Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, over time quartz counters may show signs of wear such as scratches, dullness, and etching. This leads many homeowners to wonder – can you refinish quartz countertop? The short answer is yes, quartz countertops can be refinished to restore their original beauty and shine. Here is an in-depth look at refinishing quartz counters.
What is Quartz Countertop Refinishing?
Quartz countertop refinishing is the process of resurfacing the top layer of the countertop to remove scratches, etching, and restore luster. It involves lightly sanding the surface and applying a new finish. The end result is a countertop that looks brand new. Refinishing does not require full replacement of the countertop. It is a more affordable option that restores beauty and function.
Benefits of Refinishing Quartz Counters
There are several benefits that come with refinishing quartz countertops:
- Cost savings: Refinishing costs a fraction compared to full quartz counter replacement. On average, expect to pay $2-5 per square foot for refinishing versus $60-100 per square foot for a new installation.
- Quick turnaround: The refinishing process takes 1-2 days only. New installation typically takes 5-7 days.
- Minimal disruption: Counters can be refinished in place with little demo. New installs require full counter removal.
- Renewed look: Refinishing removes scratches, food stains, and etching. Counters look brand new after refinishing.
- Extend lifespan: Refinishing renews the protective sealant layer. This helps quartz counters last longer.
- Variety: Refinishing offers the chance to change color and finish. Upgrading is fast and affordable.
- Sustainability: Refinishing is an eco-friendly alternative to full replacement waste.
How Is a Quartz Countertop Refinished?
Refinishing quartz countertops involves several steps:
The first step is to fully clean the countertop and remove any waxes or sealants present using degreasing agents. This allows the new finish to properly bond.
Light sanding is done using progressively finer grit sandpaper. This removes light scratches and evens the surface. Excessive sanding can damage the countertop.
Small chips and cracks can be filled using special epoxy filler formulated for quartz. This provides a smooth finish.
A quartz-specific sealer is applied as a preparatory base layer and allowed to fully cure.
Finally, the finish coat is sprayed or rolled on. Professional refinishers have access to commercial-grade finishes. 2-3 coats are applied for best results.
The finish requires up to 72 hours of curing time before regular use can resume. This allows it to fully harden.
Can You DIY Refinish Quartz Counters?
It is possible to refinish quartz counters as a DIY project. However, professional refinishing is recommended for best results for several reasons:
- Superior tools & materials: Pros use commercial-grade sealers, finishes, and equipment. Most DIY products lead to disappointments.
- Skill: An experienced pro has refinished hundreds of counters. They know techniques to achieve flawless results and avoid pitfalls.
- Efficiency: DIY refinishing takes a lot of time and effort to complete. A pro team can refinish in 1-2 days.
- Warranty: Professional refinishers provide warranties of 1-5 years on their work. DIY carries no guarantee.
While DIY refinishing can save on labor cost, the tradeoff is often lower quality results and no warranty protection. Consult with a professional first.
How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Quartz Countertops?
The cost to refinish quartz counters professionally ranges from $2-5 per square foot on average. Total costs depend on:
- Countertop size: Larger countertops cost more overall than small ones.
- Finish level: Basic resurfacing is cheapest. High-gloss professional finishes are pricier.
- Color change: Switching color during refinishing increases cost slightly.
- Location: Pricing varies by geographical area and local labor rates.
- Contractor bids: Get at least 3 quotes from reputable local contractors.
A typical mid-grade refinish of a medium 25 square foot quartz kitchen countertop would cost around $125 total. High-end finishes for a larger 75 square foot quartz countertop may cost $375 or more.
How Long Does a Refinished Quartz Countertop Last?
When done properly by a professional, a refinished quartz counter should last 3-5 years before needing another resurfacing. Proper cleaning and avoiding damage will extend the finish lifetime. With periodic maintenance refinishing, the underlying quartz countertop can easily last 15-20 years or longer.
Signs Your Quartz Counter Could Benefit From Refinishing
Here are signs it’s time to consider refinishing your quartz countertop:
- Visible scratches, pits, and etching on surface
- Stains that cannot be removed through cleaning
- Foggy or dull areas with loss of shine
- Noticeable knife marks and cuts
- Water marks or ring stains
- Color seems faded
- Accumulation of hard water or soap scum
Refinishing should be done when the countertop shows light cosmetic damage before excessive wear occurs. Refinishing cannot help countertops with deep damage or seams/cracks.
Is Refinishing environmentally friendly?
Refinishing quartz counters is an eco-friendly “green” alternative to replacement. It keeps existing countertop materials out of landfills. The process uses fewer new resources and energy than manufacturing and installing an entirely new countertop. There is also less demolition waste and pollution. Homeowners concerned about sustainability will appreciate refinishing.
FAQ About Refinishing Quartz Counters
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about refinishing quartz countertops:
Can you change the color when refinishing quartz?
Yes, the color and finish can be altered during professional refinishing. This allows you to update to a whole new look.
Does refinishing quartz counters require removing the countertop?
Refinishing is usually performed with the quartz counter intact in place. No need for full removal or replacement.
How long is a quartz countertop unusable during refinishing?
1-3 days is typical. The curing timeframe after refinishing means no use for 48-72 hours. Plan accordingly.
Can you refinish just part of a quartz countertop?
It is possible but not ideal. Refinishing should be done to the whole continuous surface for best durability and appearance.
What about DIY quartz counter refinishing kits?
DIY kits may disappoint. Commercial finishes, tools, skills make professional refinishing the better investment.
Will refinishing remove or minimize quartz countertop seams?
No. Refinishing cannot eliminate seams between quartz slabs. Seam width remains unchanged.
Refinishing offers quartz countertop owners an affordable way to restore the original beauty and function of their counters instead of undertaking full replacement. When performed professionally using proper methods and materials, refinishing can make quartz counters look brand new again after just 1-2 days. Investing in periodic refinishing every 3-5 years enables homeowners to keep their quartz counters in prime condition for 20 years or longer. Consult with experienced local contractors to discuss your quartz countertop refinishing options. With some care and minimal maintenance, your lovely quartz countertop can look amazing for decades to come.