as preventative maintenance. More frequent sealing may be needed for heavily used surfaces.
Tips for Caring for Sealed Quartz
Once sealed, a little routine maintenance goes a long way in keeping quartz counters looking like new. Here are some care tips:
- Use trivets and hot pads under hot pans to prevent burns that can damage the sealant.
- Clean up spills promptly to avoid stains.
- Rinse with water after exposure to acidic foods or cleaners.
- Use a gentle quartz cleaner for routine upkeep. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
- Reseal on schedule to maintain protection.
- Avoid using cleaners containing acids, alkalis, or solvents which can break down sealant.
FAQs About Sealing Quartz Countertops
Should I seal quartz before or after installation?
Sealing is best done after installation. The countertop needs to be completely clean and dry first, which is easier to achieve once set in place.
How long does a quartz sealer last?
With proper care, expect a quality quartz sealer to last 1-3 years before needing reapplication. Duration depends on sealer, usage levels, and maintenance.
Is there a formula for mixing your own quartz sealer?
It’s not recommended. Store-bought sealers designed for stone surfaces are carefully formulated for maximum performance and safety.
Can I use a granite sealer on quartz?
Yes, sealers made for granite, marble, and other natural stone countertops are safe for quartz too. Look for a stone-specific sealer.
Should I seal just the counter surface or edges too?
Sealing the edges as well as the top surface provides full protection. Pay special attention to seams where slabs meet.
Can I seal over an existing sealer layer?
Yes, you can apply a fresh coat of sealer over an existing one. Be sure to clean and prepare the surface first.
How do I get rid of streaks left by the sealer?
Gently buff out streaks as you seal, before the sealer dries. Once dried, use a quartz polish to remove any residual streaking.
Is sealing absolutely necessary for quartz counters?
While quartz does not require sealing like more porous stones, it can help enhance stain resistance, shine, and ease of cleaning.
Although quartz countertops do not technically need sealing due their non-porous composition, applying a protective sealer can be beneficial. Sealing provides an added layer of protection against stains, etching, and burns while also making routine maintenance easier. For best results, use a sealer designed specifically for natural stone surfaces like quartz, granite, and marble. Allow the sealer to fully cure, then reapply on a schedule to maintain optimal performance. With proper sealing and care, your beautiful quartz counters will stay looking like new for years of beauty and durability.