Do You Need to Seal Quartz Countertops? The Complete Guide

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels due to their aesthetic appeal, durability, and low maintenance requirements. However, many homeowners wonder whether they need to seal quartz counters to protect them. This comprehensive guide will examine whether sealing quartz is necessary, the pros and cons of sealing, how to seal quartz properly, and tips for keeping your quartz countertops looking like new.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with plastic resins and pigments. The mixture is molded into slabs and hardened under intense pressure and heat.

The main benefits of quartz over natural stone like granite include:

  • More consistent coloring and patterns since the pigments are added
  • Non-porous so liquids don’t soak in
  • Highly durable and resistant to scratches, chips, cracks
  • Stain resistant
  • Requires very little maintenance
  • Never needs re-sealing

Quartz is an excellent option for busy kitchens and baths due to its resilient properties. But do you need to seal quartz counters when they are installed?

Do Quartz Countertops Need to Be Sealed?

The simple answer is no. Quartz counters do not need to be sealed upon installation or at any time thereafter.

The resin used to bind the crushed quartz makes an impervious surface that resists liquid absorption. Quartz does not absorb stains because there are no pores for them to soak into. The pigments run throughout the slab.

Therefore, sealing quartz provides no real benefits but can actually cause problems over time. The sealant applied can yellow, peel, flake or accelerate wear on the surface.

However, some homeowners may still wish to seal their quartz for added protection and peace of mind. Let’s look closer at the pros and cons of sealing engineered stone.

Pros of Sealing Quartz Counters

While sealing is not required, some homeowners choose to do so hoping to prolong the life of the countertops. Some possible benefits of sealing quartz include:

  • Extra moisture protection – Providing a hydrophobic barrier against liquids, although quartz itself is non-porous.
  • Enhanced stain resistance – Adding an extra layer to repel stains from highly pigmented foods and drinks.
  • Easier cleaning – Sealants can make quartz less prone to smudges and food debris adhesion.
  • UV protection – Sealing may minimize fading or yellowing from sun exposure.
  • Peace of mind – Having confidence your counters are as protected as possible.

For these reasons, some quartz owners feel sealing is worthwhile to safeguard their investment and keep their counters pristine.

Cons of Sealing Quartz Counters

On the other hand, there are also some downsides associated with sealing quartz:

  • Not necessary – Since quartz is non-porous, sealing is redundant and provides minimal if any real added protection.
  • Sealants can degrade – Sealers may yellow, peel, flake or wear unevenly over time, damaging the appearance of the quartz.
  • Traps dirt – Sealant residue in cracks or crevices can make cleaning harder.
  • Adds cost – Hiring a professional to seal counters every few years adds ongoing maintenance fees.
  • Difficult to re-seal perfectly – Once sealed, completely stripping the old sealer before reapplying is challenging.
  • Can void warranties – Many quartz warranties prohibit after-market sealants.
  • Temporary effects – Sealants must be reapplied every 1-2 years to retain effectiveness.

Since quartz itself does not need sealing, adding an after-market product can potentially create more problems than it solves.

How to Seal Quartz Countertops

For homeowners who decide the benefits outweigh the risks, properly sealing quartz requires careful product selection and application. Here are some tips:

Choose the Right Sealant

Not all sealers are created equal. For optimal results, choose a sealant designed specifically for quartz and engineered stone. General stone sealers may not bond well or provide adequate protection.

Recommended sealants include:

  • Tenax Hydrex – water-based acrylic sealer
  • Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator – penetrates deeply for extra protection
  • GranQuartz Seal and Shine – compatible with all major quartz brands

Avoid flimsy water-repellent sealers which only guard against liquids. Opt for an impregnating sealer that soaks in for all-around protection.

Thoroughly Clean the Surface

Before sealing, the quartz should be cleaned meticulously with a non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth. All dirt, debris, oils, and residue must be removed to allow maximum sealer absorption.

Use a household degreaser for stuck-on gunk. Rinse thoroughly and allow the counters to dry completely before sealing.

Carefully Apply the Sealer

Read the product instructions carefully and prep the area. Ventilate the space well and cover any surfaces not being sealed. Apply the sealer lightly with a clean cloth, following the direction of the quartz pattern.

Allow the recommended drying time between coats. Two to three thin coats often provide better coverage than one thick application. Wipe up any drips immediately to prevent staining.

Cure Time and Cleanup

Most sealers require 24-48 hours of curing time before the quartz can be used again. Avoid placing any items on freshly sealed counters during this period. Clean tools with mineral spirits.

Once cured, wipe the counters with a dry cloth to remove any sealer haze. Resealing will be needed every 1-2 years for best results.

Tips for Keeping Quartz Counters Looking New

While sealing quartz is optional, all quartz owners should take proper care to maintain their counters’ beauty and function. Here are some handy care and cleaning guidelines:

  • For everyday cleaning, use a mild soap and soft cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
  • Rinse thoroughly after cleaning to prevent residue buildup.
  • Blot spills quickly to prevent staining. Don’t let liquids sit.
  • For stuck-on messes, use a non-abrasive cleaner like Soft Scrub or Bon-Ami.
  • Avoid using knife blades directly on the surface to prevent scratches. Use a cutting board.
  • Don’t place hot pans directly on quartz. Always use trivets and hot pads.
  • Re-apply mineral oil to dark quartz every week or two to enrich the color.
  • Avoid exposing quartz to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners etc.
  • Use coasters under glasses and bottles to prevent etching.

By caring for your quartz properly, you can enjoy lasting beauty without the need for sealing. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s care guidelines as well. With some simple preventive maintenance, your quartz counters will retain their function and eye appeal for many years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sealing Quartz

Many homeowners have additional questions about the necessity of sealing their quartz counters. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:

Should I seal my quartz countertops before using them?

No, sealing before use is not required. Quartz does not need to be sealed for protection either before or after installation. Sealing quartz counters is purely optional.

How long does a quartz sealer last?

Sealers applied to quartz typically last 1-2 years with proper care before needing reapplication. Durability depends on the specific product used. Impregnating sealers tend to have better longevity than topical coatings.

Can I seal just part of my quartz countertop?

You can seal only select areas of the quartz, but this may create an uneven look. The sealed sections may appear darker or glossier. For consistent appearance, seal the entire surface evenly.

What happens if I get sealer on part of the quartz I didn’t intend to?

Immediately wipe off any drips or accidental sealer application with a clean damp cloth. If dried on already, use a plastic putty knife to gently scrape off the excess. Avoid abrasives.

Do all quartz warranties prohibit sealing?

Many major brands discourage sealing since it is not required. However, some warranties allow it as long as compatible sealers are used properly. Check your warranty terms before applying any after-market sealant.

Sealing quartz remains a point of debate among homeowners. By weighing the pros and cons carefully, you can decide if an extra barrier is right for your counters. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep quartz surfaces stunning for years whether sealed or unsealed.


Although sealing provides an added layer of protection, quartz countertops do not require sealing due to their non-porous composition. The resin binders create an impervious surface that resists moisture absorption and stains.

Sealers must be reapplied regularly and can potentially damage quartz over time. While optional, sealing engineered stone counters offers limited benefits for a material inherently low-maintenance. With routine cleaning and care, quartz will retain its durability, beauty, and function for decades without requiring any protective coatings or sealants.