Can You Sand Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are an incredibly popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz offers an attractive, low-maintenance, and durable surface. However, like any countertop material, quartz can become scratched, stained, or lose its luster over time. This leads many homeowners to wonder – can you sand quartz countertop?

What is Quartz?

Before diving into sanding, it’s helpful to understand exactly what quartz countertops are made of.

Quartz countertops contain approximately 90% ground quartz crystals combined with around 10% polymer resins and pigments. The quartz crystals give the material its hardness and durability, while the resins bind it together into a solid slab.

The exact ratio and composition varies between quartz brands and product lines. But in general, quartz countertops contain:

  • 90% crushed quartz
  • 7-10% resins (polyester, epoxy, acrylic, etc)
  • 3-5% colored pigments

This combination results in a material that is non-porous, stain resistant, and heat tolerant – plus has an attractive, natural-stone like appearance without all the maintenance.

The Challenges of Sanding Quartz

Now back to the original question – can you sand quartz counters? The short answer is yes, quartz can be sanded. But there are some important caveats to keep in mind.

The biggest challenge with sanding quartz is that the material is very hard – nearly as hard as granite. Quartz registers at around 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, while granite is typically an 8 or 9. This extreme hardness makes sanding very difficult.

In addition, the resin used in quartz counters cures very firmly and does not break down easily. So while the quartz crystals themselves can be sanded, the resin binds them together to create a dense, non-porous surface.

Proper Methods for Sanding Quartz

While quartz can technically be sanded, it requires specialty diamond-abrasive sandpaper and equipment to be effective. This is typically beyond the DIY scope and is best left to professional refinishers.

Here is the proper sanding process:

  • Coarse diamond-abrasive sandpaper – 50 grit or lower to remove deep scratches or stains.
  • Medium grit – 100-200 grit to smooth away coarse sanding marks.
  • Fine grit – 400-500 grit for final smoothing and polishing prep.
  • Oxide polish – Applied after sanding to bring back the surface luster.

Proper safety precautions are also a must when sanding quartz:

  • Dust mask – To prevent inhalation of quartz dust.
  • Safety goggles – Sanding generates fine debris and particles.
  • Ear protection – Sanding tools can be very loud.
  • Gloves – To protect hands from abrasions.
  • Work outdoors if possible – Prevent dust buildup indoors.

DIY Sanding Rarely Works

While it is technically possible to sand quartz countertops yourself, it rarely goes well for DIYers. The main reasons are:

  • Specialty sanding equipment is expensive for one-time use.
  • It is difficult to get an even, smooth finish across the entire surface.
  • The quartz can become easily pitted, cracked, or scratched if too much pressure is applied.
  • Matching the existing finish and luster is very difficult after sanding.
  • DIY kits do not sand aggressively enough to address deep scratches or stains.

Professional Refinishing Is Best

Given the challenges of DIY sanding for quartz, professional refinishing is almost always the best option. Specialty shops have the proper tools, materials, and training to sand quartz countertops effectively.

Here is what you can expect from professional quartz sanding services:

  • Diamond abrasive equipment – Allows for even, consistent sanding.
  • Dustless systems – Vacuums away debris during sanding.
  • Oxide polishing powders – Restore the countertop shine and luster.
  • Color matching expertise – Makes certain the finish matches the existing quartz color and pattern.
  • Epoxy filling – Repairs cracks or chips in the surface.
  • Antimicrobial treatments – Optional protection against bacteria growth.

Professional refinishing costs around $300-500 per average size kitchen. While not cheap, it allows quartz counters to be repaired versus needing complete replacement.

Maintenance Tips to Avoid Refinishing

While professional sanding can repair quartz surfaces, prevention is the best medicine. Here are some tips to keep your quartz pristine for years:

  • Use cutting boards and trivets to protect from knives and hot pans.
  • Clean spills immediately to prevent stains from setting.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, alkaline cleaners, etc.
  • For cleaning, mild soap and water is all that is needed for most messes.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer to prevent etching.
  • Have quartz professionally honed and polished every 3-5 years to restore the finish.

The Bottom Line

Sanding quartz countertops is certainly possible, but presents challenges due to the material’s extreme hardness and composition. While DIY sanding is not recommended, professional refinishers have the specialized tools and expertise to properly resurface and polish quartz slabs. However, prevention is the best approach through proper care and maintenance. Avoiding damage in the first place will save you the cost and hassle of refinishing your quartz counters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sand out scratches from my quartz countertop myself?

It is not recommended. DIY sanding of quartz rarely goes well due to the need for diamond-abrasive sandpaper and specialty tools. Hiring a professional refinisher is the best option to properly sand out scratches.

What grit sandpaper is needed for quartz countertop?

Start with a very coarse 50-60 grit diamond abrasive sandpaper to grind down stains and scratches. Then use 100, 200, 400, and finally 600-800 grit to polish the surface smooth.

Will sanding ruin my quartz countertop?

If not done properly, yes it can damage the counter. Applying too much pressure can crack quartz, while incorrect sanding techniques can create pitting or an uneven surface. Always hire a professional to avoid ruining your counters.

Can I use a hand sander on quartz?

It is not recommended. Hand sanding does not provide consistent pressure and can easily damage the surface. Quartz requires specialized equipment like dual-head orbital sanders.

Is there a DIY quartz sanding kit I can buy?

Some DIY kits are sold but they are not aggressive enough for deep scratch removal. The included sandpaper is also not diamond abrasive, making it ineffective on ultra-hard quartz.

How much does it cost to get quartz countertops professionally sanded?

On average expect to pay $300-500 to have a professional refinish your quartz counters, depending on the size of the kitchen or bathroom.

After sanding, will my countertops look different?

There may be slight differences in appearance, which is why working with a pro who can color match the finish is important. The sanded area will likely appear “fresher” than the surrounding surface.

Is it possible to ruin my counters if I try sanding them myself?

Yes, DIY sanding has a high risk of causing pitting, cracking, uneven surfaces, and other damage. Quartz requires specialty tools and experience to sand properly.


While quartz countertops are incredibly durable in daily use, they can become scratched and worn over time. Sanding is possible to refinish them, but presents challenges due to their hardness and composition. Specialized diamond abrasive equipment and professional expertise is recommended to successfully sand quartz counters. With proper care, maintenance, and occasional professional refinishing, quartz surfaces can stay looking like new for many years.