Can You Sand a Chip in Quartz Countertops?

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom renovations due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like any countertop material, quartz can become damaged over time. Small chips and scratches are common, often caused by dropping heavy or sharp objects. This leads many homeowners to wonder – can you sand a chip in quartz countertops? Here is a detailed look at the sanding process and what to expect when repairing chips and scratches in quartz.

What is Quartz?

Before diving into sanding and repair methods, it’s helpful to understand what quartz countertops are made of. Quartz is an engineered stone, made from approximately 90% ground natural quartz aggregates combined with polymer resins and pigments. The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a hard, non-porous material.

The resins make quartz more flexible and stain-resistant than natural stone. Quartz also contains colored pigments to achieve various styles and patterns. Unlike granite or marble, no two quartz slabs are exactly alike.

The Challenges of Sanding Quartz

When evaluating do-it-yourself repairs on quartz, it’s important to understand the challenges:

  • Quartz is extremely hard – It’s nearly as hard as diamonds on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes it difficult to sand by hand.
  • Consistent finish – Quartz has a polished or matte factory finish. Sanding can alter the uniform surface.
  • Aggregate exposure – Aggressive sanding can remove the resin and expose the quartz aggregates. This gives the sanded spot a different appearance.
  • Precision – It’s difficult to sand a small chip or scratch without impacting the surrounding area.

Is Sanding Quartz Countertops Recommended?

Most manufacturers advise against sanding quartz countertops yourself and instead recommend hiring a professional. While it may seem like sanding should be an easy DIY quartz repair, the ultra-hard material can quickly damage sandpaper and most hand tools. The material is also unforgiving – even minor errors are difficult to undo.

However, light sanding may be possible for extremely minor scratches with patience and the proper tools. Any visible chips or damage larger than a hairline scratch will likely require a pro.

Professional Quartz Countertop Repair

For significant chips, gouges, or widespread damage, professional quartz repair or replacement is recommended. An experienced countertop pro has access to specialized tools like diamond-abrasive pads and grinders to sand down the damaged section. They can then polish the sanded area to match the original finish.

The process involves:

  • Sanding the damaged section down to remove chips and scratches
  • Gradually smoothing the area with finer grit abrasives
  • Polishing to restore the finish
  • Sealing and re-finishing as needed to blend repairs

In some cases, badly damaged sections may need quartz filler or clear resin to repair deep gouges before sanding. Pros also have experience with color-matching to disguise visible repairs.

DIY Sanding Tips for Minor Quartz Chips

While professional repair is ideal, light sanding may remove very minor scratches. Keep these precautions in mind:

  • Use a hand-held random orbital sander or sanding sponge with 150-220 grit paper. Avoid electric grinders.
  • Work slowly and gently to avoid damaging the surrounding surface.
  • Focus on blending the edges of the scratch, not removing the deep scratch.
  • After blending, polish with a 3000+ grit sponge and quartz cleaner to restore shine.
  • Be prepared to call a pro if DIY sanding worsens the issue.

How to Prevent Quartz Countertop Damage

Prevention is key to avoiding chips and scratches that require sanding repairs:

  • Use cutting boards and hot pads instead of cutting directly on the quartz.
  • Clean spills quickly to avoid stains setting.
  • Avoid dropping heavy objects on the surface.
  • Don’t drag appliances or cookware across the quartz.
  • Apply a quartz sealer every 1-2 years for added protection.
  • Handle chemicals carefully and clean residue promptly. Acids can etch quartz.

Maintaining Your Investment with Proper Care

Quartz countertops can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. While sanding chips is not typically recommended as a DIY project, occasional professional repairs may be needed. To extend the life of your investment and minimize damage:

  • Clean with a gentle stone cleaner instead of harsh chemicals.
  • Reseal the quartz every couple of years.
  • Don’t use the countertop as a cutting board.
  • Use trivets for hot pans and careful handling of heavy items.
  • Perform routine inspection to identify potential issues early.

With some basic care, it’s possible to enjoy beautiful, low-maintenance quartz countertops for decades before major repairs are needed. But when chips, scratches or excessive staining does occur, trust the job to a qualified professional. Their specialized tools and experience repairing quartz offer the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sand out minor scratches in my quartz countertop?

Light sanding with fine-grit sandpaper may remove very minor surface scratches. However, quartz’s hardness makes DIY sanding difficult for anything deeper.

Will sanding damage my quartz countertop?

Aggressive pressure and coarse sandpaper can damage the surface, expose the quartz aggregates or create uneven areas. Always start gently.

What is the best sander for quartz countertops?

A random orbital sander or hand-held sanding sponge with at least 150 grit paper works best. Avoid power grinders which can damage the material.

Should I wax my quartz countertop after sanding?

No, wax should not be used on quartz. For polished finishes, restore the shine with a quartz polish and microfiber cloth after sanding.

How can you tell if a scratch needs professional repair?

Deep scratches that catch your fingernail and any chips or pits wider than a hairline require professional help. DIY sanding cannot fix significant damage.


Sanding and repairing chips or scratches in quartz countertops is best left to the professionals in most situations. Quartz’s ultra-hard composition can crack, chip, or become mismatched when sanded aggressively. For light surface scratches, gentle DIY sanding is possible but has risks. Preventing damage through proper care and maintenance is the best approach for enjoying quartz’s durability and beauty long-term. With some basic precautions, quartz countertops can provide many years of service before repairs are needed.