Kitchen countertops made of quartz have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. Unlike natural stone, quartz is engineered from crushed quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, creating a very hard, non-porous material that stands up well to heavy daily use. The good news is that quartz countertops can be polished to restore their original factory finish and shine. Here is an in-depth look at the process of polishing quartz kitchen countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from approximately 90% ground natural quartz crystals combined with polyester resins and pigments. This combination creates a very hard, non-porous material that is resistant to scratches, stains and heat.
The resins bind the quartz particles together giving quartz its signature look. The pigments introduce color and pattern variations. Compared to natural stone like granite or marble, quartz offers more consistent coloring and patterning, requiring less maintenance over time.
Benefits of Quartz Countertops
There are several reasons why quartz has become a top choice for kitchen countertops:
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant surface.
- Easy to clean and keep looking new.
- Resists stains from wine, coffee, and other liquids.
- Wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from.
- Low maintenance compared to natural stone.
- Non-porous so it does not require regular sealing.
- Heat and impact resistant.
- Consistent coloring throughout the slab.
How to Polish Quartz Countertops
While quartz resists scratches better than other countertop materials, over time it can lose its original luster. Frequent use, cleaning chemicals, and exposure to sunlight can all cause quartz to appear dull or cloudy. Fortunately, the polish can be restored by following these steps:
Clean the Countertop Thoroughly
Before polishing, make sure the countertop is completely free of dirt, grime, soap scum or waxes. Use a non-abrasive cleaner or mild dish soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly. Allow to dry completely.
Use a Quartz Polishing Compound
Specialized polishing compounds made specifically for engineered quartz should be used to polish the surface. Do not use polishes designed for natural stone. Apply a small amount of quartz polish to a soft cloth and rub over the surface using circular motions. Common quartz polishing compound brand names include Gel-Gloss and Cliffhanger.
Increase Shine with a Quartz Restoration Kit
For best results, use a multi-step quartz restoration kit. These kits contain a cleaner, polish, and sealant specifically designed to work together to clean, shine and protect quartz surfaces. The polishing step will remove fine scratches and restore the finish. The sealant will help prevent future etching and staining.
Popular quartz restoration kit options include the Bellinzoni Quartz Restoration Kit and the Trinova Quartz Countertop Restoration kit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Use a Handheld Polisher for Heavy Duty Polishing
For quartz that has lost its luster due to heavy use or damage, use a specialized quartz handheld polisher with a quartz polishing pad attachment. This power polisher can remove more severe dullness, scratches and etching that manual polishing cannot. For best results, follow up with a quartz sealant.
When using a power polisher, take care not to over-polish any one area to avoid creating uneven spots. Allow the polisher to do the work. Applying too much pressure can damage the surface.
Avoid Vinegar or DIY Polishing Methods
It’s best to avoid using household products like vinegar or lemon juice to polish quartz. These can etch and dull the quartz surface. Stick to specialized quartz polishes and compounds designed for use on engineered stone. DIY polishing techniques like baking soda or dryer sheets are also not recommended.
How Often Should I Polish My Quartz?
With proper care, quartz countertops typically only need polishing every 2-3 years. But factors like frequent use, cooking splatters, and cleaning habits will affect the frequency required. Use these tips to determine if your quartz needs polishing:
- The surface appears cloudy, dull, or etched.
- Water no longer beads and sheets off the surface.
- You notice light scratches or worn areas.
- Food stains are becoming harder to remove.
Polishing early when you first notice dullness can prevent more significant damage long-term.
Professional Quartz Polishing Services
While DIY quartz polishing is certainly achievable, professional quartz polishing services are also available if you prefer to leave it to the experts. Companies like Granite Gold and Miracle Method specialize in professional restoration services for quartz countertops. They have industrial strength equipment, polishes and sealants designed to give the best results safely and efficiently. This option may be best for countertops with more extensive damage.
Keep Your Quartz Countertop Looking Like New
- Clean spills promptly to prevent stains.
- Use a mild soap and soft cloth for daily cleaning.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads.
- Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
- Reseal every 1-2 years with a quartz sealant.
- Polish regularly as needed to maintain the factory finish.
With proper care and occasional polishing, quartz countertops will stay looking glossy, flawless and like new for many years of beauty and enjoyment in the kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use regular polish on my quartz countertop?
No, it’s important to use polishes specifically formulated for engineered quartz and avoid types designed for natural stone or other surfaces. Quartz requires a specialized polish.
What’s the best quartz polishing method?
For best results, use a dedicated quartz polish or restoration kit which contains a cleaner, polish, and sealant to gently polish away dullness while protecting the surface. Alternately, use a handheld power polisher with a quartz pad for stubborn stains. Avoid abrasive DIY approaches.
How long does the polish on quartz counters last?
With proper maintenance, a professional polishing can last 2-3 years or more. But heavy usage may require more frequent polishing every 1-2 years to keep the quartz shine.
Can polishing remove scratches from quartz?
Light surface scratches can be minimized or removed through polishing. But deep scratches may require a professional quartz fabrication company to refinish. Avoid using scratch removal kits containing abrasives.
Is it possible to polish quartz yourself?
Definitely! With the right quartz-specific compounds and techniques, polishing quartz countertops is absolutely doable as a DIY home project. But professional services are also available for those short on time or for counters with extensive damage.
Polishing is an effective way to restore the shine and appearance of worn quartz countertops. With the right methods and specialized quartz products, you can revive the factory finish. Be sure to properly prep the surface, use only compounds designed for engineered stone, and finish with a sealant. Avoid DIY cleaners that can damage quartz. Professional restoration services are also available for outstanding results. With regular care and occasional polishing when needed, quartz countertops will maintain their durability, beauty and value for many years of stylish performance in your home.