Quartz countertops have become extremely popular in kitchens and bathrooms thanks to their durability, low maintenance, and customization options. One question that often comes up with quartz is whether you can make corners out of it to create a seamless look. The short answer is yes, you can make corners out of quartz countertops with the right techniques and materials. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about creating quartz corners for your countertops.
What Is Quartz Countertop Material?
Before diving into quartz corners, let’s quickly go over what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content is usually around 90-94% while the rest is polymer resins.
Some key properties of quartz countertops:
- Extremely hard and durable surface that resists scratches, heat, and stains.
- Non-porous so liquids don’t penetrate into the material.
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns.
- Low maintenance without the need for sealing or polishing.
- Customizable edges like corners are possible.
Understanding the makeup of quartz will help when learning how to fabricate corners and edges. Now let’s look at the process of making quartz corners.
Can You Make 90 Degree Corners With Quartz?
Yes, it is absolutely possible to fabricate a 90 degree inside or outside corner edge with a quartz countertop. This is a very common request since it gives a smooth, seamless appearance compared to a standard butt joint.
There are a few ways to make 90 degree corners:
Mitered Quartz Corner
This method involves carefully cutting the two pieces of quartz at a 45 degree angle and joining them to form a right angle. The seam is held together with adhesive. It takes precision cutting to get a tight fit.
Quartz End Cap
End cap corners utilize a shaped piece of quartz cut specifically to form the 90 degree edge. The end cap is adhered to the end of the countertop using epoxy or other bonding agents.
Through a process of heating and shaping, quartz can be bent to create finished corners and curves. This is a more complex fabrication technique that not all shops offer.
No matter the technique, proper bonding and seam treatment are vital for attractive and long-lasting quartz corners. Always use a reputable fabricator experienced in working with quartz.
Cutting Quartz Countertops for Corners
Creating clean 45 degree mitered corners with quartz starts with proper cutting. This requires a quality wet saw designed for stone materials. A diamond-tipped blade formulated for quartz works best to make the angled cuts.
Here are some tips for cutting quartz corners:
- Mark the 45 degree angle carefully on each piece to be joined.
- Cut slowly and steadily for a precise edge.
- Keep the quartz piece steady and flat on the saw table.
- Allow the saw blade to do the cutting, don’t force the cut.
- Make test cuts first on scrap pieces to check angles.
- Clean cuts thoroughly after sawing to remove debris.
Precision is vital or the mitered corner will not fit together properly. Ensuring the saw is set exactly to a 45 degree angle and not rushing through the cut will result in a clean seam.
Can You Make Rounded Corners With Quartz?
In addition to 90 degree inside corners, rounded or curved corners can also be fabricated with quartz countertops. These flowing, rounded corners add distinction and elegance to kitchens and baths.
Quartz rounded corners are made using one of these techniques:
Through a process of scoring, grinding, and smoothing, an experienced fabricator can hand shape a rounded corner edge in quartz. This method requires time and skill.
Computer numeric control (CNC) uses automated precision cutting to shape quartz corners and edges. CNC produces consistent results but the equipment is expensive.
Molds can be made to form quartz corners by pouring crushed quartz and resin into the mold. This allows consistent shaping.
Any type of curved quartz corner will require adhesive to join the pieces smoothly. The rounded edge also needs to be thoroughly sanded and polished.
Can You Make Ogee Edges With Quartz?
An ogee edge is a popular decorative countertop profile with an S-shaped curve. Ogee edges can certainly be created with quartz material using CNC cutting or hand fabrication.
The process involves:
- Designing the ogee shape you want.
- Cutting the profile with CNC equipment or by hand routing.
- Sanding carefully with fine grit to smooth the curves.
- Polishing thoroughly by hand for maximum shine.
Ogee edges require gradual curves and transitions to prevent cracking or chipping. A skilled fabricator can make ogee edges in quartz look seamless. This is a great way to add interest to a kitchen or bath design.
How to Join Quartz Countertop Pieces for Corners
Once the quartz pieces are cut, joining them into a finished corner requires using the right adhesive. Quartz cannot be secured with cements or epoxy designed for natural stone.
The adhesive needs to bond with the engineered resin in the material. The recommended products are:
- Quartz-specific epoxy – This provides the strongest, most lasting bond. Most brands are two-part mixes.
- 100% silicone – Clear adhesive silicone also works well for joining quartz. Look for a high-quality product.
- Hot melt glue – Special hot melt glue for stone can be used for quick bonding and clamping. Epoxy is still needed for full strength.
Applying the adhesive correctly is key:
- Thoroughly clean and dry all quartz joining surfaces.
- Prepare the adhesive according to manufacturer directions.
- Use enough adhesive to completely fill the seam.
- Clamp tightly until cured. Most epoxy takes 24 hours to fully harden.
Avoid cheap hardware store adhesives which lack the bonding power for quartz material. Carefully follow the directions of the chosen adhesive product. This ensures proper bonding strength.
