Do You Seal Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, there is some debate around whether quartz countertops need to be sealed. This comprehensive guide will provide detailed information to help homeowners understand if and when sealing is recommended for quartz countertops.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins, polymers, and pigments that are compacted into slabs. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-95% while the remainder consists of the binding agents.

The resins give the material its hardness and resistance to scratches, heat, and stains. Meanwhile, the quartz crystals provide strength, durability, and the characteristic veining or speckled patterns. The pigments introduce color into the material.

Compared to natural stone like granite, quartz offers superior consistency in color and pattern. The manufacturing process allows the maker to control the look of the finished product.

The Benefits of Quartz Countertops

There are several reasons why quartz has become such a highly sought-after countertop material:

  • Durability – Quartz is very resilient and stands up well to heavy usage in kitchens. The material is scratch, chip, and crack resistant.
  • Low Maintenance – Requires very little ongoing maintenance compared to other surfaces. Does not usually need regular sealing or polishing.
  • Stain Resistance – The non-porous surface makes quartz highly resistant to stains from spills and liquids.
  • Heat Tolerance – Can withstand exposure to heat better than many alternate options. However, hot pans should still be used with care.
  • Non-Porous – Unlike granite and marble, quartz does not absorb liquids and harbors very little bacteria.
  • Variety of Colors/Patterns – Manufacturing process allows a wide array of attractive options. Creates consistent, controlled aesthetic.
  • Hygienic – Easy to keep clean and disinfect. Does not require frequent sealing.

With all these advantages, it’s easy to see why quartz has surged in popularity in recent years as a premier countertop choice.

Does Quartz Need to Be Sealed?

The defining feature of quartz that influences the decision of whether sealing is required is that it is non-porous. The resin binds the material, filling in the microscopic pores that are present in natural stone. This prevents liquid, dirt, and debris from penetrating the surface.

However, opinions diverge on whether quartz countertops truly need sealing:

Not Necessary to Seal

  • The non-porous nature of quartz already prevents staining and absorption of bacteria/liquids. Sealer cannot provide any additional benefit.
  • Manufacturers advise against sealing quartz and say it will void the warranty.
  • Sealing may create a hazy, uneven appearance on the surface over time.
  • If the integrity of the surface is maintained, liquids will bead and not absorb even without a sealer.

Sealing Recommended

  • While less porous than stone, quartz still contains microscopic pores that a sealer would protect.
  • Sealing creates an added layer of protection, especially for heavily used kitchen counters.
  • Can help minimize etching from acidic liquids like wine, fruit juice or vinegar.
  • Provides greater peace of mind against stains even if not completely essential.
  • Reapplication needed only every 3-5 years for maintenance.

The decision ultimately comes down to the homeowners’ preference. For most, sealing quartz countertops is likely overkill. But for some owners that want maximum stain protection, sealing brings added defense despite the low porosity of the material.

How to Seal Quartz Countertops

If you do opt to seal your quartz countertops, follow this simple process:

Choose a Sealer

Select a high-quality sealer designed for use on quartz and natural stone. Stone sealers are commonly water-based instead of solvent-based. Some good options include:

  • Tenax Hydrex – water-based acrylic sealer
  • Miracle Sealants 511 Impregnator – water-based sealer
  • Dry Treat Premium Impregnating Sealer – non-toxic water-based sealer

Avoid sealers containing silicone, urethane, or lacquer which can create a plastic-like coating on the surface. Always read the product label closely before use.

Clean the Surface

Before sealing, thoroughly clean the quartz countertops using a non-abrasive soap and water. This removes any oils, dirt or residues that could impact sealer absorption. Wipe the countertop dry with a soft cloth.

Apply the Sealer

Use a microfiber cloth, paintbrush or foam applicator to apply the sealer according to the product directions. Spread the sealer evenly across the surface. Allow it to soak in for 5-10 minutes.

Remove Excess/Buff Surface

Thoroughly wipe off any sealer that did not absorb using a clean, dry cloth. Buff the countertops gently with a microfiber cloth to remove excess residue and create an even finish.

