Can You Cut Things on Quartz Countertops?

What is Quartz?

Quartz is an extremely hard mineral made of silicon and oxygen atoms. In its pure form, it rates 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes quartz more scratch-resistant than granite or marble.

When quartz crystals are combined with polyester resins and pigments, the result is an engineered slab material that retains much of quartz’s hardness and durability. The resin binds the crystals together, while the pigments add color and pattern. This combination creates a material referred to as quartz, engineered quartz, or engineered stone.

The Durability of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are marketed as low-maintenance and damage-resistant. Here are some of their notable qualities:

  • Scratch-resistant – The quartz crystals make the material very resistant to scratches, especially compared to natural stone.
  • Stain-resistant – The resin makes quartz non-porous, so it resists stains much better than granite or marble.
  • Heat-resistant – Quartz can withstand normal cooking heat up to 212°F before potential damage.
  • Chip and crack-resistant – The resin binds the crystals, making quartz more impact-resistant.
  • Acid-resistant – Quartz resists damage from exposure to acidic foods and cleaners.

So quartz is clearly an extremely durable material in a kitchen context. But how durable depends on the quality of the specific brand and pattern. Higher priced quartz tends to use more quartz crystals and higher quality resins.

Can You Cut on Quartz Countertops?

With proper care, quartz countertops can handle some direct cutting, within limits:

  • Softer items like bread, cookies, fruits, vegetables, cheese, etc. can be safely cut on quartz surfaces. Their blades do not exert excessive pressure.
  • Heavy cutting of dense foods should be avoided. Repeated chopping of hard items can damage quartz over time. Use a cutting board instead.
  • Sharp knives will cut into quartz. Make sure to use only dull table knives. Never cut with chef’s knives directly on the quartz.
  • Don’t cut anything abrasive like unglazed ceramics on quartz counters. They can scrape and scratch the surface.
  • Avoid crushing hard spices (like peppercorns) or using quartz as a makeshift mortar and pestle. This concentrated impact can chip the counter.

So in summary – light cutting of soft, non-abrasive foods with dull blades is okay. But anything heavy-duty should be done on a proper cutting board.

Choosing the Right Cutting Boards

To protect your investment, cutting boards are essential with quartz counters. Consider:

  • Soft boards – These absorb more impact and are gentler on quartz. Rubber, silicone, and soft woods like maple are good choices.
  • Thin boards – Thinner boards distribute force better. Thick boards can concentrate pressure on one spot.
  • Large boards – Bigger boards provide ample room for prep tasks, keeping blades away from the counter.
  • Separate raw meat board – Use a designated board just for raw meats to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Avoid glass or marble boards – These harder surfaces can damage quartz over time.

Cutting Tips to Protect Quartz

Follow these tips whenever cutting on or near your quartz counters:

  • Always use cutting boards for dense foods like meat, hard cheese, squash, etc.
  • Cut softer foods gently. Avoid heavy chopping pressure.
  • Keep knives sharp. Dull blades require more force and can slip.
  • Don’t leave cutting boards on the counter when not in use. Lift and set them down carefully.
  • Avoid abrasive pots and pans. Use silicone hot pads to protect the surface.
  • Clean up any spills, juices or oils quickly to prevent staining.
  • Inspect quartz regularly for any scratches or chips and address them quickly.

Can Damage be Repaired?

No material is completely impervious to damage. But quartz does tend to resist damage better than most alternatives. Minor damage like light scratches can often be buffed out through careful polishing. For chips, cracks or deeper scratches, professional repair or replacement of affected areas may be needed. Always consult your installer for the best repair options.


Quartz counters offer gorgeous looks combined with durability and easy care. With proper precautions, they can handle light food prep tasks directly on the surface. But for heavy-duty cutting, always use boards designed to protect your investment. By giving quartz the care it needs, you can enjoy beauty and convenience with minimal maintenance.

FAQ About Cutting on Quartz Countertops

Can I cut meat on quartz counters?

No, cutting raw meat directly on quartz is not recommended. Always use a designated cutting board for meats to avoid damaging or staining the quartz.

What happens if you cut on quartz counters?

Light cutting of soft foods may not damage a quartz counter, but repeated hard cutting can eventually dull the surface and make it more prone to staining and scratching. Heavy cutting should always be done on a proper cutting board.

Should you put a cutting board on quartz?

Yes, cutting boards help protect quartz surfaces and distribute cutting pressure. Use soft boards made of rubber, wood, or silicone. Avoid glass or marble boards that could damage the counter.

Can quartz counters be scratched by a knife?

Yes, quartz counters can be scratched by sharp knives used directly on the surface. Always use a cutting board and be sure to only cut soft foods gently with dull table knives. Never cut on quartz with chef’s knives.

How can you tell if your quartz is damaged?

Inspect quartz regularly for any chips, cracks, deep scratches, dents, or etching of the surface. Damage is often easier to repair when caught early. Even small scratches can be compounded over time with improper use.

What is the best way to cut on quartz?

The best way is to use a soft, thin cutting board designed for quartz protection. Cut gently with dull blades, avoiding rocking motions. Lift and place boards carefully. Keep countertops clean and dry to minimize damage risks.


With proper care, quartz offers unparalleled durability, beauty, and convenience for busy kitchens. Following basic precautions, like always using cutting boards and resisting temptation to cut directly on the counter, will help quartz look amazing for years. Show your quartz some love by providing the protection it needs while enjoying its low-maintenance resilience.