How To Treat Quartz Seams and Corners
Once secured, the quartz corner seam needs finishing to create an attractive appearance. This involves:
- Filling gaps – Use adhesive or a colored filler compound to pack any visible gaps in the corner.
- Sanding – Carefully sand the joint with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth everything flush.
- Polishing – Using a hand polishing pad, polish the sanded corner to restore the quartz shine.
Take time filling, sanding, and polishing to make sure the quartz corner and seam are barely visible. A smooth, polished transition also makes the area easier to clean and maintain over time.
For rounded corners, focus on consistent sanding and polishing to maintain the curve profile. Convex bullnose corners need special attention so the rounding doesn’t flatten out.
Quartz Countertop Corner Designs
The type of quartz corner fabricated depends on the overall countertop and kitchen design. Here are some popular options:
Classic 90 Degree Corner
The simple 90 degree inside corner provides a clean, distinguished look. It works well for both modern and traditional kitchen aesthetics.
Rounded Bullnose Corner
Softer bullnose curves bring a refined, luxurious feel. The radius can vary from barely curved to completely rounded.
Angled Cut Quartz Corner
An angled corner cutoff creates a dimensional diagonal edge. It directs visual interest to the corner.
The S-shape of the ogee provides a classy decorative profile. It pairs well with furniture styles like Art Deco.
Coved Backsplash Corner
Cutting the backsplash into the corner creates a coved design. This opens up the counter space adding a spacious feel.
Consult with your countertop designer on the best corner look for your kitchen or bath. Also consider potential food and gunk buildup in corners and how accessible the areas are for cleaning.
Common Problems With Quartz Countertop Corners
While quartz material is quite strong, problems can arise if corners are not fabricated correctly:
Gaps in Corner Seams
Gaps point to insufficient adhesive or misaligned corner cuts. Any gaps allow moisture and grime to get in the crevice.
Cracked or Chipped Corners
Too sharp an interior corner or rounded edge can crack under pressure. Cracks indicate the shaping wasn’t done gradually.
If the seam filler or adhesive isn’t flush, the corner can appear darker and dirty looking. Proper finishing is important.
Loose Corner Joint
Countertop corners coming apart mean improper or failing bonding. Non-quartz adhesives often don’t create a lasting hold.
Inspect corners closely after installation and have any issues fixed immediately by your fabricator. Leaving problems unaddressed leads to further damage and countertop failure.
Caring for Quartz Countertop Corners
Quartz is touted as a low maintenance material, but you still need to be careful with corners and seams to prevent damage. Here are some quartz corner care tips:
- Wipe up spills quickly to avoid prolonged moisture exposure.
- Use a gentle cleaner and microfiber cloth to keep corners clean.
- Avoid hitting corners with heavy pots or objects that could chip edges.
- Don’t let soil or grease build up in crevices which can stain.
- Apply sealant or caulk if moisture penetrates corner seams.
- For rounded corners, don’t scrub too harshly against the curve.
- Check for any cracks or loosening adhesive and have it repaired.
Your quartz fabricator can advise the best products and methods for cleaning and protecting corners long-term. Proper care will maintain the beauty and durability of your investment.
FAQs About Making Quartz Countertop Corners
Can you cut quartz countertops yourself?
It is not recommended for DIYers to cut or fabricate their own corners with quartz. The material is very difficult to work with and requires professional tools. Leave it to the experts.
What color adhesive for quartz corners?
The adhesive color isn’t as important as the bonding performance with quartz material. Often the epoxy or silicone will be translucent or clear when cured anyway.
Should you seal quartz countertop corners?
Quartz doesn’t need sealing thanks to its non-porous nature. But applying a clear caulk or sealant around corners is wise to prevent moisture creeping in gaps or cracks.
How thick are quartz countertops?
Quartz countertops are usually 1.25 inches thick. Thicker edges up to 1.5 inches can provide more stability for corners. Going too thin risks corners and edges chipping.
Can corners crack in quartz counters?
Yes, poorly fabricated quartz corners and seams can eventually crack if not supported properly or subjected to impact. Proper shaping and seam treatment reduces this risk.
Quartz offers homeowners almost endless options for customized edges and corners to create a truly unique kitchen or bath design. With the right skills and techniques, quartz fabricators can shape the material into 90 degree corners, rounded profiles, ogees, and more.
Pay attention to critical steps like proper cutting, adhesive use, seam finishing, and preventing impacts to corners. When fabricated correctly, quartz corners should provide a beautiful, seamless appearance and lasting durability. Do your due diligence in choosing an experienced quartz contractor.
With this guide’s tips in mind, you can confidently explore the creative possibilities of quartz countertops. Turn your space into a showcase with customized corner designs that make your counters stand out while still delivering strength. Quartz corner fabrication allows you to combine imagination with practicality.