Quartz countertops are one of the most popular options for kitchen and bathroom surfaces today. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz counters are valued for their durability, stain resistance, and low maintenance. But one common question that comes up is whether quartz counters need to be sealed like natural stone. Here’s what you need to know about sealing quartz countertops.
Do You Need to Seal Quartz Countertops?
The short answer is no. Quartz counters do not need to be sealed when installed properly. Here’s why:
- Non-porous material – Natural stones like granite and marble are porous, meaning liquids can seep into the tiny holes and pores in the stone. But quartz is a non-porous material, so there are no pores for sealants to fill.
- Resin binder – The resin used to bind the quartz crystals creates a surface that resists staining and etching. This durable binder acts as a sealant.
- Stain protection – Most quartz slabs today also have advanced stain protection built into the material. This further prevents stains from setting into the surface.
So unlike granite or marble that require sealing to prevent stains, the non-porous nature and resin binder of quartz provide inherent stain resistance without a sealant.
Should New Quartz Counters Be Sealed Anyway?
Though not required, some manufacturers recommend applying a light sealant layer when quartz counters are newly installed. Here’s when you may want to seal new quartz:
- To enhance stain protection of the surface
- If recommended by the specific quartz brand
- For peace of mind and added moisture protection
Apply a silicone-based sealer made for quartz following the product instructions. Reapply yearly or as needed. This supplemental sealant can provide an extra layer of protection.
Tips for Sealing Quartz Counters
If you do opt to seal your new quartz counters, keep these tips in mind:
- Use a high-quality sealer designed for quartz surfaces.
- Clean counters thoroughly before applying sealer.
- Apply a thin, even layer with a soft cloth or foam applicator.
- Allow sealer to dry completely according to product directions.
- Avoid cheap sealers that can discolor or damage the quartz.
- Reapply sealer each year for optimal effectiveness.
Proper application is important to ensure the sealer bonds effectively and doesn’t impact the look of the quartz.
Maintaining Quartz Counters
Though sealing isn’t required, you’ll still need to properly care for quartz counters. Follow these tips:
- Clean spills promptly to prevent etching.
- Use a pH-neutral stone cleaner. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
- Rinse with clean water after cleaning.
- Blot spills instead of wiping to prevent spreading.
- Avoid placing hot pots/pans directly on surface.
- Use a cutting board instead of cutting on the quartz.
- Reseal yearly if applied originally.
Signs Your Quartz May Need Resealing
Here are some signs that existing sealant on your quartz counters may need reapplication:
- Counters are staining more easily.
- Liquids are pooling rather than beading up.
- There are discolored or dull spots on the surface.
- Rings or etched spots appear after spills.
- It’s been over a year since the last application.
Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the counters before resealing. Follow the product instructions for proper application and drying time.
Key Takeaways on Sealing Quartz
- Quartz counters do not require sealing thanks to their non-porous surface.
- Optional sealing can provide added protection but isn’t mandatory.
- Use a high-quality quartz-safe sealant if sealing.
- Maintain quartz by cleaning spills quickly and avoiding abrasives.
- Reseal if the current sealant appears to be wearing away.
In most cases, proper cleaning is all that’s needed to keep quartz counters looking like new for years. But supplemental sealing can offer extra assurance and protection. With proper care, quartz countertops will maintain their durability and beauty without requiring heavy maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sealing Quartz Countertops
Does quartz need to be sealed when installed?
No, quartz does not need to be sealed when installed. Quartz is non-porous and its resin binder provides inherent stain resistance. Optional sealing provides added protection but is not required.
Should I seal my quartz countertop every year?
Sealing yearly can help maintain the protective layer on your quartz. But it’s only needed if you originally sealed the counters when installed. Unsealed quartz does not require yearly sealing.
Can I use any sealer on quartz?
No. You need to use a sealer specifically designed for quartz surfaces. Stone sealers formulated for granite, marble, etc. should not be used. Always check that the sealer is quartz-safe.
What happens if I don’t seal my quartz counters?
Without sealing, you may experience more etching, staining, and dullness over time. But quartz won’t be damaged without sealing. Proper cleaning can help prolong its durability and appearance.
How long does quartz sealer last?
Expect a quartz sealer application to last around 1 year with moderate use. Higher-use areas may need resealing more often. durability will depend on the product quality and following proper application directions.
Can I apply a sealant myself?
Absolutely. Quartz sealers come as easy-to-use sprays or wipes. Make sure to thoroughly prep and clean the surface before sealing it yourself following the product directions.
How do I know when to reseal quartz?
Signs it’s time to reseal include increased staining, pooling liquids, discoloration, and etched spots. Typically quartz sealant will need reapplication after about one year.
Is sealing quartz countertops necessary?
No, sealing quartz is optional since the material is non-porous. Many quartz owners never seal their counters. Light sealing can provide added protection, but it’s not a must like it is for natural stone.
Does a quartz sealer change the look?
A good quartz sealer should not alter the appearance once dried. Cheap sealers, however, can sometimes discolor or create a film on the surface. Always choose a reputable sealer made for quartz.
While sealing is an essential maintenance step for natural stone counters, quartz counters do not require sealing thanks to their durable, non-porous composition. Optional sealing can provide extra protection from stains and etching. But with proper care and cleaning, quartz counters will retain their beauty without needing a sealant layer. If you do opt to seal, use a high-quality quartz-safe sealer and apply per product instructions to enhance moisture protection. With the right maintenance approach, stunning quartz counters can stay looking like new for many years.