Can Quartz Countertops Scratch?

Quartz countertops are an immensely popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. However, many homeowners wonder – can quartz countertops scratch? The short answer is yes, quartz can scratch under certain circumstances. However, quartz is remarkably scratch-resistant compared to other natural stone and engineered countertop materials.

What is Quartz?

Before diving into the details on scratches, it helps to understand exactly what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with pigments for color and resins as a binding agent. The exact ratio varies by brand and specific material blend, but high-quality quartz slabs typically contain over 90% ground quartz particles.

Quartz countertops are made by blending the quartz crystals and binding resins into a mold using extreme heat and pressure. This process allows manufacturers to carefully control the pattern, texture, and colors of the material. The end result is an incredibly hard, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, heat damage, and more.

The Scratch Resistance of Quartz

Quartz countertops achieve their renowned scratch resistance from the quartz particles themselves. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals found in nature, ranking a 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. For comparison, granite ranks between 6 and 7, while marble ranks lower at a 3.

The durability of quartz comes from the quartz particles being so tightly packed together under intense pressure. This makes quartz more scratch resistant than other natural stone or materials like laminate, solid surface, tile, or wood.

However, no material is 100% scratch proof. Although quartz is very resistant, it can become scratched under the right circumstances.

What Can Scratch Quartz?

While quartz strongly resists scratches in daily use, it is possible to scratch quartz by:

  • Dragging or sliding heavy, sharp objects across the surface
  • Cutting directly on the countertop
  • Allowing hard materials like ceramics or metals to regularly impact the surface
  • Using too much pressure while cleaning

Quartz is also vulnerable to scratches from other minerals harder than a 7 on the Mohs scale. Examples include topaz, coral, emery, and especially diamonds, which rank a 10 on the hardness scale.

So in summary – yes, quartz can technically scratch. But under normal household use it takes significant abuse to scratch quartz. The material stands up remarkably well to daily wear and tear.

Tips to Prevent Scratching Quartz Countertops

While quartz resists scratches better than most other countertop materials, it still makes sense to treat it with care. Here are some tips to prevent scratches:

  • Use cutting boards instead of cutting directly on quartz.
  • Don’t let pots, pans, or ceramics bang or scrape against the surface.
  • Avoid scratching or scouring the surface with abrasive cleaners or scrub pads.
  • Immediately wipe up spills – prolonged exposure can damage sealants.
  • Lift objects instead of sliding them across the quartz.
  • Use placemats or trivets under dishes to prevent scratches from plate movement.
  • Don’t allow children to do crafts or play rough games near quartz surfaces.

Quartz also develops a patina or dulling over time with general use. While this doesn’t damage the material, it can make scratches more visible. Regularly using quartz-safe cleaners and sealers helps reduce visible marks.

Can You Remove Scratches from Quartz?

If scratches do occur on quartz countertops, there are options available to reduce their appearance. While deep scratches may not buff out completely, mild to moderate scratches can be minimized.

Here are some DIY methods to remove light scratches from quartz:

  • Gentle buffing with 0000 steel wool – Rubbing very lightly with ultra-fine 0000 grade steel wool can help reduce the visibility of superficial scratches. Avoid using anything coarser than 0000 as it may cause more scratching.
  • Baking soda and water paste – Mix a paste of baking soda and water and GENTLY rub over scratches using a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly. The mild abrasive in baking soda can help reduce scratch appearance.
  • Cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide – Look for quartz cleaner brands that contain hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient that helps break down superficial marks. Apply with a soft cloth using minimal pressure.
  • Polishing compounds or car wax – Use a polish specifically formulated for engineered stone or even a high-quality car wax. Apply a thin coat with a microfiber cloth and buff gently to refresh the surface.

For deeper scratches that won’t buff out, professional quartz restoration or fabrication may be required:

  • Professional refinishing – Trained technicians have access to commercial resurfacing machinery not available for home use. This allows removal of more material to eliminate deeper scratches.
  • Spot refabrication – For a single deep gouge, it may be possible to cut out the damaged section and seamlessly replace it with new quartz.

Understanding Scratch Warranties on Quartz

Many quartz countertop companies provide limited warranties against defects. However, scratch resistance warranties vary widely:

  • 10 years – This is the most common quartz warranty length. Coverage details differ, but 10 years is the standard for manufacturer defects.
  • 15-25 years – Some higher-end brands offer enhanced lifetime scratch warranties up to 25 years. These have strict requirements for qualifying scratches.
  • Limited or no coverage for impact damage – No warranty covers intentional abuse. Using the surface as a cutting board, chopping on it, etc. will void the protection.

When shopping, read the full warranty details carefully. Measure coverages against your own needs. Also make sure to keep your proof of purchase to file any damage claims.

