Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels thanks to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. If you’re considering quartz for your next project, you may be wondering if it’s possible to resurface or cover existing quartz countertops instead of doing a full replacement. Here is what you need to know about covering quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a very hard, non-porous surface that resists scratches, stains, and heat.
Compared to natural stone like granite, quartz requires very little maintenance besides cleaning. It does not need to be regularly sealed and is resistant to etching from acidic foods. The seamless appearance and variety of colors and patterns available make quartz a popular choice.
Can You Cover Existing Quartz Countertops?
If your existing quartz countertops are dated or damaged, you may be considering resurfacing them instead of replacing the whole slab. However, covering quartz is generally not recommended.
Here are some key reasons why it’s difficult to cover existing quartz:
- Seamless appearance – Quartz slabs are designed to have a continuous, seamless look. Any type of cover will disrupt this appearance and be visually unappealing.
- Non-porous surface – The resin coat on quartz creates an impervious surface that coverings can’t bond to well. Adhesives have a hard time sticking to quartz.
- Heat sensitivity – Many coverings like laminate or veneer require adhesive that is activated by heat. The resins in quartz can be damaged by high heat during installation.
- Prone to damage – A quartz surface is very rigid with no flex. Coverings bond poorly and can crack or peel away with minimal impact or shifting.
- Difficult to cut out – Making cutouts for sinks or cooktops requires special tools to cut through quartz. This makes covered quartz very susceptible to damage.
Better Options for Quartz Countertops
Rather than attempting to cover quartz countertops, you’ll get much better results from one of these options:
- Professional resurfacing – Specialty companies can sand down the top layer of your quartz and apply new pigmented resin coat to refresh the color and finish. This preserves the continuous look of quartz.
- Full replacement – Although pricier, replacing quartz slabs entirely gives you a fresh start and seamless appearance. You can upgrade to new styles and colors.
- Undermount sink – If your existing quartz has damage confined to the area around the sink, doing an undermount sink installation can hide flaws.
- Use quartz remnants – Small quartz scraps can make great backsplashes and smaller projects to refresh your kitchen.
Professional Advice Recommended
In general, most countertop professionals advise against attempting to use coverings or overlays on quartz surfaces. The rigid material simply does not provide the right base for durable coverings in most residential applications.
If you want to change the look of your quartz countertops, consult an expert fabricator or installer on the best options. An experienced countertop pro can advise you on cost-effective solutions to update your quartz surfaces and avoid installation problems down the road.
With some creative solutions, such as using quartz remnants for accents or resurfacing selected areas only, you can likely refresh your existing quartz rather than go through the expense of a full replacement. But in most cases, coverings and overlays are not recommended for quartz by countertop installation experts.
Frequently Asked Questions About Covering Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners exploring options for their existing quartz counters have some common questions. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions:
Can you put laminate over quartz countertops?
It is not advisable to use laminate sheets or planks to cover quartz counters. The rigid surface and vulnerability to damage make this a poor choice that is prone to fail.
What about adding a concrete overlay?
Concrete overlays require adhesive and curing methods that can damage quartz resin and likely lead to cracking or peeling of the overlay. It is not a durable option for covering quartz.
Is it possible to tile over quartz?
Directly tiling over quartz is not possible in most cases, as the hard nonporous surface will not allow thinset mortar to adhere tiles properly. Removing the quartz and installing new tile is a better approach.
Can you use quartz as a backsplash if the countertops are a different material?
Yes, using remnant quartz pieces can make an attractive backsplash accent, even with different countertop materials like granite or laminate. Quartz scraps bring nice color, texture, and durability to backsplashes.
What about using an epoxy coating?
Clear epoxy coatings can sometimes be applied to refresh dull quartz surfaces. However, these clear coats may still have adhesion difficulties on quartz over time and require expert application.
Quartz countertops provide a beautiful, durable, low-maintenance surface. However, their seamless appearance and non-porous properties make it very difficult to successfully cover existing quartz counters. For best results, homeowners should consult countertop professionals to discuss options like resurfacing localized areas or doing a full replacement. With some strategic design choices, you can likely achieve the fresh updated look you want without attempting to cover your quartz surfaces.