Quartz countertops are durable and attractive, but sometimes you may need to cut or alter an existing quartz countertop. Here’s what you need to know about cutting quartz countertops.
Quartz countertops, made from ground quartz combined with resins and pigments, have become incredibly popular in recent years. Quartz is an engineered stone that is non-porous, stain-resistant, and heat-tolerant, making it an ideal material for kitchen counters and bathrooms.
While quartz is very durable, there may be times when you need to cut or alter an existing quartz countertop, such as to accommodate a new sink or cooktop. The good news is that it is possible to cut quartz, but it does require some special tools and techniques.
Can You Cut Quartz Countertops?
Yes, quartz countertops can be cut, but not with ordinary woodworking tools. Cutting quartz requires a wet saw with a diamond-tipped blade. Quartz is too hard to cut with a manual saw, and the friction of a regular power saw blade will overheat the material.
A wet saw keeps the blade lubricated and prevents overheating. The diamond blade is also essential, as it is one of the only materials hard enough to cut through engineered quartz. With the right wet saw and blade, it is possible to make precise cuts in a quartz countertop.
Professional vs DIY Quartz Cutting
It is best to hire a professional fabricator to cut your existing quartz countertop. They have the specialized equipment, knowledge and experience to make accurate cuts with minimal chipping or cracking.
That said, it is possible for a dedicated DIYer to cut quartz at home. You need a quality wet saw with a diamond-tipped blade rated for cutting stone. The saw must provide a continuous stream of water to lubricate and cool the blade.
Be aware that this is a messy process – water splashes everywhere. And imperfect cuts may result in cracks or chips in the surface. Professionals remain the best option for most homeowners.
How to Cut Quartz Countertops
Here is the basic process if you do choose to cut quartz yourself:
- Carefully measure and mark the cut line using a pencil or tape. Plan cuts to avoid seams falling near sinks or cooktops.
- Set up the wet saw on a level surface near an electrical outlet and water source.
- Adjust the saw to cut completely through the slab. Quartz requires a deeper cut than tile.
- Run water over the blade continually to keep it lubricated.
- Make several light passes along the cut line rather than one deep pass.
- Advance slowly to avoid chipping. Keep the saw blade perpendicular to the surface.
- Once cut, sand any rough edges with 100-grit and then 200-grit sandpaper.
- Clean off all remaining dust and debris when finished cutting.
Tips for Cutting Quartz
Follow these tips to get the best results:
- Use sharp, new diamond blades rated for cutting engineered stone.
- Cut slowly and steadily to avoid cracking and chipping.
- Keep water running to minimize friction and overheating.
- Support the cutout piece so it doesn’t cause cracks by falling.
- Wear safety gear – eye protection, respirator mask, gloves, and ear protection.
- Cut quartz outdoors or use a vacuum attachment on the saw to contain dust.
Hiring a Professional
Again, the easiest and most foolproof option is hiring a professional quartz fabricator to cut your countertop. Benefits include:
- Advanced cutting equipment for seamless cuts.
- Expertise gained from years of experience.
- Polished edge finishing.
- Ability to create cutouts for sinks and cooktops.
- Less mess and cleanup required.
While cutting quartz yourself can save money, the potential for cracking or chipping can end up costing more in the long run. Professionals provide peace of mind.
Can I cut quartz with a circular saw?
No, a circular saw does not provide water cooling and will overheat the quartz. You must use a diamond-bladed wet saw.
Does Home Depot cut quartz countertops?
Many Home Depot locations offer quartz countertop installation and fabrication. They can cut countertops to custom sizes right in the store.
How thick should a quartz countertop be?
Most quartz countertops are 3/4″ to 1-1/4″ thick. Thicker slabs are less prone to damage over time but cost more. 1-1/4″ thick is ideal for heavily used kitchen counters.
Can I cut a quartz backsplash?
Yes, quartz makes an excellent backsplash. Use a wet saw and specialty blades to precisely cut thin strips of quartz to size. Many companies also sell precut quartz tiles for backsplashes.
What’s the easiest way to cut quartz?
The easiest and most precise way is to have a professional fabricator measure, template and cut your quartz countertop using specialized tools. DIY wet saw cutting can chip and crack quartz.
While it’s possible to cut quartz countertops yourself with a diamond-bladed wet saw, hiring a professional fabricator remains the best option for most homeowners. Their expertise and tools allow for customized cuts and minimal errors. If tackling it as a DIY project, go slow and steady. With patience and care, you can cut quartz successfully to achieve the custom look you want.