Pros and Cons of Quartz Countertops

Understanding that quartz can scratch with the right conditions, is it still a good choice compared to alternatives? Here is a quick look at the pros and cons:


  • Extremely durable for daily wear and tear
  • Resists staining from spills and liquids
  • Easy to clean and keep looking new
  • Stylish natural appearance available in many colors
  • Mold and bacteria resistant
  • Non-porous so doesn’t require sealing
  • Heat and scratch resistant compared to marble or granite
  • More affordable than natural stone


  • Can scratch from extreme pressure or sharp objects
  • Needs resealing over time as sealants wear down
  • Spot repairs may be noticeable
  • Limited custom fabrication options
  • Can chip from heavy impacts

Is Quartz Worth It Given Potential Scratching?

For most homeowners, quartz offers an extremely appealing balance of good looks, durability, and affordable pricing. The scratch resistance quartz provides makes it suitable for busy kitchens and bathrooms. Some small scratches over a 10-15 year lifespan are to be expected with any material.

Quartz requires less maintenance than marble, granite, tile, laminate, or wood. It keeps up its appearance better long-term when compared to many competitors. For these reasons, quartz delivers excellent value to homeowners looking for low-maintenance counters that can stand the test of time.

Understanding proper care practices and using cutting boards will minimize preventable scratches. Overall, quartz still shines as a top choice for countertops of all kinds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scratching of Quartz Countertops

Many homeowners have questions surrounding the potential for quartz countertops to become scratched. Here are answers to some of the most common questions:

Is quartz more scratch resistant than granite?

Yes, quartz has superior scratch resistance compared to granite. Quartz rates 7 on the Mohs hardness scale while granite is usually between 6 and 7. The resin binders in quartz fill the space between the quartz particles, creating a more scratch resistant surface. Granite can scratch when utensils, pots/pans, and other objects are dragged across it.

What happens if a quartz countertop gets scratched?

Minor scratches and wear will naturally occur on quartz countertops over their lifespan. Small scratches can often be minimized with DIY methods like fine steel wool, baking soda paste, or polishing compounds. For deeper scratches that won’t buff out, professional refinishing or refabrication may be required. But in most cases, mild scratches on quartz are an aesthetic concern rather than a functional problem.

Should you cut on quartz countertops?

It’s best practice to avoid cutting directly on quartz countertops. Always use a cutting board instead. While quartz is very durable, subjecting it to sharp knife blades increases the chances of scratches or nicks. Be especially careful with serrated knives, as they can damage the surface quickly if used directly on quartz.

Can you scratch quartz with a knife?

Yes, quartz surfaces can be scratched by knife blades if used directly on the countertop. Scratches and slicing markings from knives are among the most common types of damage on quartz countertops. The best practice is to always use a cutting board and be cautious not to let knives impact the quartz.

What happens if you cut vegetables on a quartz countertop?

Cutting vegetables directly on quartz can easily result in surface scratches, especially from harder vegetables like carrots, potatoes, squash, etc. The abrasive nature of slicing vegetables on the countertop will quickly dull and scratch the quartz finish. Again, it’s vital to use cutting boards for food prep rather than cutting directly on quartz.

Can quartz chips and scratches be repaired?

Many shallow scratches and chips on quartz countertops can be repaired. Light buffing, polishing, and refinishing can reduce the visibility of small imperfections. However, deep grooves or chunks may require a more intensive fabrication repair. Always hire an experienced professional, not just any handyman, for best results repairing damaged quartz.

Should you use a cutting board with quartz?

Absolutely, using cutting boards is strongly recommended to protect quartz surfaces. Quartz is durable, but no countertop material is immune to damage when subjected to sharp knife blades. Using cutting boards minimizes the risk of cuts, nicks, and scratches over the lifetime of quartz counters.

Is there such thing as a scratch proof countertop?

There is no truly scratch-proof countertop material. However, quartz countertops are about as close as it gets for residential use. The only materials more scratch resistant than quartz are much more expensive exotic stones. Quartz performs far better than laminate, granite, marble, concrete, stainless steel, and tile when it comes to resisting everyday scratches and scuffs.


Quartz countertops are susceptible to scratches from knives, abrasive cleaners, and objects dragged across the surface. However, quartz performs better than nearly any other countertop material in resisting surface damage. With proper care and use of cutting boards, quartz countertops will retain their beauty and function for many years before needing resurfacing. For homeowners seeking stylish, low maintenance countertops, quartz remains a top choice.

Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Quartz can scratch under extreme pressure or from objects like knives and ceramics.
  • Scratch resistance comes from the durability of quartz particles bound together under pressure.
  • Use cutting boards instead of cutting directly on quartz to prevent damage.
  • Minor scratches can often be removed with buffing, baking soda, and polishing compounds.
  • Quartz warranties typically cover some scratches, but not impact damage.
  • For most homeowners, the scratch resistance of quartz makes it worth the investment over more delicate materials.

This article covers the scratch potential and how to care for quartz countertops. With reasonable precautions, quartz provides unparalleled durability and longevity for kitchen and bath surfaces. Minor scratches and wear should be expected, but quartz stands up better than most other options over decades of use.