Quartz countertops have become incredibly popular in recent years as a durable, low-maintenance, and stylish option for kitchens and bathrooms. One of the most frequently asked questions about quartz countertops is whether they require sealing to protect and preserve the surface. The short answer is no – quartz countertops do not require sealing like natural stone surfaces. Here’s a detailed look at why quartz countertops don’t need sealing and how to care for them to keep them looking pristine for years to come.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material, while resins act as a binder and pigments add color and pattern.
The resins make quartz non-porous, unlike natural stone materials like granite, which have tiny pores that can absorb liquids. The lack of porosity is one of the reasons quartz does not require sealing.
Why Quartz Doesn’t Require Sealing
There are a few key reasons why quartz countertops do not need sealing:
As mentioned, quartz is non-porous, so it does not absorb liquids and cannot stain from spills like wine, coffee, juice, etc. The resins fill in the tiny spaces between the quartz particles, creating a dense, impervious surface.
Highly Resistant Surface
In addition to being non-porous, quartz is very hard and resistant to scratches, chips, cracks, heat damage and more. It’s even more durable than natural stones. The durability means sealing is not required to protect the surface.
Stain Protection Built-In
The resins used in manufacturing quartz surfaces provide built-in stain protection that eliminates the need for sealing. The polymers create a barrier resistant to stains.
Lack of Maintenance
Unlike natural stone, quartz requires very little maintenance. Simply cleaning with soap and water is enough to keep quartz pristine. No sealing, polishing, re-sanding etc. is required. The hassle-free care is a major perk.
Warranties Support Lack of Sealing
Quartz countertop manufacturers back their products with warranties (typically 10-15 years) that do not require regular sealing as a condition. Always check your specific warranty, but the warranties provide further evidence that sealing is unnecessary.
Do Any Quartz Countertops Require Sealing?
While sealing is generally not required for quartz countertops, there are a few exceptions:
- Quartz that incorporates natural stone – Some quartz materials blend in fragments of granite, marble or other stone. These may be more porous and require occasional sealing.
- Heavily textured quartz – Deeply textured quartz with intricate designs and patterns may need sealing just along crevasses that dirt and debris can settle into.
- Quartz around sinks – Quartz near sinks and faucets where water cascades directly onto the surface daily may benefit from sealing due to constant exposure.
Aside from those unique situations, the vast majority of quartz countertops never need sealing under normal conditions. Always check with your specific quartz manufacturer to see if they recommend sealing for their product.
How to Care for Quartz Countertops
While quartz countertops are nearly maintenance-free, it’s still important to properly care for them to prevent any damage:
- Clean quartz regularly with a soft cloth and mild soap and water.
- Rinse away all soap residue and dry with a soft towel.
- For stubborn messes, use a non-abrasive cleaner designed for stone surfaces.
- Avoid harsh cleaners like bleach, alkaline cleaners, or abrasive scrub pads/sponges.
Prevent Scratches and Chips
- Use cutting boards and trivets for hot pots/pans. Never cut directly on the quartz.
- Don’t drag heavy appliances or objects across the surface. Lift them to move.
- Apply wax occasionally for added protection from scrape marks.
Address Spills Immediately
- Because quartz resists stains, quick cleanup of spills prevents any problems.
- Blot liquids right away and rinse area with water. For dried spills, scrape off gently with a plastic putty knife first.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
- Prolonged direct sunlight can cause quartz to fade or discolor over time. Draw curtains/blinds to minimize.
Have Professionals Handle Repairs
- If chips, cracks or excessive scratches occur, hire a professional fabricator to repair. Avoid DIY repairs.
Check Manufacturer Instructions
- Always refer to your specific quartz manufacturer’s care and maintenance guide for any additional tips.
How is Sealing Done on Quartz Countertops?
Though it’s unnecessary in most cases, some homeowners still wish to seal their quartz countertops for added protection. Here is a brief overview of how sealing is done:
- Only specialty quartz sealers should be used, not traditional stone sealers.
- The surface must be completely clean before applying any sealer.
- Lightly apply an even layer of sealer with a clean cloth or applicator pad across the entire countertop.
- Allow sealer to soak in and dry fully per product instructions, usually 20-60 minutes.
- A second coat may be applied for better protection if desired, again allowing proper dry time.
- The sealer creates an invisible barrier that prevents stains from absorbing.
- Effects typically last 6 months to 3 years before reapplication is needed.
Always read and follow the specific quartz sealer directions closely. Improper application can leave residue or discoloration. Hiring a professional is advisable to ensure proper sealing.
FAQs About Sealing Quartz Countertops
Some common questions about whether sealing is advisable for quartz countertops:
Does sealing quartz countertops make them shiny?
No, sealing does not affect the surface shine or appearance. Sealers soak into the microscopic pores and dry clear without altering the look.
Can you seal just part of a quartz countertop?
It’s advisable to seal the entire surface uniformly to prevent blotchy appearance. Spot sealing just one area would likely stand out.
What’s the cost to get quartz countertops sealed?
Sealing typically costs $1-$2 per square foot installed. Most kitchens cost $100-$300. Professionals are recommended to avoid mistakes.
How often should you seal quartz?
Every 3-5 years is sufficient for routine maintenance sealing. Frequent sealing is unnecessary for quartz unless the surface develops etching or stains.
Will sealing prevent quartz countertop etching?
It provides some added protection against acids causing etching. But proper cleaning and avoiding direct contact with acids is the best prevention.
How long does a quartz countertop sealer last?
Sealer durability depends on usage levels but typically lasts 1-3 years before reapplying is needed for maximum effectiveness.
Can you seal just quartz countertop edges?
Sealing only the edges is possible but not ideal. Moisture can still penetrate so fully sealing the surface is best.
While sealing is an absolute must for natural stone countertops like marble and granite, quartz surfaces do not require this regular maintenance. The non-porous material and sturdy resins utilized in quartz manufacturing make sealing unnecessary in all but a few unique situations.
To keep beautiful quartz countertops looking like new for decades, all that is needed is proper routine care – gentle cleaning with mild soap and water, using trivets and cutting boards, addressing spills quickly, and avoiding damage from impacts or scrapes. With a little care, quartz countertops will maintain their good looks without sealing required.
Key Takeaways: Do Quartz Countertops Require Sealing
- Quartz countertops (made of ground quartz and resin) do not require sealing thanks to their non-porous surface.
- The lack of pores, high durability, built-in stain protection and low maintenance requirements eliminate the need for sealing.
- Rare cases where sealing may be beneficial are on textured quartz, surfaces incorporating stone fragments, or quartz near sinks with constant water exposure.
- Proper routine care of quartz involves cleaning gently with mild soap and water, avoiding direct sunlight, using trivets and cutting boards, addressing spills quickly, and preventing scratches/chips.
- If sealing is desired on quartz, specialty quartz sealers must be used. Reapplication is needed every 1-3 years typically.
- Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific quartz countertop and warranty requirements regarding sealing.