Quartz countertops are one of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom remodels today. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz offers an attractive, durable, and low-maintenance alternative to natural stone, laminate, or solid surface countertops. However, one question that often comes up during the installation process is whether quartz countertops require edge cuts. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a detailed look at edge treatments for quartz countertops to help you determine if edge cuts are necessary for your project.
What are Quartz Countertop Edges?
The edge of a countertop refers to the exposed front corner that runs along the perimeter. It can be square, beveled, rounded, or shaped into more elaborate profiles. The edge serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Functionally, it provides a finished look along the counter’s border. Aesthetically, it allows you to customize the appearance of your countertop and tie in other design elements of the kitchen or bath.
With quartz countertops, the edge is typically built up with the same quartz and resin materials as the countertop surface. It is formed seamlessly with the counter during fabrication. The edge can be left square or modified into various edge profiles that alter its shape. The type of edge dictates whether any edge cutting is required.
Do You Need Edge Cuts for Quartz?
In most cases, edge cuts or shaping are not absolutely necessary for quartz countertops. Since quartz is an engineered stone, it can be molded and formed during fabrication. Quartz edges can be created with integrated bullnose, bevel, triple pencil edge, or other profiles without the need for secondary cuts. This allows for a smooth, even edge that is shaped simultaneously with the countertop.
However, edge cuts may be recommended in certain situations:
To soften sharp 90-degree corners
The natural square edge of a quartz countertop has sharp 90-degree corners. Edge cuts can round or bevel these corners to create softer, safer edges. This reduces the chance of chipping and makes the counters more comfortable to live with.
To coordinate with other materials
If you are integrating quartz with natural stone, tile, or sinks with curved edges, you may want the quartz edges to match. Cutting and polishing the edges can blend the design.
For decorative edge profiles
Unique edged shapes like wave, Shaker, or more intricate profiles require cutting and shaping to achieve the desired look. This adds embellishment beyond a standard square edge.
To remove seams
Seams may exist between separate pieces of an island or large countertop. Cutting and polishing provides a continuous, seamless appearance.
Common Quartz Edge Profiles
If you do opt to have your edges cut, here are some of the most popular edge shapes for quartz:
The bullnose edge features a rounded, convex profile. It creates a soft, contemporary look.
Beveled edges are cut at an angle to the counter surface, typically 30 or 45 degrees. This adds dimension.
A double bevel has two beveled edges that meet at a point, creating a sharp, pyramid-shaped profile.
Mitered edges join two countertop pieces at an angle rather than butt seaming them. Cutting the edges on a miter allows for continuous flow.
Ogee edges have an S-shaped curved profile with two concave spaces connected by a convex curve. Ogee adds elegance.
The Dupont edge has a rounded top that drops down to a short vertical edge. It combines curves with clean lines.
A sharknose edge features a thin rounded overhang that protrudes slightly past the counter face. It has a subtle roll.
Do You Need to Hire a Professional?
Installing quartz countertops with custom cut edges requires specialized tools and experience. Attempting to cut the edges as a DIY project often leads to cracking, chipping, or uneven edges. Therefore, it’s highly advisable to hire a professional quartz fabricator for any edge cutting.
Quartz dealers that provide both fabrication and installation services can expertly template, fabricate, cut, and install your counters to your specifications. They have the knowledge and right techniques to handle the fragile quartz material and deliver your desired edge results. Be sure to communicate your expectations for edge shaping when planning the project.
How Much Does Edge Cutting Cost?
If your selected edge profile requires additional cuts, it will add cost to your quartz countertop installation. In general, you can expect to pay $15 to $30 per linear foot for edge shaping. Simple bevels on a standard square edge will be towards the lower end, while complex curves or built-up edges will be more. Things like machined edges, laminated edges, and backsplashes also impact the price. Discuss the exact costs with your fabricator based on your kitchen or bathroom design.
Do Quartz Countertops Need to Be Sealed?
Quartz countertops are made to be waterproof and non-porous, so they do not require regular sealing. However, sealing can provide an added layer of protection, especially for darker quartz that shows scratches and watermarks more easily. Look for sealing products specifically formulated for quartz. Avoid cheap, generic sealers which may discolor the material. Only reapply sealer as needed, not more than once a year.
Do Quartz Countertops Stain Easily?
Quartz is resistant to most stains and etching from daily use. However, it is not fully stain-proof. Prolonged exposure to strong chemicals, dyes, or acidic foods can damage quartz and lead to stains that require professional restoration. Be sure to wipe up spills quickly and avoid exposing quartz to harsh cleaners to prevent stains.
How to Clean and Care for Quartz Edges
- Use a soft, mild cleaner and damp sponge or cloth to gently wipe edges. Avoid abrasive scrub pads.
- For food and grease, spray a specially formulated quartz cleaner and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
- If edges look dull, restore luster by applying quartz polish and buffing.
- Avoid placing hot pans directly on edges. Use trivets and hot pads. The heat can scorch quartz.
- Don’t use cleaners containing lemon, vinegar or other acids on the edges.
- Avoid hitting edges with heavy impact that can chip the material.
While quartz countertops often do not require extra edge cutting or shaping, customized edges can provide aesthetic, functional, and design benefits. Carefully consider your needs, lifestyle, and overall vision for choosing edge profiles that work best in your space. Consult closely with an experienced quartz fabricator to bring your unique edge ideas to life. With the proper fabrication and regular care, your quartz countertop edges can stay beautiful for many years.
FAQs about Quartz Countertop Edges
Do quartz countertops need bullnose edges?
Bullnose edges are optional for quartz counters. They help soften the sharp 90-degree corners but are not essential. Choosing bullnose or any edge shape is an aesthetic preference.
What is the most popular edge for quartz?
The bullnose edge is currently the most popular for its soft, rounded profile. However beveled edges are also widely used for their dimension. Quartz can be fabricated with nearly any edge style.
Can you cut quartz countertops yourself?
It is not advisable to cut or modify quartz edges as a DIY project. The material is delicate and requires special tools. Professional fabrication should shape and finish edges to avoid damage.
Do edges increase the cost of quartz?
Yes, custom cutting and finishing quartz edges beyond a simple square profile adds cost in both labor and materials. Expect to pay $15 – $30 per linear foot for your desired edge treatment.
How thick should quartz edges be?
An edge thickness between 1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″ is standard. Thicker edges up to 2″ are possible but may require additional reinforcement. Discuss options with your quartz pro during templating.