Quartz countertops are an incredibly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz delivers a beautiful, durable, and low-maintenance surface. However, like all countertop materials, quartz will eventually need replacing. When that time comes, you may be wondering: can you reuse quartz countertops by moving them to a new home? Here is what you need to know.
An Overview of Reusing Quartz Countertops
In most cases, reusing quartz countertops is possible with proper planning and careful removal. Quartz slabs are custom-cut to size for each installation. If removed properly, the countertop slabs can be reused in a new home. However, there are some important factors to consider:
- Installation method – How the original quartz countertop was installed will impact how reusable the slabs are. Adhesive-mounted tops are the easiest to remove intact.
- Seams and cutouts – The original seam placements, sink cutouts, etc may not work in the new home. Some modification and re-cutting of the slabs may be needed.
- Safe removal – Quartz slabs are fragile. Cracks and breakage can occur if the countertop is not removed carefully. Hire professionals for safe removal.
- Transportation – Large quartz slabs are heavy, awkward, and prone to cracking. Proper equipment and experienced handlers are needed to move them safely.
With smart planning and professional assistance, reusing quartz can be cost-effective while keeping old countertops out of landfills. Get all the details on how below!
Why Reuse Quartz Countertops?
There are a few key reasons homeowners consider reusing quartz slabs:
New quartz countertops are a significant investment, starting around $80-100 per square foot installed. Reusing quartz saves big on materials and installation costs. Even with some modifications, reused quartz is far cheaper than purchasing all new slabs.
Retain the Original Look
If you love the color, pattern, or style of your existing quartz, reusing it allows you to keep that same aesthetic in your new space. Installing the original slabs again is the only way to get an exact material match.
Trashed countertops end up in landfills. With quartz being a non-renewable natural resource, reusing slabs is an eco-friendly alternative to throwing them away.
Ease the Remodel Process
Rather than researching new materials and waiting for their delivery and installation, reused quartz allows for a speedier remodel.
For most homeowners, the potential cost and time savings make reusing quartz an appealing option worth exploring.
How to Determine if Your Quartz Can Be Reused
While reusing quartz is often possible, not all countertops can be salvaged. Several factors determine whether your existing slabs can be removed and repurposed in a new space:
How the quartz was originally installed is the most important factor in its reusability. Here are the likelihoods of removing different types of installations intact:
- Adhesive-mounted – These countertops are installed atop a substrate using adhesive and silicone caulking. With care, the whole slab can be detached and reused. This provides the best chance for reuse.
- Screw-down mounted – Countertops secured with perimeter screws can potentially be reused but have a higher risk of cracking or breaking during removal. Screw holes will also be visible and need filling.
- Fully integrated – Integrated quartz countertops with sinks, backsplashes, etc. fused into one solid slab are the most difficult to remove undamaged. Seamlessly integrated pieces are the least reusable.
Tip: Consult your original installer or review your paperwork to learn how your quartz countertops were mounted.
Seams and Modifications
The original quartz likely has seams and cutouts for sinks, cooktops, backsplashes, etc. These will need to be reworked in a new space. Check that the slabs are large enough to accommodate needed modifications. Keep in mind:
- Seams – Original seams may need to be moved and recut to fit the new space. This reduces the size of the slabs.
- Sink cutouts – The previous sink likely won’t align with the new kitchen’s plumbing. enlarged, filled in, or recut.
- Backsplash requirements – You may need taller backsplashes in a new kitchen, requiring extensions to the slabs.
Assess the room layout, measure carefully, and determine what types of modifications are needed before committing to a reuse project.
Standard quartz thickness is 3 cm (1.2 inches). Some specialty slabs come in thicker 5 cm (2 inch) sizes. Know your existing slab thickness and ensure it meets the requirements for the new install location. For example, floors and outdoor uses often mandate thicker quartz.
Finally, examine the existing countertops closely for any chips, cracks, stains, or other damage that would diminish the reuse value. While small chips and scuffs can potentially be repaired, large cracks are problematic and prone to spreading when moved. Heavily damaged slabs are not worth trying to reuse.
How to Remove and Transport Reused Quartz Slabs
If reusing your quartz seems feasible after reviewing the above factors, proper removal and transport are critical next steps. Here are best practices for safely extracting and moving quartz slabs:
Use Professional Removal
Do not try DIY removal, as prying up adhered countertops risks cracking the thin 3cm slabs. Hire professionals like the original installer who have specialty tools and techniques for safe quartz removal, such as:
- Adhesive solvents – Chemical solvents dissolve mastic and silicone adhesives for gentle release.
