Can You Cut Quartz Countertop Once Installed?

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a highly durable, non-porous surface that is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.

Compared to natural stone like granite or marble, quartz requires very little maintenance. It does not need to be regularly sealed and is easy to clean. Quartz also comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, allowing for lots of customization options to fit your style.

Can You Cut Quartz After Installation?

The short answer is yes, installed quartz countertops can be cut, but it requires specialized tools and techniques. Here are some key things to know:

Use a Special Diamond Blade

Cutting quartz requires a high-quality diamond blade specifically designed for this material. A standard wood or metal cutting blade will likely chip and damage the quartz. Most home improvement stores sell specialty diamond blades for cutting stone and quartz.

Cut Very Carefully and Slowly

It’s important to cut very slowly and carefully to get a clean edge and avoid cracking the quartz. Take your time and don’t rush the cuts. Allow the diamond blade to do the work. Pressing too hard can overheat the material and cause issues.

Consider Hiring a Professional

While it’s possible to cut quartz yourself, improper cuts can lead to cracks or chunks breaking off. For best results, consider hiring a professional quartz fabricator or installer to cut your counters for you. They have the right tools and expertise.

Use Water to Cool While Cutting

Keeping the quartz cool while cutting is imperative to avoid damage. Running water over the cut line helps regulate temperature. Without cooling, the friction can get too hot and ruin the countertop.

Check Warranty Implications

Cutting quartz incorrectly often voids the manufacturer’s warranty since it was not cut by approved methods. Check with the warranty first before attempting the cut yourself. Hiring a pro may be required to keep the warranty intact.

Allow for Expansion Space

Quartz expands and contracts slightly with temperature changes. When cutting, leave a small gap between the cut edge and walls or appliances. Usually 1/16 to 1/8 inch expansion space is recommended.

Why Would You Need to Cut Installed Quartz?

There are a few reasons you may need or want to cut your quartz countertop after its initial installation:

  • Accommodating new appliances: If getting a new range or refrigerator, the countertop may need cut to create a better fit.
  • Fixing fitting issues: Sometimes mistakes are made on initial measurements resulting in small gaps that need trimmed.
  • Creating seams/breaks for very large countertops: Long spans may require cut seams to allow for contraction and expansion.
  • Installing new fixtures or sinks: Cut-outs are often needed for new soap dispensers, taps, and sink installations.
  • Changing the layout: Cutting the quartz can allow for modified designs after original installation.

Professional Cutting Services for Quartz

If you do need your installed quartz countertop cut or modified, avoid DIY mistakes by using an experienced professional installer. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Specialized cutting tools and blades just for quartz.
  • Knowledge of how to make proper cut-outs for sinks and cooktops.
  • Skill with managing seams and edges.
  • Familiarity with your specific quartz product and manufacturer.
  • Trained on calibrating expansion spaces and gaps.
  • Equipped to cut on-site or remove sections for off-site fabrication.
  • Able to polish and finish cut edges for a seamless look.
  • Experience with warranty compliance and manufacturer procedures.

Hiring professional quartz cutting services the first time is highly recommended unless you have the proper tools and experience. For most homeowners, bringing in a qualified quartz pro to cut installed counters will provide ideal results.

FAQs About Cutting Installed Quartz

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cutting quartz after installation:

Can I cut just part of my quartz countertop?

Yes, you can cut a section of the countertop if needed for a sink or appliance. The key is making sure the cut line doesn’t run across the entire span which requires a seam.

What tools do I need to cut quartz myself?

You’ll need a high-quality diamond blade, circular saw, water source, eye protection, breathing mask, and ear protection at minimum. Many also recommend using a rail guide for straight cuts.

Is it cheaper to cut quartz before installation?

In most cases, yes. Fabricating and cutting the quartz before installation allows for greater precision, control, and easier seaming. The cutting process is also cleaner at the shop versus on-site.

What happens if I crack my quartz countertop trying to cut it?

Cracks or chips often mean you’ll have to replace the entire damaged section. Prevent this by having an experienced pro do any post-installation cuts.

Can any quartz fabricator cut my counters or do I need to use the original installer?

Any qualified fabricator can likely cut your installed counters for you. However, for warranty purposes, it’s best to check with your original installer first.


While cutting quartz countertops that are already installed is possible with the right tools and techniques, it’s a task that poses risks of cracking or invalidating the warranty if not done correctly. For best results, most homeowners are better off hiring a professional quartz fabricator to come cut or modify their counters once in place. Their specialized equipment and experience make a big difference vs. DIY cutting. Be sure to find an installer familiar with your specific quartz product and its warranty requirements.