Allow Proper Cure Time

Most sealers require 24-72 hours of cure time before regular use of the countertops can resume. This allows the sealer to form a proper protective bond.

With these simple steps, your quartz countertops are sealed and ready for use! Be sure to reapply sealer periodically as directed to maintain effectiveness.

FAQs About Sealing Quartz Countertops

Still have some lingering questions about whether to seal your quartz countertops? These common FAQs provide helpful answers:

Does sealing quartz impact the warranty?

Sealing quartz does not automatically void the manufacturer’s warranty. However, problems that directly result from the application of a sealer likely would not be covered. Always review your specific warranty details before sealing.

How long does a quartz sealer last?

A quality impregnating sealer will typically last 3-5 years before reapplication is needed. Duration depends on usage and exposure to abrasive cleaners or chemicals.

What happens if you don’t seal quartz countertops?

Most quartz manufacturers advise against sealing. If not sealed, quartz will be highly resistant to stains and liquids but may be slightly more prone to etching from acidic spills over time.

Can you apply a sealer yourself?

Absolutely. Sealing quartz countertops is a relatively simple DIY project. No special tools are required. Just clean, apply sealer, wipe away excess, and cure.

How long after installation should quartz be sealed?

It’s best to wait 7-14 days after installation before sealing to allow any residual moisture from adhesives and grout to fully cure. This prevents sealing problems.

Does sealing quartz change the appearance?

Sealer should not alter the look of quartz if applied properly in thin, even coats. Heavy application can create a hazy, uneven appearance over time as sealers wear unevenly.

Can you use a granite sealer on quartz?

Yes, you can safely use a high-quality sealer designed for granite on quartz countertops. Look for an impregnating stone sealer that is non-toxic and water-based.

Sealing quartz countertops remains a point of debate among homeowners and installers. While not essential, sealing does provide extra protection for those desiring maximum stain resistance. With proper care and maintenance, sealed or unsealed quartz countertops will perform exceptionally for years of beauty and durability.

Caring for Quartz Countertops

While sealing quartz counters may not always be necessary, follow these care tips to keep them looking like new:

  • Routinely clean with mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads.
  • Blot up spills immediately to prevent potential stains.
  • Use a cutting board to protect from scratches and nicks from cutlery.
  • Avoid exposing to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners etc.
  • Place hot pans on trivets. While quartz resists heat, prolonged direct contact can cause damage.
  • Re-seal every 3-5 years if originally sealed.
  • Avoid applying excessive pressure that can chip the edges or corners.
  • Inspect sealant around sinks and backsplash for gaps that need re-caulking.
  • Check manufacturer’s care guide for additional recommendations.

With minimal care, quartz counters will stay beautiful and functional for many years before replacement is needed. Keeping them looking like new often comes down to preventing damage in the first place.

Is Quartz a Good Choice for Your Countertops?

If considering a quartz countertop installation, be sure to weigh the pros and cons:

Pros of Quartz Counters:

  • Highly durable and scratch/chip resistant
  • Requires very little maintenance
  • Resists stains from spills and liquids
  • Tolerates heat better than many other options
  • Non-porous, inhibits bacteria growth
  • Available in wide variety of colors/patterns
  • Consistent appearance thanks to manufacturing
  • Easy to clean and keep sanitary

Potential Downsides:

  • Higher cost than materials like granite or laminate
  • Can be prone to damage from strong chemicals
  • Needs occasional resealing to prevent etching (if applied)
  • Lacks the prestigious cachet of natural stone
  • Limited high-end aesthetic options currently

For most homeowners, the advantages of durability, appearance, and easy care outweigh the few drawbacks. Be sure to review your budget, kitchen usage, and style preferences as you weigh options.


While sealing quartz counters remains controversial, it can provide an additional layer of protection for those desiring maximum stain resistance. Consult your countertop supplier or installer for their best practices recommendations. With routine care, quartz countertops offer unparalleled performance and beauty without the need for frequent sealing required by natural stone surfaces. Their durability, low maintenance needs, and stylish appearance make them one of the most popular choices for today’s kitchens and baths.