Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz aggregates combined with resins and pigments, quartz offers an attractive, low-maintenance, and durable alternative to natural stone countertops. However, one question that often comes up is whether quartz needs to be sealed like natural stone. Here is a detailed look at whether sealing is necessary for quartz countertops.
What is a Sealant?
A sealant is a liquid product that is applied as a coating on the surface of natural stone countertops like granite, marble, and soapstone. Sealants work by filling in the tiny pores and holes within the stone to prevent moisture, oils, and acids from penetrating into the material. This helps protect the stone from stains. Sealants also make natural stone less prone to absorbing bacteria.
Sealants for natural stone need to be reapplied periodically, typically once a year, to maintain their protective qualities. Without proper sealing, stone countertops would be much more vulnerable to damage.
Key Differences Between Quartz and Natural Stone
Unlike natural stone, quartz countertops are engineered from ground quartz crystals combined with resins, polymers, and pigments. The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a durable, non-porous surface.
This non-porous quality is one of the key advantages of quartz over natural stone. Quartz does not require sealing because liquids and oils cannot penetrate into the material.
Here are some other differences:
- Porousness – Natural stone is porous, quartz is not.
- Maintenance – Quartz requires very little maintenance compared to natural stone.
- Stains – Quartz resists stains much better than marble, granite, etc.
- Heat Tolerance – Natural stone can be damaged by hot pans, quartz is heat resistant.
- Scratches – Quartz is more scratch resistant than softer natural stones.
- Cost – Natural stone is often more expensive than quartz.
So in summary, the non-porous nature of quartz makes it a lower maintenance and more stain resistant choice compared to natural stone countertops.
Does Quartz Need To Be Sealed?
Quartz countertops do not require any sealing like natural stone does. Since quartz lacks pores and holes, sealants only end up sitting on the surface without providing any real protection. Sealants can also create a hazy film on quartz that is difficult to remove.
Manufacturers of popular quartz brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, and Silestone all concur that sealing is not recommended or beneficial for quartz surfaces.
Without pores to fill, any sealer you apply would just be a useless coating that wears away over time. So sealing is really not necessary.
Proper Care & Maintenance of Quartz Countertops
Even though it does not need sealing, simple care and maintenance is still required for quartz countertops:
- Blot up spills immediately to prevent possible staining
- Clean with a mild non-abrasive soap and water
- Avoid exposing the surface to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc.
- Use a cutting board to protect from scratches when cutting with knives
- Avoid excessive heat from hot pots and pans
- Clean up any spills immediately to prevent possible stains
- Have any repairs done professionally to ensure structural integrity
With this regular care and attention, a quartz countertop can remain in excellent condition for many years without needing any type of sealant.
Signs Your Quartz Countertop Needs Resealing
Since quartz countertops do not require sealing in the first place, there are no signs to watch out for that would indicate a need to reseal.
With natural stone countertops, signs like darkening, fading, spotting, or etching could mean it is time to reapply a sealant. But quartz lacks pores, so you never have to worry about resealing it.
How Often Should Quartz Countertops Be Sealed?
Quartz manufacturers are unanimous that sealing is simply not necessary for quartz surfaces. Unlike natural stone, quartz lacks the porous quality that requires reapplying sealants periodically to maintain protection.
Quartz never needs resealing, even after many years of regular use. Any sealant applied would simply be a waste of time and money since it offers no real benefits for quartz.
Can You Seal Quartz Countertops Just in Case?
It is best not to apply any sealants to a quartz countertop. Sealants can actually create more problems:
- Sealants leave an unattractive film or hazy residue on quartz that is hard to remove.
- Reapplication requires stripping off the prior layers of sealant.
- Quartz lacks pores, so sealants have nothing to penetrate and bond with.
- Sealants can diminish the attractive look and feel of the quartz surface.
Since quartz manufacturers advise against sealing their products, it is best to follow their guidance. Save your money and just focus on regular cleaning and care of your quartz countertops without any sealants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I seal my quartz countertop before use?
No, there is no need to seal a brand new quartz countertop. Quartz lacks the natural pores and voids found in stone where sealants work to provide protection. Sealants on quartz just leave a residue.
How long does a quartz sealer last?
Quartz does not require sealing at all. Any sealer applied would be only a temporary coating that wears away, so no sealer technically “lasts” on a non-porous quartz surface.
What happens if you don’t seal quartz?
Absolutely nothing! Not sealing quartz will have no negative effects, since quartz lacks pores for sealants to fill anyway. A quartz countertop will function normally for many years without ever needing sealing.
Can you use a granite sealer on quartz?
It is not recommended. While it may seem like granite and quartz sealers would work interchangeably, keep in mind that quartz has vastly different properties as an engineered, non-porous surface. Products designed for natural stone may leave residue.
How long after installing quartz should it be sealed?
There is no need to ever seal a quartz surface, either immediately after installation or at any time in the future. Quartz manufacturers do not recommend sealing their products.
Quartz countertops provide many advantages over natural stone, including their non-porous, low-maintenance, and stain resistant characteristics. This makes sealing quartz unnecessary unlike more porous stones. In fact, sealants can have detrimental effects on quartz. With simple cleaning and care, a quartz surface will retain its beauty and performance for years without any sealing required. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to enjoy durable, worry-free quartz countertops.