Quartz countertops are an incredibly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, over time quartz counters can start to lose their luster and show signs of wear. Some homeowners may consider refinishing their quartz countertops to restore the appearance. But is it possible to refinish quartz?
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This mixture creates a man-made material that is hard, non-porous, and attractive.
Unlike natural stone, quartz does not need to be sealed. And it resists stains, scratches, heat damage and other issues that can plague natural stone counters. This makes quartz an ideal choice for busy kitchens.
Can You Refinish Quartz Countertops?
The short answer is no. Quartz countertops cannot be refinished like solid surface acrylic or natural stone counters.
The resin binds the quartz particles together in a solid, irreversible way. This makes it impossible to sand or polish quartz slabs in place. Any attempt to refinish will damage the structural integrity of the material.
Signs Your Quartz Countertops Need Help
Quartz is incredibly durable, but it is not indestructible. Over years of use, normal wear and tear can dull areas or lead to scratches and stains. Here are some common issues homeowners notice with older quartz counters:
- Loss of shine and luster
- Light scratches, especially around the sink
- Stains from spills that sat too long before cleaning
- Chips, cracks, or divots from dropping heavy objects
- Discoloration or marks from hot pans or certain cleaners
- Water marks or rings
Alternatives to Refinishing Quartz
While you cannot refinish quartz counters, there are ways to improve their appearance and restore your kitchen:
Cleaning and Polishing
Use a gentle quartz cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge to clean the entire surface. Avoid abrasive cleansers. For polishing, use a quartz polish product and buff the counters to restore shine. Clean and polish regularly to maintain luster.
Spot Repair Kits
For minor damage like scratches and chips, opt for a quartz countertop repair kit. These contain materials like putty sticks and compounds to fill in small imperfections. Repaired areas usually blend seamlessly with the rest of the counter.
Rather than refinishing, some companies offer quartz countertop resurfacing. This involves applying a clear overlay epoxy coating to FORMICA counters or quartz that adds shine and helps hide damage underneath.
For counters that are badly damaged, stained, or just look outdated, a full countertop replacement may be needed. This allows you to upgrade to a fresh, modern quartz look. Replacement can often be done affordably by overlaying new quartz over the existing counters.
Maintaining Your Quartz Counters
To keep your quartz counters looking like new:
- Use cutting boards and trivets to prevent direct cuts and heat damage.
- Clean up spills immediately to avoid stains setting.
- Avoid using cleansers with bleach, alkalis, or abrasives.
- Clean regularly with a soft sponge and mild soap and water.
- Consider periodic professional polishing services.
- Reseal any seams or cracks that develop to prevent moisture issues.
Can You Refinish Quartz FAQs
Can I sand down or polish my quartz counters?
No. Sanding, grinding, or polishing will damage the structural integrity of quartz. The countertops cannot be altered or refinished this way once installed.
Will resurfacing help renew my old quartz counters?
Applying an epoxy coating through professional resurfacing can help refresh the appearance and hide existing damage. But it does not constitute a true refinish.
What about DIY refinishing kits?
DIY refinishing kits that contain etching creams or compounds made for other surfaces will not work on quartz. They can damage and dull the quartz rather than refreshing its appearance.
Is it possible to bleach or etch my quartz counters?
No. While bleach or etching products give a weathered or matte look to some surfaces, they will not work on quartz. The chemicals will damage the surface.
Can I renew the polish on my quartz?
You cannot renew the factory polish. But using quartz polish and careful buffing can help restore some shine between professional cleanings. Avoid DIY polishing kits with abrasives.
While quartz countertops cannot be refinished in the traditional sense, alternatives like polishing, repairs, resurfacing, and replacement can renew the look of tired counters. With proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops can look beautiful for many years before needing any restoration work. Utilize cleaning, repairs for minor damage, and professional resurfacing when needed to keep your quartz counters in their best condition.