- Release films – Thin plastic sheets prevent bonding between slab and adhesive.
- Patient dislodging – Slow, even force across the slab prevents cracking. Rush jobs crack slabs.
Remove accessories like sinks first. Then employ solvents and gentle prying motions to detach the slabs fully intact. Be prepared to fill any screw holes or gaps left behind.
Always transport quartz slabs flat and level. Tilting or shifting can apply unbalanced forces leading to breaks and cracks. Use:
- A-frames – These rigid ladder-like frames keep slabs horizontal for transport.
- Suction cups – Secure suction cups evenly lift slabs without gripping that can crack quartz.
- Foam padding – Cushion slabs with soft foam padding to prevent nicks and impacts from vibrations.
Cover the slabs with blankets or other protection against jarring or debris during transport.
Hire Experienced Handlers
Do not move heavy quartz slabs without proper equipment, vehicles, and experienced material handlers. Trust only professional slab transporters who have training in:
- Lifting and maneuvering – It takes multiple people working closely together to coordinate careful quartz handling.
- Secured trucks – Flatbed trucks with proper tie-downs keep slabs still and avoid jarring.
DIY transport risks accidental dropping and dangerous breaking of the thin quartz. Leave it to slab moving professionals.
With cautious extraction, transport, and experienced handlers, your quartz countertops can successfully make the move to a new home installation.
Installing Reused Quartz Countertops
Once safely removed and transported, reusing quartz countertops follows a similar process as new installations. Here are some tips for reused quartz:
Create a Template
Measure the new space and create a detailed template showing desired seams, cutouts, edges, and other modifications. This is an important step missed in many DIY reused quartz jobs. Having a thorough template ensures the slabs get precision cutting to fit the new space.
Make Necessary Cuts and Modifications
Using the template, have a professional fabricator make any required changes to the quartz. This may involve:
- Moving or removing seams
- Adding edges and backsplashes
- Cutting or filling sink and cooktop holes
- Repairing any cracks or chips
Modifications should be done prior to final installation.
Follow Best Installation Practices
Clean the slabs thoroughly and prepare the new underlying surface per standard installation procedures. Use adhesive, brackets, or screw-down fastening appropriate for the new space. Carefully mount the modified slabs following the template.
Finally, reseal all seams and integration points with silicone caulk for water protection and an invisible look. Install new sinks and fixtures to complete the reused quartz installation.
With proper planning and processing, you can successfully reuse your existing quartz.
FAQs About Reusing Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners considering a quartz reuse project have additional questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Is it cheaper to reuse existing quartz versus buying new?
In most cases, yes. Reused quartz only requires payment for modifications, transport, and installation. Buying entirely new slabs averages $70-120 per square foot. Reuse can save 50% or more off equivalent new quartz costs after factoring some modification expenses.
Can any quartz countertop be reused?
Not necessarily. As outlined above, adhesive-mounted quartz in good condition has the highest potential for reuse. Screw-down and integrated tops are riskier. Heavily damaged or thinner quartz may not be practically reusable. Assess your specific countertops carefully.
Do you need the exact same measurements for reused quartz?
Fortunately, no. Having the original counters measured precisely for the new space is ideal. But off-the-shelf quartz sizes can work for reuse too. Excess overhangs can be cut off. Just account for needed seams and cutouts in the new template.
Can you install reused quartz yourself?
It’s not advisable for DIYers. Proper removal, transporting fragile slabs, making precise modifications, and following best installation practices are challenging. Most homeowners should hire good professionals when reusing quartz.
Does reused quartz look different than new?
Reinstalled quartz should look nearly identical to new with proper planning. The only differences may be seams moved or eliminated. The same material will provide the same visual effect. Some filled holes or scuffs might be faintly visible on close inspection. But overall, reused quartz looks refreshed.
Reusing quartz countertops can be a smart, eco-friendly, and cost-effective option when remodeling a kitchen or bath. With professional assistance and attention to the unique needs of handling quartz slabs, homeowners can successfully reuse these beautiful, durable surfaces.
Reusing quartz countertops is often possible, but needs careful consideration regarding safe removal, transportation, re-cutting, and professional installation. With smart planning and help from experienced tradespeople, reusing quartz can save thousands over purchasing new countertops. It also prevents usable slabs from clogging up landfills. By following best practices for removal, transport, modifications, and installation, homeowners can successfully reuse quartz for a refreshed look at a fraction of the price of brand new materials. With a well-executed reuse project, you can feel good about saving money and the environmental impact.