Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. While quartz is remarkably resilient, some homeowners may wonder if polishing is an option to restore its luster over time. Here is a detailed look at whether you can polish a quartz countertop.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%, with polymers and pigments accounting for the rest.
The combination creates a material that is hard, scratch resistant, and non-porous. Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require sealing. The polymer resins make quartz more flexible and resistant to cracks and chips.
Quartz offers a wide array of colors and patterns that mimic look of natural stone and other materials but with more consistency. It is an ideal surface for kitchens and baths due to its durability and ease of maintenance.
Can You Polish Quartz Countertops?
Unlike natural stone, quartz countertops cannot be polished in the traditional sense. The resin binders mixed with the ground quartz fill in the pores of the material, creating a uniformly smooth surface when fabricated. This is part of what makes quartz resistant to etching and stains.
Why Quartz Does Not Require Polishing
There are a few key reasons why polishing is not necessary for quartz countertops:
- Quartz lacks the pores and erosion that require polishing. Natural stone has tiny holes and vulnerabilities that polishing helps minimize. The resins in quartz fill the pores, removing this need.
- The surface is uniformly smooth. The manufacturing process creates a smooth, even surface that does not require polishing or honing. This evenness also contributes to the material’s stain resistance.
- Minor scratches cannot be removed. While quartz resists scratches well, any light marks that do occur cannot be buffed out like they could be on marble or granite. The scratches are only surface level.
- It will not restore etching or buildup. Polishing natural stone removes etching or buildup from acidic foods or cleaning products. Quartz’s non-porous surface does not etch or absorb stains in the same way.
Maintaining the Shine on Quartz
While polishing is not an option for quartz, there are easy ways to keep your countertops looking like new:
- Clean quartz regularly. Use a soft cloth or sponge and warm, soapy water. For stubborn stains, a gentle scrub with a soft cloth and mild cleaner designed for stone surfaces often does the trick.
- Avoid abrasive pads or cleansers. Scouring pads, alkaline, acidic, or abrasive cleaners could damage the surface over time.
- Reseal quartz annually. Though quartz does not require sealing like natural stone, applying a penetrating sealer once a year can help strengthen stain resistance.
- Prevent dulling and etching. Always use cutting boards and trivets to protect from metal pans, pots, or servingware that could scratch. Acidic foods and cleaners can leave dull spots, so wipe up spills quickly.
Professional Quartz Restoration
For quartz that has lost its luster or suffered etching over time, professional restoration is an option. Trained technicians have products that can polish out superficial blemishes and restore the surface’s clarity. This requires specialty equipment, products and expertise.
A professional quartz restoration typically involves:
- Cleaning and degreasing the countertop
- Working a polishing compound into the surface with a buffer
- Buffing the quartz to a uniform sheen
- Applying a sealant for added protection
Quartz restoration is less effective on severely damaged surfaces. But it can restore the original sheen and appearance in quartz that has suffered from minor scratches, cloudiness or dulling over time. This allows you to extend the life of your countertop and avoid a costly replacement.
Can You Polish Quartz Countertops Yourself?
It is not recommended for homeowners to try DIY polishing on quartz. Specialized compounds and equipment are required to properly restore the lustrous finish. Improper polishing could actually damage the surface.
Only professional stone restoration services have the compounds, buffing pads, and experience to successfully polish engineered quartz. For homeowners wanting to clean and maintain their own quartz countertops, regular gentle cleaning is the best practice.
Signs Your Quartz Countertop Needs Restoration
How do you know if your quartz countertop could benefit from professional restoration? Here are a few telltale signs:
- visible light scratches or scuffs
- spots that have become dull or etched
- overall loss of shine and luster
- noticeable ring marks or food stains
- increased susceptibility to new stains and marking
If your quartz countertop shows these signs of aging despite your regular cleaning, restoration is likely a good option to restore its original beauty and function.
Benefits of Quartz Countertop Restoration
Professional quartz restoration offers homeowners some great benefits:
- Restores shine and sheen – Removes dullness or etching to bring back like-new shine.
- Evens out appearance – Micro-polishing smooths out minor scratches and blemishes for a uniform look.
- Deep cleaning – Thorough cleaning and polishing rid buildup that routine cleaning can miss.
- Save money – Restoration allows homeowners to extend the life of their existing countertops vs. replacing.
- Quick turnaround – The restoration process usually takes just one day and requires no downtime.
How Long Does Quartz Countertop Polishing Last?
With proper care and maintenance, a professional restoration can rejuvenate your quartz countertop’s appearance for years. Most experts recommend having quartz countertops re-polished every 3-5 years if needed.
Factors that affect longevity:
- How heavily the countertops are used
- Level of care and cleaning with everyday use
- Exposure to sunlight, grease, and other residue
- Frequency of deep cleanings
- Applying a sealant during restoration
Having your quartz countertops occasionally restored by a professional is the most effective way to keep them looking their best long-term.
Caring for Quartz Countertops
Day-to-day care also plays an important role in minimizing the need for restoration:
- Use cutting boards, trivets and coasters to protect the surface
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent stains
- Avoid using abrasive pads or cleansers
- Clean regularly with mild soap and water
- Apply a quartz sealer every 12 months
- Don’t use countertop as a cutting surface
Together with periodic professional restoration as needed, these easy habits will keep your quartz countertops in excellent shape for decades.
FAQ About Polishing Quartz Countertops
Some common questions about polishing quartz countertops include:
Is it possible to polish quartz countertops?
While quartz can’t be polished in the traditional manner, professional restoration services can use specialty compounds and equipment to micro-polish out minor scratches and restore the finish’s original sheen and clarity.
How can I make my quartz countertops shiny again?
If your countertops have become dull or etched, a professional restoration service can successfully restore the glossy finish. For day-to-day care, be sure to wipe up spills quickly and clean regularly with mild soap and water.
What is the best product for polishing quartz?
There are no over-the-counter products available to consumers that can properly polish and refinish quartz countertops. Professional-grade compounds are required, along with buffing equipment. It’s best to hire a trained stone restoration company.
Does polishing quartz damage the surface?
If not done properly, attempting to polish quartz countertops yourself could potentially harm the surface. The friction and heat created from buffing can burn the resins if the proper techniques aren’t used. Leave it to the professionals to avoid damage.
How often should you polish quartz countertops?
For average household use, having your countertops professionally restored every 3-5 years is typically recommended to keep them looking their best. More frequent polishing should not be necessary. Proper cleaning and care between polishing will help maintain the finish.
While quartz countertops do not require regular polishing like natural stone, professional restoration can remove scratches and restore the original shine. This process allows you to renew the look of your existing quartz rather than replace it. With routine care and occasional restoration as needed, quartz countertops can stay looking amazing for years to come.